Special Operations News Update 20171103

ISIS-K defensive fighting positions are targeting in Momand Valley, Achin district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan on October 19, 2017. (Photo by CPL Matthew DeVirgilio, NATO Special Operations Component Command - Afghanistan)
ISIS-K defensive fighting positions are targeting in Momand Valley, Achin district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan on October 19, 2017. (Photo by CPL Matthew DeVirgilio, NATO Special Operations Component Command - Afghanistan)

SOF News Update 20171103 – Reorganize Intel community, USAF Combat Controller training, SAS soldiers charged in trainee deaths, Green Beret continues service despite loss of leg, continued support for SDF in Syria by SOJTF-OIR, brown berets for 1st SFAB, “American Sniper” and Ventura, CTC Trends, and more.

Intel Community Reorganization. The numerous U.S. intelligence agencies need to be streamlined to be more effective. They don’t coordinate well with each other. (The Hill, Nov 2, 2017).

CTC Trends. The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) has published a pub entitled CTC Trends FY2016, dated October 2017. (No. 17-28). The first read of the table of contents isn’t that exciting but once you into the document itself you will find some interesting notes and links to documents on the CoIST, Asymmetric Warfare Group, and more. https://t.co/xROlwIUWNR

SAS Soldiers Charged. Two UK special forces soldiers have been charged in the death of three recruits going through an Special Air Service (SAS) selection exercise. See “Army anger at charges for SAS deaths”The Times, November 3, 2017.

USAF STS Training. The training path for the U.S. Air Force’s combat controllers is long and rigorous. It includes a 2-week long orientation course (selection), a 15-week long combat controller course, Airborne School, survival course, Combat Control School (FBNC), special tactics training, HALO course, and dive school. Read more in “Training to become a combat controller is grueling”NWF Daily News, November 1, 2017.

SF and Other Units to Stay in Syria. The commander of Special Operations Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (SOJTF-OIR), MG James B. Jarrard, says the U.S.-led coalition will continue to support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that took Raqqa, Syria and continue to fight remaining pockets of ISIS. The SDF, dominated by Kurds, also (according to Jarrad) consists of Syrian Arabs, Assyrians, Yezidis, Armenians, and Turkmen. The Raqqa Internal Security Force (RISF) is providing local security in Raqqa and answers to the Raqqa Civil Council. (DoD, Oct 31, 2017). You can watch the full video of the press conference here – www.defense.gov/Videos/videoid/561958/

Narrative for SF Niger Mission Gone Bad. The narrative by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has been disjointed – causing questioning on the part of the media and putting defense spokesmen and senior leaders in the spotlight on the mission where four members of the 3rd Special Forces Group were killed in Niger. (Task & Purpose, Nov 2, 2017). In other news, CBS Evening News says it has new details in the ambush that left four U.S. dead. (Nov 2, 2017). One U.S. Senator, James Inhofe, writes in a Wall Street Journal“The Pentagon’s Vital African Mission opinion piece about “, Nov 2, 2017.

Green Beret Continues Service Despite Loss of Leg. A Boston native was recently honored at the college where he played football for his continued service in Special Forces despite losing a leg in combat. Read “Green Beret veteran honored at annual UMass Lowell Flag Ceremony”The Boston Globe, November 2, 2017.

“American Sniper” and Ventura. Former Minnesota Governor (and Navy SEAL) Jesse Ventura and the estate of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle are working toward a settlement in Ventura’s years-long defamation case. (Navy Times, Oct 3, 2017).

Brown Berets for 1st SFAB. The Chief of Staff for the Army, General Milley (a former Green Beret), will decide on the final shade of brown for the beret to be worn by the members of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB). Initial reports on the beret indicated that it was an olive brown color very close to the color of the Green Beret worn by members of Special Forces units. (Military.com, Nov 2, 2017).

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