1st Special Forces Group (United States)

The 1st Special Forces Group is a U.S. Army Special Forces unit that was activated on 24 June 1957 at Camp Drake, Japan. It was among the first group of the Special Forces to be officially formed. The group is responsible for operations in the Pacific. Currently, the First Battalion is stationed in Okinawa while the 2d and 3d Battalions are stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington with a 4th Battalion standing up in the summer of 2009. 1st Special Forces Group holds the distinction of having the first, Captain Harry Cramer killed 21 October 1957, and last, SGT Fred Mick killed 12 October 1972, Special Forces men killed in Vietnam, as well as the first man, SFC Nathan Chapman killed 4 January 2002, in Afghanistan. Captain Cramer's name was left off the Vietnam Memorial when it was opened in 1982 due to the secretive nature of his mission and that the extent of America's involvement in southeast Asia was not known in 1957. However, his son appealed this injustice to the National Parks Service, and Captain Cramer's name was added in 1983.

Following the protracted and costly war in South Vietnam, and the withdrawal of American military forces in Southeast Asia, the emphasis on military actions shifted away from the Pacific theater and focused more on Europe and the NATO allies. Special Forces, which had grown to a total of seven groups in 1963, faced severe cuts in the peacetime army. 3rd Group was inactivated in 1969, followed by 6th Group in 1971, and 8th Group in 1972. 1st Group was De-activated 30 June 1974 at Ft. Bragg, NC. After a 10 year hiatus the need for an Asian unconventional warfare force was recognized and Alpha Company, 1st Battalion was reactivated at Fort Bragg on 15 March 1984. This company and the remainder of 1st Battalion were assembled and deployed to Torii Station, Okinawa during the spring and summer of 1984. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions, along with Headquarters and Service Company were officially Re-Activated 01 September 1984 at Fort Lewis, Washington.

The following is a list of countries in Asia that fall into the 1st Group Area of Responsibility:

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Comoros
  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Korea, Republic of
  • Korea, North
  • Laos
  • Madagascar
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands, Republic of
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia, Federated States of
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • New Caledonia/French Polynesia (France)
  • Niue
  • New Zealand
  • Palau, Republic of
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Samoa
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam

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