Current news, analysis, and commentary on special operations, national security, and conflicts from around the world.
7th SFGA ODA at ‘Red Flag Rescue’. A Green Beret team spent three weeks in Arizona participating in a joint training exercise. Read “Special Forces train Red Flag Rescue at Camp Navajo”, Army.mil, June 10, 2019.
Robin Sage and UW Training. George Schwartz, a U.S. Army officer, thinks that Special Forces’ UW training needs to evolve beyond the typical Robin Sage scenario. Read “Unconventional Warfare: Think Outside the G-Base”, Small Wars Journal, June 2019.
SOF and the A-29. The Super Tucano is a turboprop light attack aircraft that has been helping the Afghan Air Force battle insurgents. It is an excellent performer in a counterinsurgency and counterterrorism environment that can support ground troops fighting conventional or insurgent opposition. Read “Why U.S. Special Forces Would Love the A-29 Super Tucano”, The National Interest, June 11, 2019.
Marine Raider Sentenced. Another Marine is heading to jail for four years for his role in the strangulation death of a Green Beret in Mali. Staff Sergeant Kevin Maxwell, Jr. pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, burglary, obstruction, and other charges as part of a plea deal with prosecutors to avoid more serious charges. He could have faced murder charges for the June 2017 death of Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar. (Stars and Stripes, June 7, 2019).
This sad story still has a ways to go. A Navy SEAL and Marine Raider still have to face trial on this event – and they may face stiffer penalties. In addition, a Special Forces NCO – who allegedly gave the four accused permission to conduct a ‘hazing’ – faces possible tab revocation.
MARSOC Continues to Grow. An additional 368 personnel will be added to the Marine’s elite unit over the next few years. Read “MARSOC An Agile Force Adapts to New Challenges”, Defense Media Network, June 11, 2019.
Failed Iron Man Suit Research Yields Benefits. The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit or TALOS has transitioned away from a focus on an impenetrable body shield and instead focuses on a data-driven, cognitive system to be used by ‘hyper-enabled warriors’. Read “Pentagon’s quest for an Iron Man-inspired suit ignites a technological revolution”, The Washington Times, June 9, 2019.
Rangers, SEALs, and GWOT. Luke Ryan examines the missions of two elite fighting units and ponders a bit in “Rangers vs. SEALs: Who’s Had More Impact in the War on Terror”, Coffee or Die, June 11, 2019.
U.S. Congressman Jumps at Normandy. Representative (FL) Mike Waltz parachuted over Normandy during the observance of the 75th anniversary of the allied invasion of Europe. Waltz is a former Special Forces officer who now is in the U.S. House of Representatives. Read “Waltz takes part in ‘deeply moving’ airborne jump over Normandy”, News Journal Online,June 9, 2019.
Ten ARSOF Members Recognized. Five Green Berets, two Civil Affairs, and three PSYOP soldiers were recognized for their contributions to their respective regiments at a recent ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. (Fayetteville Observer, June 7, 2019).
Navy SEAL Cdr Named VP at Colby College. Michael Wisecup, a retired Navy commander, has been named Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Colby College, Maine. (Colby College News, June 7, 2019).
Irish Rangers. Ireland’s special operations forces – the Army Ranger Wing – may find that they will be spending some time supporting a United Nations mission in Mali. Read “Army Rangers set to join UN peace mission in war-torn Mali”, Independent, June 11, 2019.
New UG SFC Cdr. Maj Gen James Birungi has been appointed as Commander of the Ugandan Special Forces Command (SFC). (SoftPower.com, June 11, 2019).
U.S. Troops Hit with IED in Niger. Africa Command has announced that four U.S. Service Members were in an armored vehicle that was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device in Niger on Saturday, June 8th. According to AFRICOM there were no injuries.
WH Informs Congress. The President has sent a formal letter informing Congress (in accordance with the War Powers Resolution) about the U.S. military involvement in conflicts around the world. (June 11, 2019).
Ash Carter and How Words Have Meaning. The former secretary of defense writes about how talking honestly and plainly about war is important – especially to the families of military members who have died in combat. Read “Why I didn’t Tolerate Hairsplitting in War”, The Atlantic, June 11, 2019.
Photo: Kuwaiti MoI SWAT team prepare to breach a building during exercise at the Kuwait Special Forces Training Center on May 2, 2019. Photo by SGT Bill Boecker.