Special Operations News Update – 20170623

ARSOF Soldiers fastroping from a CV-22. (Photo credit USASOC 20170511)
ARSOF Soldiers fastroping from a CV-22. (Photo credit USASOC 20170511)

SOF Update 20170623 – Updated C-130J-SOF, U.S. SOF and Nepal Rangers training exercise, the special relationship between the Kurds and U.S. Special Forces, new HQs building for USACAPOC, AFSOC flight surgeon receives award, Afghan Commando School gets visit, Navy SEALs Sealion, $45 M contract for UAV support with USSOCOM, and more.

New Version of C-130 for SOF. Lockheed Martin Corp put on display its latest version of the utility C-130 Hercules transport aircraft at the Paris Air Show. The C-130J-SOF can be configured for armed overwatch and can be outfitted with various special mission equipment options. See “Lockheed Launches New Version of Super Hercules Aircraft”The New York Times, June 20, 2017.

AC-130 Gunship

Balance Nail 17-3 . . . SF in Nepal. U.S. special operations forces are training in Kathmandu, Nepal with the Nepal Mahabir Rangers. The training exercise is designed to help the SOF units ” . . . to prepare for, mitigate, and respond to humanitarian assistance and disaster response emergencies in rural, mountainous areas.” “US, Nepal begin special operations training exercise”India Today, June 19, 2017. See also “US hands over crisis management centre”Ekantipur, June 20, 2017.

UAV USSOCOM Contract. The US Special Operations Command has awarded Insitu, Inc. a $45 million contract to provide ISR services. (Defense World, June 20, 2017).

SF and Kurds – a Special Relationship. The U.S. Special Forces relationship with the Kurds goes back many years. Many will point to the weeks immediately following the end of the first Gulf War when the 10th Special Forces Group deployed along the Iraqi-Turkish border to coordinate the early stages of Provide Comfort (humanitarian relief effort for the Kurds).  During the invasion of Iraq in 2003 10th SFGA once again teamed up with the Kurds in northern Iraq and mounted an offensive taking major cities in northern Iraq from the Iraqi forces. The initial Iraqi SOF forces stood up immediately following the invasion in 2003 were heavily represented with Kurds (ICTF and 36th Commando). In the fight against ISIS the Kurds (along with the ‘Golden Division’) have been the most dependable fighters allied with the U.S. SOF. One question that is yet to be answered – what is the long term relationship between U.S. and Kurds going to look like? Read more in “Special Forces have a special relationship with the Kurds”, by Paul R. Huard, NRT, June 20, 2017.

AFSOC Surgeon gets Award. A surgeon assigned to the Air Force’s 492nd Special Operations Wing has received the Malcom C. Grow Air Force Level Flight Surgeon of the Year award for 2016. (DVIDS, June 21, 2017).

Navy SEALs Sealion. The U.S. Navy has ordered a third Sealion or Sea, Air, and Land Insertion, Observation, and Neutralization semi-submersible stealth boat. Read more in a report by Strategy Page, June 21, 2017.

CA Soldiers to be on USASOC Parachute Team. Two Civil Affairs Soldiers from the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) at Fort Bragg have been selected to be on the Black Daggers – the USASOC command parachute team. See “Civil Affairs Soldiers to be Black Daggers” DVIDS, June 1, 2017.

Jordanian Murder Trial. The father of one of the three Green Berets murdered by a Jordanian soldier at the entrance to a Jordanian Air Field says the Jordanian courts will ‘render justice’. (Army Times, June 21, 2017).

Cdr RS HQs Visits Afghan Commando School. The Resolute Support Mission commander recently visited the Afghan National Army’s Commando School. See “General Nicholson brings message of unity to ANA New Commando School”DVIDS, June 20, 2017.

Former Navy SEAL testifies at Bergdahl Trial. A SEAL wounded in the leg (and now medically retired) during a search for a missing Beau Bergdahl is testifying on how his military career was ended due to his injuries. See “Former Navy SEAL testifies about wound during Bowe Bergdahl search”Army Times, June 21, 2017.

New USACAPOC HQs Building. The United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command has dedicated its new headquarters building to a fallen North Carolina Soldier that died in Afghanistan. Read the news story by The Fayetteville Observer, June 20, 2017.

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