Special Operations News Update – March 27, 2023

CV-22 Osprey

Curated news, analysis, and commentary about special operations, national security, and conflicts around the world.

Photo / Image: A CV-22 Osprey flies over Fort Walton Beach, Florida. (USAF photo by Senior Airman Christopher Callaway, April 24, 2015).

Do you receive our daily newsletter? If not, you can sign up here and enjoy it five (almost) days a week with your morning coffee (or afternoon tea depending on where in the world you are).

SOF News

V-22 Osprey – No More Purchases? It appears that the different military components that use the tilt-rotor aircraft have decided not to buy any more. This includes USSOCOM. See also “Military Quietly Stops Buying Ospreys as Aircraft Faces an Uncertain Future”, Military.com, March 24, 2023.

V-22 Osprey Problems. One of the principal aircrafts of AFSOC is the CV-22. The Osprey aircraft are being grounded around the world as the military services grapple with problems with the gearbox. Known as a “hard clutch engagement” – the problem has led to a few emergency landings. “Military Grounds Some Ospreys While a ‘Complete Redesign’ is Underway on Troubled Clutch System”, Military.com, February 6, 2023.

Future Distinguish Members of Special Forces Regiment. The following men will be inducted as Distinguished members of the SF Regiment on April 20, 2023 at Fort Bragg, NC. MG (Ret) David Morris, COL (Ret) Mark Mitchell, COL Ronald Johnson, SFC (Ret) Riley Lott, COL (Ret) Christopher Miller, and LTC (Ret) Roger Carstens.

USAF Officer Promotion. Air Force Brig. Gen. Claude K. Tudor Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the grade of major general.  Tudor is currently serving as the commanding general, Special Operations Joint Task Force – Levant, U.S. Special Operations Command, Xiphos, Jordan.

USAF SR. United States Air Force Special Reconnaissance (SR) is a specialized unit that conducts operations behind enemy lines to provide battlefield intelligence and develop targets. Read more on the mission, TTPs, training, and equipment of this Air Force special operations unit. “United States Air Force Special Reconnaissance”, by Maxwell Goldstein, Grey Dynamics, March 20, 2023.

USAF Special Warfare Fitness Standards. The Air Force has revamped its training pipeline for special warfare students after controversy over standards when a female airman went through the training over a year ago. “Air Force solidifies fitness standards for special warfare trainees”, Air Force Times, March 23, 2023.

SF vs. Rangers. There are major differences between the Ranger Regiment and Special Forces. Each are important components of the U.S. Army with their specialized missions. Learn more in “Army Ranger vs Green Beret: What’s the Difference Between These Special Ops Forces”, by Samantha Franco, War History Online, March 24, 2023.

USASOC International Sniper Competition. An international sniper competition event took place at Fort Bragg this past week. The two-person teams came from 19 different units from around the world.

Delta Force Info. Samuel Longstreth has penned an article about the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta (SFOD-D). He covers the doctrine, history, tactics, organization, selection and training, and more. “Delta Force: The Elite Counter-Terrorism Unit of the U.S. Army”, Grey Dynamics, March 23, 2023.

7th SFG(A) and Media Training. Members of the 7th Group recently conducted media engagement training at Camp “Bull” Simons, Florida. The training provided tools to better equip the soldiers with the skills needed to effectively communicate with the media and the public. “Mock Media Training for 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)“, DVIDS, February 15, 2023.

USASOC Soldier Charged. A soldier is awaiting extradition from Virginia to North Carolina to face first-degree murder charges related to the death of a fellow soldier. “Fort Bragg soldier charged with killing 3rd Special Forces Group member”, Task & Purpose, March 23, 2023.

Banner International SOF

International SOF

Swedish Air Force Rangers and Arctic Partnership Recovery. U.S. Airmen assigned to the 57th Rescue Squadron teamed up with Swedish Air Force Rangers in an exercise in Sweden. Pararescue members and their counterparts trained in cold weather survival skills and personnel recovery tasks in an Arctic environment. “57th Rescue Squadron trains alongside Swedish Air Force”, Aviano Air Base, March 21, 2023.

Project Hunter and UK SOF. The United Kingdom is moving forward with acquiring a new battle rifle for the British Army’s Special Operations Brigade. The new rifle may replace the SA80 Bullpup assault rifle which first entered service in the 1980s. “New British Army Special Operations rifle could influence SA80 replacement”, Army Technology, March 22, 2023.

Wagner Group in Africa. The Russian paramilitary group continues its engagement on the African continent. One country that it will likely remain in is the Central African Republic. The mercenary group is assisting the Russian government with it objective on the continent as well as chipping away at U.S. and Western influence. “Wagner PMC Activity in the Central African Republic: A Geospatial Analysis”, Grey Dynamics, March 24, 2023.

Canada’s JTF2 Modernization. A 10-year construction project will assist in the training and high-readiness operational needs of Canada’s special operations force. “JTF2 special forces base to get $1.4 billion modernization upgrade”, Montreal Gazette, March 21, 2023.

SOF History Banner

SOF History

20 Years Later – OIF. This week marks the 20th anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). A group of RAND experts discuss what the war means for the people of Iraq and for combat veterans, lessons learned (or not), the effect on the balance of power in the Middle East, and the global reputation of the United States. “Twenty Years After the Iraq War, a Q&A with RAND Experts”, The RAND Blog, March 21, 2023.

ARSOF and OIF. Christopher E. Howard reviews the contribution of U.S. Army Special Operations Forces from the beginning of OIF in March 2003 until its conclusion in 2010. “To Baghdad and Beyond: ARSOF in Operation Iraqi Freedom”, USASOC History Office, March 20, 2023.

