Showing posts with label ANASOC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ANASOC. Show all posts

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Mobile Strike Kandak (MSK) of ANASOC

The Afghan National Army Special Operations Command (ANASOC) intends to create seven additional Mobile Strike Kandaks (MSK) in the next four years. Camp Morehead, home of the Afghan Commando School, is really pushing the students through the Commando Course. It makes you wonder if SOF Truth #2 is being observed. A total of 1,056 Afghan soldiers graduated from the 21st Commando Qualification course on December 6, 2017. The majority of the CDOQC class were previously assigned to the same conventional Afghan National Army battalion (kandak). 650 of the recent graduates will go on to attend the Cobra Strike Mobility Course at Pul-e-Charkhi in early January. The first Commando MSK will graduate from the course in late April 2018 in time for the spring offensive against the Taliban. The transformation of traditional ANA kandaks into Commando MSKs will provide the regionally-aligned Special Operations Brigades an operational reach to pursue insurgents across rugged terrain in all weather conditions. Info from "Game-changing Commando class graduates", DVIDS, December 6, 2017.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Afghan SOF Conducting Key Operations and Training

ASSF Seize 1,000 lbs of Explosives. According to a NATO Special Operations Component Command - Afghanistan (NSOCC-A) Afghan Special Security Forces seized over 1,000 pounds of homemade explosives during night raids in Kandahar and Helmand provinces in late November. (DVIDS, November 30, 2017).

ASSF Leads in Fight Against Insurgents. The Afghan special operations forces of the MoI and MoD are the bright spot in the Afghan campaign against the Taliban and other insurgent / terrorist groups. Read "Kabul Pins Its Hopes on Afghan Special Forces in Fight Against Insurgents", Gandhara Blog,  November 27, 2017.

NMU's Graduate New Members. The Afghan National Mission Units (NMU) of the General Command of Police Special Units (GCPSU) has increased its membership with the graduation of almost 50 new operators from an 8-week specialized police course recently held in Logar province. (DVIDS, November 27, 2017).

ASSF to Double. The Afghan government plans to increase the size of the Afghan special operations units of the MoI and MoD over the next few years. According to President Ghani Afghan Commandos conduct operations throughout Afghanistan and have never lost a battle. (Khaama Press, Dec 1, 2017).

Afghan SMW Graduates More Crew Members. The Afghan Special Mission Wing (SMW) has more qualified crew members for its PC-12 and Mi-17 helicopters. (DVIDS, Nov 25, 2017).

Sunday, March 13, 2016

SOF News

Afghanistan's Commandos. There are about 11,000 Afghan soldiers assigned to the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command (ANASOC). To many observers these are the men that will ensure Afghanistan does not fall to the Taliban and they are the crack troops that respond to dire situations (such as the fall of Kunduz city in late 2015). The commando and special forces units have a very low attrition rate - especially when compared to the remainder of the Afghan army and police forces. However, there are some problems. The commando units are not always used in the proper role and are usually over-employed by Corps commanders of the Afghan army. There is a shortage of training ammunition and uniforms . . . and the training facilities at Camp Moorehead (just outside of Kabul) are not sufficient for the number of soldiers training at that location. Read more in a news story by Tim Craig - "These are the 11,000 soldiers who might save Afghanistan", The Washington Post, March 8, 2016.

Hybrid Warfare Skeptic. The hybrid warfare concept has been around for at least a decade if not more. There are other terms and phases that have been introduced that are very close to the hybrid warfare definition to include, Ambiguous Warfare, Gray Zone, Political Warfare, etc. One commentator, Christopher Paul, provides his thoughts on the various concepts that describe the space between peace and war. A long intellectual read . . . if you are an SF dude then it is in your lane. Dr. Paul is a senior social scientist working for RAND Corporation. Read "Confessions of a Hybrid Warfare Skeptic", Small Wars Journal, March 3, 2016.

A New Unconventional Warfare Strategy & Human Domain. Carole N. House writes an extensive article that defines " . . . critical restructuring needs of the U.S. government . . . " and proposes " . . . strategic lines of effort to facilitate a comprehensive national approach to the conduct of unconventional warfare and countering its use against the United States". Read "Proposal of an Unconventional Warfare Strategy to Dominate the Human Domain", Small Wars Journal, March 7, 2016.

CANSOF and Africa. Canadian special forces have recently completed their participation in the U.S. military exercise called "Flintlock" that was held in Africa. (Ottawa Citizen, Mar 7, 2016).

Australian Special Forces Chief Making Amends. It's tough for a special operations soldier nowadays. In the current atmosphere of political correctness it is like walking on thin ice. Then again, the military is not a place where sexual harassment should take place. Those irascible folks from down under! Read someone finding out how difficult navigating this new terrain is in "Cleared special forces chief apologises to complainants", The West Australian, March 9, 2016.

