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Office of the Governor - Press Office

For Release: 
December 5, 2001
Holly Peterson, 1LT, COARNG
State Public Affairs Officer
Phone: 303-677-8850
DSN:  877-8850
Deborah Smith, Tech Sgt. COARNG
Phone:  303-677-8851
DSN:  877-8850
COMM FAX:  303-677-8852           
DSN FAX:  877-8852


Governor Bill Owens announced today that approximately 100 members of the Colorado Army National Guard’s B/5-19th Special Forces Group (A) have been mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Headquartered in Pueblo, the unit has been called to active duty for a period of 12 months, not to exceed 24 months. These soldiers will report to Ft. Knox, Ky.

“The motto of the Special Forces Group is ‘De Oppresso Liber’ – to free the oppressed. This makes their involvement in Operation Enduring Freedom especially meaningful. All of us in Colorado can be proud of their contributions and sacrifices,” Owens said.

"We're proud of the commitment of our soldiers who serve our nation in this time of need.  We recognize the hardships placed on families, employers and clients and thank them sincerely for their support," said Brig. General Ronald Crowder, Ground Forces Commander, Colorado Army National Guard.

Special forces units perform five doctrinal missions: foreign intelligence defense, unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, direct action and counter-terrorism.  These missions make special forces unit unique in the U.S. military because they are employed in both conflict and war, as well as peacetime.

Each Special Forces group is regionally oriented to support one of the warfighting commanders-in-chiefs (CINCs).  Special Forces soldiers routinely deploy in support of the CINCs of U.S. European Command, U.S. Atlantic Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Southern Command and the U.S. Central Command.

The Colorado Army National Guard’s Special Forces Group falls under the direction of the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) which is aligned with U.S. Central and U.S. Pacific Command. Special forces soldiers have earned the title of “Quiet Professional” and have been involved in peacetime operations and armed conflicts around the world for the past five decades. They willingly continue to accept difficult missions to help those who are less fortunate, exemplifying their motto, “De Oppresso Liber”.


The Special Forces Operational Detachment-A, or A-Team, is the fundamental building block for all Special Forces Groups. There are six A detachments in each Special Forces company.

A captain leads the 12-man team. Second in command is a warrant officer. Two noncommissioned officers, or NCOs, trained in each of the five SF functional areas: weapons, engineer, medical, communications, and operations and intelligence comprise the remainder of the team. All team members are SF qualified and cross-trained in different skills, as well as being multi-lingual.

Capabilities of the highly-versatile A-team include: plan and conduct SF operations separately or as part of a larger force; infiltrate and exfiltrate specified operational areas by air, land, or sea; conduct operations in remote areas and hostile environments for extended periods of time with a minimum of external direction and support; develop, organize, equip, train and advise or direct indigenous forces up to battalion size in special operations; train, advise and assist other U.S. and allied forces and agencies; plan and conduct unilateral SF operations; perform other special operations as directed by higher authority.

In the SF company, one of the six A-teams is trained in combat diving and one is trained in military free-fall parachuting. Both are used as methods of infiltration.  The detachment can serve as a manpower pool from which SF commanders organize tailored SF teams to perform specific missions.  In general, A-teams are equipped with communications, i.e. tactical satellite communications, high-frequency radios, and global positioning system. Medical kits include laboratory and dental instruments and supplies, sterilizer, resuscitator-aspirator, water-testing kits and veterinary equipment. Other key equipment includes individual and perimeter defense weapons as well as electric and non-electric demolitions and night-vision devices. Equipment distribution may be geared to conform to specific missions.

For underwater or waterborne infiltration, scuba teams are equipped with open-circuit twin 80s SCUBA tanks, closed-circuit Dragger (re-breather) Lar-V, Zodiac boat and Klepper kayaks. Military free-fall parachuting teams use ram-air parachutes and oxygen systems.

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last modified December 06, 2001