SOF News Update 20171018 – Australian SF remembered, CANSOF in Kurdistan, strikes against ISIS in Yemen, upcoming movie about horse soldiers, Air Force Cross awarded to STS member, new digs for 19th SFGA, ISIS presence in Raqqa diminished (a lot), Panama security force personnel attend NAVSCIATTS, RAND paper on SOF, MISO team degrades LRA, and more.
CIA PM Operator to be DoD guy for Middle East. Retired CIA paramilitary officer Michael Mulroy selected for assignment as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East.
Aussie SF Remembered. The Australian War Memorial will be presenting a new program entitled From the Shadows: Australia’s Special Forces. A collection of war memorabilia will be on display that covers the history of the Australian Special Forces from the Second World War to Afghanistan. Read “Memorial launches trailblazing Special Forces Exhibition”, Australian War Memorial, October 2017. See also “Australian special forces in the spotlight”, SBS News, October 18, 2017.
CANSOF in Kurdistan. A Canadian spokesman said that all Canadian soldiers are safe and accounted for. Canadian special forces are working with the Peshmerga in the fight against ISIS. However, the recent clash between the Kurds and government troops has put them at risk. Despite the fight between Kurdish and Iraqi troops the Canadian military is still providing training to Kurdish forces and continuing in the process of providing them with weapons. (National Post, Oct 17, 2017).
NAVSIATTS Attendees from Panama. Members of the Panama security forces recently attended training at the U.S. Special Operations Command’s Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS). (Dialogo, Oct 17, 2017).
RAND Paper on SOF. A 48-page paper entitled “Supporting Persistent and Networked Special Operations Forces (SOF) Operations” provides insights from forward-deployed SOF personnel. RAND, October, 2017.
19th SFGA Gets New Digs. The Utah National Guard is constructing a new facility at Camp Williams for its 19th Special Forces Group. The guard center, to cost $37 million, will be finished by 2019. (The Salt Lake Tribune, Oct 17, 2017).
MISO Team Degrades LRA. A Military Information Support Operations team (PYSOP) helped degrade Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) with thousands of followers to just a couple of hundred. Read “How 4 Green Berets Took Down Joseph Kony’s Army With Tailored Messages”, Defense One, October 17, 2017.
ISIS in Raqqa? Not so Much. The Islamic State seems to be fully dislodged from its capital in Syria. Fighters have either fled, surrendered, or are dead. The collapse of ISIS in Raqqa coincides with the third anniversary of the start of coalition operations to fight the Islamic State. Read “ISIS Faces Devastating Defeat on 3rd Anniversary of Operations“, Department of Defense, October 17, 2017.
Air Strikes Against ISIS in Yemen. For the past few years the United States has conducted piloted and drone air strikes against al-Qaeda targets in Yemen. For the first time the U.S. has hit ISIS targets in that country. Dozens of members of ISIS were recently killed in training camps. (Newsweek, Oct 17, 2017).
Air Force Cross Awarded to STS Airman. Staff Sergeant Richard Hunter was awarded the second highest medal (1st is the Medal of Honor) for a mission near Kunduz, Afghanistan. He was part of a 55-man ground team of U.S. Special Forces and Afghan commandos who by chopper at night to conduct a mission to capture or kill a high value Taliban leader. The combat engagement would last all night with two Green Berets killed, three Afghan commandos killed, and even more wounded. An AC-130 Gunship provided effective air support to assist the SF team on the ground. Read “Air Force Combat Controller, AC-130 crew honored for valor in Afghanistan”, Air Force Times, October 17, 2017.
Story of SF Team in Combat in Kunduz. A US Special Forces team fought off Taliban attackers in an Afghan village near Kunduz, Afghanistan. SFODA 0224 of the 10th Special Forces Group would fight all night long to survive assaults by a greater force of Taliban fighters. Fortunately the ODA had an STS combat controller on the team and “Spooky 43” overhead. However, the combat action cost the lives of two Green Berets. Read “How a US Raid On an Afghan Village Went Wrong”, BuzzFeed News, October 17, 2017.