US SOF in Libya. General Tony Thomas, currently the head of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has been nominated by President Obama to head up the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). He recently testified before (Wed, 9 Mar) the Senate Armed Services Committee where he stated that he supports the deployment of SOF to Libya to oppose the growth of the Islamic State. Read more in "Obama nominee supports sending special operators to Libya", The Hill Blog, March 9, 2015.

Italian SOF in Libya. The Italians made it in the news as well; although under unfavorable conditions. They have been accused of beating up (verbally and physically) news reporters in Libya. Probably a small incident but . . . (Eurasia Review, Mar 12, 2016).

SOF Mission in Somalia? It would seem that U.S. special operations are just about everywhere. A recent news report indicates that U.S. SOF conducted a helicopter assault on the al-Shabab terror group in Somalia. Read more in "U.S. Special Operations Forces Involved in Somalia Raid: Defense Officials", NBC News, March 9, 2016.

SOF, Corruption, and Somalia. One of the difficulties in working with foreign military forces that are engaged in internal conflicts is that the governments are usually corrupt. In underdeveloped nations this is usually the case. Thus special operations forces find themselves engaged in counterinsurgency efforts that prop up a corrupt government. This is true of Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other places. It is also true of Somalia. A good friend of mine who worked as a counterinsurgency advisor for several years in Afghanistan recently completed a two-year stretch in Somalia. His contract ended when he confronted a high-ranking Somali officer who was pocketing an excessive amount of money and supplies for his personal enrichment; robbing the lower ranking soldiers of ammunition, food, money, and other supplies. Want to know more? Read "Somalia: A Sober Assessment", Strategy Page, March 11, 2016.

SOF and the 'Small Footprint". Max Boot, a commentator on terrorism and national security, shares his thoughts on the over-reliance on special operations forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world in "The Perils of a Small Footprint", Commentary Magazine, March 10, 2016.

SF Training on Okinawa. The Green Berets of the 1st Special Forces Group train for many different types of missions in the Pacific region. Read more in "Special Forces get ready",, March 10, 2016.

SF LTC in Anti-Trump Ad. Mike Waltz, a two-time Afghan veteran, occasional commentator on Fox News, and author of one or two books about Afghanistan has been seen nation-wide in a widely distributed anti-Trump ad. Read more in "Former Special Forces Commander Featured in New Anti-Trump Ad", Task & Purpose, March 7, 2016.

SOF is Evolving and Adapting. The United States Special Operations Command's operators are adapting to an ever changing security situation around the world. On any given day U.S. SOF are deployed to over 80 countries. Read a DoD News release on this topic. (DoD News, Mar 8, 2016).

SOF in Pacific. General Votel, commander of USSOCOM, says that special operations continue to work in the Asia-Pacific region. Read "Commander: SOCOM Never Left the Pacific", Seapower Magazine,  March 8, 2016.

First Female SEALs in 2017? The Navy is pushing ahead to integrate women into the SEAL teams. New Navy documentation lays out the training, recruiting, and assignment plan to place women into previously closed special ops jobs. (Task & Purpose, Mar 11, 2016).

SOF & Maneuver Career Courses. The students of the Maneuver Captains Career Course and the SOF Captains Career Course are working together to enhance interoperability. (Bayonent & Saber, March 8, 2016).

NG SF General "H.B." Profiled. A Special Forces general gets himself into the news in "Olive Hill Childhood Was Foundation for Brigadier General",  Journal-Times, March 9, 2016.

CIA Director at SEAL Event. John O. Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency recently spoke at the Navy SEAL Foundation 8th New York City Benefit Dinner in early March 2016. Your can read his prepared remarks in a transcript provided on the CIA's webpage.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fight for Kunduz

The fight for Kunduz City is continuing. Despite proclamations by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) spokesman every 24 hours stating that "Afghan security forces secured the city overnight" the fight rages on in some parts of Kunduz City. In the rest of the province the fight has probably been lost to the Taliban. Some correspondents are reporting that Resolute Support is very visible within the city supporting (advising?) the Afghan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF). This would, of course, include SOF advisors with the ANA Special Operations Kandak(s) that are within or around the city. It would also include SOF advisors with the special mission units of the MoI. It is quite possible that a platoon (or company) of the Resolute Support Theater Response Force (at the moment, probably members of 2-14 Infantry) are providing security at the Kunduz airport (speculation on my part). Read a summary on Kunduz and how it relates to the 'big picture' in a report by Vanda Felbab-Brown entitled "A dispatch from Afghanistan: What the Taliban offensive in Kunduz reveals",, October 8, 2015.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

President Ghani Visits ANASOC

The new president of Afghanistan - Ashraf Ghani - paid a visit to the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command (ANASOC) along with Maj. Gen. Abul Sayed Karim during a visit to Camp Commando, Afghanistan. Camp Commando was at one time called Camp Morehead. The visit occured on October 6, 2014 just one week after the new president took office. Learn more about the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command. (Photo by SFC Daniel Shapiro, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan, October 6, 2014).