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  • Special Forces Structure


    United States Army Special Forces (SF) are organized into five (5) Active Duty SF Groups and two (2) National Guard SF Groups. An SF Group includes an organic command & control and support capability, as well as four (4) operational SF Battalions for active duty and three (3) operational SF Battalions for National Guard. These SF Battalions have a command & control and support capability, as well as three (3) operational SF Companies. The SF Company has six (6) SF Operational Detachment-Alpha's, commonly called SFOD-A's or A-teams.

    The A-team, the center of gravity in Special Forces, is a 12-man, highly skilled unit that works quickly and invisibly to succeed at our nation’s toughest missions. The A-team is America's Swiss Army Knife called on to do almost anything. Each A-team member is an expert in his own specialty and cross-trained in the others. Beyond the extensive individual training for entry into SF, all SF soldiers complete a myriad of advanced individual skills training. These skills are then applied in a collective manner on the A-team to make the A-team a versatile and adaptable organization.

    DETACHMENT COMMANDER (18A): The detachment commander is a Captain (CPT/O-3) and has full command authority and responsibility for his detachment. Schooled in the art of unconventional warfare and in the primary missions ODAs may be required to accomplish, these officers also receive instruction on the capabilities of all the enlisted Special Forces MOS to enable them to properly employ their detachments’ assets in peacetime, conflict or war. The detachment commander may also advise an indigenous battalion-size combat force.

    ASSISTANT DETACHMENT COMMANDER (180A): The assistant detachment commander is the ODA’s second in command. He is a Warrant officer (CW2/W-2)who has been selected from within the Special Forces community’s enlisted ranks with no less than 3 years of SF experience.

    OPERATIONS (TEAM) SERGEANT (18Z): The Special Forces operations sergeant, better known as the team sergeant, is usually a Master Sergeant (MSG/E-8) and is responsible for all operational aspects of the ODA. The team sergeant is the ODA’s senior NCO and typically is the most experienced Green Beret on the detachment.

    ASSISTANT OPERATIONS AND INTELLIGENCE SERGEANT (18F): The assistant operations and intelligence sergeant is usually a Sergeant First Class (SFC/E-7) and is trained in advanced special operations techniques, including intelligence collection and processing and target analysis. Has several years of experience in one or more other SF MOSs.

    WEAPONS SERGEANT (18B) x 2: The weapons sergeant is an expert in the employment of U.S. and foreign weapons systems, including small arms, mortars, air defense systems and antitank weapons found throughout the world. The weapons sergeant also employs conventional and unconventional tactics and techniques as a tactical mission leader, and assists the detachment operations sergeant in the preparation of training and operational plans.

    ENGINEER SERGEANT (18C) x 2: The engineer sergeant is highly skilled in the planning and constructing of buildings and field fortifications— as well as in demolition. His knowledge of construction techniques includes expertise in Theater of Operations light construction and field fortifications, and skilled in all areas of demolitions, including land mine warfare and constructing and using improvised munitions. Engineer sergeants plan, supervise and perform all aspects of combat engineering and light construction.

    MEDICAL SERGEANT (18D) x 2: The medical sergeant is well versed in many different areas of human and animal physiology. He is a specialist in trauma management, infectious diseases, cardiac life support and surgical procedures. He can also perform basic veterinarian medicine. Medical sergeants provide emergency, routine, and long-term medical care for their teams and associated allied members and host nation personnel. They train, advise, and direct the detachment’s routine, emergency and preventive medical care. They can also establish field medical facilities to support detachment operations.

    COMMUNICATIONS SERGEANT (18E) x 2: The communications sergeant is the ODA’s link to the rest of the world. He is an expert in sending and receiving critical communications to the ODA’s command and control elements. Communications sergeants are familiar with cryptographic systems, burst outstation systems, antenna theory and radio wave propagation and common radios found throughout the Army. Communications sergeants install, operate and maintain FM, AM, HF, VHF, UHF and SHF communications in voice and burst radio networks. They advise the detachment commander on all communications matters.

    Capabilities of the highly-versatile A-team include: the ability to plan and conduct SF operations separately or as part of a larger force; infiltrate and exfiltrate specified operational areas by air, land, or sea; conduct operations in remote areas and hostile environments for extended periods of time with a minimum of external direction and support; develop, organize, equip, train and advise or direct indigenous forces up to battalion size in special operations; train, advise and assist other U.S. and allied forces and agencies; plan and conduct unilateral SF operations; perform other special operations as directed by higher authority.

    The A-team can serve as a manpower pool from which SF commanders organize tailored SF teams to perform specific missions. In general, A-teams are equipped with communications, i.e. tactical satellite communications, high-frequency radios, and global positioning system. Medical kits include laboratory and dental instruments and supplies, sterilizer, resuscitator-aspirator, water-testing kits and veterinary equipment. Other key equipment includes individual and perimeter defense weapons as well as electric and non-electric demolitions and night-vision devices. Equipment distribution may be geared to conform to specific missions.
    Last edited by SF Hunter; March 26th, 2014, 01:18 PM.