SOF News Update: RAND report on Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Marine Combatant Divers, book review, importance of language & cultural training in military, interview with cdr of NSW, and obesity in the military services.
Marine Combatant Diver School. The Marines have a long history of combat divers going back to World War II when they worked alongside U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT). Currently the Marines run the Marine Combatant Dive School at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center at Naval Support Activity Panama City in Panama City Beach, Florida. Read about this valuable MAGTF asset in “Marine Combatant Divers”, Leatherneck, August 2015.
GCC Report by RAND. The cohesion of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is examined by authors from RAND Corporation in a report entitled The Outlook for Arab Gulf Cooperation (August 2016). This 100-page report examines factors that bind and divide the six GCC states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The report addresses the political, economic, and security dimensions over the next ten years – and looks at the post-conflict era of Libya and Yemen.
Brit SF on Ground in Syria. Pictures of UK special forces Thalab long range patrol vehicles on the ground in Syria have been published by the British Broadcasting Company. See “UK special forces pictured on the ground in Syria“, BBC, August 8, 2016.
Service Members Getting Fatter & DoD Is Worried. In 2001 only 1.6 percent of the force was considered obese; that figure tripled to 5.3 percent in 2010. The method of gauging health and physical fitness is under review. Read more in “Spooked by obesity trends, the U.S. military is redefining its basic fitness standards”, Military Times, August 7, 2016.
Book Review – “They Were Heroes”. Sgt. Maj. David K. Devaney, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired, has wrote a book that commemorates the heroism and sacrifices Marines made in the Iraq and Afghan wars. The book has three parts: stories of battles in Iraq, battles in Afghanistan, and those stories by casualty assistance officers. Read a book review posted in Military Review, July-August 2016.
Importance of Language, History, and Culture. Many years ago advanced degrees in social sciences for military officers was considered a waste of time by some. But in today’s world it is vitally important. Read “Foreign Language and History: The Enlightened Study of War”, Military Review, July-August 2016.
U.S. SOF Equipment Captured by Taliban. It appears that some equipment used by U.S. special operations (some news reports say U.S. Army Rangers) in a recent operation in eastern Afghanistan may have been captured by the Taliban. Read more in a recent Washington Post news report (Aug 8, 2016).
State of NSW. In an interview from late June, 2016 Rear Admiral Brian Losey reviews the state of the Naval Special Warfare Command.