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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal



3rd Special Forces Group

Home > Groups > 3rd SFGA

The 3rd Special Forces Group was based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in the 1960s. It had the African continent as its area of responsibility (AOR).

Activation. The group was activated on December 5, 1963 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It would later be inactivated in 1969. It was then reactivated on July 1, 1990 to provide regional engagement in the Caribbean and Africa.

Basing. Currently it is based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Regional Focus. Over the course of history 3rd Group has had Africa as its prime area of responsbility. Upon its reactivation in the 1990s 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group was responsible for the Caribbean area. It provided a major effort during deployments to Haiti in the 1990s. During the long Global War on Terror (GWOT) the 3rd Special Forces Group deployed its headquarters and sub-units to Afghanistan. It also saw duty in other areas of CENTCOM as well - to include Iraq and Djibouti.

3rd SFGA in the Middle East

Operation Desert Storm. Elements of the 3rd Special Forces Group participated in the invasion of Iraq in early 1991.

Operation Iraqi Freedom. Elements of the 3rd Special Forces Group participated in the initial invasion of Iraq in the spring of 2003. It would later deploy its CIF to Iraq to work with the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Force (ICTF) and other Iraqi SOF units.

3rd SFGA in Africa

The group has a long history of service in Africa beginning in the 1960s. It would once again, after being reactivated, serve in numerous countries on the African continent. The activities of 3rd SFGA and Special Forces in general became quite public in the aftermath of an ambush in October 2017 that killed four members of the group in Niger. The group has also been involved in lesser known operations such as Operation Noble Obelisk - the non-combatant evacuation operation of American citizens from Sierra Leone in 1997.

3rd SFGA in Afghanistan

In the initial invasion of Afghanistan 5th Special Forces teams based in Pakistan and southern Uzbekistan (K2) were launched into Afghanistan to link up with the Northern Alliance and other anti-Taliban groups. After the fall of the Taliban regime the 5th Group returned to its base at Fort Campbell, Kentucky to refit and prepare for the invasion of Iraq. The 3rd Special Forces Group replaced the 5th Special Forces Group in Afghanistan. The CJSOTF-A, formed around the nucleus of 3rd SFGA HQs and augmented by members of the 20th Special Forces Group, was based at Bagram Air Field. The 20th Special Forces Group replaced the 3rd Special Forces Group in the summer of 2002. Eventually, 3rd Group and 7th Group would rotate their units in and out of Afghanistan for the next two decades.

Facts and Trivia

Nicknames. Currently the 3rd SFGA is referred to as "The Bushmen". Past nicknames include "The Third Herd" - dating back to the 1960s when it had Africa as its AOR.




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