United States Army Special Operations ForcesAfghanistan have been conducting operations since the fall of 2001. The SOF personnel have deployed from a number of U.S. special operations units (SEALs, Green Berets, MARSOC, etc.) and over time worked as part of several different SOF units in Afghanistan. Currently (mid-2016) almost all U.S. SOF units in Afghanistan fall under the command of the NATO Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan / Special Operations Joint Task Force – Afghanistan. That is a long name for a military organization so most people just use the acronym of NSOCC-A / SOJTF-A. An even shortened version is NSOCC-A or SOJTF-A; depending on your nationality it seems.

NSOCC-A / SOJTF-A is under a United States commander – a Major General (two-star) position. The non-U.S. SOF units fall under the command of NSOCC-A. U.S. SOF come under SOJTF-A. The commander of SOJTF-A is also the commander of NSOCC-A; so he is dual-hatted. He reports to the commander of the Resolute Support Mission – a U.S. four-star general.

NSOCC-A / SOJTF-A - Special Operations Forces - Afghanistan
NSOCC-A / SOJTF-A – Special Operations Forces – Afghanistan

The mission of Special Operations Forces – Afghanistan is to conduct “. . . Security Force Assistance and targeted Counter-Terrorism (CT) in Afghanistan to ensure the enduring relevance, proficiency, capability, and sustainability of the Afghan Special Security Force as a CT partner, and to deny safe haven to Al Qaeda and its affiliates and adherents.” [1]

The components of NSOCC-A / SOJTF-A include the Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan (SOTF-A), a battalion-sized unit (usually U.S. Army Special Forces), Combined Joint Special Operations Aviation Component – Afghanistan (CJSOAC-A), General Command Police Special Units Special Operations Advisory Group (GCPSU SOAG), and a task force working the CT mission.