Special Operations News Update 20161218

SOF Operator - Image from USSOCOM 2016 Factbook

SOF News Update for 20161218 – Iraq’ Golden Division, OSS veterans honored by Congress, Navy SEALs in Serbia, Navy SEAL for Interior secretary, Fox News video on ‘shadow warriors’, Navy SEALs and what Hollywood gets wrong, SOCEUR re-enacts D-Day parachute drops, Russian SOF in Aleppo, and more.

Iraq’s 1st Special Operations Brigade. The “Golden Division” (once called the “Golden Brigade” and “Dirty Division) is part of the Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Service (CTS). It is in the lead for the fight for Mosul – as it has been in the lead for the fight against the Islamic State for other cities of Iraq over the past two years. However, there is a price for being good. The Iraqi regime continues to overuse the Golden Division and its losses are appalling. Soon it will be – some say by the end of the Mosul fight- combat ineffective. So while Mosul will go down as a political and military victory there is concern of what unit will exist to keep the peace among the different factions of Iraqi political landscape. Read more in “How Iraq’s Army Could Defeat ISIS in Mosul – But Lose Control of the Country”Politico Magazine, December 15, 2015.

Fox News Video on “Gray Zone”. Watch a short (2 min) video by Fox News on the U.S. shadow warriors fighting across the globe.

Russians Targeting UK with ‘Hybrid Warfare’. It appears that senior members of the United Kingdom government are getting concerned with some aggressive maneuvering on the part of the Russians. Read more in “Russia wages unconventional warfare on Britain”The Weekend Australian, December 17, 2016.

Russian SOF in Aleppo. Russian special operations forces are heavily engaged in the ground fight for Aleppo, Syria. Read “The elite Russian special forces who took over Crimea are doing the same thing in Aleppo”Business Insider, December 16, 2016.

Navy SEALs train with Serbian Unit. Members of U.S. Naval Special Warfare Unit 2 – assigned to Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) – spent two weeks on a Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) with the Serbian Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (SAJ) this past November / December. Read more in “Navy SEALs builds relations with Serbian forces”DVIDS, December 15, 2016.

SOCEUR and D-Day Jumps. Over a year ago, in July 2015, special operations forces from Special Operations Command Europe conducted parachute jumps over Sainte-Mere-Eglise, France in an observance of the D-Day parachute drop 71 years earlier. Watch a little bit of history and some present day parachuting in this 3-min long video in SOCEUR D-Day Drops, DVIDS, posted 16 Dec 2016.

Navy SEAL to be Secretary of Department of Interior. A retired Navy SEAL and congressional representative from Montana has been selected to be the secretary of Interior by President-Elect Trump. “Who is Ryan Zinke?”, Voice of America, December 15, 2016.

OSS Veterans Honored by Congress. President Obama signed legislation that honors veterans of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) with the Congressional Gold Medal for their service and contributions during World War II. The OSS was the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Army Special Forces. Read more in a news report by Augusta Free Press, Dec 16, 2016.

Hollywood, Movies, and SEALs. There’s lots of movies that have been made about the U.S. Navy SEALs. Some are near factual while others are . . . well, entertaining. Listen to “Former Navy SEALs reveal what Hollywood gets wrong about them”Business Insider, December 17, 2016.

SOCSouth Members Recognized by Colombia. Three SOCSouth members received the “Military Medal” during a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia for their efforts in supporting a Colombian military institute. DVIDS, Dec 6, 2016.

(Featured image at top from USSOCOM 2016 Factbook)

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