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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal



Special Forces Units

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The Special Forces Groups can be found at the Special Forces Groups page. Below are listed individual units - whether formed up for a temporary timeframe or during a conflict, war, or special operation.

SFODA. The base unit in Special Forces is the Special Forces Operational Detachment - Alpha. Currently (2023) the structure is a twelve man team. It wasn't always that way. An online article by the USASOC History Office entitled "The Evolution of the Special Forces (SF) Operational Detachment-Alpha (ODA)" describes how it has ranged from 12 men to 15 men based on era, doctrine, and force structure requirements. (Veritas, January 2023).

Detachment A - Berlin Brigade

46th Company - Thailand

8240th Army Unit. This provisional unit was established in the early 1950s to train up anti-Communist North Korean partisans to conduct unconventional warfare in North Korea.

8251st Army Unit. In 1956 the 8251st Army Unit was activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The name of the unit was the cover designation for the 14th Special Forces Operational Detachment (FD). This unit was designed to operate as a command and control unit within a "denied area" in the Pacific region and would later form the cadre of the newly established 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). The unit spent time at Fort Shafter, Hawaii and Fort Buckner, Okinawa. It executed Foreign Internal Defense (FID) missions in South Vietnam, the Republic of China, and Thailand. (Info taken from 1st Special Forces Facebook entry).

Delta Force. The official name of Delta Force is the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment "D". Delta Force was created in the 1970s in response to a new age of terrorism.

Intelligence Support Activity (ISA). Formed up after the failure of Operation Eagle Claw, the ISA was formed to collect actionable intelligence overseas for special operations forces that would conduct covert, clandestine, and overt missions. It now has a different name (keeps changing every few years) and is subordinate to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). The joint organization was formed to coordinate the various special operations forces across the services in the conduct of counter-terrorism and surgical strike missions.

USSOCOM. United States Special Operations Command, a 4-star command, was established in 1987 at McDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Central Intelligence Group (CIG). The CIG was formed in January 1946 - replacing the intelligence arm of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

Navy SEALs. The U.S. Navy SEALs operate on the Sea, in the Air, and on Land. Their recent exploits (Osama bin Laden raid, Maresk Alabama, etc.) have spawned a number of books and movies that has projected the unit into the public eye.

Psychological Operations. Special Forces has a long and shared history in unconventional warfare with units that conducted psychological operations. Both type units were part of larger commands with a shared mission - currently under the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).

World War II Special Operations Units

Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The OSS was formed in World War II to conduct intelligence and unconventional warfare missions around the globe.

Jedburghs. The Jedburgh teams usually consisted of an American from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a Brit from the Special Operations Executive (SOE), and a Frenchman (French resistance or Free French Army). Teams were usually 2-4 men (or women) in strength.

1st Special Service Force. Nick-named the Devil's Brigade, the 1st Special Service Force was a joint American-Canadian command unit formed up in Helena, Montana during World War II. Many of the American and Canadian special elite units trace their heritage from this WWII unit.

Darby's Rangers. The U.S. Army Rangers were established in World War II. They were modeled after the British Commandos. The name 'Darby's Rangers' came from the original commander of the Rangers - Colonel William Darby.

Alamo Scouts. The U.S. Army Sixth Special Reconnaissance Unit was established on November 28, 1943 on New Guinea.



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