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Joint Task Force 510 (JTF-510)

Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC) provides the US Commander in Chief, Pacific (USCINCPAC) with a highly capable crisis response force. Crisis response is USCINCPAC's top special operations forces priority and is provided by USCINCPAC's rapidly deployable Joint Task Force 510 (JTF-510). JTF-510 can deploy to a crisis situation to provide situation assessments, to recommend courses of action, and/or to conduct military operations. JTF-510 can provide humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and noncombatant evacuation, or other contingency support, including terrorist incidents. Depending on JTF-510's initial assessment of the situation, USCINCPAC might choose JTF-510 as the crisis manager or may assign this task to a larger joint task force. In this latter case, JTF-510 would serve as an advance party to facilitate the arrival of this larger joint task force, and then transitions into a joint special operations task force. The joint special operations task force could plan and execute special operations in support of the joint task force commander.

With SOCPAC as the nucleus, JTF-510 is specifically structured for, and capable of, timely response to special contingencies, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, noncombatant evacuation operations, and other crises. US Pacific Command (PACOM) maintains 3 basic joint task force cores for planning purposes: Seventh Fleet or III MEF for a primarily maritime effort, I Corps for a primarily land operation, and JTF 510 for a short notice special forces response. With a secure, mission-tailored, highly mobile, reliable communications package, JTF-510 is usually the first to deploy in real-world crises and in each major exercise.

During the 1990s, JTF-510 deployed throughout the PACOM area of responsibility to conduct Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) missions in support of the Commander in Chief, PACOM's engagement plan.

The standing JTF-510 was activated by PACOM to plan and prepare to implement the first phase of Operation Freedom Eagle as part of Exercise Balikatan 02-1 in 2002. Operation Freedom Eagle was a plan first to conduct a combined unconventional-warfare campaign against terrorism in the Philippines and later to advise and assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines in internal defense and development. The advance elements of JTF-510 began arriving in the Philippines in January 2002. There it joined the advance elements of companies and detachments from 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). Special Forces Detachments 112 and 134 joined the 1st Special Forces Group commander to provide anti-terrorist protection and force protection for the JTF-510 advance elements. These detachments would later rotate between the Quick Reaction Force and the Zamboanga forces training mission.

Forward Operating Base 11 acted as the backbone of the Army special-operations task force component of JTF-510 and was aligned with the Philippine Army's 1st Infantry Division (Forward) or Task Force Comet (Forward), at Isabela, Basilan, when it arrived on 12 February 2012. The Army component was also responsible for Special Forces Detachments 150 and 180, based in Lamitan and Isabela respectively, which supported the Philippine Army's 103rd Infantry Brigade, Army Task Group Thunder, which controlled the northern half and southeastern sector of Basilan, as well as Special Forces B Detachment 120, which supported the Philippine Marine Corps' 2nd Marine Brigade Task Group Tornado at Maluso in the southwest sector.

Various other Special Forces Detachments were located throughout the area of operations. Special Forces Detachment 114 was located at Abungabung with the Philippine Marine Corps' 1st Marine Battalion Landing Team. Special Forces Detachment 125 was posted in the north central part of the Philippine Marine Corps' 2nd Marine Brigade Task Group Tornado's area of operation, with their 5th Marine Battalion Landing Team. Special Forces Detachment 126 advised the Philippine Marine Corps' 2nd Marine Brigade Task Group Tornado's Marine Force Reconnaissance Battalion at Libak. Special Forces Detachment 143 was assigned to advise the Filipino Civil Augmentation Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) at Mahebal. Special Forces Detachment 153 advised the Philippine Army's 32nd Infantry Battalion at Tipo-Tipo, and Special Forces Detachment 163 supported their 18th Infantry Battalion from Yacan. Special Forces Detachment 134 was tasked to "train, advise and assist" the new Light Reaction Company of the Philippine Army. Other detachments were assigned to Philippine Army infantry and Marine battalions for one-year rotations on the island. These included Special Forces Detachment 184 based with the Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Battalion at Calvario; Special Forces Detachment 186, assigned to advise the 55th Infantry Battalion at Isabela, but based at Sugpangan in the mountainous center of the island; and Special Forces B Detachment 170.

JTF-510 redeployed on 1 September 2002 and was subsequently inactivated, with Special Forces B Detachment 170 and its 4 Special Forces A Detachments remaining deployed to continue oversight of previous projects. These elements formed the nucleus of Joint Special Operations Task Force - Philippines (JSOTF-P), which continued the mission in the Philippines as part of Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines (OEF-P)

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Page last modified: 31-05-2012 16:32:06 ZULU