Special Operations News Update – 20170626

AC-130 Gunship

SOF News Update 20170626 – SOF Airmen get $$$ bonus, Norway extends Marines, Erik Prince in Somalia, Jordan’s spies, Lockheed’s C-130J-SOF, revival of Haruv (Israeli SOF), Afghanistan update, Lessons Learned from Iraq, and more.

Russia is Pissed as Norway Extends Marines. The Norwegian Defense Minister announced on June 23, 2017 that the U.S. Marines will continue rotational training and exercises in Norway through 2018. About 330 Marines have been stationed in Vaernes, Norway on a rotational basis. Russia is not very happy and relations between the two nations may very well sour for a bit of time. Read more in “Norway Announces 1-Year Extension for U.S. Marines”DoD, June 23, 2017.

Erik Prince’s Firm in Somalia. The founder of Blackwater – Erik Prince – is now busy in Africa (again). His firm – Frontier Services Group (FSG) – has reached an agreement to provide logistics, aviation services, and security services to support regional development in Somalia. “Blackwater founder’s FSG signs security deal with Somali region”Reuters, June 22, 2017.

Anthony Cordesman on Afghanistan. A scholar with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) was interviewed about Afghanistan. Cordesman provides his perspective and recommendations about the stability and security of Afghanistan in “One-Size-Fits-All Approach Fails in Afghanistan”The Cipher Brief, June 23, 2017.

Lessons Learned from Iraq Conflict. Two general officers, one U.S. and one Australia, write on observations and lessons learned from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq in “Theater Land Operations: Relevant Observations and Lessons from the Combined Joint Land Force Experience in Iraq”Military Review, June 22, 2017.

Haruv Revived – Israeli SOF Unit. An Israeli special operations unit has been rivived. The Haruv brigade specializes in anti-terror operations and urban combat. Read more in “Analysis: Israel revives Special Forces unit”Shepard News, June 23, 2017.

Jordan’s HUMINT. The spies of Jordan have been very crucial to the counterterrorism efforts of the United States. Jordan has a very effective intelligence effort that is one of the best in the region. U.S. SOF works very closely with Jordan’s special operations forces. The country is an ally in the fight against ISIS in Syria. However, it needs some help. The U.S. can be useful by providing some money, improving intelligence sharing, and building up Jordan’s drone capability. Read more in “America’s Best Partner in Middle East HUMINT Needs Help”Defense One, June 22, 2017.

Lockheed’s C-130J-SOF. The big aircraft firm – Lockheed Martin – is rolling out its latest SOF version of the C-130. Read more in “Lockheed Martin announces Special Forces C-130J for international customers”Australian Defence Magazine, June 22, 2017.

AFSOC Airmen Get Haz Pay Bonus. Special operations airmen have an extremely high optempo and the Air Force is trying to provide incentives to keep these skilled airmen in the service. The Air Force has come up with the “Battlefield Airmen Incentive Pay” that extends hazardous duty pay to spec ops airmen no longer on the battlefield. Read more in “Air Force to extend hazard pay for special operations personnel”Stars & Stripes, June 23, 2017.

(Photo: AC-130 Gunship, DoD photo)

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