U.S. Army Special Operations Command
US Army Special Operations Command was established Dec. 1, 1989, by the Department of the Army at Fort Bragg, N.C., as an Army Service Component Command to enhance the readiness of Special Operations Forces. USASOC is home to the elite fighting forces who conduct operations across the full spectrum of warfare, including unconventional warfare, counterproliferation, direct action, psychological operations, special reconnaissance, civil affairs, foreign internal defense and information operations. USASOC commands and controls two component subordinate commands and five component subordinate units, which in turn train and maintain forces for deployment by USSOCOM to combatant command theaters worldwide.
USASOC’s two component subordinate commands are U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), both headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C. The component subordinate units include the 75th Ranger Regiment, headquartered at Fort Benning, Ga.; 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, Ky.; 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C.; 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C.; and 528th Sustainment Brigade (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C.
The command also provides oversight of Army National Guard Special Forces’ readiness, organization, training and employment in coordination with the National Guard Bureau and state adjutants general.
The John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School is responsible for selecting, training and educating Special Operations Forces and leader development. The school teaches more than 10,000 students in more than 100 different courses each year.
The mission of the Special Forces groups is to plan, prepare for, and when directed, deploy to conduct unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance and direct actions in support of U.S. national policy objectives within designated areas of responsibility.
The units continually train to conduct unconventional warfare in any of its forms — guerrilla warfare, subversion and sabotage. The Soldiers are also trained in direct-action operations and special reconnaissance.
Approximately 1,400 Soldiers are assigned to each group. The 12-man “A” Team is the key operating element of the Special Forces group.
Rangers are the masters of special light infantry operations. These include attacks to temporarily seize and secure key objectives and other light infantry operations requiring unique capabilities. Like their Special Forces counterparts, Rangers can infiltrate into an area by land, sea or air.
The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) is a unique unit. It provides support to Special Operations Forces on a worldwide basis with three types of modified helicopters.
The capabilities of the aviation units include inserting, resupplying and extracting U.S. and Allied SOF personnel. They also assist in SOF search and rescue, and escape and evasion activities. In addition to general aviation support to SOF, these units provide airborne command and control, and fire support.
The mission of Psychological Operations is to disseminate truthful information to foreign audiences in support of U.S. goals and objectives. PSYOP units accomplish their mission by disseminating messages in the form of leaflets, posters, broadcasts and audiovisual tapes.
The Civil Affairs units are designed to prevent civilian interference with tactical operations, to assist commanders in discharging their responsibilities toward the civilian population, and to provide liaison with civilian government agencies.
The 528th Sustainment Brigade (Airborne), formerly the Sustainment Brigade (Special Operations) (Airborne), was activated Dec. 18, 2008. The 528th Sustainment Brigade (Airborne) provides combat service support and combat health support to Army SOF in the full spectrum of conflict.
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