BERLIN (AP) — The U.S. military says it has set up a new civil affairs brigade in Germany, the first to be based in Europe.

The 361st Civil Affairs Brigade was activated Friday and will be headquartered in Kaiserslautern. Such units help with projects like rebuilding infrastructure and providing aid.

The military says basing the unit in Germany will put around 300 soldiers closer to places they might be needed to help with natural disasters or other missions, such as Africa, eastern and southern Europe, the Middle East or Afghanistan.

The unit will be primarily comprised of reservists, drawn from the U.S. expatriate community in Germany. The military says they are ideal for the job because they have daily experience working and operating abroad.