SOF News Update for 20161009

U.S. Navy SEALs and Greek SF fastrope off tower during Greek military exercise. (Photo by SSG Marcus Fichtl, SOCEUR, 15 Sep 2016)
U.S. Navy SEALs and Greek SF fastrope off tower during Greek military exercise. (Photo by SSG Marcus Fichtl, SOCEUR, 15 Sep 2016)

SOF News Update for 20161009 – India’s COIN force and Paras, SOF operators and keeping secrets secret, U.S. SOF in Kunduz City fight, 281st Assault Helicopter Company remembered, SOF and PTSD, recognition for the OSS, JIDA (which used to be JIEDDO) is now called JIDO and is part of DTRA, CF and SOF interoperability, and more.

CF: SOF Screwed Up Ops. A book by Conrad Crane – Cassandra in Oz: Counterinsurgency and Future War – suggests that U.S. SOF screwed up things for the conventional ‘battlespace owners’. Hmmmm. Haven’t read the book so I can’t really comment. Read “Conrad Crane’s insider story on COIN doctrine: Spec Ops screwed up a lot of ops”Foreign Policy, October 3, 2016.

37 Rashtriya Rifles. An Indian military member of the Rashtriya Rifles is being held by Pakistan after having been captured just over the border in Pakistan. Learn more about the 37 Rashtriya Rifles – a force created in 1990 to fight terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir in a news report by News Nation (India), October 2, 2016.

India’s Paras. The Para Special Forces of India are specially trained for carrying out operations deep into enemy territory and engaging militants. Read more in “India turns to Para Special Forces for covert missions”The Economic Times, October 1, 2016.

SOF: Trouble Keeping Secrets Secret. United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has been fighting to keep its secrets secret but much of the problem stems from the SOF operators. Many point to the Navy SEALs as a big part of the problem; pointing out that “BUD/S” now stands for “Book Under Development / Soon”. Read more in “Special Operations: Secrets To Die From”Strategy Page, September 27, 2016.

Two U.S. Servicemen Wounded in Afghanistan. Resolute Support HQs reported that two military members were injured when their vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device on Saturday, October 8, 2016. The incident took place in Nangarhar province; the location where SSG Adam Thomas of the 10th Special Forces Group was recently killed by an IED during a dismounted patrol.

SOF and PTSD. An Army Special Forces general says that SOF personnel need to seek treatment or counseling if they feel they are experiencing PTSD. BG Don Bolduc, the commander of SOCAfrica, is featured in a news report “A General’s New Mission: Leading a Charge Against PTSD”The New York Times, October 7, 2016.

SOF in Kunduz City Fight. One year ago, in September 2015, the Taliban took Afghanistan’s 5th largest city – Kunduz City, a provincial capital. It took Afghan elite forces (advised by U.S. Special Forces and assisted by U.S. airstrikes) two weeks to re-capture the city from the Taliban. On Monday, October 3rd, the Taliban once again attacked Kunduz City from four directions. U.S. SOF are once again in the fight. Read more in “US Special operations ‘enablers’ in Kunduz as Taliban reportedly enter city”Stars & Stripes, October 3, 2016.

Original Navy SEALs Have a Reunion. Members of the original Navy SEAL Team One gathered recently for a reunion on Martha’s Vineyard just off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. They were all members of the first Navy SEAL training course conducted in the early 1960s. Read more in “Original Navy SEALs Celebrate a Reunion, and Old Ties that Bond”Vineyard Gazette, September 26, 2016.

SF Soldiers Talk About Partnerships in Iraq and Columbia. Representatives from the 5th and 7th Special Forces Group were in attendance at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting. While there they pointed to the lasting benefits from a long-term engagement with partner SOF units in Iraq and Colombia. Read more in a news report by Drew Brooks in The Fayetteville Observer, October 3, 2016.

281st Assault Helicopter Company (Vietnam-era) Honored. A memorial stone will be placed in Meadows Field Memorial Plaza outside the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, NC that honors a unknown helicopter unit that worked with the 5th Special  Forces Group and Project Delta in Vietnam. Read more in a news report by Aviation Pros, October 3, 2016.

From JIEDDO to JIDA to JIDO under DTRA. The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization was renamed to the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency. It is now called the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization and comes under the control of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Whew. Lots of acronyms there! Read more in “Improvised Threats Organization Becomes Part of Defense Threat Reduction Agency”U.S. DoD, October 3, 2016.

OSS: Recognition Hung Up in Congress. Many of the veterans of the World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS) – the predecessor of the CIA and U.S. Army’s Special Forces – are in their 90s and few of these OSS veterans are still alive. A bill to recognize the OSS and its members that would award the OSS – called the “OSS Congressional Gold Medal Act” – is hung up in Congress. Read more in “Legislation to honor heroic World War II-era spies hits regulatory snag on Capitol Hill”The Washington Times, October 3, 2016.

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