Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH)


SOCSOUTH is a sub-unified command assigned to Commander, U.S. Southern Command. It is a joint (military members from all four services) Special Operations headquarters that plans and executes special operations in Central & South America and the Caribbean, principally employing Special Operations Forces provided by U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the Services’ Special Operations Forces (SOF) component commands. The headquarters staff of military, DoD civilian employees and contractors is comprised of more than 200 personnel.

SOCSOUTH has five assigned or attached subordinate commands including “Charlie” Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group; “Charlie” Company, 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment; Naval Special Warfare Unit FOUR; 112th Signal Detachment SOCSOUTH; and Joint Special Operations Air Component-South.

Command Vision:

Enhancing security and stability in the Americas with our interagency partners and partner nations by establishing an in depth networked defense that will detect, deter, disrupt, and defeat illicit transnational elements

Command Mission Statement:

Plan, prepare for, and execute special operations in support of Commander USSOUTHCOM's mission.

SOCSOUTH Core Tasks:

  • Command and control all Special Operations throughout the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

  • Deploy, Establish and Command a Joint Special Operations Task Force.

  • Provide an immediately deployable theater crisis response force.

Special Operations Forces:

Special Operations encompass the use of small units in direct or indirect military actions that are focused on strategic or operational objectives. They require units with combinations of specialized personnel, equipment, training, and tactics that exceed the routine capabilities of conventional military forces.

Special Operations Forces (SOF) are units that are formally designated by the Secretary of Defense to conduct special operations. SOCSOUTH is the focal point for SOF operating in the USSOUTHCOM area of responsibility.

Area of Focus:

SOCSOUTH's area of focus includes 31 countries and 10 territories. Consisting of the land mass of Latin America south of Mexico, and the waters adjacent to Central and South America, SOCSOUTH divides its area of focus into four regions:

Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Central America:  Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama

Andean Ridge: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.

Southern Cone: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.