Special Operations News Update 20171128

Sailors exit a Chinook during HALO parachute jump. (DoD photo July 20, 2017).
Sailors exit a Chinook during HALO parachute jump. (DoD photo July 20, 2017).

SOF News Update 20171128 – SOCOM sniper rifle, WWII naval gray zone activities, Ralph Peters on Africa, SWCS student dies, armed UN Little Birds in Mali, air opns in Afghanistan, 26,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, MARSOC recruiting video, AFSOC’s money people, SFC Cribben remembered, Afghan SMW graduates crew members from course, the golden age of SOF, shift of air assets from Middle East to Afghanistan, ASSF keep pressure on Taliban and ISIS, U.S. Army policy on beards, leaving the Kurds behind, and more.

SOCOM Sniper Rifle. The are a lot of different U.S. military sniper rifles. The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is trying to consolidate these variations into one rifle. The SOF command is looking for a rifle that will fire three different rounds – which would require three different rifle barrels. A rifle with three barrels reduces the weight carried (two less rifles and less magazines). Read “SOCOM asking rifle makers for single weapon to serve many sniper roles”Tampa Bay Times, November 22, 2017.

Do More in Africa? Ralph Peters, a former U.S. Army officer and Fox News commentator, tells us why we have SOF teams in Africa and questions if we shouldn’t be doing more. Read “Here’s what the US is doing in Africa”New York Post, November 25, 2017.

Armed UN Little Birds in Mali. The United Nations has deployed small helicopters in Mali to attack militants and evacuate casualties. (The Warzone, Nov 27, 2017).

MARSOC Recruiting Video. The Marines do good PR. Been that way for a long time. Read more about a MARSOC recruiting video in “This MARSOC recruiting video looks like a Hollywood movie”We Are the Mighty,  November 27, 2017.

The Golden Age of SOF. In a long article explaining what SOF is a writer confuses the reader referring to US Navy SEALs as ‘special forces’ (2nd para). Oh well. An interesting read despite that. See “The Golden Age of Special Operations Forces”E-International Relations, November 28, 2017.

SWCS Student Dies. PFC Nicholas Martinez had completed the Special Forces Preparatory and Conditioning Course and was awaiting additional training. He was found dead in his Fort Bragg barracks on Thanksgiving Day. (Fayetteville Observer, Nov 25, 2017).

Shift of Air Assets from Middle East to Afghanistan. One sign that the war in Iraq and Syria is winding down is the increase in air operations in Afghanistan. Read “War in Afghanistan Heats Up as Fight Against ISIS Winds Down”DoD Buzz, November 27, 2017.

Afghan SMW Graduates More Crew Members. The Special Mission Wing has 15 more qualified crew members with the recent graduation of students from its ‘Green Platoon’ course. (DVIDS, Nov 25, 2017).

ASSF Keep Pressure on ISIS-K and Taliban. Afghan Special Security Forces have inflicted heavy damage recently on the Taliban and ISIS-K in Nangarhar and Balkh provinces. (DVIDS, Nov 25, 2017).

SFC Cribben Remembered. SFC Stephen Cribben died in Afghanistan on November 4, 2017. He was a member of the 10th Special Forces. He is remembered by his family. (News Channel 13, Nov 27, 2017).

AFSOC’s Money People. Every operational mission and training exercise needs a funding mechanism. Learn more about AFSOC’s money people in “No Money No Mission”DVIDS, November 1, 2017.

Air Opns in Afghanistan. The U.S. Air Force is striking more targets in Afghanistan than at any other time since 2010. In October 2017 the Air Force conducted 653 air strikes. Read “US Aircraft Return to Surge-Level Operations in Afghanistan”Air Force Magazine, November 21, 2017.

Leaving the Kurds Behind. The U.S. had some very dependable allies in Iraq and Syria over the past few years in the fight against ISIS. And now that the fight is ‘almost’ over? Well, it’s time to look out for our strategic interests – sucking up to Russia and Turkey and cutting the support for the Kurds. (The Hill, Nov 27, 2017).

26,000 Troops. The Department of Defense has updated the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. (Military Times, Nov 27, 2017).

U.S. Army Policy on Beards. It appears those wanting to enhance their looks will be disappointed. (Task and Purpose, Nov 27, 2017).

WW II Naval Gray Zone Activities. A former naval surface warfare officer and military historian has penned an article describing naval gray zone activities against the Germans and Japanese during WW II. Read the article by Steven Wills in “Franklin D. Roosevelt, ‘Gray Zone’ Warrior”War on the Rocks, November 23, 2017.

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