4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) celebrates anniversary in Astan

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http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2010/August/100825-01.html

URUZGAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Courtesy of CJSOTF-A Media Center, Aug. 25, 2010) – A year since its activation ceremony at Fort Bragg, N.C., 4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) celebrated its anniversary on a fire base in Afghanistan Aug. 18.

This day was a chance to reflect on how far the unit has come in such a short period of time.

Upon arrival in theater, the battalion established Special Operations Task Force-South East, a new SOTF Headquarters within the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, with responsibility over the Uruzgan, Daykundi and Zabul provinces in Afghanistan.

It has been just two years since the battalion began to assemble, but it has quickly become a vital asset in the fight in Afghanistan. The soldiers of the battalion have had great pride in their involvement during the grass-roots establishment of the unit as well the part they play in shaping it for future operations.

“Everyone enjoys being here and working here and has a huge sense of pride,” said Sgt. Raymond Losiniecki, the battalion Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Non-Commissioned Officer.

The unit was formed by the cross leveling of experienced soldiers and officers from the other three battalions in 3rd SFG (A). Once the three brand new companies were formed it was time to begin critical training in preparation for its upcoming deployment.

Initial training emphasized soldier special skills and company pre-mission training. As time progressed the battalion participated in a series of collective training exercises that supported the battalion staff and companies collectively.

The battalion capped off its pre-deployment training by participating in Exercise Iron Resolve. The exercise concentrated on inserting each of the companies into a realistic training atmosphere identical to what they would face in Afghanistan. Role players, who spoke the various predominant languages of Afghanistan, portrayed interpreters, advisors and key leaders as the unit trained on its mission essential tasks.

“Upon activation, the way the calendar was laid out, it would take a year to be fully operational and capable,” said Lt. Col. Fleming T. Sullivan, commander of 4th Bn., 3rd SFG (A). “After all that training we were ready when the time came.”

The challenge was certainly welcomed by the battalion and it successfully demonstrated, in its short period of existence, the full combat capabilities of this new unit.

“The culminating event, though, won’t be now or when we get back home from this deployment,” said a senior Special Forces Warrant Officer. “It will be when we pick up the entire battalion and go back to Afghanistan; that is when we will know that the unit has been postured for future success.”

The development and activation of the additional Special Forces battalion in 2009 has allowed for greater support to current missions and flexibility around the globe. Additionally, it has provided relief to the soldiers who have been continuously deployed since 2001.
 
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