10th Special Forces Group

The 10th Special Forces Group  SFG(A) is one of the seven groups in the US Army’s Special Forces. They are also known as the “Green Beret” for their distinct service headgear.

Where is the 10th Special Forces Group located?

The 10th Special Forces Group‘s headquarters is currently in 7400 Bad Toelz Rd. (7,712.25 mi) Fort Carson, Colorado 80913. Prior to that, the Group’s headquarters were in Fort Devens, Massachussetts where it remained for 27 years until 1995.

The 10th SFG Commander

As of 2019, the current commander of the 10th Special Forces Group is Col. Lawrence G. Ferguson, who assumed command during a ceremony on July 14, 2017. He succeeds Col. Isaac J. Peltier.

Primary Mission of the 10th Special Forces Group

The  10th SFG’s primary missions in their areas of responsibility – specifically the European Command (EUCOM) and the African Command (AFRICOM) are:

  • unconventional warfare (the original and most important mission of Special Forces)
  • foreign internal defense
  • special reconnaissance
  • direct action
  • counter-terrorism

By Unconventional Warfare (UW), it means activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary, or guerrilla force in a denied area.

Aside from their primary mission, the 10th SFG  also perform combat search and rescue (CSAR), hostage rescue, security assistance, and manhunt. Their operations likewise include counter-narcotics, counter-proliferation, humanitarian demining, humanitarian assistance, information operations, and peacekeeping, psychological operations.

The 10th SFG, based in Ft. Carson, CO, is responsible for operations within the US European Command (EUCOM) which covers 51 countries and territories.

In 2009, they have also become responsible for the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) which covers 53 countries. Both EUCOM and AFRICOM have headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

The  Group has also been heavily involved in the War on Terror with deployments to Georgia, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

The 10th Special Forces Group Patch

The Special Forces motto, “De Oppresso Liber” means “From oppression we will liberate them” and the symbol of the Special Forces is the Trojan horse.

The Trojan Horse Crest was originally worn by members on their berets in the 1950s before it was eventually added to the crest as the official emblem of the Special Forces Group and remains an unofficial symbol of the 10th Special Forces Group.

Another 10th SFG insignia shows the intersecting dagger represents the V-42 dagger issued to each member of the force, while the lower part has the words “De Oppresso Liber” which means “to free the oppressed.”

History

The Early Years

The 10th Special Forces Group was activated on 11 June 1952, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina,  with Colonel Aaron Bank. as commander.

The first class of the 10th Special Forces Group graduated in 1952 and within one year had aggregated 1,700 personnel. In September 1953, the Group was split and 782 of these members deployed to Germany, establishing a headquarters in Bavaria.

Additionally, 99 more members deployed to Korea and the remaining personnel staying at Fort Bragg. This formed the core of the 77th Special Forces Group.

In the early years since the 10th SFG was activated, the Group Commander and his staff made visits to several countries. This spawned the idea of having an exchange training with foreign soldiers.

As the counterinsurgency continued in the 1960s,  the10th Special Forces Group activities covered Europe, the Near East, the Middle East, and South Asia.

In 1963, due to some guerilla war, the 10th Special Forces Group was deployed to Saudi Arabia to train 350 selected officers and NCOs on the basics of insurgency and counterinsurgency.

In 1968, the majority of members deployed to Massachusetts while the 1st Battalion remained in Germany as part of Special Forces Detachment- Europe and is currently located at Panzer Kaserne in Stuttgart.

The 80s onwards

Between 1983 to 1985, the Group sent 17 mobile training teams to Lebanon to provide training for the Lebanese army’s 5,000 officers, NCOs, and soldiers.

Towards the 2nd half of 1986, the 10th SFG trained the nucleus of the Nigerian Airborne and the Nigerian Airborne School was established.

Throughout the 80s,  10th Special Forces Group was part of the Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET). The JCET included West European armies wherein several countries learned and shared military training techniques.

In 1988, the Group underwent further training that aimed to help execute the full spectrum of Special Forces missions.

10th Special Forces Group Engagements and Operations

Congo

In the summer of 1960, Congo was liberated from Belgium, with civil wars erupting. the 10th SFG managed to successfully evacuate 239 civilians without a single casualty in just nine days.

Somalia

Operation Gothic Serpent was a military operation in 1993 in Somalia conducted by the US Special Forces of which the 10th SFG (A) was a part. Its primary mission was to capture faction leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid during the civil war.  Although the mission of capturing his associates was accomplished, it was not without 18 US troopers killed.

Then-President Clinton called for the withdrawal of US troops in March 1994. However, a few hundred Marines remained offshore until complete withdrawal the following year.

Gulf War

The 10th SFG were deployed to the Gulf War between 1990-1991 codenamed  Operation Desert Shield against Iraq, and Operation Desert Storm in defense of Saudi Arabia. They were two operations comprised of a coalition of 35 countries as an alliance formed in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait. This invasion arose from oil pricing and production disputes.

War on Terror

Operation Enduring Freedom

Iraq War

Operation Freedom’s Sentinel

This is also the Global War on Terrorism, an international military campaign launched by the United States after the Sept 11 attacks. The target mostly are Muslim extremists. The official name for War on Terror is Operation Enduring Freedom.

While the operation is mainly in Afghanistan, there are also other counterterrorism operations in the Philippines, Somalia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Sahara.

In 2014, Pres Barrack Obama announced the end of OEF. Continuing operations in Afghanistan is now under Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

The Iraq War began in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition that overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein. This mission continued for several years until the US formally withdrew all troops from  Iraq by December 2011.

Features of the 10th Special Forces Group

As with all of the Special Forces, the 10th Special Forces Group requires a high level of physical fitness, training, daily performance, and personal appearance. Additionally, they require a standard of total dedication and commitment to the group and their mission.

Here is a video about the 10th SFG (A).

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