The 601st Special Forces Group (Czech: 601. skupina speciálních) is a special operations forces unit of the Czech Armed Forces. It was officially created in 2003, the product of reorganizations in the Military of the Czech Republic in that year. However, it has roots that go back as far as 1952 when it was a paratroop brigade.
The 601 SFG finds its roots in a paratroop brigade created in 1952. This unit was based in Prešov, Slovakia, but in 1960 it was relocated to Prostějov and the unit joined the 22nd Paratroop Brigade, which was based in Prostějov. Until 1969 the members of the units were trained according to Soviet military doctrine, training mass parachute operations, defending points of military interest until the arrival of main ground forces. From 1970 to 1988, the unit began to focus on the training of small reconnaissance groups, which were to be inserted to the rear of an enemy to carry out diversionary and reconnaissance missions.
So far, the most important operation the 601. skss has taken part in was Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2004. This was the first combat operation of the Czech Armed Forces since World War II. More than 100 people participated for six months and, without break, fulfilled their tasks in arduous climatic conditions. Participation in this operation was highly appraised by the highest state officials as well as the AČR and coalition partners. 601. skupina speciálních has taken a firm position within the world Special Forces elite group.