1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces Regiment
The 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces Regiment was first constituted on 5 July 1942 in the Army of the United States as the 2nd Company, 1st Battalion, First Regiment, 1st Special Service Force, a combined Canadian-American organization and activated on 9 July 1942 at Fort William Henry Harrison, Montana. The unit served in 6 campaigns during the Second World War with the 1st Special Service Force: Aleutian Islands, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, Southern France (awarded a streamer with arrowhead indicating participation in the initial assault), and Rhineland. At the end of the Second World War, the unit was disbanded on 6 January 1945 in France.
The unit was reconstituted on 15 April 1960 in the Regular Army. It was concurrently consolidated with Company B, 1st Ranger Infantry Battalion (first activated on 19 June 1942). The consolidated unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces.
The unit was consolidated again on 30 September 1960 with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Forces Group. The 1st Special Forces Group had been first constituted on 14 June 1957 in the Regular Army and activated 24 June 1957 in Japan. The 1st Special Forces Group had been activated even though all its elements were either en route to Okinawa, Japan or on temporary duty in South Vietnam as of 14 June 1957. The consolidated unit was designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces with its organic units concurrently constituted and activated 4 October 1960.
The 1st Special Forces Group was designated as an airborne unit on 30 October 1960, leading to the addition of the Airborne modifier, as part of a reorganization and restructuring affecting all Special Forces groups. With the United States playing an increasing role in the Republic of Vietnam, the 1st Special Forces Group began training deploying numerous detachment there to train and lead Vietnamese units. Elements of the 1st Special Forces Group, as well as the consolidated unit of the same name, assigned to 1st Special Forces, also sent a number of mobile training teams to conduct missions in Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
After the end of the conflict in Vietnam, the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) was inactivated on 30 June 1974 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It was reactivated on 1 September 1984 at Fort Lewis, Washington. One of its Battalion's was to be forward-stationed at Okinawa, Japan while the remaining 2 Battalions and the Group's Headquarters and Headquarters Company were organized at Fort Lewis, Washington. The first element to be activated was Company A, 1st Battalion, which reactivated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on 15 March 1984.
The lineage and honors of former Company B, 1st Ranger Infantry Battalion were withdrawn from the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces on 3 February 1986, and consolidated with Company N, 75th Infantry. The consolidated unit was redesignated as Company N, 75th Ranger Regiment and thereafter had a separate lineage.
Special operations forces from the Army, Navy and Air Force conducted numerous missions supporting NATO's Implementation Force (IFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Assistance ranged from air support and rescue operations to reconnaissance and liaison duties. Nearly 700 members of the Army's Special Operations Command deployed to Bosnia in mid-December 1995 and began numerous operations throughout the Balkan nation. Included were more than 100 reservists serving in Special Forces, civil affairs and psychological operations positions. Army special operations units in the area included the 1st Special Forces Group from Fort Lewis, Washington; the 5th Special Forces Group from Fort Campbell, Kentucky; the 10th Special Forces Group from Fort Carson, Colorado; and the Army National Guard's 20th Special Forces Group from Birmingham, Alabama. Portions of Fort Bragg's 4th Psychological Operations Battalion, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, and 112th and 528th Special Operations Signal battalions were also in Bosnia. Special operations personnel served as liaisons between NATO forces and local nationals. Other tasks may included unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, counterterrorism, and humanitarian or civic action.
The unit was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 1st Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Regiment.
The US Army announced on 17 December 2009, the planned activation of the 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group. This force structure action represented a net increase of 432 military authorizations and 4 civilian authorizations at Fort Lewis, Washington, and 2 civilian authorizations at Yakima Training Center, Washington. Implementation of these changes was expected to be completed in August 2011.