Monday, August 1, 2011

Insignia of the U.S. Central Command: Up Close & in 3D

Not so long ago, I have introduced my Unified Combatant Commands chapter of the Military Insignia 3D project. At the same time I promised to present each UCC in detail, covering insignia of all their sub-commands and major components. I already introduced you to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in one of my previous posts. Today we will take a closer look at the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), and its major active and deactivated components.

United States Central Command (USCENTCOM)

The United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command unit of the U.S. armed forces, established in 1983 under the operational control of the U.S. Secretary of Defense. It was originally conceived of as the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF).
Its area of responsibility includes countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, most notably Afghanistan and Iraq. CENTCOM has been the main American presence in many military operations, including the Gulf War, the United States war in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. Forces from CENTCOM currently are deployed primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan in combat roles and have bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, and central Asia in support roles. CENTCOM forces have also been deployed in Jordan, and Saudi Arabia in the past, although no substantial forces are based in those countries as of 2009.
Of the six American regional unified commands, CENTCOM is one of three regional unified commands whose headquarters are not within its area of operations. CENTCOM's main headquarters is located at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida, although a forward headquarters was established in 2002 at Camp As Sayliyah in Doha, Qatar, which transitioned to a new forward headquarters at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar in 2009 to serve American strategic interests of the Iraq region

United States Army Central (ARCENT)

United States Army Central is an Army Service Component Command (ASCC) of the United States Army and is also dual-hatted as the "United States Third Army". It is the Army Component of U.S. Central Command (ARCENT) and the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC) for the Central Command Area of Responsibility (AOR), operating primarily in Northern Africa and Central and Southwest Asia, and is the primary logistics element for all land forces in the CENTCOM AOR.
As of July 2005, Third U.S. Army is headquartered at Fort McPherson, Georgia with a forward element at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Administratively called ARCENT again, it continues to serve as the Army Component Command for CENTCOM, and the forward element is serving as the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC). It provides support and services to theater ARFOR commands, as well as directed Army support to other services. Focusing primarily on the Middle East, Central Command and Third Army's area of responsibility (AOR) is a large and complex region. It stretches from the Central Asian States to the Horn of Africa. The AOR encompasses an area of approximately 6,500,000 square miles (16,800,000 km2) consisting of 27 countries populated by over 650 million people speaking 12 major languages and representing seven major religions. Within this strategically important region lay the historical crossroads of three continents, the majority of the world's oil and natural gas reserves, and the primary maritime link between Europe and Asia. Resources, differing geography, religious influences, and historical conflict have shaped this region for centuries and continue to do so today.

United States Air Forces Central (USAFCENT, or AFCENT), formerly United States Central Command Air Forces (USCENTAF, or informally just CENTAF), is the Air Force component of United States Central Command. USCENTAF was established and activated on 1 January 1983, at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, and assigned to United States Central Command. On 1 March 2008 USCENTAF was redesignated USAFCENT. USAFCENT shared its commander with Ninth Air Force until August 2009. It is planned that they will return to a shared commander after the United States completes its current wars.
AFCENT has fought in the 1991 Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan (2001–present), as well as various engagements during the 1980s.

United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) is the United States Navy element of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM). Its area of responsibility includes the Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, and Arabian Sea. It consists of the United States Fifth Fleet and several other subordinate task forces, including Combined Task Force 150, Combined Task Force 158 and others.
The command was established on 1 January 1983 along with the rest of U.S. Central Command, and command of NAVCENT was initially given to a flag officer selectee based at Pearl Harbor and tasked with coordinating administrative and logistical support for U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf. An actual flag officer deployed to the region known as Commander, Middle East Force (COMMIDEASTFOR), retained operational control of U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf and effectively served as USCENTCOM's de facto naval component commander.

Marine Forces Central Command (MARCENT) commands all United States Marine Corps forces assigned to United States Central Command. They do not have any actual combat units but do command units that are attached from other Marine Commands. In the CENTCOM region (see Unified Combatant Command), the I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) and the III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) are responsible for any Marine operations in the area. In fact, the shore establishments and any support group are directly attached to the U.S. Central Command, while the combat elements mentioned above are attached to the U.S. Pacific Command, and therefore to the Marine Forces Pacific.
The Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force, headquartered at Camp Pendleton, California is dual-hatted as Commander, U.S. Marine Forces Central Command (COMUSMARCENT), the Marine Corps component commander to the Commander, U.S. Central Command (CDRUSCENTCOM). The Deputy Commanding General (DEPCOMUSMARCENT) is headquartered in a complex adjacent to USCENTCOM at MacDill AFB, Florida.

United States Special Operations Command Central (USSOCCENT or SOCCENT) is a subordinate unified command of joint forces for the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM). It is responsible for planning special operations throughout the USCENTCOM area of responsibility (AOR), planning and conducting peacetime joint/combined special operations training exercises, and orchestrating command and control of peacetime and wartime special operations as directed.
The command is headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. SOCCENT FWD, Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command (CFSOCC), is located at Al Udeid in Qatar. The Command's motto is Molon labe (Greek for "Come and take them").
SOCCENT, operating with coalition partners as the CFSOCC, consists of two combined joint special operations task forces [CJSOTFs], one Combined Joint Special Operations Aviation Command, one joint psychological operations task force, one Naval Special Warfare Unit and three Special Operations command and control elements [SOCCEs]. The two CJSOTFs are CJSOTF-Arabian Peninsula, whose headquarters directs United States Army Special Forces, and CJSOTF Afghanistan. CJSOTF Afghanistan includes elements of the 7th Special Forces Group operating in southern provinces, including Kandahar, as Task Force 71.

Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC-OIF)

Coalition Forces Land Component Command, or CFLCC, is a generic U.S. and allied military term. In U.S. military terminology, Unified Combatant Commands or Joint Task Forces can have components from all services and components – Army ~ Land, Air, Naval, Marine, and Special Operations. Thus a Land Component Command is a command directing all land forces on behalf of a combatant commander or JTF commander.
Coalition, or sometimes 'Combined', is a term denoting that armed services of different countries are involved. Thus a Coalition Forces Land Component Command is a multinational land force, usually operating as part of a U.S. combatant command, though it could theoretically be applied by other Western and U.S. allied nations.
Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC-OIF) was established under Commander U.S. Army Forces Central Command, Lieutenant General David McKiernan, to direct the two corps-sized formations involved in the initial invasion of Iraq in March 2003, I (First) Marine Expeditionary Force and U.S. V Corps. The units in CFLCC's initial invasion of Iraq were: I Marine Expeditionary Force, V Corps (Fifth Corps), British 1st Armoured Division, 3rd Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division.
From March until June 2003, CFLCC was joined by 1st Armored Division, 4th Infantry Division, and 2nd and 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiments. 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment formed Task Force Rifles to control the Al-Anbar area during its tour in Iraq which ended in September 2003.
CFLCC was replaced by Combined Joint Task Force 7 on 14 June 2003.

Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF-7)

Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF-7) was the interim military formation that directed the U.S. effort in Iraq between June 2003 and May 2004. It replaced the Coalition Forces Land Component Command on 14 June 2003. CFLCC was the land forces component of United States Central Command that carried out the initial invasion of Iraq, was established by Commander, U.S. Army Forces Central Command, in 2002/3, to oversee two corps-sized organizations, I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) and V Corps. These two corps-level formations carried out Operation Iraqi Freedom which began on 20 March 2003.
In a meeting which Commander-in-Chief Central Command, General Tommy Franks held with his officers after the announcement of the Coalition Provisional Authority in late April 2003, it was decided that a new Combined Joint Task Force, headed by a three-star general, would be the best organization to take over from the CFLCC. General Gene Renuart chose the new force's number, 7, as that was the number his son had worn on his soccer uniform. Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez was selected to lead the new force, drawing on the V Corps staff with senior officer augmentation from across the army.
The United States deployed more than seven-eighths of the soldiers in the occupying coalition with the majority of other troops coming from the United Kingdom and the rest made up from several other allies. Their status as Coalition Provisional Authority, or "Occupying Powers" under a United Nations resolution changed when the new government came to power on June 28, 2004, although they were still heavily influenced by the massive U.S. military and diplomatic presence in the country.
The Task Force was replaced by Multi-National Force - Iraq and Multi-National Corps - Iraq on 15 May 2004.

Multi-National Corps – Iraq (MNC-I)

Multi-National Corps – Iraq (MNC-I) was a formerly multinational, then United States only, army corps created on 15 May 2004, fighting the Iraq War. Its superior body, the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) had replaced Combined Joint Task Force 7 on May 15, 2004. The change was made due to "concerns that had existed for some period of time, that the Combined Joint Task Force 7 headquarters, was not sufficient to handle the range of military operations in Iraq, including peace support, civil military operations, and at the same time conduct strategic engagement such as talking to the sheiks and talking to the political authorities." 
Multi-National Force-Iraq was established to handle strategic level issues while Multi-National Corps-Iraq, a subordinate command, directed the tactical battle. A number of US Army corps headquarters have rotated into Iraq to provide the MNC-I headquarters. Also created under MNF-I was the Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq (MNSTC-I), which primarily directed the reconstruction of Iraqi security forces. With the planned drawdown of US forces from Iraq per the Status of Forces Agreement and President Barack Obama's announced timeline, Multi-National Corps-Iraq will ultimately merge back into its parent command of MNF-I, which will be renamed United States Force - Iraq (USF-I) following the withdrawal of all remaining coalition partners from the country.
As of mid-2005, the 1st Corps Support Command based at Logistics Support Area Anaconda at Balad, Iraq, was providing theatre logistics support.

Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF–I)

The Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF–I) was a military command, led by the United States, which was responsible for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Multi-National Force – Iraq replaced the previous force, Combined Joint Task Force 7, on 15 May 2004, and was later itself reorganized into its successor, United States Forces – Iraq, on 1 January 2010. The Force was significantly reinforced during the Iraq War troop surge of 2007. As of May 2011, all non-U.S. coalition members had withdrawn from Iraq.

