Special Operations News 20161227

SOF Operators helicasting onto a rooftop (photo from USSOCOM 2016 Factbook)
SOF Operators helicasting onto a rooftop (photo from USSOCOM 2016 Factbook)

SOF News Update 20161227 – destruction of ISIS, Global SOF Symposium, Afghan interpreters in the lurch, fake SEAL goes to prison, French reporters embed with Iraqi SOF, top 5 Marine Corps around the world, and more.

Global SOF Symposium. February 20-23, 2017 are the dates for the Global Special Operations Forces Foundation Symposium. The event will be held in Tampa Bay, Florida and will be attended by an international audience. The previous year’s event attracted 440 attendees from 28 nations.
www.globalsofsymposium.org/

Reporters Embed with Iraqi SOF. Reporters from France 24 embedded with Iraqi special operations forces during the fight for Mosul. Watch a 26 minute long video report, December 26, 2016.

Destroying ISIS. Peter R. Mansoor writes on how to destroy the Islamic State. The process begins with eliminating the caliphate in Iraq and Syria. This is done by arming local actors, advising them, and providing JTACs and airpower. In addition Iraqi and Syrian Sunni Arabs need a measure of autonomy. And, in addition, much more has to be done. Read “The Destruction of ISIS”Hoover Institution, December 9, 2016.

Ranking the Top Five Marine Corps? Spec Ops Magazine has compiled a list of who they feel are the top five Marine Corps in the world. The countries represented include Russia, UK, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, and the United States.
https://special-ops.org/toplist/top-5-marine-corps-world/

Fake SEAL Gets 3 years. William Burley said he could rescue kidnapped workers for a Chicago aid agency that were taken hostage in Somalia. He took money from the aid agency after convincing him he was a Navy SEAL. “Fake SEAL sentenced to 3 years in prison”Military1.com, December 20, 2016.

USMC’s New PFT. The Marines have a new physical fitness test and combat fitness test (PFT and CFT). The tests are effective in 2017. There are different standards for men and women and there is some flexibility in the choice of exercise events. Read more in “What You Need to Know About the New Marine PFT”Task and Purpose, December 21, 2016.

Afghan Interpreters Wait for Visas. The U.S. Congress and the State Department have been dragging their heels on an important issue. There are thousands of Afghan interpreters who worked loyally for the U.S. military in Afghanistan who now are under threat by the Taliban. Many of them wish to immigrate to the United States but the Visa application process is slow (takes years) and there are not enough Visas. This is certainly a disservice to the many Afghans who can be vouched for by American servicemen. However, at the same time, the Obama administration is importing thousands of Syrians each month who have undergone no vetting process (to speak off). Read more in a news report by the Fayetteville Observer, December 26, 2016.

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