Special Operations News Update 20170807

German Frogman (photo Bundeswehr, Andrea Bienert)
German Frogman (photo Bundeswehr, Andrea Bienert)

SOF News Update 20170807 – Interview of 75th Rgr Rgt Cdr, Navy lawyer accused of targeting SEALs, SAS’s electric bikes, France and G5 Sahel Force, new 919th SOW cdr, Det A in Berlin, Trump and his generals, naval ships threatened by Combat Divers, Acorn Growth Companies (private SOF air force), MV-22 mishap, SF team with UAE on ground in Yemen, and more.

Navy Lawyer Targeted SEALs? The Navy’s top lawyer is receiving some unwanted attention because of allegations that he meddled in criminal cases involving Navy SEALs. Read more in “Navy’s top lawyer accused of illegally targeting SEAL commandos”San Diego Union Tribune, August 2, 2017.

France and G5 Sahel Force. The French military has been instrumental in holding the Sahel region of North Africa together. It is trying to get the G5 Sahel Force up and running so it can draw back its commitment; but that requires funding. The U.S. has been quietly working in this region with logistical and ISR support – as well as committing SOF teams to the area. However, the U.S. recently laid a speed bump on overall French plan by hurting prospects of the United Nations to fund the G5 Sahel Force. Read more about France’s contribution to stability in the Sahel region and its efforts to reduce its security burden in the region. “Has France Found an African Solution to an African Problem”, STRATFOR Worldview, August 5, 2017.

Trump Skeptical of his Generals on Afghanistan. President Trump recently dismissed the “new” Afghanistan strategy presented by LTG McMaster (National Security Council Director) of sending 4K more personnel to Afghanistan to augment the “Train, Advise, and Assist” (TAA) mission. But Trump sees this as an incremental approach to a problem that needs a major strategic shift. Read “Trump is Right to be Skeptical of the Pentagon When it Comes to Afghanistan”Task and Purpose, August 3, 2017.

SF Team in Yemen with UAE. A small Special Forces team is working with military units of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the ground in Yemen in operations against AQAP. Read more in a news report by Military.com, August 4, 2017.

MC-130J Commando II going to Estonia. Ten A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, a MC-130J, and 270 Airmen and associated equipment will be spending some time in Estonia in August 2017 as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The MC-130J is from the 352nd Special Operations Wing, RAF Mildenhall, U.K. Read “Airmen deploy to support Estonia FTD”DVIDS, August 4, 2017.

Acorn Growth Companies – Commercial Air Support to SOF. It is no secret that U.S. special operations outsources some of its work to private firms. One such firm is Acorn Growth Companies – which supplies air support (mostly ISR). Read more in “Watching Them Watching You”BuzzFeed, August 4, 2017.

A USMC MV-22 Osprey Went Down in Ocean – Lives Lost. 26 Marines aboard an Osprey went down off the east coast of Australia on Saturday, August 5th. 23 were rescued. Rescue efforts for three missing Marines have ended and recovery and salvage operations have begun.

Naval Ships Threatened by Combat Divers. Recent news reports indicate that naval forces are on the look out for possible incursions of combat divers into restricted naval areas. Read more in “Fears of Frogmen: Why Navies Are Spooked by ‘Ghost’ Combat Divers”Popular Mechanics, August 3, 2017.

Det A in Berlin. Read an extract from James Stejskal’s book Special Forces Berlin in “The Berlin Special Forces Team Tasked with Nuking the Soviet Union”War History Online, August 6, 2017.

AF Security Forces Learn from TACPs. Security Forces Airmen from bases throughout the Pacific region are getting trained up by Tactical Air Control Party Airmen on how to call in close air support 9-lines. Read more in “Security Forces & TACP usher in new capability across PACAF”DVIDS, August 3, 2017.

New Cdr of 919th SOW. The 919th Special Operations Wing at Duke Field, Florida is getting a new commander. Col Frank “Les” Bradfield will take command of the Air Force Reserve special operations wing. Read “Bradfield to command 919th SOW at Duke Airfield”NWF Daily News, August 4, 2017.

SAS’s Electric Bikes. A bike that generates no heat signature or noise and that can be parachuted into action is being used by the UK’s Special Air Service. See “SAS soldiers to receive stealth motorbikes that cannot be seen or heard” Daily Star, August 6, 2017.

Interview of 75th Rgr Rgt Cdr. The commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment is interviewed on the history, composition, organization, mission, and capabilities of the Ranger Regiment in “Interview: Col. Marcus S. Evans”, Defense Media Network, June 29, 2017.