Activated during Operation Desert Shield, the 5th Special Operations Support Command was one of five “Theater Army Special Operations Support Commands, or TASOSCs. The TASOSCs were a new concept in the field of Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) support, with their primary function being to plan and coordinate sustainment of ARSOF units deployed to the Commanders in Chiefs of the then-active five warfighting Unified Combatant Commands: USEUCOM, USSOUTHCOM, USCENTCOM, USATLCOM, and USPACOM.

5th Special Operations Support Command was slated for activation in September 1990 to support USCENTCOM with just seventeen personnel. But U.S. Army Central (USARCENT), the Army element of the joint command, viewed the establishment of a TASOSC in its Area of Operations as unnecessary due to the low number of ARSOF personnel allotted to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command under either warfighting or contingency plans.

USARCENT’s intransigence became more apparent in April 1990 when a contingent from Special Operations Command visited USARCENT and discovered it was planning to man the new Support Command (except for the  Intelligence Support  Element) almost entirely with Special Forces Operators rather than Logistics specialists.

As a result of this mishandled staffing approach and its activation after Operation Desert Shield had already begun, 5th SOSC was almost totally ineffective in terms of its primary function, i.e., coordinating logistical processes for ARSOF. A single bright spot came when the Command somehow helped ARSOF get its hands on more than fifty four-wheel drive and other administrative vehicles.

The 5th Special Operations Support Command (Airborne) beret flash was approved on 11 June 1991.

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