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Detachment “A” 1956-1984

From 1956 to 1984, Detachment “A”, a clandestine unit of about 90 Green Berets based in Berlin Germany, were involved in some of the most sensitive operations of the Cold War. At that time Berlin was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), located behind the Iron Curtain.  They wore civilian clothes, spoke fluent German and stayed on high alert 24 hours a day.  For nearly 30 years during the Cold War, some of America’s most elite soldiers worked in secret. Their missions, always classified, are still largely unknown and absent from the history books.

Detachment “A” Flash

Bruno von Haas  received this picture from Becky Closen that she found among Frank Closen’s belongings. Bruno remembered this design very well.  There was  a group of Det “A” ers, who got together and thought about having  their own FLASH for Detachment “A”  back in the fall of 1979.  Nick Brokhausen designed the FLASH and somehow Frank became the recipient, and this has been in darkness I guess until Becky resurrected it from on old belongings box of Franks. It amazes me on how things seem to phoenix, out of nowhere, and present themselves.

This is now been incorporated to on our Detachment”A” web site’s  header and as another artifact of our history.


The Walther MPL: Stamped-Steel Cold War Wonder

In the 1970s West Berlin stood 100 miles inside communist-controlled territory, a tragically flawed testament to post-World War II geopolitical acrimony. The Berlin Brigade was a token NATO force billeted in this surrounded, beleaguered city. Their mission was not so much their combat effectiveness as it was what they represented. Attacking the Berlin Brigade was tantamount to attacking the United States. However, chances are things would not have ended well for these isolated grunts had the Cold War suddenly turned hot.

Operating in the shadows in West Berlin was a small contingent of Special Forces soldiers known as Detachment A. Theirs was the archetypal Green Beret mission. Should the balloon go up and Warsaw Pact forces roll over West Berlin like a juggernaut, Detachment A troops would melt into the population to foment a covert underground war. To pull this off, these iron-willed studs had a 10,000-weapon stash of military firearms hidden for distribution to would-be partisans. Thank the Good Lord it never came to pass.

There were never more than about a hundred Special Forces operators assigned to Detachment A. Given the unique nature of their mission they were authorized some comparably unique weapons. One of those unique firearms was the Walther MP submachine gun.

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2021 Detachment”A”/PSSE Special Forces Berlin Get Together

The 2021 will be held from Thursday 13 May 2021 – Sunday 16 May 2021 (checkout).

Host/POC:/RSVP:  Alan “Mac” MacRae

Hotel Information

Hotel Eleganté Conference & Event Center
2886 S Circle Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
(719) 576-5900

Click for Hotel web site.  You can use it to make your reservations.

If you call to make a reservation our code for the reunion has changed to 2767819 or “SF Berlin” when calling the Hotel for a reservation.

The hotel has agreed to give us the same rates and benefits as what we had set up for the canceled 2020 reunion.  Please pay attention to the reservation procedures as there have been some changes.

Hotel Reservation Info

DAY DATE Rate*with Breakfast
Thursday May 13, 2021 $130.00
Friday May 14, 2021 $130.00
Saturday May 15, 2021 $130.00
Sunday May 16, 2021 Checkout

The dates for the reunion are 13-16 May 2021

The cost per night for single King or Double Queen occupancy is $130.00 (includes breakfast)

Additional guests (up to 2) will be charged $10 per guest for breakfast

Priority will be given to those who make reservations prior to Tuesday 13 April so please make reservations early to insure your space at the Hotel

Use “SF Berlin” or code 2767819 when making a reservation by phone: (719) 576-5900.

Use either the website or the phone to make a reservation, but NOT both

The rate of $130 per night (including breakfast) will be honored for 3 days prior to and 3 days after the event dates for those who wish to come early or stay late

If you make reservations for certain dates and decide you will leave early without notifying the Hotel at check-in of an earlier than planned departure, there will be a $75 charge added to your bill

We will have a Hospitality Room provided by the Hotel that is capable of holding 60+ people and we will be allowed to have our own adult beverages.

Guestrooms feature Starbucks Coffee, Bath and Body Works toiletries, internet and custom 13.5” Simmons Mattresses with 800 thread count sheets in all guestrooms.

NOTE:  Rates does not include taxes, currently 10.25%

We will try to have the same events at the 2021 reunion that we were planning for the 2020 reunion.  More info to follow as events are scheduled.

Additional Hotel Information

Three restaurants on property-Rustler’s Country Cafe, Rawhide Sports Bar and The Sweet Tooth featuring Starbucks Coffee and Colorado Creamery Ice Cream.

Complimentary wireless internet service in guest rooms and public space.

COMPLIMENTARY parking spots on site, including 700 reserved spaces for Combat Wounded Veterans.

24 hour complimentary fitness center.

Indoor and outdoor pool and hot tub.

Fitness Trail and Outdoor Sports Court featuring volleyball, tennis, basketball and pickleball with equipment available for check out at the front desk.

Local Attractions

Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain and the

Cog Railway

Garden of the Gods National Park

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

United States Air Force Academy

World War II Aviation Museum

United States Olympic Training Center

Cripple Creek – an old mining town with Casinos and a working gold mine.

Royal Gorge Railway

Former Detachment “A” Member Bob Charest Interview

This interview was conducted by The Team House hosts Jack Murphy and Dave Parke.

Bob Charest served in Vietnam and with Special Forces Detachment A conducting the urban unconventional warfare missions in Berlin in the event that the Soviets ever invaded. In this episode we discuss Bob’s career bouncing between Vietnam, Thailand, and Berlin where he served in Project Sigma (which became MACV-SOG) where he did cross border ops into Cambodia, working for the CIA in Thailand, and doing clandestine sabotage ops in Berlin with Det A.