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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal







History of
Special Forces Groups

Home > History > Special Forces Groups

1st Special Forces Group

The 1st SFGA was originally located in the Pacific on Okinawa. It was deactivated in the early 1970s at the end of the Vietnam War but then reactivated in the 1980s. It is now located at Fort Lewis, WA with a battalion forward-deployed at Tori Station on Okinawa.

3rd Special Forces Group

3rd SFGA was activated in the 1960s then deactivated. It was later reactivated just prior to Desert Storm and is located on Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It has provided forces to Africa, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

5th Special Forces Group

The 5th Special Forces Group was activated at Fort Bragg on September 21, 1961. It deployed to Vietnam in October 1964 to assume control of all Special Forces operations in Vietnam.  In February 1971 the 5th SFG(A) was withdrawn from Vietnam. 1. It has played a major role in the invasion of Afghanistan in the fall of 2001 and the toppling of the Taliban. In 2003 it took part in the invasion of Iraq. Throughout the Iraq war 5th SFGA shared responsibility for the CJSOTF-A in Iraq with 10th SFGA. It is currently located at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

6th Special Forces Group

The 6th SFGA was active from 1963 to 1971. It was based at Fort Bragg, NC. Its area of responsiblity included Southwest Asia and Southeast Asia. Many of the original Son Tay raiders were voluteers from 6th SFGA.

7th Special Forces Group

The 77th SFGA, established in 1953, was reorganized and became the 7th SFGA in May 1960. 7th SFGA was one of the earliest groups and deployed its teams on worldwide assignments to include Asia, South Asia and other locations. In the early 1960s teams from 7th SFGA deployed to Laos on Operation White Star and also to Vietnam. In 1972 one of its battalions assumed responsbility for Central and South America after the deactivate of 8th SFGA. 7th group saw action in a number of conflicts in Central and South America to include Grenada (Operation Urgent Furey), Panama (Operation Just Cause), El Salvador, Columbia and others. After the invasion of Afghanistan 3rd SFGA and 7th SFGA shared the responsiblity for Afghanistan. For a long time it was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC but it moved to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida in 2011.

Other sources of info on 7th SFGA:

SFA Chapter 78

Special Forces Search Engine

Wikipedia - 7th Special Forces Group

8th Special Forces Group

The 8th SFGA was active from 1963 to 1972 and stationed in the Panama Canal Zone. In 1972 the 8th SFGA was deactivated and elements of the unit became the 3rd Battalion of 7th SFGA. It operated primarily in Central and South America.

10th Special Forces Group

The 10th Special Forces Group was formed in June 1952 under the command of COL Aaron Bank. This was the first Special Forces group. the 10th SFGA deployed to Bad Tolz, Germany in September 1953; some of its cadre remained at Fort Bragg, NC to form the 77th SFGA. It later relocated to Fort Devens, Massachusetts and finally to Fort Carson, Colorado. It had a forward deployed battalion at Bad Tolz, Germany for  number of years which eventually moved to Stuttgart, Germany.

11th Special Forces Group

The 11th Special Forces Group of the Army Reserve was located along the east coast of the United States. It had a battalion headquarters in New York, Florida,and Ohio. The group headquarters was located at Fort Meade, Maryland. It was established in 1961 and deactivated in 1994 and several of its companies were merged into the 20th Special Forces Group of the Army National Guard.

12th Special Forces Group

The 12th Special Forces Group of the Army Reserve was located in central and western United States. Its group headquarters was located in Chicago, Illinois. It was established in 1961 and deactivated in 1994 and several of its companies merged with the 19th Special Forces Group of the Army National Guard.

16th Special Forces

The 16th Special Forces was a reserve unit that was established in the 1960s.

17th Special Forces

The 17th Special Forces was a reserve unit based in the California area.

19th Special Forces Group

The 19th SFGA, an Army National Guard unit, is headquartered in Utah with battalions and companies located primarily in western United States - although some units are found in Rhode Island, Ohio, and West Virginia.

20th Special Forces Group

The 20th SFGA, an Army National Guard unit, is headquartered in Alabama with units located throughout eastern United States. 20th SFGA was activated during Desert Storm and stationed at Fort Bragg; but did not deploy. 20th SFGA took part in many deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq as well as Africa and Central and South America.

46th Special Forces Company

46th Company was based in Thailand during the 1960s and early 1970s.

77th Special Forces Group

The 77th Special Forces Group was established at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in September 1953. In May 1960 it became the 7th SFGA.



1. "5th Special Forces Group is activated at Fort Bragg", History.com. Accessed here.



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