Soldiers, Family members and distinguished guests of the 1st Special Forces Group observed the activation of 4th Battalion, 1st SFG Aug. 26.
The plan for the activation grew out of the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Reviews published intent to increase Special Operations Forces by 15 percent; it called for each of the five active duty Special Forces groups to increase its force structure by one battalion per year, beginning with 4th Bn., 5th SFG in 2008, and followed by 3rd SFG in 2009 and 10th SFG in 2010.
The establishment of a fourth battalion is intended to allow Special Forces Groups more flexibility in executing their missions, said Col. Brian Vines, deputy commander 1st SFG. Additionally, it provides relief to our Soldiers who have been continuously deployed since 2001 in theGlobal War on Terrorism.
Demonstrating its specific relevancy and application in the named operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Philippines, the 1st SFG also supports named operations in the Middle East, as well as its area of responsibility in Asia, said Vines.
At the rate of current deployments, adding a fourth battalion will increase the amount of dwell time for SF teams by 33 percent. The new battalion also opens career opportunities as the Army fills the billets for both Special Forces and their support Soldiers.
With the benefit of lessons learned from 5th, 3rd and 10th SFG, 1st SFG had a distinct advantage in developing its manning, equipping, facilities, infrastructure and training, said Vines during the ceremony. We stand in front of new facilities for our 4th Bn., which were created by Special Forces operators for Special Forces operators.
Lieutenant Colonel Steven Warman has taken command of 4th Bn., 1st SFG. During the activation ceremony, Warman addressed the battalion,
Your deeds will shape our units history, building the traditions and standards that will endure long after we depart, he said. I challenge us to ensure that the bedrock that we build over the next months will stand forever.
In conjunction with the activation ceremony, the 4th Bn. compound and the wings of its new facility were dedicated to fallen heroes:
The 4th Bn. and Group Support Battalion compound were named in honor of Sgt. Maj. Bradly D. Conner, who died from wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device outside of Al-Hillah, Iraq, May 2, 2009; Alpha Company, 4th Bn. wing was named in honor of Master Sgt. Joseph J. Andres, killed while conducting combat operations in Iraq, Dec. 24, 2004; Charlie Company, 4th Bn. wing was named in honor of Sgt. 1st Class Obediah James Kolath, died from wounds suffered during combat operations on Aug. 25, 2005 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Gold Star Family members from each of the fallen heroes were present for the building memorialization and activation ceremony.