Groups > 10th SFGA
The 10th Special Forces Group is the oldest SF group formed
on June 19, 1952 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Colonel Aaron Bank was in
Basing. In September 1953, following
individual and team training, 782 members of 10th SFGA deployed
to Germany and established their base at Lengries in Bavaria.
The remaining individuals remained at Fort Bragg to form up the
77th Special Forces Group (later to be renamed the
7th Special Forces Group). In 1968, the
majority of 10th SFGA redeployed to Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
1st Bn remained at Bad Tolz, Germany - later to move to Panzer
Kaserne in Stuttgart, Germany. In 1994 and 1995 10th SFGA moved
from Fort Devens to Fort Carson, Colorado.
Regional Focus. Over the long course of history 10th SFGA has
had many changes in its regional focus. One over-riding regional
specialization has always been Europe. But time has seen 10th
SFGA engaged in training events, conflicts or engagements in
Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia.
10th SFGA in Europe
Cold War. During the 1950s until the end of the Cold War the
10th SFGA's mission was to conduct partisan warfare behind enemy
lines in the event of a Soviet bloc invasion of western Europe.
Lodge Act. This provision of law afforded the opportunity for
members of eastern European countries to join the U.S. military.
Special Forces attacted many of these individuals and they were
a great benefit to 10th SFGA. The Lodge Act Soldiers knew the
lanuage, culture, terrain, geography, cities, and history of the
target countries of the Soviet bloc. One example of a member of
U.S. Special Forces who was a Lodge Act recruit was Major Larry
Thorne - a former Finnish Army soldier who fought against the
Russians in 1938-1939.
Det A - Berlin. From 1956 to 1984 a small detachment of SF
Soldiers were stationed in Berlin with the Berlin Brigade. They
were a covert unit made up primarily of personnel from 10th
Special Forces. Learn more about
Det A Berlin.
Flintlock Exercise. For many years 10th SFGA conducted the
annual Flintlock Exercise to train its operational detachments
and staff in its many missions - UW, SR, DA, etc. The usual
methodology was deploying from the U.S. to England to set up a
Special Forces Operations Base (SFOB). The teams would receive
their mission, isolate, and then infiltrate into the exercise
area (Germany, Norway, and other European countries). In
addition, more exotic mission training events took place - such
as using the
Fulton Surface-To-Air Recovery System to exfiltrate
individuals or important equipment or documents.
Bosnia. In December 1995 10th SFGA led the 1st Armored
Division into Bosnia. In 2001 some of the first combat
operations of the Global War on Terror was conducted by 10th
SFGA in Bosnia.
Kosovo. 10th SFGA was one of the first military units engaged
in the Kosovo conflict in 1999; conducting combat operations
against KLW insurgents in 2001.
SOCEUR. 10th SFGA works very closely with the Special
Operations Command Europe conducting Jont Combined Exchange
Training (JCET), Foreign Internal Defense (FID), and other
operations throughout Europe.
10th SFGA in the Middle East
Iran. In 1962 a 10th SFGA team conducted a mountaintop
operation in Iran to recover equipment and the bodies of
American service personnel killed in an airplane crash.
Jordan. In the 1960s a B detachment of 10th SFGA established
Jordan's first airborne school.
Yemen. In 1963 a 10th SFGA company trained 350 officers and
NCOs of a guerrilla force fighting the socialist government in
In other training engagements 10th SFGA trained Iranian
Special Forces, Kurds (in Iran), and Turkish Special Forces.
Vietnam. 10th SFGA (as did all the SF groups during the
1960s) provided SF Soldiers for deployment to Vietnam. Very
rarely did an SF Soldier whose career spanned from 1960 to 1980
not serve in Vietnam. Many served as much as six one-year long
Iran Rescue Attempt. A detachment "A" from 10th Special
Forces Group (Det
A Berlin) participated in Operation Eagle Claw - the failed
attempt to rescue hostages held by Iran in 1980.
Lebanon. During the the 1983 to 1985 10th SFGA deployed 17
Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) to Lebanon to conduct training with
the Lebanon Army. Over five thousand Lebanese Soldiers went
through the training. The training mission ended with the entry
of the Syrian army into Lebanon.
