SOF News Update 20170629 – Entry into Australian SOF, USSOCOM tests laser weapons on Apache helicopter, 60th Anniversary for 1st SFGA, USAF SOF conducts refueling exercise, foreign weapons for USSOCOM, SF team instructs Hondurans on 106-mm RR (history), Operation Red Wings, UDT / SEAL Museum conducts renovation, Kony and LRA, and more.
Australian SOF fitness assessment and workout. It is hard to get into the special operations forces of Australia. The SOF units include the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS), two Commando Regiments, and five other SOF specialist units. Read about the fitness test and subsequent evaluation for entry in “Are You Special Forces Material”, Australian Men’s Health, June 2017.
60th Anniversary for 1st SFG. The 1st Special Forces Group recently observed their 60th Anniversary by holding an outdoor event that taxed its participants and required them to have a knowledge of Special Forces history reaching back several decades. Read more in “1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Celebrates 60th Anniversary with Living History Training Event”, DVIDS, June 23, 2017.
Operation Red Wings. In late June through mid-July 2005 Operation Red Wings took place in the Pech district, Kunar province, Afghanistan. It would turn into a tragedy as 19 U.S. lives were lost. A four-man SEAL reconnaissance element was compromised (3 KIA, 1 WIA) and a rescue mission resulted in a crashed helicopter with more lives lost. Wikipedia has a detailed account of the event. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Red_Wings
USSOCOM Tests Helicopter Laser. The United States Special Operations Command – along with the U.S. Army and Raytheon – have tested a helicopter-borne offensive laser. (The Washington Times, June 27, 2017).
Joseph Kony & LRA: Mission Accomplished? Ever since October 2011 U.S. Army Special Forces have deployed small elements to Uganda (and some nearby countries) to assist several African nations (principally Uganda) in the search for the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The group has been whittled down to about 100 fighters and the U.S. has closed down the advise and assist mission called Observant Compass. Read more in “$800 Million Later, Joseph Kony Is Still a Threat”, Foreign Policy, June 28, 2017.
WWII Gallery at Navy UDT-SEAL Museum. Renovations are being made to the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida that will highlight the exploits of frogmen during World War II. (Tampa Bay Palm, June 27, 2017).
Some History – SF Team & 106-mm RR & FID South of the Border. Read a historical account of a 7th Special Forces team heading to Honduras to instruct a host nation unit on the employment of the 106-mm Recoilless Rifle. See “Those Green Berets Sure Taught You How to Shoot Straight”, Special Operations, June 28, 2107.
Foreign Weapons for USSOCOM. The U.S. Special Operations Command has the ability to purchase foreign weapons for its operations overseas. It’s streamline contract process can result in (sometimes) quick turnarounds for fielding weapons to ‘proxie’ forces across the world. There are many factors involved to include purchasing safe and reliable weapons at a competitive price. Many times the foreign weapons are bought from firms based overseas. One U.S. foreign weapons manufacturer has some heartburn (go figure). Read “Weapons maker wants SOCOM to heed Trump’s ‘Buy American’ edict”, Tampa Bay Times, June 26, 2017.
353rd SOG and JASDF Work Together. The 353rd Special Operations Group based at Kadena Air Base, Japan recently trained with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) during Exercise Teak Jet in June 2017. Read “USAF and JASDF complete Black Hawk air refueling exercise”, AirMed & Rescue TV, June 27, 2017.
SOF Integration – 1st SFG and 2nd Infantry Div. SOF and conventional forces trained together at Yakima training center, Washington during Exercise Bayonet Focus 2017 to enhance their ability to work together during operations. Read “1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) SOF Integration”, DVIDS, June 17, 2017.