U.S. Army Special Operations Command planning to disband Crisis Response Force

The Crisis Response Force (CRF) companies of the U.S. Special Forces will be disbanded and their operators and equipment redistributed to the force, Stavros Atlamazoglou reports on SOFREP.

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A U.S. Army Special Forces team assaults a building during a close quarters battle demonstration for Marines with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa in Baumholder, Germany, March 9, 2015 (Picture source: U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Paul Peterson)

Crisis Response Force (CRF) companies are an elite cadre of Green Berets who specialize in Direct Action (DA), Counterterrorism (CT), and Hostage Rescue (HR) missions. Each Special Forces Group (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 10th) has a CRF company, and they are considered to be the strategic reserves of each combatant command in case of an emergency around the world. CRF used to be called Commander's-in-extremis (CIF) companies.

The U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) in conjunction with the 1st Special Forces Command (1st SFC) have decided to disband the CRFs because they are said to be underutilized and because of a lack of operators, on top of being somehow redundant with other units. The decision, however, aligns with the ongoing pivot from Counterterrorism (CT) and Direct Action (DA) operations to Unconventional Warfare (UW) and Foreign Internal Defense (FID) as the Department of Defense (DoD) is edging away from counterinsurgencies and gearing toward a near-peer conflict with adversaries such as Russia and China.