Special Forces expansion begins with 5th Group at Fort Campbell


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice

FORT CAMPBELL, KY (Sine Pari, Aug. 13, 2008) - The Army stood up its first new Special Forces battalion in nearly two decades with an activation ceremony Aug. 8 for 4th Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Campbell. The activation marks the beginning of an expansion that will include one new battalion for each of the five active duty groups over the next several years.

The additional battalion will provide 5th Group more flexibility with engaging partner forces in the Middle East and Central Asia – its regional focus – and allow Soldiers more dwell time at home station between combat deployments, said Col. Chris Conner, the group commander.

“Fifth Group has been the most heavily committed [of the Groups] since 9/11,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Repass, commanding general of U.S. Army Special Forces Command.

One of the first units on the ground in Afghanistan, 5th Group now focuses on operations in Iraq. In June, the Group headquarters returned to Fort Campbell, completing 46 months of cumulative combat deployments since October 2001.

Building the new battalion began in June 2007 with a three-man activation cell, Conner said. The cell worked with USASFC and U.S. Army Special Operations Command to plan the manning and equipping of the new battalion. As the company and staff cells were stood up, they began receiving new Soldiers to populate the Operational Detachment Alphas – the centerpiece of Special Forces operational capabilities.

Lt. Col. Bill Raskin, the 4th Battalion commander, said the new battalion is comprised of all new ODAs, not existing ODAs pulled from other units. To man these new ODAs, the battalion blended experienced team sergeants and detachment commanders from other battalions with Special Forces qualified Soldiers rotating to 5th Group from other units in the Special Forces community. Adding a “healthy compliment of new guys” fresh out of the Special Forces Qualification Course makes 4th Battalion manning “comparable to what other battalions go through after deployment rotations,” Raskin said.

“We have absolutely received the right people and leadership and I will confidently deploy with them into war,” Raskin said.

The next Group to activate a 4th battalion will be 3rd Special Forces Group next summer at Fort Bragg, N.C.
This is exciting stuff. I was with the crew from 1st Battalion that made the original move from Bragg to Campbell, and that was an interesting time.

It will be interesting to watch the new battalion grow and integrate into the legacy of the 5th Legion.
The one big question I have, is are the other Battalions at full strength?

(FYI, thats not a question Im looking for an answer to :2c: )
Most officers in my class who wanted 3rd group received it as it is next to be filled. I am excited about these new battalions! Long road until I get to a team but it certainly worth it!
When the 4th of the Seventh activates at Bragg, they'll be in the wooden WW2 barracks.
These are going to be renovated again, until temporary structures can be built to put them in until the move to Florida.