The Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) is one of the newest organizations created during the War on Terror. Its principal mission is to advise commanders on the best methods to use in defeating a foe using asymmetric methods such as terrorism and guerrilla tactics to offset troop and equipment advantages the U.S and its Allies hold in fighting them.

AWG traces its origins to 2003, when the emerging threat to coalition forces in Iraq was the use of the improvised explosive device (IED). This weapon caused more deaths during the insurgency than did small arms and suicide bombings. So, a task force was created by the army to develop countermeasures to defeat the threat. From this AWG was born at the request of Army Operations staff in 2004.

Though not a special operations force per se, it is labeled as a special missions unit, with many of its members once a part of Special Forces.

Numbering about 400 in two squadrons, the men and women of AWG are dispatched in teams up to 30 to American and Allied headquarters and field units in or near hot spots, to offer solutions and training programs on how to deal with present and future threats. They patrol with units, collect information, and help fast track equipment upgrades.

“We solve problems for the Army in order to get ahead of the enemy,” a member said.

For example, one of their most recent successes was spearheading the effort and testing for a ‘quick fix’ in finding an effective flash hider for the M4 carbine.

Others, and perhaps most important, include helping to develop a counterinsurgency doctrine known as ‘Attack The Network’. This is based on recent experiences U.S. forces have learned in blood, and consists of techniques on how to dismantle insurgent or terror networks all the way down to individual targeting.

How to Join the Asymmetric Warfare Group

Asymmetric Warfare Group conducts selections for new applicants twice a year. Paramount in the requirements are good communication skills, knowledge of military history, good problem solving ability, and to be thinking ‘outside the box’ and innovative.