EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE The 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) activated a fourth line battalion on Friday. The activation marked the last expansion that included a new battalion for each of the five active duty Special Forces Groups. The ceremony took place on the 7th's Meadows Field.

Lt. Col. Martin Schmidt assumed command of  the new battalion.

"The activation of the fourth battalion enables the 7th Special Forces Group (A) to better sustain repeated back-to-back worldwide special operations, Lt. Col. Jimmy Brownlee, the group's public affairs officer, said. A fourth battalion relieves some of the stress our soldiers and families face by providing more dwell time at home station between deployments."

Operational experience over the past several years has validated the Special Forces mission sets, demonstrating their specific relevancy and application in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Since 2001, 7th has maintained a continuous deployment rotation in support of Operation Enduring Freedom while maintaining a constant presence in their assigned area of responsibility:  Central and South America.