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The Department of Defense (DoD) activated U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) on April 16, 1987, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. DoD created the new unified command in response to congressional action in the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 and the Nunn-Cohen Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1987. Congress mandated a new four-star command be activated to prepare Special Operations Forces (SOF) to carry out assigned missions and, if directed by the President or Secretary of Defense (SECDEF), to plan for and conduct special operations.