On 1 September 1956, six 10th Special Forces Group Operational ODAs and a staff element was designated as the Security Platoon, Regimental Headquarters, 6th Infantry Regiment, Berlin, Germany. As part of the 6th Infantry Regiment, Detachment A’s mission was to deploy ODAs from West Berlin into East Germany. The U.S. Commander of Berlin designated their targets as vital in his fight for the city, other priority targets were established in the U.S. European Command’s (USEUCOM) Unconventional Warfare Plan.
While the basic plan remained unchanged at the end of 1961, on 1 July 1959 the six ODAs were reorganized into five mission task groups. After completing the assigned demolition missions, the five groups were under the control of the 10th Special Forces Group, whose primary focus was Central Europe. Two of the groups were prepared to move to pre-designated operational areas or return to West Berlin for “stay behind” operations. With only a few modifications based on command relationship changes and the general threat in the European Theater of Operations, this concept of operations was the basis for the Detachment’s primary mission under the USEUCOM Operational Plan.
The Detachment’s secondary mission was coordinating and developing plans and conducting operations in support of the USEUCOM Counter-Terrorist Contingency Plan. Each operator was proficient in unconventional warfare and special operations in an urban environment, as well as tactics, techniques, and procedures to neutralize or contain potential terrorist threats. This mission tasking remained in effect until October 1984 when Detachment A was officially ordered to deactivate. Throughout its existence, Detachment A remained a highly-skilled and relevant USEUCOM operational asset.
(Lead image: John Lee, Det A team leader from 1969-1970)
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