10th SFGA in Africa
Congo. In the summer of 1960 a small group of 10th SFGA
Soldiers deployed to the Democratic Republis of the Congo (it
had just gained its independence). The Americans assisted in the
movement of 239 American and European civilians to safety in
Leopoldville where they met up with a larger evacuation force
led by Belgian paratroopers.
Somalia. In June 1985 a Mobile Training Team (MTT) from 1st
Battalion, Bad Tolz, Germany deployed to Somalia for four months
to conduct humanitarian disaster relief operations.
Nigeria. In 1986 a detachment from 10th SFGA trained a cadre
of the Nigerian Airborne forces.
Somalia. 10th SFGA deployed a Coalition Support Team (CST) of
4 ODAs to support the 1st Belgian Para-Commando Battalion in
Operation RESTORE HOPE in 1992-1993. 10th SFGA also assisted the
U.S. 10th Mountain Division.
Rwanda. 10th SFGA deployed to Entebbe Airfield, Uganda to
assist in the return of displaced persons to their home
following the ethnic conflict in Rwanda.
SOCAfrica. 10th SFGA works closely with Special Operations
Command Africa conducting the full range of special operations
missions in Africa.
OEF - TS. 10th SFGA conductes Operation ENDURING FREEDOM -
Trans Sahara. This operation consists of training the military
forces of Senegal, Mali, and Mauritania.
10th SFGA in South Asia
Pakistan. In the 1960s 10th SFGA trained with Pakistani
Persian Gulf War
Following the August 1991 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq 10th
SFGA deployed an MTT to train the Saudi Arabian National Guard.
This MTT accompanied the Saudi forces into battle calling in
airstrikes, artillery fire support, and coordinated troop
movements. In addition, a small element of 10th SFGA conducted
unconventional warfare with elements of the Kuwaiti resistance.
In a little known 1. but
very important part of DESERT STORM 10th SFGA deployed elements
to Turkey to conduct Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions
into northern Iraq. This operation was called ELUSIVE CONCEPT.
Operation PROVIDE COMFORT. At the conclusion of Operation
DESERT STORM the 10th SFGA elements returned to Fort Devens.
Their stay at their home station was short-lived as the entire
group returned to Turkey to conduct the humanitarian relief
effort for the Kurd refugees in mountaintop camps along the
Turkish-Iraqi border. Read more about
Operation PROVIDE COMFORT.
Iraq War OIF
10th Special Forces Group elements deployed to northern Iraq
to link up with Peshmerga units prior to the invasion of Iraq in
March 2003. 10th SFGA organized the Peshmerga to attack and
defeat the Ansar al-Islam - a terrorist organization allied with
al-Qaida located in northern Iraq along the Iranian border. The
Peshmerga, advised by 10th SFGA, then attacked Saddam Hussein's
army in northern Iraq. This attack tied down a large number of
Iraq divisions - preventing their movement south to contest the
invasion of the Allied invasion force coming from the south
moving north to Baghdad. The Peshmerga would capture the major
cities of Mosul, Kirkut, and Tikrit. 10th SFGA would remain
engaged in Iraq until 2011. The group would alternate with the
5th Special Forces Group in being the headquarters for the
Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Arabian
Afghanistan - OEF
ISAF SOF. 10th SFGA ODAs and ODBs have rotated into
Afghanistan for a number of years to train, advise and assist
Special Mission Units (SMUs) of the Afghan National Police
(ANP). As a part of ISAF SOF, 10th SFGA, co-located with other
teams from the European Special Operations Forces, worked with
Provincial Response Companies (PRCs) and other specialized
units of the Ministry of Interior (MoI). During the earlier
stage of the war these detachments came from 1st Battalion
(Stutgart) but once the U.S. involvement in the
Iraq War (OIF) came to an end detachments from Fort Carson
began to deploy to Afghanistan.
Websites in Info about 10th Special Forces Group
10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) by USASOC
1. The existence of the operation was so
secret that the Fort Devens base Public Affairs officer did not
know that elements of the unit had deployed until they were on
the way home.