Sunday, February 21, 2016

SOF News

USSOCOM and Drones. A news report provides information about how the U.S. Special Operations Command utilizes drones to do ISR and targeting. Read "US Special Operations Command lifts the lid on special mission MQ-9 Reaper", IHS Jane's 360, February 14, 2016.

Decision Time on SF NCO. "A decorated Army sergeant and Green Beret who protected an Afghan boy from a child molester in the Afghan police could find out any day whether his actions will end his career in the military". read "Decision looms for Army sergeant who protected Afghan boy", Fox News, February 19, 2016.

Russians told Location of US SOF. "The Pentagon told the Russian military where U.S. Special Forces are located in Syria with the hopes that Russian aircraft will steer clear of that area and not risk bombing American service members . . . " Let's hope the Russians don't share that information with the Hezbollah, Syrian military, and Iranian militants fighting the U.S. proxy military groups in Syria. Read more in "U.S. quietly tells Russia where American troops are located inside Syria", Military Times, February 18, 2016.

AC-130s and Lasers. Energy-directed weapons could soon be mounted on the special opns AC-130 by 2020. Read more in "Special Operations Aircraft to be Outfitted with Laser Weapon", National Defense Magazine, March 2016.

Masters of SOF. "Applications are being accepted for a 10-month master's degree program offered by the National Defense University for special operations officers, warrant officers, and noncommissioned officers. The fully accredited degree program will be conducted at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, North Carolina offered in August 2017. Read more in Army Times, February 19, 2016.

"Gray Zone" and "Occupied". A new term being bantered about by the SOF folks is the "Gray Zone". While a non-SOF guy (girl) might have trouble visualizing what type of conflict this is, an experienced SF dude would (should) have no trouble with the concept. For those impaired in this respect there is a television series on NetFlix that could be helpful. I am half-way through the ten-episode series. It is a Norwegian product (yes, English subtitles) about a Norway that is slowly being occupied by the Russians. A form of hybrid warfare that took place in Crimea and eastern Ukraine and could take place in the Baltic states (the former republics of the Soviet Union known as Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia). Read more in "Run, Freeze, Or Fight? "Occupied" and the Future of Warfare", by August Cole, War on the Rocks, February 18, 2016.

Highway to be Named for Fallen USSF Soldier. Three Rhode Island State Representatives have introduced a bill to name a stretch of highway in memory of SFC Peter McKenna - a member of 7th SFGA who was killed in Afghanistan in 2015. (News 10, Feb 17, 2016).

Canada SOF - More to Iraq. The new plan of Canada is to pull back some of its air support (six CF-18 fighter jets) but provide more SOF trainers. The Canadian special forces contingent will go from 69 to 207 personnel; a sizable increase. It appears that some help will be going to the Kurds (better than squandering it on the Iraqi government forces). In addition, more than $700 million in humanitarian aid will be provided. There will also be some equipment provided to include small arms, ammunition, and medical support for the Kurds. Read more in "Canada to Boost Spec Ops, Arms in Iraq While Withdrawing CF-18s", Defense News, February 15, 2016.

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