The Special Operation Group (SOG) was a SOF unit from the Czech Republic. The unit was part of the Military Police and was one of the youngest units kicking around having been formed only in 2002. SOG consisted of two departments: the Department of Protection for the Minister of Defense and the Combat Operation Department.

SOG was there to assist regular Czech forces and of course, like most SOF units, it was also deployed as a unit to assist other nations around the world in combat or protection operations.  SOG was also responsible for operations inside of Czech territory such tasks as anti-Terrorism operations or serious organized crime. As part of the military police, they were often used to target members of organized crime gangs or serious criminals. SOG was also used for the protection of important facilities, materials, and equipment, VIP protection, and civil aircraft protection.

Since its creation and during The War On Terror, SOG was involved in a number of international operations. Both of its departments were deployed to the Middle East on a number of different operations. Below is a list of operations that SOG was involved in:

  • 2003 — Deployed as part of a field hospital in Iraq. Protection of the Embassy in Kuwait. Protection of the Embassy in Baghdad. A contingent was part of the Military Police in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
  • 2004 — The British contingent in Iraq invited members of the SOG unit to assist them in protecting British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who came to visit with a delegation.
  • 2005-2006 — For a year, the Unit SOG is deployed to protect the brigade command center in units of KFOR in Kosovo. They are also worked on gathering intelligence through human sources (HUMINT).
  • 2006 — Deployment of the SOG to Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • 2007 — SOG deployment in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan in Helmand province working with British forces.
  • 2008 — SOG deployment in the ISAF mission in Lorgar Province in Afghanistan. Targeted operations to arrest High-Value Targets (HVTs).

Here is some of the kit used by SOG members,

  • Glock 17 Pistol (9 mm);
  • HK MP5 SD6 submachine gun (9 mm);
  • Various versions of the M4 rifle (caliber 5.56 mm);
  • Model 61 automatic pistol (caliber 7.65 mm) – Scorpion;
  • Sako TRG-22 sniper rifle;
  • Winchester 1300 shotgun;
  • M203 grenade launcher
  • DShKM
  • Toyota Hilux vehicles prepared for combat in the desert (used in Afghanistan);
  • Iveco off-road vehicles
  • Underwater scooters
  • Motorbikes prepared for the desert

Next, we move on to the training of SOG members: Like most SOF units in the world, there was a brutal selection course, followed by meticulously continuous training of its members, especially in firearms and CQB. Because of their police role they were not trained in air operations, for example, military freefall. They did, however, train in SUT, Demolition, Combat medics, Climbing, Heli operations, Close Protection, and Sniper training.

Then out of nowhere, the unit was disbanded in 2009 by the Minister of Defense for reasons unknown. This left some of the SOG members in shock.  How can a unit be disbanded when clearly it was needed and was put to good use?

I recently visited the Czech Republic to catch up with a friend of mine, Lumir Nemec, the former commander of the Special Operations Group (SOG). I asked him a couple of questions about the unit and how they continue their unit’s traditions in civilian life.