SOF News Update 20180409 – Philippine’s AFP Socom is back, new cdr for 193rd SOSFS, pilots killed in Ft Campbell chopper crash, SOCOM’s WMD mission, how the assassins got their name, Marine Raider receives Silver Star, French SOF, GMV 1.1 for U.S. SOF, DoS to participate in Flintlock 2018, 1st Special Service Force – 75 years, British SOE, SOG vet recounts his time in Vietnam, HC-130J to CA ANG, film “Beirut”, “Ballad of the Green Beret” (by Cheers), and more.
Philippine’s AFP Socom is back. The Armed Forces of the Philippines Special Operations Command (AFP Socom) has been reactivated. The Philippines has unified all of its elite special units under one command. The intent is a strategy aimed at ensuring the cohesiveness of its specialized units and to improve interoperability and coordination. The United States has had special operations forces in the Philippines advising and training Philippine SOF for years. The Philippine Army’s Special Forces Regiment, Scout Ranger Regiment, and the Light Reaction Regiment will become part of the AFP Socom. Read more in “The Special Operations Command is Back“, Business Mirror (PH), April 8, 2018.
Pilots Killed in Ft Campbell Chopper Crash. Two warrant officers from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade were killed when their AH-64E Apache went down during a routine training mission at Fort Campbell. (Stars and Stripes, Apr 8, 2018).
DoS in Flintlock 2018. The U.S. Department of State will participate in the AFRICOM Flintlock exercise. This annual special operations forces exercise has taken place regularly since 2005 in Africa. Approximately 1,900 service members from 20 African and Western partner nations will participate in multiple locations in Niger, Burkina Faso, and Senegal during April 2018. Read “Department of State Participation in Flintlock 2018”, Department of State, April 6, 2018.
Film “Beirut”. In 1985 William Buckley was the CIA station chief in Beirut. He was kidnapped by Hezbollah and tortured to death. Buckley was also a Green Beret who served in Vietnam. A new movie is being released entitled Beirut about a CIA operative from Boston who is ‘retrieved’ by the Central Intelligence Agency to rescue a CIA station chief who was kidnapped in Beirut. The film is set in the 1980s and stars Jon Hamm a former CIA negotiator. Read “Tony Gilroy’s CIA kidnap thriller ‘Beirut’ comes to screen after a long wait”, Boston Herald, April 8, 2018.
SOCOM’s WMD Mission. DoD transferred the counter WMD mission from the U.S. Strategic Command to the U.S. Special Operations Command. This is a positive step according to two writers but it may not be quite enough to face the myriad challenges ahead. Read more in “The risks, and rewards, for giving the counter WMD mission to SOCOM”, Defense News, April 6, 2018.
SOG Vet Recounts His Time in Vietnam. A former Green Beret tells his story of his assignment to Command and Control South (CCS) Reconnaissance Team Auger. (Waco Tribune-Herald, April 8, 2018).
GMV 1.1 for U.S. SOF. The Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 is currently undergoing airborne drop testing. The GMV 1.1 is to a be an airdrop-capable, light off-road vehicle for special operations. It is designed to be internally transportable via CH-47 helicopters as well as on Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Read “Army tests new tactical vehicle by throwing it out of a perfectly fine aircraft”, Army Times, April 6, 2018.
HC-130J to CA ANG. The California Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing (RQW) has received a Combat King II combat search and rescue aircraft. (Cision PR Newswire, Apr 6, 2018).
1st Special Service Force – 75 Years. In 1943 the First Special Service Force marched through Helena, Montana on their way to Europe to fight in the Italian campaign during World War II. The FSSF was one of the units that U.S. Army Special Forces draws on for its historical origins. Read more in “Helena’s Fearsome Force”, Independent Record, April 6, 2018.
Marine Raider Receives Silver Star. A Marine was awarded the Silver Star for heroic actions that led to the rescue of dozens of hostages during the November 2015 terrorist attack on the Raddison Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali. (Marine Times, April 7, 2018).
Story on British SOE. During World War II a secret army of men and women were recruited for special operations and intelligence missions to fight against the German forces on the European continent. The Special Operations Executive was formed after the evacuation of British Expeditionary Forces from Dunkirk and the fall of France. (The Sun, April 6, 2018).
More SOE. The “Baker Street Irregulars” are featured in a new five-part BBC series called Secret Agent Selection: WWII. It is about 14 modern volunteers who undergo the same training that the original SOE recruits endured. (News.com.au, April 9, 2018).
Cheers and the Ballad of the Green Beret. Watch a five-minute clip of the popular show Cheers – a TV series about a bar in Boston – that features a version of the Ballad of the Green Beret. (YouTube.com).
French SOF. An recent article provides information about the special operations forces of France. Read “Special Forces: badly needed or imperious obligation?”, La Tribune, March 23, 2018.
How the Assassins Got Their Name. Read a short history about the assassins – a mix of fact and myth. (Warfare History Network, Jan 22, 2016).
New Cdr for 193rd SOSFS. The Special Operations Security Force Squadron has a new commander. (DVIDS, Apr 8, 2018).
Photo Credit: A 10th Special Forces Group is on patrol during a raid in Alingar district, Laghman province, Afghanistan. By SGT Connor Mendez, 10th SFGA, February 17, 2018.