The Special Operations Forces Training and Experimentation Center at White Sands Missile Range was formally activated as a tenant directorate on WSMR under the operational control of 1st SFC (Airborne) during an activation ceremony March 8 in front of the SOF-TEC Campus.
Director Special Operations Forces – Training and Experimentation Center Col. Theo Unbehagen welcomed guests to the ceremony and thanked leaders and staff members for their support.
“We at SOF-TEC truly appreciate your leadership and support as we integrate into the WSMR community,” Unbehagen said. “Your support is critical as we expand our footprint and mission scope from what was previously special forces pre mission training out of Fort Bliss, Texas, to becoming the premier irregular warfare training and experimentation center for all U.S. SOF and their partners.”
“We are excited to continue working alongside you and your team as we expand a collaboration and synergy between our organizations. With the partners we have here at WSMR and Fort Bliss, the future of SOF-TEC is very bright,” Unbehagen said.
“We are extremely pleased with everything your organization brings to White Sands Missile Range. I am already impressed with the caliber of Soldiers getting after the mission. We have a lot to look forward to,” said WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Eric Little.
“To our newest SOF-TEC team mates, you are joining an incredibly diverse installation that is home to not just the U.S. Army, but to units from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Space Force, NASA, and numerous other DoD organizations,” Little said. “There is a reason why so many organizations gravitate towards our hidden gem that is WSMR, popularly referenced as our diamond in the desert, simply stated it is because we can do things here at WSMR for our nation that cannot be done anywhere else.”
“SOF-TEC’s activation today solidifies White Sands Missile Range as a key location for future SOF training and experimentation. WSMR is actively engaged with our Army’s modernization efforts and supports our multi-domain operations. WSMR is the premier developmental test center in this regard,” Little said.
Deputy Commanding General – Support 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) Brig. Gen. Derek Neal Lipson welcomed all guests and offered his sincere thanks to the WSMR team. He said WSMR is an excellent choice for SOF-TEC, which allows their units to practice in realistic terrain.
“SOF-TEC is all about the future. We now contend with new domains of space and cyber space. Now and in the future all domains can and will be tested simultaneously.”
Since October of 2020 SOF-TEC has served as the base of operations to provide Army Special Operations Task Forces realistic and challenging training scenarios from decentralized locations to replicate geographic dispersion and operational reach back, as well as enable mission command.
In March of 2021, the WSMR community welcomed SOF-TEC to the area. Today, in addition to six “Sage Eagle” exercises a year, SOF-TEC hosts MARSOC and AFSOC tactical training events, as well as Special Forces detachment-level training and testing.