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Special Operations Command (SOCOM)

The United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was activated in April 1987 to provide command, control and training for all special operations forces (SOF) in the United States.

SOCOM headquarters is at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Its components include the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.; the Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla; the Naval Special Warfare Command, Coronado, Calif., and the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg. The John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School, and the Naval Special Warfare Center are also assigned to the command.

Special operations are those conducted against strategic and tactical targets in pursuit of national military, political, economic or psychological objectives, by personnel specially trained, equipped, and organized to do so.

SOCOM's primary mission is to provide combat-ready forces for rapid reinforcement of the other unified commands worldwide. To carry out this mission, SOCOM:

In short, U.S. Special Operations Command prepares assigned forces to carry out special operations, psychological operations and civil affairs missions as required. Also, the command plans for and conducts special operations if directed by the president or the secretary of Defense. These operations may be conducted in peacetime or during hostilities. SOF have been employed in more than 95 percent of the military contingencies accomplished since the Vietnam War.

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Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Created by John Pike