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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal


Special Warfare Center and School

Home > Training > SWCS

The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS) is located on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  The vast majority of training for Special Forces Soldiers - basic, advanced and specialized - is conducted on Fort Bragg.  Some of the training is conducted on satellite facilities such as Camp Mackall or Key West. SWCS is well-known for conducting the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) but it also provides training in many other areas and specialties as well.

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History of SWCS

The Special Warfare Center and School has a long history.  It's origins can be found in the Psychological Warfare (PSYWAR) Division of the Army General School, Fort Riley, Kansas in 1950. In 1952 the Psychological Warfare Center was established at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on "Smoke Bomb Hill".  The PSYWAR Center consisted of the Psychological Warfare School, the 6th Radio Broadcast & Leaflet Group, and the 10th Special Forces Group.  The 10th Special Forces Group later split to form two groups with the 10th Special Forces Group moving to Bad Tolz, Germany and the 77th Special Forces Group remaining at Fort Bragg.

The first Special Forces teams had 15 members and was capable of infilitrating behind enemy lines to conduct guerrilla warfare by organizing, training, and directing friendly resistance forces.

In 1956 the PSYWAR Center was renamed the Special Warfare School. The Special Warfare School was responsible for Special Forces and Psychological Warfare training. In the early 1960s the school conducted counterinsurgency training as well. For a narrative of Special Forces training in the 1961 era click here.

The Special Forces Training Group was established in 1962 to train enlisted Soldiers who were assigned to the Special Forces groups.

In 1969 the school was renamed the John F. Kennedy Institute for Military Assistance and was commonly referred to as "IMA".  The curriculum was expanded and include Special Forces, Psychological Operations, advanced infiltration techniques, and Military Advisory courses.

In 1972 IMA took over the function of teaching Civil Affairs when the U.S. Army Civil Affairs School was transferred from Fort Gordon to Fort Bragg.

In 1982 the center was renamed the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center.  In 1985 it was renamed the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.  In 1990 the schoolhouse was moved from TRADOC to USASOC./


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