Military Might on Display for FSSF 80th Anniversary in Helena
This is a rare opportunity for Montanans to get a glimpse inside the US Army Special Forces community. It's also an opportunity to honor a legendary unit that secretly trained in Montana during World War II.
This weekend in Helena, they're opening up the gates at Fort Harrison, Montana for the 80th Anniversary of the First Special Service Force, the joint US-Canadian force also known as "The Devil's Brigade." The First Special Service Force is considered to be the birth of the American Special Operations community, including the US Army's Green Beret Special Forces.
I spoke with Chris Kurinec, a 25 year US Army veteran, Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient who is organizing the event on behalf of the Big Sky Chapter of the Special Forces Association. Chapter 28 is affectionately known as "The Devil's Brigade Chapter."
Chris Kurinec: Right now, there's just about 20 total members that still survive to this day. And we're doing this anniversary in honor them. Their average age is 98, 99 years old. And of those 20 only about eight are from the original Helena crew that trained right there at Fort William Henry Harrison here in Montana.
The commanding general of the US Army's 1st Special Forces Command and the commander of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment will be in attendance. The ceremony will start at 9 a.m. on the Marshall Drop Zone on Fort Harrison. A military freefall demonstration will take place. The ceremony will also feature a WWII demonstration parachute jump and a WWII warbird flyby.
Kurinec tells us that the public will also get a chance to see US and Canadian special forces equipment in person.
Kurinec: One of the big things about the Devil's Brigade is they go hand-in-hand with cold weather training. They were phenomenal skiers, phenomenal mountaineers. So 10th Special Forces Group is going to have some of the latest and greatest Arctic warfare stuff set up there for the civilians and the public to be able to touch and get introduced to.
Here's the full audio of our chat with Chris Kurinec on Thursday morning's "Montana Talks with Aaron Flint":
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