SOF News Update 20180608 – Reduced SOF deployments in Africa, Marine Raiders, new SOCSouth cdr, new strategy for Nigeria, Air & Space Power Journal, TRIDENT JAGUAR 2018, Best Warrior Competition, Army modernization, USAF CAA career field, caffeination, SF dive school, Yemen – the Forgotten War, Slovak SOAT completes Afghan tour, USSOCOM’s ‘Splash of Color Run’, SOCOM and North Korea, Indonesia reactivates JSOC, AFSOC’s U-28, operational planning for SOF, and more.
Indonesia Reactivates JSOC. The Indonesian government has reactivated the Joint Special Operations Command in response to terrorism fears. (Shepard Media, June 5, 2018).
Slovak SOAT Completes Afghan Tour. The Slovak Special Operations Advisory Team completed its six-month tour training the Afghan Commandos at an Afghan training base near Kabul, Afghanistan. (NATO, June 4, 2018).
UAE SF to train ANDSF. The Afghan government has approved the special forces of the United Arab Emirates to once again operate in Afghanistan. Their mission will be to assist in the train, advise, and assist mission led by NATO. (Kharma Press, June 6, 2018).
SOCOM’s ‘Splash of Color’. Those special operator veterans who live in the Tampa, Florida region had the opportunity to observe or participate in USSOCOM’s LGBTQ Pride Splash of Color Run held on the morning of Friday, June 8th. File this under . . . .
‘Marine Raiders’ or ‘What’s in a Name?’ The Marines renamed the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) to Marine Raiders. But not all Marine historians were in agreement on the name change. Read more in “Use of Raider Moniker For Modern Special Ops Marines Was Hotly Contested Internally”, The WarZone, June 5, 2018.
New SOCSouth Commander. BG Tony Fletcher has taken command of Special Operations Command South at Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida. He has a long history in SF – and 7th SFGA. (SOCSouth DVIDS, June 5, 2018).
SOCOM’s Challenges. Col (Ret) David Maxwell, a retired Special Forces officer and frequently commentator on the Korean peninsular, provides his thoughts on the challenges facing U.S. special operations in Korea and around the world. Read more in “SOCOM’s New Challenge in North Korea and Beyond”, The Cipher Brief, June 7, 2018.
AFSOC Cdr Visits Museum. Lt. Gen. Brad Webb paid a visit to the Robins Air Force Base Museum of Aviation and got reunited with a MH-53 M “Pave Low IV” that he used fly when he commanded the 20th Special Operations Squadron. (DVIDS, June 5, 2018).
AFSOC’s U-28. The Air Force Special Operations Command has a number of small, repurposed Pilatus PC-12 aircraft that it uses for Intelligence Reconnaissance and Surveillance (ISR) missions. These non-standard aircraft can land in small semi-prepared airfields in remote areas of the world in support of SOF ground elements. Read more in “AFSOC’s U-28 Proves Its Value in ISR Mission”, Military.com, June 6, 2018.
Best Warrior Competition. A 7th Special Forces Group soldier won the Best Warrior Competition recently held at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. (NWF Daily News, June 4, 2018).
SOF Operational Planning. SOF and Joint Force Planners need to understand the characteristics of special operations in order to operate and effectively complete below the threshold of armed conflict (Gray Zone). With an understanding of the ‘dark arts’ the Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOCs) and SOF planners can develop more effective strategic and operational plans. Read Chad M. Pillai’s article entitled “The Dark Arts: Application of Special Operations in Joint Strategic and Operational Plans”, Small Wars Journal, June 7, 2018.
Army SF NG Soldier Runs for Congress. Green Beret Matt Reel is a candidate for Congress in Tennessee’s 7th District. (Brentwood Home Page, June 4, 2018).
Podcast on Nick Rowe and Others. An hour long discussion about three Green Berets who were captured during the Vietnam War. Learn more about Nick Rowe, Rocky Versace, and Dan Pitzer and their time as prisoners of war. “3 Green Berets, 5 Years to Legends!”, Change Your POV Podcast Network, June 6, 2018.
