Showing posts with label USSOCOM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USSOCOM. Show all posts

Sunday, March 6, 2016


SOCOM's Drones and GWOT. SOCOM is using drones (or UAVs) extensively in the Global War on Terror (yes, I still call it that). Read more in "Less"K money but more action for SOCOM's drones", Stars and Stripes, March 2, 2015.

OBL and the "Spy Planes". The release of another bunch of documents seized during the raid on Osama bin-Laden's compound in Pakistan reveals a certain sense of worry about U.S. drones overhead. Read more in "Reading Bin Laden's Letters: Paranoia and the 'Spy Planes Problem' ", The Diplomat, March 2, 2016.

Movie Review - Eye in the Sky. Everyone's favorite old, female actress - Helen Mirren - plays a British military officer who has been chasing a bad guy (terrorist) for years with the intent to capture. Ethical dilemmas occur when an American drone has 'eyes on'. I'll wait until it shows on Netflix; just can't be as good as the numerous 'Kill TV" episodes I have seen in man TOCs and JOCs over the years. Read a movie review of the latest drone film in "Eye in the Sky: Thriller explores ethical questions of drone warfare", Newsweek, March 11, 2016.

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.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

SOF News

JSOC Officers Moving Up. It appears that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) crowd is doing well in the U.S. Army. General Votel, the current commander of the United States Special Operations Command  (USSOCOM) is likely to be nominated to head up Central Command - he formally commanded JSOC. LTG Tony Thomas will probably head to command USSOCOM - he commands JSOC and is also a former commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force - Afghanistan. MG Scottie Miller, currently at Fort Benning and instrumental in overseeing the successful integration of women in Ranger School during 2015 has been mentioned for command of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Miller is a long-time Ranger Regiment and JSOC officer. He was a former commander of the Combined Joint Special Operations Component Command - Afghanistan (CFSOCC-A) and of the SOJTF-A.

New SOCKOR Cdr. The current deputy commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan - BG Tony D. Bauernfeind - is heading to Special Operations Command Korea. See "General Officer Assignments", DoD News Release, January 12, 2016.

SEALs Under Investigation. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is - once again - investigating allegations that Navy SEALs beat detainees in Afghanistan in 2012. Read more in "Investigation of SEAL conduct in Afghanistan is Reopened", The New York Times, January 14, 2016.

Webcast Event - "Acquisition for SOF". USSOCOM performs a variety of functions - one of those is the acquisition of services, products, and equipment for the SOF units and organizations of the four services. Mr. James F. Geurts, Acquisition Executive at USSOCOM, will be discussing the challenge of planning and executing acquisitions to equip our forces' most elite warriors. The event (webcast) is hosted by the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, January 19th at 4:30 pm EST.

SOF and the "Gray Zone". Terminology is constantly evolving in the military. New buzzwords make their debut, stick around for a while, and then fade away. One of the newest terms to enter the special operations community vocabulary is the "Gray Zone". This, according to some reports, is the space or area between peace and war. Read more in "Special Operations and the Challenge of Working in the Gray Zone"SOFREP, January 14, 2016.

Wanted: Foreign SOF to fight ISIS. "Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Thursday that the United States has asked more countries to send Special Operations troops to join the fight against the Islamic State, and not just typical partners like Britain and Australia." These countries probably include Jordan, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Jordanian and UAE SOF units have long worked with U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan and the relationships between the SOF units are strong. Read more in "Wanted: Foreign Special Operations troops to join the U.S. in targeting the Islamic State", The Washington Post, January 15, 2016.

US SOF Deploys to Iraq. Additional Special Operations Forces have arrived in Iraq to assist Iraqi troops with better coordinating and targeting for coalition airstrikes. While the President contends there are no 'boots on the ground'; what is certainly clear is a bunch of guys wearing sneakers or hikers are running around Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and a lot of other places around the world. In addition to the deployment of special operators key leaders with a SOF background being put into important positions with the military,  state and elsewhere. Read "U.S. Special Operations Forces Deploy to Iraq", Foreign Policy Report, January 14, 2016.

Obama and SOF. Kim Dozier writes on how President Obama is turning to special operations forces to help manage hot spots in the world. Read "Obama Turns to Special Ops to Salvage His Legacy", The Daily Beast, January 15, 2016.

SOCEUR Cdr Visits Slovak SOF. The commander of Special Operations Command Europe visited the Slovak 5th Special Forces Regiment in Zilina on January 12th. The Slovak SOF have worked alongside U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan for a number of years. (The Slovak Spectator, Jan 15, 2016).

"Generation Kill vs Generation Cupcake". Dan O'Shea, a former Navy SEAL, writes on 'safe spaces' on college campuses and lack of 'safe spaces' in combat zones. (The Tampa Tribune, January 16, 2016.

ISIS Threatens UFC Fighter. Tim Kennedy, a UFC fighter who is also a Green Beret with time in 7th and 19th Special Forces Group, is on the receiving end of threats from the Islamic State. (Army Times, Jan 13, 2016).

Multi-Intel Drones for SOF. "Army aviation special operators want new unmanned aircraft systems that can carry multiple sensors to collect vital intelligence from the battlefield . . . " Currently special operations forces have a variety of small and mid-sized drones that can do many different things. SOF wants and 'all in one' platform. Read more in "Army Special Operations Want Multi-Intelligence UAVs.", Defense News, January 14, 2016.

SO/LIC Director Lumpkin to State. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operation and Low Intensity Conflict (SOLIC), Mike Lumpkin, is in the mix for running the State Department's new Center for Global Engagement. He is a former U.S. Navy SEAL.