Army General Raymond A. Thomas, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, appeared before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities on Tuesday to discuss SOCOM’s role in modern warfare 30 years after its inception.  According to the General, SOCOM is more relevant than ever when it comes to addressing the evolving security threats faced by the United States and its allies around the globe.

“We have been at the forefront of national security operations for the past three decades, to include continuous combat over the past 15-and-a-half years,” Thomas told the House subcommittee.  “This historic period has been the backdrop for some of our greatest successes, as well as the source of our greatest challenge, which is the sustained readiness of this magnificent force.”

General Thomas explained to the subcommittee that April was a particularly difficult month for SOCOM, as it saw the loss of three elite war fighters in combat operations in Afghanistan.  Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar died on April 8th from injuries he suffered in a firefight in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, and Army Rangers Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers and Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas died on April 27th in a raid that took place in Nangarhar as well.

“This comes on the heels of 16 other combat fatalities since I assumed command a year ago, and is a stark reminder that we are a command at war and will remain so for the foreseeable future,” Thomas said.