Google Earth and Calling in Air Strikes. For a short period (and maybe even today) SOF advisors to the ANASF kandaks were teaching the tricks of using Google Earth to do Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield. Looks like this is being done in Syria as well. It appears that Kurdish militia fighters are using Android-powered Samsung tablets and free Google Earth mapping tools to track battle lines and coordinate close air support with the US military. I wonder if our EF 7 advisors are expounding upon the virtues of Google Earth when they interact with the ANA Corps MI kandaks? Read "Google Earth is Helping Syrians Call in US Air Strikes", Defense One, August 11, 2015.
CONOP Process Broke. The Best Defense Blog shares with us the complexity involved for a Special Forces unit to get approval to conduct a relatively minor mission in Afghanistan. Read "Tales of War: Getting 12 approvals for a relatively minor mission in Afghanistan", Foreign Policy, July 22, 2015.
SMW Fleet Maintenance. Most of the maintenance for Special mission Wing (SMW) is now performed by contract technicians. As new Afghan aircraft mechanics complete their training and become more proficient they are assigned to support the maintenance effort. It is hoped that in three to five years, the Afghans can take over the entire maintenance operation. Read more in "Special Mission Wing maintenance training aims at sustaining fleet", DVIDS, August 12, 2015.
Brit SF Still Kicking Down Doors in Afghanistan. Read more in "British special forces back in Afghanistan tackling Taliban and Islamic State terrorists", The Mirror, August 15, 2015.
JSOC ignoring Taliban as Bombings Rise. One news report says that America's most elite troops are largely ignoring the militants who once sheltered al Qaeda. Read "Insurgent Bombings Rise as U.S. Eases off the Taliban", By Sean D. Naylor, Foreign Policy, August 14, 2015.
CSTs and SOF in Afghanistan. Gary Owen provides us his opinion about Cultural Support Teams (CSTs), women in the Rangers, and women in combat in "Of Course the CSTs were Women", Sunny in Kabul Blog, August 14, 2015.
MG Kraft Now Leads SF Command. MG Jim Kraft, an SF officer who has seen multiple deployments to Afghanistan, is now in command of Special Forces Command (USASFC). Kraft has commanded at many levels to include the CJSOTF-A. In addition, he served as deputy commander of CFSOCC-A recently. Read more in a news report by The Fayetteville Observer, August 13, 2015.