The Special Operations Forces Training and Experimentation Center (SOF-TEC) at White Sands Missile Range at Fort Bliss, Texas was formally activated during a ceremony in March 2022. The event took place at the SOF-TEC Campus. The site has been a location where special forces pre-mission training has taken place in the past at Fort Bliss, Texas. It is now to become a premier irregular warfare training and experimentation center. Units from all U.S. and many partner special operations forces are expected to conduct training at SOF-TEC.
White Sands Missile Range is a unique location – a place where a variety of training can be conducted that is not available in many other parts of the United States. WSMR is located 100 miles north of Fort Bliss, Texas (Google maps). Units have the ability to train in an area that spans 2 million acres and where the airspace is controlled by the military.
Units from the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force have been training there for years. In addition, organizations like Space Force, NASA, and others frequent the training location. SOF-TEC is now a tenant directorate on WSMR and is under the operational control of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Currently, SOF-TEC hosts Sage Eagle exercises each year. Special Forces detachment-level training and testing takes place on a regular basis. In addition, MARSOC and AFSOC tactical training events take place at the location. The training campus enables special operations forces to complete the required certification, validation, and verification process prior to conducting special operations in support of theater and national objectives at overseas locations. The location can support small twelve-man Special Forces operational detachments (SFODAs) up to Special Operations Task Forces (SOTFs).
SOF-TEC can support a wide range of training and experimentation activities. These include cyber, space, electronic warfare, decentralized mission command, joint force training, and more. In mid-2020, the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) began the process to establish a premier warfighting training venue. in 2021 the location was designated as the Special Operations Forces – Training Center (SOF-TC). At the time, a smaller army SOF pre-mission training site already existed aft Fort Bliss, Texas.
Photo: U.S. Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) and Security Forces Airmen from the Air Force Reserve Component conduct vehicle convoy operations during Sage Eagle in White Sands, New Mexico Jan. 19, 2022. Sage Eagle is designed to assist Special Forces battalions on validating subordinate units on pre-mission training by focusing on foreign internal defense. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kacie Benak)
Video – SOF-TEC Activation Ceremony, DVIDS, March 8, 2022, 31 minutes.
Podcast – SOF-TEC: The Premier IW Training and Experimentation Location for USSOF, The Indigenous Approach, March 18, 2022, 22 Minutes.