SOF News Update – August 2, 2016

Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat

A lot a special operations forces (SOF) news today. British SAS selection, combat divers, book by a Ranger sniper, SOF vehicles, Ranger Hall of Fame, and some neat videos.

Seahawks Spend Day with Combat Divers. A few players from the NFL team got to spend a day with Combat Divers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The favor was returned when the Special Forces team members spent a day at the Seahawks training camp. Read “Doug Baldwin, Seahawks Pay Tribute to Combat Divers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord”,, July 31, 2016.

Proposed Law to Limit British PM in Use of Special Forces. According to a news report Jeremy Corby – the Labour leader – thinks that Britain should have a US-style war powers act to prevent secret missions without a paramilitary vote. Read “Jeremy Corbyn calls for law to limit PM’s powers to deploy special forces”, The Guardian, August 1, 2016.

Interview – “Way of the Reaper”. Former Army Ranger Nicholas Irving has written a book about his experiences serving with the Ranger Regiment in Iraq and Afghanistan as a sniper.

Special Operations Vehicles. The past several years, with combat campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations – have seen major advancements in the design and fielding of vehicles for special operations forces. Read an in-depth article on the topic in “Special Operations Vehicles”, Special Operations International, July 19, 2016.

SOCEUR Hosts Jump Week. The Special Operations Command Europe hosted the 2nd Annual International Jump Week in Stuttgart, Germany from July 25-29, 2016. Jumpers from Belguim, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Lativia, and the UK joined US paratroopers to conduct HALO and static line parachute jumps. Read more in “Paratroopers reinforce bonds during IJW2016”, DVIDS, July 29, 2016.

Description of British SAS Selection. The selection process for the SAS lasts over 5 months and has a 90 per cent fail rate. The “Special Forces Aptitude Test” is required for entry into the 22 SAS, the Territorial Army’s SAS reserve units, and the Special Boat Service (SBS).  There are two courses a year – winter and summer. Read more in “Tested to destruction: the terrifying selection process for British SAS”,, August 1, 2016.

Top Ten. A recent news report lists the top ten SF units around the globe. Read “The Top Ten Special Forces Units in the World”, Gazette Review, July 30, 2016. Hmmmm.

New Members of Ranger Hall of Fame. Fifteen retired Rangers were inducted into the 2016 Ranger Hall of Fame class in a recent ceremony. Read “Ranger Hall of Fame welcomes 2016 Inductees”,, July 20, 2016.

Mandatory Military Service – Not Needed. Retired Green Beret Scott Mann provides us some reasons why we don’t need the draft in a short video posted by Business Insider (August 1, 2016).

Memorial for Navy SEAL. “A memorial for slain Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle has been unveiled in the West Texas city where he was born in 1974”. See a news report by Army Times, July 29, 2016.

Video of MARSOC Individual Training Course. Watch a 3-min long video of MARSOC training.

Technology and SOF. Special operators operate in many challenging environmental regions of the world. Technology can assist the SOF personnel in the performance of their mission. The United States Special Operations Command is constantly updating the uniforms and equipment that SOF operators wear. Read more in “Wearable Technology Could Change How Special Operations Forces Fight”National Defense Magazine, August 2016.

USASOC Jumpmaster School. Learn how tough it is to graduate from the three-week long jumpmaster school run by USASOC at Fort Bragg in “USASOC Paratroopers strive to be leaders in the sky”DVIDS, August 1, 2016.

Secret Aussie Commandos Honored. Surviving members of a secret Australian command unit – “Z Special Unit” – sent into occupied Asia to fight the Japanese during World War II were recently honored. Read “After 7 decades, memorial of Z Special commandos”The Australian, August 2, 2016.

Video of Artillery Training. Watch an 8-minute long video of artillery training by 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment of the Massachusetts Army National Guard. They are conducting their annual training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. Video by SSgt Caitlin Jones, and posted by DVIDS.

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