SOF News Weekly Update for 20160828 – Special Forces maritime exercise, video games and special operations heroes, fastroping, SOCEUR, 10th SFGA, CRU, Human Terrain Teams, new insignia for MARSOC, and more.
SOCEUR Conducts Fastrope Training. Members of the 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces group based in Germany have recently completed fastrope training with the support of Army National Guard Task Force. The task force is on a long tour in Germany supporting Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR). In addition to the fastrope training the chopper crews have conducted static line and HALO parachute drops for Navy SEALs and Marine special operators. Read more in “ARNG Helicopter Taskforce hones skill with SOCEUR”, DVIDS, August 16, 2016.
Greek & Spanish SF in Maritime Opns. An international maritime exercise took place off the coast of Egypt where Greek and Spanish Special Forces boarded a Canadian ship. View some neat photos posted online by the Ottawa Citizen, August 21, 2016.
New Insignia for MARSOC. The “Marine Special Operator Insignia” will be awarded to Marines at the completion of the Individual Training Course (ITC). Read more in “MARSOC to Receive New Breast Insignia”, Marines.mil, August 22, 2016. See also “Here’s the story behind the Marine Corps’ new recognition for elite operators”, Marine Corps Times, August 23, 2016.
Canadian SF Cdr Faces Court Martial. Canada’s top special forces officer accidentally fired his rifle during a visit to Canadian Special Operations Forces in northern Iraq in December 2015. He faces a court martial due to this event. Read more in a news report by The National Post, August 24, 2016.
British SAS Augmented with PR Assets for Iraq. British Special Air Service operating in Iraq will get their own dedicated personnel recovery capability. Read more in “Fight against ISIS: SAS gets rescue unit for war on jihadists”, Sunday Express, August 28, 2016.
Videos Games and SOF Heroes. For a long time video games centered on easily defined ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ from the World War II era, super heroes like Batman and Robin, and other themes where the hero’s mission was easily portrayed. The long war on terror has made things somewhat gray for the video game developers. But, fortunately, the developers have the ‘special operations world’ in which to build their fantasy videos. Read more in “Why Video Games Love Special Forces Heroes”, Vice.com, August 21, 2016.
HTT w/ SF Team in Afghanistan. A member of a Human Terrain Team (HTT) who served 18 months in Afghanistan writes her experiences with a Special Forces team in Kapisa province in “They Know Our Pain”, Small Wars Journal, August 22, 2016.
US SOF on Missions Every Night in Afghanistan. According to Army BG Charles Cleveland, the Resolute Support public affairs officer in Afghanistan, US SOF are running missions with the Afghan SOF forces every night. Read more in a news report by The Hill Defense Blog, August 25, 2016.
South African Special Forces Get New Parachute. According to DefenceWeb (25 Aug 2016) the SA SF are testing a new high altitude parachute system.
Top Afghan SOF Operator Dies. A senior member of the Afghan Crisis Response Unit (CRU) died during the hostage situation at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. Read more in “Top SOF commander dubbed as Greek Hero ‘Achilles’ martyred in Kabul attack”, Khaama Press, August 25, 2016.
Army Ranger Dies in Parachute Jump. According to an Army Times news report a U.S. Army Ranger has died in a training parachute jump.
CANSOF to be Assisted by CF in Niger. Currently there is a small detachment of Canadian special operations personnel in Niger training up the Niger’s military. After Christmas that mission will transfer over to conventional forces of the Canadian Army. Learn more in a news report by the National Post, August 26, 2016.