Periodically we will publish short snippets of SOF news that are not covered by SOFREP in our more detailed reports. Covered here is news on AC-130s, Spetsnaz, irregular warfare, live tissue training, SOF pubs, and videos on SOF topics.
Former SF Officer Leads Army Reserve. LTG Charles D. Luckey has been appointed as the Chief of the Army Reserve and Commanding General of the United States Army Reserve Command. This was effective on June 30, 2016. Luckey began his career as an Infantry Officer and also served time in Special Forces. Read his biography posted on the U.S. Army Reserve website.
AFSOC Wants Laser for AC-130 Gunship. The Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) is willing to trade off some offensive capability for cost savings and fielding time by mounted a laser on the side of the plane instead of on the belly. Read more in “AFSOC favours side-mounted laser for gunship”, FligthGlobal.com, July 1, 2016.
“Live Tissue Training”. For years Special Forces medics have used goats for medical training to prepare them for treating casualties in a war zone. Some want to ban the practice. One writer, a former combat medic who did the training, thinks otherwise. Read “A Goat Helped Me Save My Buddy, and Others, on the Battlefield”, The New York Times, July 6, 2016.
CJSOAC-A Dedicates Afghan HQs. The Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component – Afghanistan (CJSOAC-A) named their headquarters building in honor of two Special Tactics Airmen during a memorial-naming ceremony at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan on June 29, 2016. The HQs was dedicated to Capt. Matthew Roland (23rd STS) and Staff Sgt. Forrest Sibley (21st STS) who were killed on August 26, 2015 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Read the news story on the AFCENT website published July 2, 2016.
NWC Symposium on Irregular Warfare. The Navy War College recently held a symposium on irregular warfare at Newport, Rhode Island. I am sure there were at least a couple of SEALs in attendance.
Russian SF Getting New Boats. Russia is providing new high-speed transport and amphibious assault boats to the Russian Special Forces. The BK-10 assault landing boat and the BK-16 multipurpose amphibious boat will be given to Russia’s Special Purpose Military Units (Spetsnaz). Read a news report posted on Defense World, July 6, 2016.
Clinton Not Charged on Email Scandal. For those of you who have been living in a cave the past few days the FBI has announced that Hillary Clinton will not be charged in the email scandal. This doesn’t mean that the rest of you with security clearances can now get sloppy!
Ex-SOF Group Blasts Clinton. OPSEC, a group of former SOF guys took issue with the FBI decision on Hillary. See “Ex-special ops group blasts Clinton email decision”, The Hill Defense Blog, July 7, 2016.
Afghanistan Troop Levels. President Obama announced that troop levels in Afghanistan will decrease from 9,800 (current level) to 8,400 until January 2017. Read a DoD news release published on July 6, 2016.
Tip of the Spear. The June 2016 issue of the monthly publication by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has been published. Lots of good stories: International SOF demonstrate capability in Tampa; SOCCENT and Exercise Eager Lion in Jordan; SOCEUR and Exercise Trojan Footprint; best warriors of USASOC; how Exercise Emerald Warrior increases joint interoperability; the strong, silent and professional Combat Aviation Advisors of AFSOC; and more. Tip of the Spear is an excellent source of SOF news.
UK Chilcot Report. A report about how the United Kingdom got into the 2003 invasion of Iraq is being issued. It appears to be damaging to the reputation of former Prime Minister Tony Blair and others. It seems that there was no reason to invade Iraq after all. Not sure how much SOF news is in this comprehensive report but it should still be interesting reading. Read a press release on the topic by the UK’s military press service – Forces TV, July 5, 2016.
New Commander for Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Colonel Patrick Duggan has a new job. The Special Forces officer will be spending the next few years in the D.C. area. See “Meet the new commander”, Pentagram, July 7, 2016.
Colonel Ronald Fitch now Garrison Commander at Fort Carson. Col Fitch, a long-time Special Forces officer, will command the installation in Colorado. See news story in The Denver Post, July 5, 2016.
And yet another SF Col gets a garrison command. Hmmmm. Read more about Special Forces Green Beret Col. Samuel Curtis in “Garrison Command to Change at Fort Sill”, The Lawton Constitution, July 7, 2016. It would seem if a newly promoted SF O-6 doesn’t land group CDR or XO position then he is destined for garrison command! The posting of this SOF news update always seems to note an SF O6 taking a garrison command. Not sure if that is a bad thing or a good thing. Depends on the garrison I guess. Fort Story, Virginia would be nice!
More SOF News in the form of Videos
Video – “Navy SEALs explain how your ego can destroy everything”, 3-min video by Joe Avella and Richard Feloni, posted on Business Insider, July 2, 2016.
Video – “These are the favorite weapons of the Army Special Operations Forces”, Business Insider, July 4, 2016. www.businessinsider.com/special-operations-forces-favorite-military-weapons-2016-7
Video – “Asymmetric Warfare Group Recruiting Video”, June 30, 2016. The Asymmetric Warfare Group has published a recruiting video (June 30, 2016). Lots of SOF guys (both active duty and contractors) work for the AWG.
Top picture of divers from USSOCOM publication Tip of the Spear.
Picture of CJSOAC-A dedication from AFCENT news release.
Image of Information Assurance Manager from DoD Cyber Challenge online instructional course.