39th Special Forces Detachment (Airborne), 1st Special Forces Regiment
The 39th Special Forces Detachment (Airborne), 1st Special Forces Regiment primarily helps train Republic of Korea special warfare units in specialized tactics, techniques, and procedures. In a wartime scenario on the Korean peninsula, the members of the Detachment would operate as coalition support team leaders. Under the operational control of Special Operations Command Korea (SOCK0R), the Detachment is formally assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne).
The 39th Special Forces Detachment, 1st Special Forces Regiment was first constituted on 27 August 1965 in the Regular Army as the 39th Special Forces Detachment, 1st Special Forces. It was activated on 1 September 1965 in Germany. Stationed in Berlin as part of US forces there, the Detachment was primarily tasked with preparing to assist partisans in a stay-behind capacity in the event of a Soviet seizure of Allied areas of Berlin.
This function had first been the responsibility of a previous iteration of the Detachment, known as the 7761st Army Unit, possibly a cover designation. This unit had been formed from 6 Operational Detachment Alphas ("A Teams") from the original 10th Special Forces Group in August 1956. The unit had been embedded within Headquarters and Headquarters company, 6th Infantry Regiment, Regimental Headquarters. Each team at that time was comprised of one Master Sergeant and 5 team members. Overall Officer in charge of the group was a major, assisted by a Captain. On 1 September 1956, the group moved officially to the top floor of building 1000B at McNair Barracks, West Berlin, under the name of Security Platoon, Regimental Headquarters, 6th Infantry Regiment, with the APO address 09742.
In April 1958, the unit found its home in Building 904, Section 2, at Andrews Barracks, West Berlin, and was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, US Army Garrison Berlin with a new name: Detachment A (Det A). In April 1962, Detachment A was separated from the Garrison and became Detachment A, Berlin Brigade, US Army Europe (USAREUR). This was continued to be used, possibly as a cover designation, even after the formal activation of 39th Special Forces Detachment in 1965.
The 39th Special Forces Detachment continued the unconventional warfare mission in Berlin mission until it was inactivated on 1 October 1984 .
The 39th Special Forces Detachment was reactivated on 16 October 2005 in Korea. Concurrently, Special Forces Detachment - Korea (SFD-K) was inactivated and reflagged as the 39th Special Forces Detachment. In Korea, the 39th Special Forces Detachment took over the training and other missions previously handled by SFD-K.
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