Sunday, January 24, 2016

SOF News

Special Forces More Active in Afg? A recent news report says the U.S. Special Forces could be playing a larger role in Afghanistan. The recent death of an SF NCO in Marjah district, Helmand province highlighted the tactical deployment of SF teams advising the Afghan National Army (ANA) Special Operations Kandaks (SOKs). Read more in "US Special Forces in Afghanistan Poised to Assume More Active Role", Voice of America, January 19, 2016.

A SEAL Casualty of War. In December 2012 the commander of a SEAL Special Operations Task Force (SOTF) in Afghanistan was found dead in his room of a gunshot wound. He had experienced a rough deployment with several members of his command killed in combat. The stress of command was certainly having an effect on him Read more in "A Deadly Deployment, a Navy SEAL's Despair", The New York Times, January 19, 2016.

Wife of Fallen Green Beret Shares Her Story. SSG Matthew McClintock was killed in early January 2016 in Marjah district, Helmand province. He leaves behind a wife and three-month old son. His wife, Alexandra, shares her story of her fallen Green Beret in "Wife of fallen Green Beret shares their love story", Army Times, January 20, 2016.

SF Officer Remembers Bergdahl Recovery Effort. Former Special Forces commander Mike Waltz commanded seven Special Forces operational detachments in the operational area where Bowe Bergdahl went missing. He redirected his ODAs from their primary mission to join the intensive and dangerous search for Bergdahl. Listen to a podcast as he remembers the events of that frustrating period of time posted by Task & Purpose (Jan 19, 2016).

JSOC Connections. Howard Altman writes on the ascendancy of JSOC general officers to key positions in the fight against ISIS. Read "Likely leaders in the battle against Islamic State will have JSOC connections", The Tampa Tribune, January 18, 2016.

Video on Robin Sage. The culminating event of U.S. Army's Special Forces Training is Robin Sage. Watch a 13-min long video of Robin Sage by Alex Quade published on in Nov 2015.

SOF in Libya? "The next battleground in the war on ISIS is forming in the sands of Tripoli. The U.S. Special Operations Command is spending more time and attention on Libya, trying to keep the Islamic State from growing more powerful there . . ." Read "Here's What Special Operators Want to Do in Libya", Defense One, January 20, 2016.

Navy SEAL Ignored Lawyers. The author of "No Easy Day" about the Osama bin Laden mission in Pakistan is suing his legal representatives for bad advice. (Military Times, Jan 20, 2016).

Former SEAL to Lead Counter-ISIS Messaging Center. A current Defense Department official, Michael Lumpkin, will be the lead to revamp the federal government's effort to counter ISIS and other group's recruitment propaganda. (National Defense Magazine, Jan 20, 2016).

SOF in Syria. The Secretary of Defense Ash Carter recently alluded to activities of special operators in Syria. Read more in "Special Ops forces in Syria doing more than raids, Ash Carter says", CNN Politics, January 20, 2016.

SOCOM Seeking High Technology. General Votel spoke at the National Defense Industrial Association's special operations conference in Washington, D.C. on January 20th. His message was that key capabilities provided by advanced technology helps special operators maintain an edge over potential adversaries in challenging environmental conditions. See "U.S. SOCOM Officials Lay OUt Technology Challenges", National Defense Magazine, January 20, 2016.

10th SFGA and SIGINT Training w/ 173rd. Members of the 10th Special Force Group and the 173rd Bde recently conducted signal intercept training in Germany. Read more in "Special operations intelligence specialists refine skills in combined training",, January 22, 2016.

Indian SF Command. A ". . . lack of agreement on who would control a separate Indian Special Forces Command (SFC) has stymied creation of the unit despite the military's urgent desire for one." There appears to be rivalry among the Army, Navy, and Air Force over which would take command. In addition, the civilians in the military bureaucracy are weighing in with their vision of who commands the SFC. Read more in "Control Issue Stymies Creation of Indian Spec Ops Command", Defense News, January 17, 2016.

Spanish SOF Grows. The Spanish Army is increasing the size of its Special Operations Force  - Grupo de Operaciones Especiales (MOE). The MOE has been deployed in multinational training missions in Mali, CAR, and Iraq in the past few years. Currently the MOE is deployed in Taji and Baghdad, Iraq. Read more in "Spanish Army Bolsters Special Forces Against Jihadism", Defense News, January 17, 2016.

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