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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal




Home > Conflicts > Somalia

U.S. Army Special Forces has been involved in Somalia for many years in an on and off again basis. Most people think of the Battle for Mogadishu (see below) that took place in 1993 when they think of U.S. involvement with Somalia. What is less known is that special operations forces (principally SF) has been active in the country at various times since then.

Special Forces in Somalia 1992-1994

SF deployed teams and small command elements to assist in the humanitarian relief effort in the early 1990s. Conflict grew in the country as various militias harassed and interfered with the relief efforts of the humanitarin relief organizations. Military forces were inserted to 'keep the peace' and to allow aid to reach the intended recipients.

Battle of Mogadishu. This battle, taking place on 3-4 October 1993, was part of Operation Gothic serpent. The fight was between forces of the United States supported by UNOSOM II and Somali militiamen loyal to the self-proclaimed president-to-be Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The movie Black Hawk Down depicted the fight involving a company from the 75th Ranger Regiment and members of Delta Force.

Battle of Mogadishu (1993) by Wikipedia.

United States Forces, Somalia. Action Action Report and Historical Review: The United States Army in Somalia, Center of Military History, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.

Counter-Terrorism Operations

As part of the worldwide 'war on terror' U.S. counter-terrorism forces are engaged in small, covert operations to capture or kill high-level terroriists and neutralize terrorist organizations. Some of these terrorist groups operate from Somalia. 1.

Information about Somalia

CIA World Factbook on Somalia

CIA Maps for Somalia

State Department Somalia

Al-Shabaab Terrorist Group - by National Counterterrorism Center

News Reports about SF and Somalia

Norm Hooten Interview. A Special Forces NCO talks about his life in Special Forces, in a SMU, the Battle of Mogadishu, the aftermath, and transitioning to civilian life (whiskey and cigars). "Norm Hooten: From Somalia to Cigars with a Special Forces Operator & Black Hawk Down Veteran", Recoil Web, March 6, 2024.

September 1, 2014. "U.S. Troops Take Action on Militants in Somalia". The New York Times. Over 100 special operations personnel are in training and advisory roles; as well as some in an operational role.

July 2, 2014. "Exclusive: U.S. discloses secret Somalia military presence, up to 120 troops". Reuters.

January 10, 2014. "U.S. has deployed military advisors to Somalia, officials say". The Washington Post.


1. For more on counter-terrorism operations in Somalia read "5 Takeaways from the U.S. Special Ops Raids in Somalia and Libya", Defense One, October 8, 2013.



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