Vietnam MoH Recipient. On March 21, 1967, SFC Charles Hosking Jr., U.S. Army Special Forces, lost his life after he took the blast of a hand grenade to save the lives of his fellow Americans and members of the Vietnamese CIDG Reaction Force. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery.

ARSOF Aviation. On 25 March 2011, the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command (Airborne) was provisionally activated as a new HQs under USASOC to provide the Commanding General with an element that serves both as a command and staff entity to advocate aviation issues for USASOC. It was created out of the need to separate the combat role of Army Special Operations Aviation (ARSOA) from the resourcing responsibilities.

12th SFG(A). On March 24, 1961, the 12th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was activated. It was a part of the U.S. Army Reserves until it was deactivated in 1994.

M1911 .45 Pistol. On March 29, 1911. The United States Army adopted the M1911. This is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States military for over 75 years, from 1911 to 1986.

Banner National Security

National Security and Commentary

Economic Statecraft and Warfare. A future fight with China could possibly be over quickly if China continues its quest to control strategic economic nodes around the world. Access to critical seaports, airports, and waterways around the globe could determine who comes out on top in a future fight. Read more in “Financial Access Denial: An Irregular Approach to Integrated Deterrence”, Military Review, March-April 2023.

A Dangerous Mission – US in Syria. Although not in the headlines very much, the US effort to degrade the Islamic State in Syria is still going on. According to some news releases by DoD there are approximately 900 U.S. service members plus contractors based in Syria. “A look at the US military mission in Syria and its dangers”, Associated Press News, March 24, 2023.

U.S. Contractor Killed in Syria. On March 23, 2023, a U.S. contractor was killed by an one-way unmanned armed drone. Iranian-backed militias are believed to be responsible for the attack. A maintenance facility on a Coalition base near Hasakah in northeast Syria was the target. Six U.S. service members were wounded. U.S. Central Command conducted precision airstrikes in response to the UAV attack; utilizing F-15E fighters.

U.S. in Somalia – Why? Justin Klawans examines the mission of U.S. troops in Somalia. This is one of the remaining ‘conflicts’ of the Global War on Terror where the military is still on the ground assisting counterterrorism and counterinsurgent forces of a host nation. “The U.S. military’s ongoing presence in Somalia”, Yahoo! News, March 23, 2023.

U.S. Hostage Released. Jeffery Woodke, an aid worker abducted in Niger by militants, was released after more than six years in captivity. He was kidnapped in October 2016 in Niger and taken to neighboring Mali. Woodke, now age 62, is in Niamey, Niger undergoing medical evaluation and treatment. The circumstances of his release is unknown at this time. “American Held Hostage in Africa Is Freed”, The New York Times, March 20, 2023. (subscription)

Afghanistan Banner Security 1


Hollywood Movies, Afghanistan, and SOF. The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has become the topic of several new movies that will soon hit the big screen. Three of them revolve around the idea of U.S. service members on a mission to rescue the interpreters and other Afghans who served alongside them. A common trend in the movies is the people portrayed are from the U.S. special operations community. By the end of 2000 Hollywood caught on to the concept of ‘the operator’ – complete with long hair, beard, and special ‘kit’. Read more in “Afghanistan rescue missions are Hollywood’s latest military movie fad”, Task & Purpose, March 21, 2023.

Paper – Staying the Unfavorable Course. The RAND Corporation has published a paper about the National Security Council decision making and the inertia of U.S. Afghanistan policy from 2001 to 2016. The paper explains why U.S. goals in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2016 did not evolve. It also answers the question – how do policymakers attempt to adapt national security decision making processes when their policies are not achieving their intended results? March 2023, PDF, 178 pages.

ISKP Threat. The Taliban are neither demonstrably capable of weakening the Islamic State Khorasan Province, nor are they willing to accept and capacity enhancing external cooperation in this regard. “In Afghanistan, Taliban Face a Growing Threat in ISKP”, The Diplomat, March 21, 2023.

Review of U.S. Withdrawal. The Biden administration has announced that it will release a review of the chaotic U.S. departure from Afghanistan in August 2021. It was supposed to be released on the one-year anniversary of the event . . . but was delayed. “US review of Afghanistan withdrawal to be released in April”, Fox News, March 22, 2023.

Taliban Reprisals. Almost 1 1/2 years after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan they are still hunting down former members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). Over the past few months the killings and illegal detentions have increased. Many are detained, tortured, and then ‘disappeared’. “The Taliban escalate their brutal hunt for American allies”, by Beth Bailey, Washington Examiner, March 26, 2023.

Upcoming Events

April 5-6, 2023. San Diego, California
Warrior West

April 14-16, 2023. Fort Benning, Georgia
Best Ranger Competition

May 8-11, 2023. Tampa, Florida
SOF Week

May 16-18, 2023. Fort Bragg, NC and via Zoom
Geostrategic Symposium 2023

May 22-26, 2023. Indianapolis, Indiana
Special Forces Association Convention

May 31, 2023. Ijamsville, MD
6th Annual Golf Tournament
Three Rangers Foundation

Guest Writers for SOF News

SOF News welcomes the submission of articles for publication. If it is related to special operations, current conflicts, national security, or defense then we are interested.

Books about Special Forces Training


SOFCAST. United States Special Operations Command

The Pinelander. Blacksmith Publishing

The Indigenous Approach. 1st Special Forces Command

Irregular Warfare Podcast. Modern War Institute at West Point

About SOF News 1143 Articles
SOF News provides news, analysis, commentary, and information about special operations forces (SOF) from around the world.