Recent news, analysis, and commentary on special operations, national security, and current conflicts.
Article on Bill Dean – RIP. A retired Special Forces officer died during a recent climb on Mount Rainer. Read more in “Bill Dean, who played key role defeating ISIS, dies in climbing accident”, The Jerusalem Post, June 2, 2019.
New SF Colonels. The Fiscal Year 2019 selection board results for promotion to 06 have been released. Over twenty Special Forces officers will advance in rank. Vie the list (PDF).
27th SOW Cdr Moves On. Col. Stewart A. Hammons, who has been selected for the grade of brigadier general, from commander, 27th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, will become the director, Expeditionary Support, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.
Becoming a Marine Sniper. This article outlines the steps to becoming a sniper in the USMC – includes a video as well. Read “How to Become a Marine Scout Sniper”, Sniperology, June 1, 2019.
AFSOC General Cited in IG Report. BG Brenda Cartier – the director of operations at AFSOC – has received a letter of counseling for actions she took in 2017. Read “AFSOC one-star falsely claimed flight hours, disrespected subordinates, IG found”, Air Force Times, June 1, 2019.
Iron Man Suit – Not so Much. The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) will remain a gleam in the eyes of scientists for now. Read “SOCOM admits defeat in effort to produce Iron Man armor for operators”, Loadout Room, June 1, 2019.
Navy SEALs Rights Violated. The military judge presiding over the court-martial of Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher said that prosecutors who electronically tracked email communications of defense lawyers without a warrant violated the accused’s right to a fair trial. (Task & Purpose, June 1, 2019). The lead Navy prosecutor in the war crimes case against a decorated Navy SEAL has been removed from the case by the judge for spying on defense teams and a Navy Times journalist. (Navy Times, June 3, 2019).
Army Ranger Turned Lawyer Reflects on Career. A Stanford grad who also served with the 75th Ranger Regiment is profiled in this article in Stanford News, May 30, 2019.
India’s SOC. A newly formed organization is being formed – drawing on manpower India’s SOF units – the special forces of the Army, the Marine Commandos (MARCOS) of the Navy, and the Garud commando force of the Air Force. Read more in “Three-pronged Plan”, The Week (IN), June 1, 2019.
Somalia’s “Lightning Brigade”. Also known as Danab, has been trained up by Bancroft Global. The contract may continue for several more years. (Military Times, May 21, 2019).
Birth of Australia’s Special forces. This article examines the history of Australia’s SOF, the role they have played in the military, and the role they’ll play going forward. (Defense Connect, May 7, 2019).
SAR: One Year Later. Charles Barham, a retired U.S. Army colonel (CA), provides his perspective on the implementation of the Stabilization Assistance Review or SAR. Read “One Year Into the SAR Stabilization Is a Perfect Storm”, Real Clear Defense, May 22, 2019.
Books, Publications, and Papers
SOF and Suicide. A team of writers have explored the state of suicides in special operations forces, mitigating posttraumatic stress disorder, and resilience initiatives. This article to be published in the Summer 2019 issue of Journal of Special Operations Medicine (JSOM) and is available now at Researchgate.net. Read “Resilience and Suicide in Special Operations Forces: State of the Science via Integrative Review”.
UW in the Baltic States. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are vulnerable to low-level, hybrid, and full-scale attacks by Russian forces. However, total defense and unconventional warfare capabilities have the potential to deter, delay, and disrupt Russian military aggression. SOF gets mentioned frequently in this 36-page report by RAND. Read Deterring Russian Aggression in the Baltic States Through Resilience and Resistance, May 2019.
Videos and Podcasts
Video – 7th SFG Team. A 7th Special forces Group detachment recently conducted training at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California. The training focused on preparing the Green Berets to integrate and operate with conventional forces in an austere environment. Watch “The Quiet Professionals”, DVIDS, May 31, 2019.
352nd SOW MC-130Js Fly Low-Level. Watch a video of four SOF aircraft conduct low level flying in the UK. (The Aviation Geek Club, June 1, 2019.
Chapman Dedication. MSgt John Chapman was commemorated during a Medal of Honor dedication at Pope Army Airfield on May 30, 2019. (DVIDS, Special Warfare Training Wing, May 30, 2019).
Video – Force Recon Dive. Watch Marines dive with 02 rigs on Okinawa. (DVIDS, 1.5 mins, May 13, 2019).
1/1st SFGA Intel Officer Chats About Land Nav. In this very short (30 sec) video an intelligence officer with 1st SFGA talks about how to stay mission-reading during land navigation training. Pacific Spotlight – 1LT Chaz Leonard, DoD, June 3, 2019.
Podcast – Joe Celeski Interview. A former SF 06 is interviewed by Army Matters – a podcast service by the Association of the United States Army. He talks about his recent book entitled “The Green Berets in the Land of a Million Elephants” – about Green Berets working in Laos during the 1959 to 1974 timeframe. (20 minutes, 2019).
Photo: Navy photo depicts SEALs training in May 2019.