Special Operations News Update 20180302

1st SOS crew member looks out over the crash site of STRAY 59 - a MC-130E that crashed 37 years ago. (photo SSgt Matthew Fredericks, 18th Wing Public Affairs, Feb 26, 2018).
1st SOS crew member on a memorial flight looks out over the crash site of STRAY 59 - a MC-130E that crashed 37 years ago in the Philippines. (photo SSgt Matthew Fredericks, 18th Wing Public Affairs, Feb 26, 2018).

SOF News Update 20180302 – New rifle for the Army, 1st SFAB, Stan McChrystal on Afghanistan and CT, Operation Gunnerside, Afghan GCPSU growing, book reviews, lasers for AC-130, Gary Rose, expeditionary advising, Gov Greitens in hot water, GB Gazette, SOF’s WMD mission, CANSOF and intel, and more.

New Rifle for the Army? The Department of Defense has established a task force to make American small arms more lethal – giving grunts an extra advantage in the close fight. The intent is to have U.S. infantrymen be able to overmatch any adversary. Included in this study is the possibility of a new rifle to replace the M16 rifle and M4 carbine. Read more in “Combat Troops Have Been Complaining about the M4 and M16 for Years. Now The Pentagon is Doing Something About It”Task and Purpose, February 28, 2018.

SFAB – New Kid on the Block. The 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) has arrived in Afghanistan. Formed up just last August 2017 – the unit has gone through an intensive training program to gear it up to provide 36 combat advisor teams across Afghanistan. Tom McCuin, a retired Army CA / PA officer provides his thoughts on the Army’s newest unit in “Training Missions Overseas – Army Puts an End to Overseas Advisor Role Debate”ClearanceJobs.com, February 27, 2018.

Operation Gunnerside – 75th Anniversary. Norwegian commandos executed an extremely significant and dangerous raid to deny the Nazis of heavy water that could be used to manufacture an atomic bomb. Read more (Scientific American, Feb 23, 2018).

Expeditionary Combat Medic Program. The Army just finished a pilot program for a new medical course to prepare medics to provide treatment in future battles with near-peer enemies. Read “Combat medics train to keep the wounded alive beyond the ‘golden hour'”Army Times, March 1, 2018.

Review of New Bo Gritz Movie. Peter Bradshaw takes a peak at the new movie (Jan 2018) about former Green Beret and highly-decorated Vietnam veteran in “Erase and Forget review – real-life Rambo finally gets his own movie”The Guardian, March 2, 208.

Money Boost for USSOCOM. The US Special Operations Command will increase its personnel ranks with about another 1,700 bringing its total to about 71,200. It will also pick up more money for equipment, base funding, and development. Read “Big SOCOM Budget Boost Goes to People, AI – & More”Breaking Defense, March 1, 2018.

Afghan GCPSU Grows. The Afghan Ministry of Interior’s General Command Police Special Units is continuing to grow. The largest group of students in history recently graduated from the 26-week Special Police Qualification Course at the Afghan Special Police Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan. The graduates will fill out the existing National Mission Units of the GCPSU as well as provide police for three new NMUs soon to be established. (NSOCC-A, Feb 22, 2018).

“The Guy With the Marker” and the Whiteboard Solution. This is an excellent article on how to solve problems. Through out MDMP and use a whiteboard. “The Whiteboard Solution”Maximum Disclosure, March 2, 2018.

Proceedings Podcast. A Navy SEAL – Colin Supko – talks about his combat experience and how it’s served him as he created Patriot List, his startup business. Real Clear Defense, March 2, 2018.

School Shootings and Sheepdogs. Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, provides his perspective on school shootings and methods of preventing them in “Sheepdogs Wanted”RealClearPolitics, March 1, 2018.

USSOCOM’s WMD Mission. The U.S. Special Operations Command is now in the lead for the counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction mission. Some SOF leaders are scrambling to figure out how to do this mission with the resources currently available. Read “SOCOM Grappling With New Counter-WMD Mission”Military.com, March 1, 2018.

Navy SEALs and Trump’s Wall. A Fox News contributor stated that Navy SEALs were unable to breach prototypes for the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall in test scenarios. However, the folks at NSW Command said no SEALs were involved in the testing. (The Hill, Mar 1, 2018).

New Commander for SOJTF-A. It looks like an Air Force two-star will be commanding the Special Operations Joint Task Force – Afghanistan. Major General Albert Elton has been selected to command the SOF unit the commands U.S. and other coalition SOF units in Afghanistan. Read his bio here:

Gary Rose – SF Officer and MoH Recipient. Gary Rose was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Read an account of his story in a recent article in the March – April 2018 issue of Military Review.

New Senior NCO for Army SOA. The Army’s Special Operations community has a new top enlisted man. Read “Army Special Operations Aviation Command welcomes new top NCO”The Fayetteville Observer, February 22, 2018.

Expeditionary Advising in Iraq. Three Army officers with recent experience in Iraq outline how their unit providing advise and assistance to Iraq forces during the initial phase to take Mosul from the Islamic State. Read “Expeditionary Advising: Enabling Iraqi Operations from the Gates of Baghdad through Eastern Mosul”Small Wars Journal, February 22, 2018.

Gov Greitens Indicted. Former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens has run afoul of the law – something about a compromising photo of a women with whom he had an affair with. Read “Missouri Gov. Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, indicted”Navy Times, February 23, 2018.

Video – The Road Not Taken. Book author and military historian Max Boot takes part in a panel discussion with Peter Bergen about his new book entitled The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam, New America, February 22, 2018 (1 hour).

CANSOF and Intel. The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command has awarded a number of contracts to firms that provide intelligence services. Read more in “Canada is using private intelligence contractors for its special forces”Vice News, March 1, 2018.

Lasers for AC-130 Gunship? The Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) is looking to put lasers on gunships. AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. Brad Webb spoke to reporters about the program. “AFSOC Boss Cautiously Optimistic Laser Program Will Move Forward”Air Force Magazine, February 22, 2018.

Green Beret Foundation Gazette. The biweekly newsletter has been emailed and posted online. Stories related to the Special Forces community, upcoming fundraising events, SF retirees running for Congress, 2018 Army Spouse of the Year, and more. The Green Beret Foundation’s bi-weekly newsletter is edited and published by Katelyn Haglof – a niece of SSG Matthew Pucino.

Stan McChrystal on Afghanistan and CT. The Yale University Jackson Institute for Global Affairs hosted a panel discussion about Afghanistan and counterterrorism on February 23, 2018. The two key participants were former Secretary of State John Kerry and General (Ret) Stan McChrystal. Watch the 1 1/2 hour long video.

Photo Credit. The top photo is of a memorial flight to honor the crew and passengers lost when a 1st SOS MC-130E crashed during an exercise – killing eight crew members and 15 passengers.

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