News: Texas Guard opens ranks to Special Operations Detachment
Story by Capt. Adam Musil
AUSTIN, Texas - Continuing its mission to remain adaptable and deployable for contingency operations around the world, the Texas Army National Guard has opened its ranks to what will be one of its most diverse and unique units, Special Operations Detachment-Africa.
“It’s an exciting time for Texas Special Forces as we add the Special Operations Detachment to our [Texas National Guard] current Special Forces structure,” said Lt. Col. Doug O’Connell, SOD-A detachment commander. “The addition of the SOD-A coupled with the two SF Companies currently in place and a theater Special Forces Support Company means Texas now has the ability to support worldwide missions.”
Lt. Col. O’Connell and his staff have spent the better part of the last two years working to establish the SOD-Africa unit in the Texas Army National Guard, an organization traditionally comprised of standard infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. The new unit officially joined the ranks of the Texas Army National Guard in October 2012 and will directly support the Special Operations Command-Africa, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. When not serving on active duty, SOD-A will provide specialized capabilities to the governor and adjutant general for homeland security operations.
"The members of the SOD-A bring with them an unprecedented wealth of regional and special operations backgrounds,” said Capt. Dan Edwards, SOD-A team member. “As we close in on 100 percent strength, the civilian, academic, and special forces operational experience of our staff is quite impressive."
Despite a geographical orientation to Africa, SOD-A has the ability to deploy anywhere in the world. SOD-Africa is one of eight National Guard Special Operations Detachments, all of which currently rotate to Afghanistan to conduct Special Operations missions.