United States Forces - Iraq (USF-I) is the military component of the U.S.-Iraq bilateral relationship, responsible for defense and security cooperation.
As a result of the evolution of Operation Iraqi Freedom, three major commands (Multi-National Force – Iraq, Multi-National Corps – Iraq and Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq) were merged into USF-I on 1 January 2010. United States Forces - Iraq (USF-I) is a U.S. military sub-unified command, part of U.S. Central Command. It is stationed in Iraq as agreed with the Government of Iraq under the U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement. USF-I replaced the previous commands Multi-National Force - Iraq, Multi-National Corps - Iraq, and Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq from January 2010.

There is an official distinction between U.S. troops who are commanded by Multinational Force-Iraq, and U.S. troops in Iraq who are commanded directly by United States Joint Special Operations Command, through CENTCOM. There are two special operations task forces operating in Iraq: Task Force 77 (TF 77) and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula (CJSOTF-AP). Though TF 77, a 'black' force, does not answer to MNF-I, it is included here for the sake of completeness of the U.S. forces operating within Iraq. TF 77's principal mission is to hunt down the leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq.

- Task Force 77 (formerly Task Force 145)—LSA Anaconda, Balad
- TF North/unidentified battalion 75th Ranger Regiment—unknown location, northern Iraq
- TF West/unidentified element, DEVGRU—unknown location, western Iraq
- TF Center/unidentified squadron, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta—LSA Anaconda

The second special operations element, separate from TF 77, is the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula (CJSOTF-AP). CJSOTF-AP is a "white," or unclassified, special operations task force that is always organized around the headquarters of 5th Special Forces Group or 10th Special Forces Group. Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula (CJSOTF-AP), itself answers to United States Special Operations Command Central. While information is scarce, it consists of two battalions of the United States Army Special Forces (the 'Green Berets') and a west coast-based Navy SEAL Team.

"Operation Enduring Freedom" (OEF) is the official name used by the U.S. government for the War in Afghanistan, together with a number of smaller military actions, under the umbrella of the global "War on Terror" (GWOT). The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States and the United Kingdom, and the Afghan United Front (Northern Alliance), launched Operation Enduring Freedom in response to the September 11 attacks on the United States, with the stated goal of dismantling the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization and ending its use of Afghanistan as a base. The United States also said that it would remove the Taliban regime from power and create a viable democratic state.

From June 2002 to April 2004 the U.S. formation that directed all Enduring Freedom operations in Afghanistan was designated Combined Joint Task Force - 180 (CJTF-180), a corps level headquarters whose staff were provided by Headquarters XVIII Airborne Corps. The mission of CJTF-180 was to conduct operations to destroy remaining Al Qaeda/hostile Taliban command control and other hostile anti-Islamic Transitional Government of Afghanistan elements, trains Afghan National Army, and conducts directed information operations, civil military operations and humanitarian assistance operations in coordination with the ITGA in order to establish a stable and secure Afghanistan able to deter/defeat the re-emergence of terrorism.
In November 2003, Combined Forces Command - Afghanistan (CFC-A) was established as the U.S. led, coalition headquarters for Afghanistan. CTJF-180 was restructured as a subordinate organization of CFC-A. CFC-A reported in turn to United States Central Command. Under CJTF 180 and later CFC-A, the corps-level overall headquarters, a division level headquarters supervising fighting brigades was maintained in Afghanistan. The HQ was provided in succession by different US Army light divisional headquarters. 'Task Force Mountain', drawn from 10th Mountain Division, the headquarters that oversaw Operation Anaconda, was the first of these HQs. Later changes in the Divisional HQ providing the task force HQ saw changes to the name, first to CJTF 76 and then to CJTF 82. With the inactivation of CFC-A in late 2006, CJTF-76 transitioned to ISAF command as headquarters for ISAF's Regional Command East. The elimination of the intermediate U.S. CFC-A meant the commander CJTF-76 simultaneously reported to the Commander, U.S. Central Command as the National Command Element for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

In May 2009, shortly after CJTF-82 returned to Bagram Air Field and assumed control of the east, the United States Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) officially took over responsibility as the National Command Element for the theater.
United States Forces Afghanistan's mission, in coordination with NATO's International Security Assistance Force, is to conduct operations to defeat terrorist networks and insurgents by developing effective governance and building the Afghan National Security Force. Effective security throughout the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan facilitates continued regional stability and increases economic development for the people of Afghanistan.

As always, the above insignia are available on a limited number of selected quality products via my “Military Insignia” galleries at Zazzle, SpreadShirt and CafePress. To get to corresponding galleries, you can just follow the direct links in the article.

As one of the rules I have established for myself in the past, I will make my insignia designs available free of charge to any military units and personnel, to be used for the purpose of any non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families. I will also make my designs available free of charge to military branches, formations and units for any non-commercial internal duty-specific purposes, such as unit-related web design, training materials or presentations, as I have done on numerous occasions.

The above information provided in part by The Institute of Heraldry, Global Security, Wikipedia as well as the websites and printed materials related to specific units and formations.


  1. trying to contact you is becoming a pain . . .
    I am Seriously loosing interest now . . .

    Do you makeany of these items in metal?

    contact me please

  2. Could you please make one of the Army Materiel Command? It is also one of the major commands.


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