CENSEALSWCC CLSS. The Center for Sea, Air, and Land and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman conducted the second annual Command Leaders Spouse Seminar in May 2018. Read “Spouse Seminar Strengthens Special Warfare Community”, DVIDS, May 18, 2018.
AFSOC’s CAA Career Field. The Air Force is doubling its combat aviation advisor positions. Airmen in 18 AFSCs are eligible to apply. (Air Force Times, June 5, 2018).
SF Dive School. A recent article provides a glimpse of the Special Forces Combat Diver Course at Key West, Florida. (We are the Mighty, June 2018).
Reduced Deployments for SOF in Africa. The Pentagon is reviewing the optempo and resourcing for U.S. special operations forces in Africa. The deployments could be reduced by over one half to increase the amount of home station time between deployments and also ensure that enough support and ‘enablers’ (MEDEVAC, CAS, ISR, etc.) is available to support the SOF teams. Read more in “Special Operations Forces in Africa Likely to Face Cuts in Major Military Review”, The New York Times, June 4, 2018.
New Strategy Needed for Nigeria. Austin Duncan, an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, says a new strategy is needed for Nigeria. He offers some recommendations in “Revitalizing U.S. Strategy in Nigeria to Address Boko Haram”, Strategy Bridge, June 6, 2018.
IS in the Sahel. Some more fidelity on the Islamic State affiliated groups operating in the Sahel is offered by John Campbell in “The Islamic State ‘Presence’ in the Sahel Is More Complicated Than Affiliates Suggests”, Council on Foreign Relations, June 1, 2018.
Yemen – the Forgotten War. The humanitarian and security catastrophe in Yemen worsens as time goes on. Read more in a report named The Forgotten War: The Ongoing Disaster in Yemen, The Soufan Center, June 4, 2018.
Yemen – CRS Report. The Congressional Research Service has published a report about the war in Yemen for Congress. Posted on website of the USNI, the 19-page report is dated May 18, 2018.
Finishing the War in Yemen. The conflict in Yemen could come to an end soon if an offensive to take Hodeidah – Yemen’s fourth-largest city of 400,000 people – is successful. The Iran-backed Houthi fighters currently hold the city. But the support of the U.S. is key to this endeavor. Read more in “America Has A Chance to Finish the War in Yemen”, National Interest, June 6, 2018.
CENTCOM’s Air War in Yemen. Since the beginning of 2018 the US campaign against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular has focused on three distinct areas of Yemen. Targets include infrastructure, training camps, and media operations. (Long War Journal, June 6, 2018.
NATO and Europe
TRIDENT JAGUAR 2018. The Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) in Stavanger, Norway recently concluded a segment of the TRIDENT JAGUAR 2018 exercise. The exercise trained up and evaluated NATO forces in the planning and conduct of crisis response operations. (JWC NATO, May 24, 2018).
Australia, China, and Political Warfare. China has been conducting political warfare against Australia for the last decade. Subversion and influence activities have been at their highest since the Cold War. Read “Comprehensive coercion: China’s political warfare campaign against Australia”, The Strategist (Australian Strategic Policy Institute), June 5, 2018.
More Military News
Army Modernization. There are six priorities identified for modernizing the U.S. Army: long-range precision fires, next generation combat vehicles, future vertical lift, network, air and missile defense, soldier lethality. Read more in an article by the Secretary of the Army – Mr. Daniel Torok. (Army.mil, June 6, 2018).
Caffeination. What is a safe level of coffee that delivers peak performance? The Army has an algorithm for that question. (Defense One, June 5, 2018).
Air & Space Power Journal. The Summer 2018 issue is out. No SOF stuff but if you are Air Force . . .
Air Observer. The 137th Special Operations Wing (SOW) has published its latest issue of Air Observer.
Armor & Mobility. The May / June 2018 issue is now published. A few articles concern USSOCOM.
Photo: HALO Jump SOCSOUTH. USMC photo by PFC William Chockey, Jan 31, 2018.