Special Operations News Update 20171006

Sailors exit a Chinook during HALO parachute jump. (DoD photo July 20, 2017).
Sailors exit a Chinook during HALO parachute jump. (DoD photo July 20, 2017).

SOF News Update 20171006 – Navy SEAL dies in skydiving accident, McChrystal interview, battle of Mogadishu, “R4 &S”, SOF needs cyber warriors, GB to be Pres of U Montana, Philippine ISIS fight, Navy SEAL is technical adviser on movie set, Hawijah liberated, Dutch military resignations, podcast on SOF, and more.

Navy SEAL Dies in Skydiving Accident. Commander Seth Stone died after jumping out of a hot air balloon. His parachute failed to open properly. Stone, age 41, was assigned to Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC) in Hawaii. A graduate of the Naval Academy, Stone had earned two Silver Stars and a Bronze Star with “V”. See “Navy SEAL killed in Perris skydiving accident”San Diego Union Tribune, October 2, 2017.

Oct 3rd – Anniversary of Battle of Mogadishu. Two SOF Soldiers with Delta Force earned the Medal of Honor during an intense battle with Somali militiamen in Mogadishu on October 3, 1993. (We Are the Mighty, Oct 3, 2017).

New Acronym – “R4&S”. The Department of Defense has a new acronym for the Afghan conflict. “Regionalize, Realign, Reinforce, Reconcile, and Sustain”. Learn more about R4&S (SOF News, Oct 3, 2017).

Podcast on SOF. The United States Army War College presents a 21 minute podcast about U.S. special operations forces and how SOF is not a ‘silver bullet’ for all situations. “Can Special Forces Do Everything? Dispelling the Myth”War Room, October 5, 2017.

Gen (Ret) McChrystal Interview. McChrystal (former JSOC cdr, COMISAF, etc.) is interviewed about ‘flat comms’, Iraq, al Qaeda, and his workout routine. (Forbes, Oct 3, 2017).

Strange Bedfellows in Philippines. The rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was a thorn in the side of the Philippine government for decades. It has now joined in with the government troops in the fight against Muslim militants on the southern island of Mindanao. (Asia Times, Oct 1, 2017).

Hawija Liberated. The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) have recaptured the north central city of Hawijah, Iraq (effective Oct 5th) from the Islamic State. The battle took over 14 days and resulted in many of the ISIS fighters killed. Reports say that over 1,000 surrendered – which is a bit unusual. There are still areas of Iraq under ISIS control – principally in Anbar province. Of course, ISIS won’t stop fighting and is likely to return to insurgent and terrorist tactics with its loss of real estate. See “Iraqi Security Forces Liberate Hawijah”U.S. Central Command, October 5, 2017.

SEAL on the Movie Set. A former Navy SEAL and overseas government contractor shares his story about life on the movie set where he is employed as a technical advisor. Read “Meet The Navy SEAL Who Turns Actors Into Assassins”Men’s Journal, Oct 3, 2017.

Dutch Defense Minister Resigns. The Dutch military has been plagued with accidental deaths the past few years and reports indicate that safety is not emphasized enough. The Dutch Defense Minister and a top general officer have resigned in the wake of unfavorable reports about a lack of safety in the Netherlands as well as forward deployed regions (Mali). (UPI, Oct 4, 2017).

Former GB to be UM President. Seth Bodnar has been selected to be the next president of the University of Montana. He is a former ODA commander with the 1st Special Forces Group, was a Rhodes and Truman Scholar, and attended West Point.

SOF Needs Cyber Warriors. In the future Green Berets, SEALs, and Rangers will need to add cyber skills to their toolbox. Read “Hackers wanted: Special ops leaders seek soldiers who can fight the enemy up close and online”Army Times, October 3, 2017.