Army activates stateside psy ops unit to handle Pacific work
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The Army has activated a Special Forces battalion that will be responsible for psychological operations in South Korea and other parts of the Pacific theater, but will be based stateside at Fort Bragg, N.C.
The 5th Psychological Operations Battalion now joins the five other battalions that make up the 4th Psychological Operations Group, the only such active-duty unit in the military, the Army said this week.
The new battalion, formerly called the PACOM Psy Ops Battalion, will have a mission of producing propaganda leaflets, newspapers and television and radio programs supporting U.S. interests, officials said.
“Our war against terrorism is a physical war as much as an ideological war. We have to stop terrorism from taking hold in the region,” Col. Jack Summe, 4th Psy Ops Group commander, told the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer at a Fort Bragg ceremony to activate the unit.
According to Summe, the unit, when attached to PACOM, was focused on psy ops missions and training in South Korea and other Pacific Rim locations. Its principal duties now will be to combat terror efforts in locations such as the Philippines and Indonesia.
As the PACOM Psy Ops Battalion, the newly designated 5th Battalion took part in what the military called Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines, an effort to help that country combat al-Qaida-linked groups in the southern islands.
Last month at Yongsan Garrison, members of the Special Operations community held the third-annual United Nations Special Operations Forces conference, which focused on how on-the-ground operations fit into larger regional and political realities.
Some 130 participants from the U.S., South Korean and other U.N. Command nations participated, officials said.
Among the U.S. units at the conference were representatives of the 4th Psychological Operations Group, the 1st Special Forces Group from Fort Lewis, Wash., and from Fort Bragg, the U.S. Special Operations Command and 96th Civil Affairs Battalion.