Saturday, August 21, 2010


"ODA" stands for Operational Detachment Alpha - the basic organizational structure of US Army Special Forces. About the size of a large squad or a small platoon, an ODA is more comparable to a Battalion Staff - for that is the organization that it mirrors; the guerrilla battalion command element and staff - Special Forces work intimately with the local people and the "indigenous" forces.

These photos were taken in Firebase Chamkani - established 17 Dec 2004 - sent in anonymously by a member of ODA 3333 - I do not know if he is aware that I once served on that detachment. Judging by the initials, I suspect I know who it is.

Here is a link to an excellent article regarding US Army Special Forces activities in this area, involving detachments from my old outfit; 1st Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group:

US Army Tribal Engagement in Afghanistan



1 comment:

  1. As another alumnus of ODA 333 and 335, it warms my heart to see my C 1/3 still kicking ass. I must say though that what passes in this article as unique, just seems to be a number of techniques being used, by an ODA just doing what an ODA does, Improvisation to any environment in order to accomplish its UW mission. This can take on many different scenarios based upon the level of support from higher, budget, and motivation and of course, indigenous rapport, and numerous other intangibles which all come together for a successful mission. This is why it’s “unconventional”. Most important though is the ability of these knuckle draggers to be open minded enough to identify their options and techniques in order to realize success.
    I also get quite a kick out of the comments and back and forth banter in the end. Sean, as you've heard me say before. Ask ten ODA guys how to cross a danger area, and you'll get twenty answers. They'll all be right doctrinally (except perhaps the medic’s) and they will fight to the bitter end for their beliefs. Ultimately, a little MDMP and common sense prevail and my hero’s get’er done…….
    SAME AS IT EVER WAS.......
    Of course, these boys make me very proud.....jd