Special Operations Forces (SOF) News Update – June 21, 2017

SOF Range Firing
SOF Range Firing. Photo credit USSOCOM June 18, 2017.

SOF News Update 20170621 – SOF general officer assignments, 7th SFGA CoC ceremony, WWII era Chindits, USSF birthday, USSOCOM eyes JLTV, profile of the executive director of the Green Beret Foundation, South Korean and U.S. SOF, photos of ‘SAS Wanderers’, Harris radio contract, 65th birthday of SF, Qatar SOF, and more.

Canadian special operations trooper conducts high altitude low opening (HALO) parachute jump. (photo credit Canadian forces)
Canadian special operations trooper conducts high altitude low opening (HALO) parachute jump. (photo credit Canadian forces)

7th SFGA CoC Ceremony. On Thursday, June 15, 2017 the 7th Special Forces Group held a change of command ceremony for it’s group commander. Colonel Michael Ball relinquished command of 7th SFGA to Colonel Patrick Colloton. The incoming commander has previously served with 7th SFGA as an ODA, company, and battalion commander. He graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) in 2001. Hmmmm. Young fella. It appears that 7th SFGA has adopted the name of “Red Empire” – not sure where that comes from. Read more in “Red Empire welcomes familiar face to take command”, Army.mil, June 19, 2017.

JLTV a Possibility for SOF. Various service components are eyeing the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle as their next generation multipurpose combat vehicle. United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is also interested – probably for their tactical air control elements and pararescuemen. Read “Everyone Wants a Piece of the New JLTV”Task & Purpose, June 19, 2017.

65th Birthday of SF. Bob Mayer, book author and former Green Beret, shares his thoughts on the birthday of U.S. Army Special Forces in Special Forces turns 65 today, bobmayer.com, June 19, 2017.

Photos of “SAS Wanderers”. A collection of photographs has surfaced of British SAS Soldiers in Europe and Norway during World War II. (Daily Mail, June 19, 2017).

U.S. and S. Korean SOF. Tensions are rising on the Korean Peninsula. The Korean War, which has never formally ended, could flare up again. What role would United States and South Korean special operations forces have in another Korean conflict? Colonel (Ret) David Maxwell – a retired Green Beret and Associate Director for the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University – provides his thoughts in “How U.S., South Korean Special Ops Would Join Forces in a New Korean War”The Cipher Brief, June 18, 2017.

Harris Corps Gets Big Contract. The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has awarded Harris Corporation with a $255 million contract for next-generation manpack radios. (Business Wire, June 19, 2017).

Qatar SOF. The small Middle Eastern country of Qatar has been in the news lately. President Trump managed to insert himself into the middle of a dispute between Saudi Arabia, UAE, and other MENA countries and the country of Qatar by ‘tweeting’ about Qatar’s support of terrorists. Qatar is currently the recipient of an economic and diplomatic offensive by a number of countries due to differences in politics, diplomacy, and regional alignment (with a little ‘gas’ politics mixed in). Iran and Turkey, on the other hand, appear to be quite supportive of Qatar. It is unknown if President Trump was aware that Qatar hosts a U.S. naval base, air base, CENTCOM Forward, SOCCENT Forward, and ‘other SOF’ units for a total of about 11,000 service members. Read an article about Qatar SOF in “Qatar – Special Operational Forces”New Delhi Times, June 19, 2017.

Trial of Jordanian Soldier Who Killed Three SF. The trial is ongoing for the soldier who shot and killed three Green Berets of 5th Special Forces Group on a Jordanian air base on November 4, 2016. Read “Witnesses Describe Jordan Shooting That Killed 3 US Troops”Military.com, June 19, 2017.

Chindits in WWII. Read the story of a member, who recently passed away, of the World War II Long Range Penetration Group or “Chindits”. (Stourbridge News, June 19, 2017).

AFSOC GO Assignment. Vincent Becklund – currently deputy chief for the Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq – is to be the special assistant to the commander of Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Story about Green Beret Foundation Exec Dir. Jennifer Paquette, the Executive Director of the Green Beret Foundation, is profiled in an inspiring story entitled “Hope Dealer: Jennifer Paquette”House of Healing, June 18, 2017.

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