Special Operations News Update 20171106

P3M Micro Navigation Board used by 7th Special Forces Group in dive training with Chilean Special Forces during exercise Southern Strike 2018 (Photo by SGT Connie Jones, 102d Public Affairs Detachment, 31 October 2017).
P3M Micro Navigation Board used by 7th Special Forces Group in dive training with Chilean Special Forces during exercise Southern Strike 2018 (Photo by SGT Connie Jones, 102d Public Affairs Detachment, 31 October 2017).

SOF News Update 20171106 – SF selection in 1963, surprise visitor to 1st Marine Raider Ball, SF soldier KIA in Vietnam still remembered, 5th SFGA NCO receives award, staying the course in Afghanistan, ‘insider attacks’ in Afghanistan, death of Green Beret in Mali under investigation, Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, Rangers win “Best Medic Competition”, Intel section provides background for SOF exercise, Erik Prince for Senate, ‘Beret Flap”, search and rescue helicopters, SEAL Cdr receives award, and more.

SF Selection in 1963. An interesting report produced 54 years ago in 1963 describes some of the early history of Special Forces recruitment and selection.The Special Warfare Center requested research assistance on attrition and utilization problems among Special Forces personnel. The Army Personnel Research Office in Washington, D.C. published a report with findings to assist in recruitment and selection of Soldiers for SF. Read Research on Combat Selection and Special Forces Manpower Problems – Status Report, DSCPER, 1963.

Elon Musk Visits Marine Raiders. Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a surprise visit to the the 1st Marine Raider Battalion Ball. (Business Insider, Nov 3, 2017).

SF Soldier KIA in Vietnam Still Remembered. Robert D. Herreid was declared missing and later KIA in Vietnam. He was shot in October 1968 and his body never recovered. But he is still remembered by family and community. (Chicago Tribune, Nov 3, 2017).

Rangers win Medic Competition. Two Army Rangers from the 75th Ranger Regiment won the “Best Medic Competition” recently held at Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis, Texas. “Army Times, Nov 3, 2017).

Erik Prince for Senate. Former SEAL, founder of Blackwater, and a ‘war entrepreneur’ is weighing a run for Senate in Wyoming. (NBC News, Nov 5, 2017).

“Beret Flap”. A former Green Beret, Scott Neil, says a colored beret does not make a good advisor. (Army Times, Nov 4, 2017).

Intel Shop Contributes to Exercise Southern Strike. Every exercise has a scenario that guides the activities and events to ensure the participating units achieve their training objectives and goals. Currently Southern Strike 2018 is underway in Mississippi and the people operating in the background are hard at work. Some of those ‘background’ folks prepare the intelligence products (graphics, maps, spot reports, country studies, intelligence annex, etc.). Read up what keeps Intel folks from 2nd Battalion 20th Special Forces Group busy in a press release by Army.mil, November 2, 2017.

SEAL Receives Award. Cmdr. Brian Drechsler received an award for his leadership of SEAL Team 5 earlier this year in Iraq during the battle for Mosul. (Navy Times, Nov 4, 2017).

Four Legendary SAR Helicopters. When pilots get shot down or personnel are isolated they are many times rescued by SAR helicopters. One recent article describes four choppers used over the past several decades. Read “4 Legendary Search and Rescue Helicopters”We Are The Mighty, November 2, 2017.

5th SFGA NCO Receives Award. SFC Michael Minken was awarded the Medaille de Lafayette during the JFKSWCS NCO Academy Master Leader Course graduation. (Fayetteville Observer, Nov 3, 2017).


Death of Green Beret in Mali Under Investigation. Two Navy SEALs are persons of interest in the June 2017 death of an Army Green Beret in Bamako, Mali. One of the two Navy SEAL Team 6 operators is a former professional mixed martial arts fighter. The Green Beret, SSG Logan Melgar of 3rd Special Forces Group, died during a ‘grappling’ incident. A medical examiner determined that Melgar died of “homicide by asphyxiation” (strangulation). (The Intercept, Nov 4, 2017).

Navy SEAL Ryan Owens. Ryan Owens’ brother talks about Ryan’s secret mission in Somalia and his death in Yemen in “Ryan Owens, Navy SEAL Killed in Yemen, Was Braver Than America Knew”The Daily Beast, November 5, 2017.

Green Beret’s Suicide Questioned. SFC Zachary Bannister of 3rd Special Forces Group was found dead early one morning at a weapons firing range in Manda Bay, Kenya. His family questions the investigation into his death. (Army Times, Nov 5, 2017).


Insider Attacks in Afghanistan. Read about (and listen to a podcast) about a green on blue incident in Feb 2012 that killed two U.S. Army MPs at FOB Connolly in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. Read “An Insider Attack: FOB Connolly (Feb 2012)”Afghan War Blog, November 5, 2017.

SIGAR Report – Not What it Used to Be. Each quarter the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction issues a report on the status of security, governance, and development in Afghanistan. This latest report is missing some details that used to be provided by the United States Armed Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). Read more in “Afghan War Data, Once Public, Is Censored in U.S. Military Report”The New York Times, October 30, 2017.

“Staying the Course in Afghanistan”. General (Ret) Stan McChrystal and Kosh Sadat (former Afghan SOF) write why we need to keep on track in Afghanistan. They say staying the course is the least worst option. Foreign Affairs, November / December 2017.

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