Showing posts with label Spain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spain. Show all posts

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.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Security News

ANASF prepare for wpns training
Attack on Spanish Embassy Guesthouse. Some more fidelity on the attack on Friday, December 11th. The guesthouse, belonging occupied by Spanish Embassy personnel in the Sher Pur part of Kabul was attacked with a car bomb against the gate and the gunmen rushed inside. The event took place for many hours until the last gunman was killed.

India - Pak - Afg Meeting. Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah met with the Pakistan COAS Raheel Sharif in Kabul on Sunday, December 27th. This follows a flurry of meetings involving the head of the India government who first visted Kabul and then Islamabad. Are peace talks in the air? Maybe. But I doubt much will come of it. Read more on the recent meetings and prospects for peace in "The Observer view on India's role in bringing peace to Afghanistan", The Guardian, December 27, 2015.

French Restaurant Bombed. On January 1st a restaurant / guest house (Le Jardin) in Kabul's Qalai Fatullah area (Taimani PD4) was attacked; two people killed including a 10 year old child killed - about 15 others wounded It is in the vicinity of many foreign embassies and government buildings.

Bombers Experience a Premature Explosion. Three (maybe four) bombers had a bad day when their truck bomb blew up ahead of schedule in the Zer-e-Koh area of Herat on Saturday, January 2nd. (Khaama Press, Jan 2, 2016).

Child Suicide Bombers. "Terrorists in Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries are training children to blow themselves up in suicide bomb attacks. Minors are kidnapped or sold and then taken to terrorist training camps". Read more in "Children used as suicide bombers in Central Asia", Deutsche Welle, December 30, 2015.

Prisoners Freed by ANDSF. Afghan Special Forces freed dozens of prisoners (as many as 59) from a Taliban jail in Nahr-e-Saraj district, Helmand province the evening of January 1st. The freed were 37 soldiers, seven policemen, and the remainder were civilians. (Radio Free Europe, Jan 2, 2016).

Al-Qaeda Re-emerges. Al-Qaeda camps seem to be sprouting up in Afghanistan and there are worries that they will become breeding grounds for more attacks against the U.S. Read "As U.S. Focuses on ISIS and the Taliban, Al Qaeda Re-emerges", The New York Times, December 29, 2015. Read a history of U.S. action against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan over the years in "ISAF raids against al Qaeda and allies in Afghanistan 2007-2014", by Bill Roggio and Patrick Megahan, The Long War Journal, May 30, 2014.

Bagram Long-Term US Base? Some reports say that the Pentagon is looking to keep Bagram Air Field as a US base beyond 2017. This huge US base located 40 klics north of Kabul has been one of the principle transit hubs, logistical centers, and airfields (for air support) since 2002. The US Special Operations forces continue to operate from this base as well. Drones will likely be launched from here when Kandahar and Jalalabad shut down. (Tolo News, Dec 29, 2015).

Campbell: Delay Withdrawal. General Campbell, the commander of the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, would like to delay the US troop withdrawal for as long as possible. (The Hill Blog, Dec 30, 2015).

Canadian General (Rtd) Speaks Out. A retired Canadian general says the Taliban's recent victories in Afghanistan could reverse progress made by western armies during more than a decade of fighting. "We're all holding our breath". (Edmonton Sun, Dec 28, 2015).

ANA Cadets Graduate from Indian Military Academy. 31 Afghan Army cadets graduated from the Indian Military Academy in December. Training the Afghan Army cadets is part of India's rehabilitation support towards the Afghan security forces. (Khaama Press, Dec 13, 2015).

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

HELISAF - Spanish SAR in Afghanistan

ISAF Helicopters over Badghis province
(Photo TSgt Kevin Wallace)
As we reach the final days of the ISAF mission and the beginning of the Resolute Support mission a bit of history is slipping by. The past 13 years have seen numerous countries take part in the Afghan War. Beginning in January 2015 the commitment to Afghanistan, about 12,000 personnel, will provide advisory coverage on only four out of the six ANA Corps and some small bases in Kabul. As 2015 goes by the footprint will get even smaller; with about 6,000 troops at Bagram and Kabul only as 2016 begins. In an effort to capture some of the past history of the different nations participating the Afghan War News Blog will provide some glimpses of past operations, units, and events.

To this end we are highlighting an article about the Spanish Air Force Search and Rescue (SAR) teams that served for a number of years in western Afghanistan. The SAR teams (helicopters, crew, medical, and Spanish Air Force Special Force) provided medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) capability to the International Security Assistance Force's (ISAF) Regional Command West (RC-West). Erwan de Cherisey, an aviation expert and war correspondent wrote an extensive article detailing the Spanish SAR capabilities and a descriptive explanation of how they conducted their very important mission. Read "HELISAF: Spanish SAR in Afghanistan", Air Forces, February 2014 (posted on Spanish Department of Defense website).