SOF News Update 20180402 – Deserting the Kurds, history of the 10th SFG badge, amazing SF fighters, enduring change with partner military forces, DuffelBlog on progress in Afghanistan, ODA 595 member speaks on Afghanistan, podcast on Australian “Zed Force”, new book of Israel’s elite SOF unit, rail transport in the Baltics, FBNC winners in Bataan March, Palantir contract, snipers in the Ukraine conflict, and more.
History of 10th SFG Badge. In 1955 the newly formed 10th Special Forces Group adopted the Trojan Horse Badge to wear on their Green Berets. Read up on the Trojan Horse Badge in “Then and Now: History of the 10th Special Forces Group Badge”, Army.mil, March 30, 2018.
Enduring Change with Partner Military Forces. The U.S. military conducts hundreds of large and small military exercises overseas to advance the professional of partner military forces. Two military officers who currently are advising foreign military forces provide their thoughts on embedded long-term advisors as opposed to short duration unit training events. One of the officers is now advising at the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command (ANASOC). Read “E2 (Embedding Effects): How to Enable Enduring Change in Partner Military Forces”, Small Wars Journal, April 1, 2018.
New Book on Israel’s Elite SOF Unit. A former high-ranking member of the Israeli defense forces has penned a book that provides a history of he Sayerat Matkal. (Haaretz, April 2, 2018).
Podcast on Australian “Zed Force”. Australia’s original special forces that fought against the Japanese in World War II is being showcased at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. (ABC.net.au, April 2, 2018).
Snipers in the Ukraine Conflict. Russia has been employing contract military and special operations forces in the Ukraine conflict to great effect. Russia is using this battleground to perfect their sniping techniques and equipment. The Ukrainians are attempting to counter the Russian sniping tactics with their own snipers. Read more in “Weapons: Giving Russian Snipers Problems”, Strategy Page, March 31, 2018.
Rail Transport in the Baltics. The Russian military enjoys an advantage when it comes to the logistics aspect of a conflict over the Baltic states. One reason for this is the disparity in rail transport infrastructure that would be useful for military purposes. Read “Baltic Trainspotting: Railways and NATO’s Logistics Problem in Northeastern Europe”, by Adam Maisel and Laurynas Keturakis, Modern War Institute at West Point, April 2, 2018.
ODA 595 Member Speaks on Afghanistan. Will Summers infiltrated northern Afghanistan with his Special Forces detachment and two Air Force combat controllers. Within six weeks they assisted the Northern Alliance in the liberation of Mazar-e Sharif – one of the largest cities in northern Afghanistan. Read his comments of the mission in “Former soldier: Faith united first Americans in Afghanistan invasion”, The Fayetteville Observer, March 31, 2018.
Palantir Contract. For years the special operations community has preferred a Palantir computer application over the U.S. Army’s Distributed Common Ground System – Army (DCGS-A) of a battlefield intelligence platform. The Army’s system was very problematic. Palantir had a much friendlier user interface. Now with Palantir getting the U.S. Army contract for creating the Army’s new battlefield intelligence platform there is great opportunity ahead; but there are also some minefields in the future as well. Read more in “Why the Army’s New Palantir Contract Won’t Fix Battlefield Intelligence”, Task & Purpose, March 27, 2018.
DuffelBlog on Progress in Afghanistan. DuffelBlog, a funny military blog that posts ‘fake news’ for comedic effect, has a long history of poking fun at all aspects of the military. Some articles are quick, short reads. Others are laced with profanity. For the most part the articles are entertaining. One of its latest articles pokes a little fun at the constant barrage of ‘good news’ stories coming out of the Pentagon and Resolute Support headquarters. DufflelBlog’s ability to get its writers to provide content that mixes just enough facts with fiction has you sometimes wondering about what is fake and what is fact.
So . . . Read “Officials Note Progress in Afghanistan, Difficulty for Taliban”, DuffelBlog, April 1, 2018.
Then compare it to “Officials Note Progress in Afghanistan, Difficulty for Taliban”, Defense Media Activity, March 20, 2018.
Amazing SF Fighters. A short article describing the ‘horse soldiers’ that went into northern Afghanistan in late 2001 to link up with the Northern Alliance. “The Most Amazing Special Forces Fighters You’ve Never Heard Of”, American Thinker, March 31, 2018.
FBNC Teams Big Winners in the Bataan March. The 2018 Bataan Memorial Death March was held at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico on March 25th. Fort Bragg teams took the honors in the timed event. Read “Fort Bragg teams sweep Bataan March”, The Fayetteville Observer, March 31, 2018.
Deserting the Kurds. When President Trump says or tweets something people get nervous. Right now the Kurds in Syria are fretting over a recent statement by Trump that now is the time to leave Syria. Which, of course, would leave America’s best ally in Syria to the wolves (that would be the Assad regime, Iran, Russia, Turkey, and ISIS). So will America cease its support of the Kurds? Read a year-old article by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon who writes about U.S. SOF apprehensions about leaving the Syrian Kurds behind in “I Want to Finish This: US Special Ops Leaders Urge Washington to Stick by the Syrian Kurds”, Defense One, September 2017.