Special Operations News Update 20180326

10th Special Forces member on a snow machine during a four week long winter warfare training exercise in Sweden. (photo by SSG Matthew Britton, SOCEUR, February 28, 20180.
10th Special Forces member on a snow machine during a four week long winter warfare training exercise in Sweden. (photo by SSG Matthew Britton, SOCEUR, February 28, 20180.

SOF News Update 20180326 – Gov Greitens still under fire, AT training facility in Jordan, conflict in Yemen to continue, retired SEAL on his career, medic instructor at Joint SO Medical Training Center, USASOC sniper competition, CRS report on Iraq, video sniper competition, CANSOF in Iraq – still, SOBR – Russian SOF units, beta male vs. masculinity, DIA Director, war in Iraq is still on, and more.

Gov Greitens Still Under Fire. Former Navy SEAL and now Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is still experiencing some legal difficulties. The ex-husband of the woman who had an affair with Greitens is seeking an order for protection from the governor. He is suffering from feelings of intimidation. (Navy Times, Mar 22, 2018).

19th SFGA Soldier Killed in Fayetteville. A member of the 19th Special Forces Group died during an altercation on Wednesday, March 21st. It is believed that the attacker was a member of the Army’s Delta Force based on Fort Bragg, NC. (ABC News, Mar 23, 2018).

Yemen Conflict to Continue. A recent meeting between President Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman yielded no big news on a possible end to the raging conflict in Yemen. Read an article by Rachel Ansley entitled “The War in Yemen: No End in Sight”Atlantic Council, March 21, 2018.

Beta Male vs Masculinity. The presence of a ‘warrior culture’ within the military is something that military leaders have always tried to cultivate. Along with that is the development of a service member who is strong, decisive, and ‘manly’. However, within certain segments of American society there is a noticeable push to cultivate the adoption of the ‘beta male’ as a way for men to act and behave. It is almost as though projecting masculinity is a fault. This is somewhat reflective of the current civilian-military divide. Read more in “Where Have All the Warriors Gone?”Psychology Today, March 21, 2018.

DIA Director. One of the aspects of the intelligence service is the idea that keeping a low profile is a good idea. The Defense Intelligence Agency Director seems to be following that rule. Have you ever heard of Robert P. Ashley, Jr.? (AllGov,  Mar 25, 2018).

CANSOF in Iraq – Still. About 120 Canadian troops are still in Iraq 6 months after the mission was suspended because of fighting between the Kurds and government of Iraq troops. Although the number used to be about 200 Canadian SOF in Iraq the number has decreased. Vassy Kapelos, the host of CBC News Network’s Power & Politics is wondering. See “What are Canadian special Forces still doing in Iraq?” CBC News Politics, March 24, 2018.

Speaking of Iraq – The War Still Isn’t Over. The Executive Editor of Defense One, Kevin Baron, recently returned from a trip to Iraq. He has big news. “The war isn’t over, yet”. Among some Iraqi generals there seems to be some optimism. Part of it is that there is a degree of cooperation between the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the Federal Police, the Iraqi Army, and the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS). A three-star American general seems to think that ISIS attempts to form an underground insurgency is “aspirational”. That deserves a good “Harrrrummmpppphhhh”.  Then again, MG James Jarrad (a SOF guy) seems to agree with LTG Funk. I can remember being at the CJSOTF-AP in 2004 when the word ‘insurgency’ at CJTF 7 was forbidden. I mean – it’s Iraq – sandwiched between Syria an Iran.  Read more in “The War in Iraq Isn’t Done. Commanders Explain Why and What’s Next”Defense One, March 25, 2018.

SOBR – Russian SOF Units. The majority terrorist incidents are not handled by the FSB’s elite “Alpha” unit. This responsibility usually falls to the SOBR or Special Squad, Rapid Reaction teams. These regional teams handle most armed incidents in Russia. Learn more in “This is the Russian Special Forces unit no talks about – until now”The Buzz – National Interest, March 24, 2018.

USASOC Sniper Competition. Some of the best marksmen from around the world gathered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command International Sniper Competition this past week. (The Fayetteville Observer, Mar 23, 2018). Watch a short video of the competition posted on USAJFKSWCS’s Facebook on March 23, 2018.

Retired SEAL Talks about his Career. A former Marine officer and SEAL talks about his military career and how he continues – even after retirement – to contribute to the training of the military. Read “What I’ve Learned: David Pittelkow”Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (DVIDS), February 16, 2018.

CRS Report on Iraq. The Congressional Research Service has published an updated report to Congress on Iraq. The 18-page report is entitled Iraq: in BriefCRS, March 5, 2018. Posted on the United States Naval Institute (USNI) portal.

Medic Instructor at Joint SO Med Ctr is Profiled. Phillip Gonzales has led an interesting life – starting with his time with 5h SFGA in Vietnam to his current role as an instructor at the Joint Special Operations Medical Training Center at Fort Bragg. Now age 70 – there is lots of action and adventure that can be found in the ‘in-between years’. Read more in “Medic Returns Home to Train Next Generation”The Fayetteville Observer, March 22, 2018.

AT Training Facility in Jordan. The Department of State and Government of Jordan inaugurated a new regional counterterrorism training facility south of Amman. Once fully operational, the new training center, will double DoS’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program’s regional counterterrorism training capacity in Jordan. (DoS, Mar 22, 2018).

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