SOF News Update

SOF News Update 20161213 – Lithuanian PYSOP Team, preparation tips for snipers, investigation reopened of Green Beret who killed an unarmed Taliban fighter, JTAC training, capture on Saddam Hussein Dec 13, 2003, SOF motorbike, Ukrainian SOF webpage, and more.

Operation Red Dawn. On December 13, 2013 – thirteen years ago – the former ruler of Iraq was captured by SOF and conventional forces. He was hiding in an underground tunnel near the city of Tikret, Iraq when discovered. Hussein was later hung by the Iraqi government. Read more about Operation Red Dawn in postings by WikipediA and U.S.  See also an excellent graphic by The Baltimore Sun (Dec 13, 2016) describing the operation. (Photo above from USSOCOM Twitter account posting Dec 13, 2016).

Australian Political Leader Visits Australian SOF in Iraq. Bill Shorten, an Australian Opposition leader, visited members of the Australian and New Zealand military who are based at Camp Taji, Iraq training up the members of the Iraq Counter Terrorism Service (CTS). The Daily Telegraph, December 12, 2016.

5 Prepartion Tips for Snipers. Former Army Ranger Nicholas “The Reaper” Irving provides us with five important tips used by SOF snipers to prepare for leaving the wire – whether that is on a sniping mission in Iraq or Afghanistan or hunting big game in Alaska. Read “Here’s How a Direct-Action Sniper Maintains His Gear in the Field”Task and Purpose, December 7, 2016.

Investigation Reopened on Green Beret. During the battle of Marja, Afghanistan in February 2010 Major Matthew Golsteyn killed a Taliban bombmaker who had been captured and then released. The killing became a subject of investigation when the CIA provided information to the U.S. Army about the incident. During a job interview the Special Forces Soldier admitted to CIA interviewers that he had killed the Taliban – at the time unarmed and buried him in the desert. The Army did an investigation but cleared him – recommending him for a general discharge. Recently Golsteyn admitted the killing once again on a Fox News interview – and now the Army wants to reopen the investigation. Read more in “Army reopens investigation into former Green Beret Matthew Golsteyn”Army Times, December 8, 2016.

Interview about IO to end Conflict in Colombia. One of the successes of the U.S. SOF forces (specificially 7th SFGA) is the long-term strategy of training up the Colombian special forces to fight the FARC in Colombia. Lara Logan, a 60 Minutes correspondent and no stranger to the SF community, interviewed an ad executive who ran a information operations campaign to help end the conflict. Read more in “How Unconventional Thinking Transformed a War-Torn Colombia”CBS News 60 Minutes, December 11, 2016.

The Selection: Special Operations Experiment. The History Channel is putting 30 civilians through a special operations themed survival course. Learn more in an article posted by Monster and Critics, December 8, 2016.

JTAC Training Goes Hi-Tech. A recent article (8 Dec 2016) by Giles Ebbutt in IHS Jane’s 360 provides information on new and updated training systems for JTACs. The Joint Terminal Attack Controllers will use a system to train FOs and FACs for close air support and indirect fire. Read more in “JTAC training tech advances emerge”.

Ukrainian SOF Webpage. The Ukrainian military has posted a website about Ukrainian SOF. You might want to have your web browser translate it into English for viewing.

MOTOPED for SOF? The MOTOPED Survival Bike could be a SOF operator’s means of transportation in a conflict area. This sturdy mountain bike / motorcycle is perfect for someone who needs to maneuver across tough terrain. Read more in “The MOTOPED Survival Bike Could Be the Wheels Special Operations Forces Need”Task and Purpose, December 13, 2016.

Video of Lithuanian PSYOPS Team. U.S. SOF from SOCEUR were present during a recent exercise in Eastern Europe. The SOF exercise included use of a Lithuanian PSYOPS team to provide battlefield deception. Watch a short (2-min) video.

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