Our veterans took center stage this week on SOFREP. We reported on the honoring of two aircrewmen who were awarded the Bronze Star for their actions in Afghanistan and how 1SG John Hatley, who was wrongfully imprisoned in Leavenworth military prison, was finally released. Allen West, retired Army LTC, and American politician wrote an impassioned letter in support of the MARSOC 3, asking for support for a petition for a presidential pardon. Elsewhere, we welcomed a report from OIF veteran Eddie Molina who hit the ground with Irreverent Warriors during a Silkies Hike through New York City to learn more about the veterans’ group that uses humor and camaraderie to stem veteran suicides. 

Photo of Released Prisoners: AP

We also brought you the latest from the international scene: new U.S. airstrikes in Helmand Province of Afghanistan brought fresh concerns about promises to extract U.S. troops by Christmas; two American hostages held by Houthi rebels in Yemen were released; Israel Special Forces carried out several raids into contested border area after claims that Syria had violated the disengagement area; and a U.S. drone strike killed to members of al-Qaeda leadership in Idlib, Syria. 

Meanwhile, the former Mexican Defense Minister was arrested at LAX this week when his ties with Mexican drug cartels were uncovered. This came only days after Mexican President Lopez Obrador shifted control of the country’s ports to the military believing the armed forces would be better equipped to stem cartel smuggling operations.

The U.S. Army is busy testing equipment; a new report looked at the development of the new Next Generation Squad Weapon, a 6.8mm-chambered rifle that promises greater range and lethality in a much lighter package. Big Army is also exploring new helicopters to help phase out the UH-60 Black Hawk.

In Gear, we took a deep dive into slings with a shootout of the best of the best: the Vickers Sling. This week on SOFREP Radio we went back in time with historian Paul Bruno who wrote the book on the iconic military mode of transport, the Jeep.    

What’s in store for next week? None of us knows. But, as always, we’ll be here to bring you the stories you won’t find anywhere else with insights and analysis from people who have actually been there. 

In the meantime,