Special Operations News Update – 20170717

A Jumpmaster signals "1 minute" warning during a paratroop drop over Australia during Exercise Talisman Saber 2017. (Photo by Tech Sgt Gregory Brook, USAF, July 12, 2017)
A Jumpmaster signals "1 minute" warning during a paratroop drop over Australia during Exercise Talisman Saber 2017. (Photo by Tech Sgt Gregory Brook, USAF, July 12, 2017)

SOF News Update 20170717 – Exercise Talisman Saber, new SEAL TV program, Navy ship for SOF forces, expanding the role of military contractors in Afghanistan, VATC’s Common Database Builder for SOF planning, SF medics, US SOF in Somalia strike again, Dutch SOF training halted due to safety concerns, BAE EW contract for AFSOC, and more.

Exercise Talisman Saber. Every two years the United States and Australia conduct a month-long exercise to enhance global readiness in a realistic training environment. This year’s exercise involves over 33,000 troops, 21 ships, and more than 200 aircraft. Part of the exercise is the airborne infiltration (forcible entry) of paratroopers traveling 8,000 miles. Read more in article by Air Mobility Command, July 14, 2017.

So . . . Another SEAL TV Program. Who Could Guess? There is a new televised military drama coming out this fall on CBS called SEAL Team. “Guess What Special Operations Unit CBS’s New Military TV Show Focuses On?”Read , Task and Purpose, July 13, 2017.

SF Officer Heads up Recruiting Battalion. LTC Daniel Mitchell, an SF officer, has taken command of a U.S. Army recruiting battalion that covers most of North Carolina. (The Fayetteville Observer, July 12, 2017).

Case of Three Killed Green Berets in Jordan. A military court in Jordan is expected to rule Monday (16 July 2017) in the murder trial of a Jordanian soldier accused of killing three U.S. military trainers in a shooting spree at a Jordanian air base. (Stars and Stripes,  July 16, 2017).

U.S. SOF Hit al-Shabah Again. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said that U.S forces conducted an ‘advise and assist’ mission against al-Shabab with members of the Somalia National Army in Kuny-Barrow. Read “U.S., Somali Special Forces Kill Several al-Shabab Militants in Raid”Real Clear Defense, July 14, 2017.

Aussie POW Training Questioned. Former elite Australian soldiers are complaining about the ‘Resistance to Interrogation’ training they have gone through in the past. (ABC Net Au News, July 14, 2017).

Dutch SOF Training Halted Due to Safety. Much of the special forces training for the Corps Commando troops was halted due to concerns for their safety. (NL Times, July 14, 2017).

Navy Ship Provides Expeditionary Sea Base for SOF. The USNS Lewis B. Puller“First US Expeditionary Sea Base Deploys” has set sail and will likely support sea-based SOF units. The expeditionary sea base is designed to support special operations forces and is now enroute to the Gulf to begin its maiden operational deployment. Read more in , Janes.com, July 13, 2017.

BAE EW Contract for AFSOC. A contract for providing electronic warfare systems to U.S. Special Operations Commands’ fleet of MC-130Js (Ghostrider and Commando II) has been awarded to BAE. See “US Special Ops Taps BAE for Electronic Warfare Systems”Aviation Today, July 13,2017.

VATC’s Common Database Builder for SOF. Visual Awareness Technologies and Consulting Inc. (VATC) has installed its Common Database Technology (known as CDB Builder) at Fort Campbell and Hurlburt Field to be used by SOF units to assist in training and exercise mission planning and rehearsal. Read more in two online articles by Cellular News and Military Embedded Systems (July 12, 2017).

So What do SF Medics Do? The Special Operations Medical Sergeants are an extremely valuable resource that are great ar gaining the trust of the local population – whether in counterinsurgency operations or in a unconventional warfare environment. Read “Special Operations Medics Build Trust, Rapport With Locals”Special Operations.com, July 14, 2017.

More Contractors for Afghanistan? White House aides recently met with two leading figures from the private military contracting world who provided their perspectives on the increased use of military contractors in the Afghan conflict. Erik Prince (founder of Blackwater) and Stephen Feinberg (DynCorp) met with Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner recently to hear their views. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has listened to the proposals but has not endorsed them. Read more in “Stephen Feinberg, the Private Military Contractor Who Has Trump’s Ear”The New Yorker, July 13, 2017.