SOF News Update 20180625 – helping fragile states, Burma or Myanmar, new 3rd SFGA Cdr, USMC emerges strong, terror in Sahara, problems with security cooperation, SOCOM’s TALOS, Navy NSW vet to be CT official, new cdr for 1st SOW, new cdr for Army SOAC, drones, CIA’s tech start-up, future Desert Storm Memorial, 82nd in Swift Response exercise, Berlin Blockade – 70 years, “SOF Tax Cut Act”, IDF’s distress signal app, Aussie SOF, SOF officer assignments, Hezbollah in Syria, NZ SAS under fire, and more.
French Award for Last SAS Original. The last living member of the original Special Air Service from World War II was recently awarded the highest honor for bravery by the French government. His exploits are fascinating reading. (The Times, June 23, 2018).
Aussie SOF. The Australian special forces has been under the microscope lately due to an investigation into possible wrongdoing in Afghanistan. However, the Australian Defense Chief has expressed “100 per cent” trust with Aussie SOF. (Best in AU, June 22, 2018).
New Zealand SAS Under Fire. A government-ordered inquiry is underway on ‘Operation Burnham” – a Special Air Service operation conducted in Afghanistan. (Stuff.co.nz, June 23, 2018).
Psychology Tests for India’s Commandos. The candidates for India’s commando forces will undergo a psychology test as part of the induction and selection process. (Times of India, June 24, 2018).
New 3rd SFGA Cdr. Colonel Brad Moses is moving on. He will be chief of staff for the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). He is being replaced by Colonel Nathan Prussian. While Moses spent a good part of his career with 3rd SFGA, his replacement is more of a 1st Group type of guy. Read more about the change of command in “3rd Special Forces Group welcomes new leader”, The Fayetteville Observer, June 21, 2018.
1/1st SFGA CoC. The 1st Battalion of the 1st Special Forces Group on Okinawa has held a change of command ceremony. LTC Ryan Armstrong has been replaced by LTC Ted Sullivan.
New Dep Cdr USACAPOC. Brigadier General Jeffrey Coggin will become the deputy commanding general of the United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command at Fort Bragg, NC.
Navy NSW Vet to be CT Official. President Trump is nominating Joseph Maguire to lead the National Counterterrorism Center. Currently Maquire is president and CEO of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. He is a NSW veteran. (Denton Record-Chronicle, June 22, 2018).
New Cdr for 1st SOW. Col. Mike Conley will take the reins of the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field. (NWF Daily News, June 22, 2018).
War Story – Ranger Staying in the Fight. An Army Ranger who lost a hand while throwing away an enemy grenade is staying in the fight. His actions saved the life of two other Rangers and he was awarded the Medal of Honor. (Military Times, June 22, 2018).
Navy SEAL Turned Author. The first book out from a retired SEAL is entitled The Terminal List. (Good4Utah.com, June 22, 2018).
“SOF Tax Cut Act”. One Congressman from North Carolina is proposing a tax cut for deployed special operations forces. (Faytetteville Observer, June 23, 2018).
New Cdr for Army SOAC. Colonel Allan Pepin is now the commander of the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command. (Fayetteville Observer, June 22, 2018).
SOCOM’s TALOS. U.S. Special Operations Command is investigating the use of a futuristic suit for its SOF personnel. The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) will incorporate an exoskeleton that can help operators carry heavier loads. C4I capabilities built into the helmet and system would expand the abilities of the SOF warriors. Read more in “SOCOM Explores Futuristic Suit”, FEDWeek, June 22, 2018.
Terror in Sahara. Read a pictorial narrative about the jihadist groups found in the Sahara region of Africa. Read “The war in the desert: Why the Sahara is terror’s new front line”, BBC News, June 2018.
Fighting ISIS the Expensive Way. Read about the tale of a bombing raid in the Libyan desert where B-2 stealth bombers and 500-pound bombs are used against 70 ragtag fighters. “An Extraordinarily Expensive Way to Fight ISIS”, The Atlantic, July / August 2018.
NAF Deploys 300 SF to Benue State. The Nigerian Air Force has deployed troops of its Special Forces units to Benue State, Nigeria to establish greater security. (Press Release Nigeria, June 24, 2018).
New Camies for IDF. New camouflage uniforms may be coming to the Israel Defense Forces. (The Times of Israel, June 24, 2018).
Hezbollah in Syria – an Increasing Threat to Israel. Seth G. Jones of the Center for Strategic & International Relations writes about the escalating conflict with Hezbollah and Iran in Syria. Israel is not standing by doing nothing – it has mounted air strikes in an increasing number over the past few years. The stakes are high and it is critical for Washington to help prevent further escalation. (CSIS, June 20, 2018).
82nd and Swift Response. Paratroopers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina conducted a long-range airborne infiltration into Latvia and Lithuania. The aircraft required at least one mid-air refueling. Read more in “82nd Airborne Division descends on the Baltics for Swift Response exercise”, Army.mil, June 13, 2018.
70 Years – Berlin Blockade. On June 24, 1948, Joseph Stalin – the leader of the Soviet Union – imposed the Berlin Blockade cutting off all land and river transit between West Berlin and West Germany.
Canadian Carbines to Ukraine. Maybe it isn’t such a good idea. At least according to Scott Taylor – editor of Esprit de Corps magazine. (The Chronicle Herald, June 24, 2018).
IDF’s Distress Signal App. Members of the Israel Defense Force will now be able to download an app for their cell phone to indicate a crisis or distress situation. Read more in “IDF rolls out anti-kidnap app to keep soldiers safe”, The Times of Israel, June 24, 2018.
Burma or Myanmar? Some nations recognize the name of Burma (as does the U.S.) while other prefer Myanmar. Read “What’s in a Name: Burma or Myanmar?”, The Olive Branch, June 21, 2018.
Helping Fragile States. The U.S. record in assisting nations rebuilding their military is mixed. Many partner-building efforts fail. Read more in “Before You Help a Fragile State’s Military, Ask These Uncomfortable Questions”, Defense One, June 21, 2018.
Problems with Security Cooperation. The U.S. military cannot be everywhere in the world to protect the countries vital national security interests. For this reason ‘security cooperation’ lends itself as a useful tool to get other nations to help out with the protection of U.S. interests. However, there are some challenges with enabling partner forces. Read more in “More Is Not Better: Fixing Security Cooperation”, War Room, United States Army War College, June 22, 2018.
Future Desert Storm Memorial. Those who served and died during the Desert Shield and Desert Storm campaigns will soon be remembered with a memorial in Washington, D.C. It will be located next to the Vietnam War Memorial. (WTOP.com, June 22, 2018).
Drone Wars. The uptick in use of drones against terrorist targets in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and other locations is being noticed. Restrictions on the use of drones have been loosened. (Vice.com, June 22, 2018).
USMC with Greater Role? One writer seems to think that the USMC will become the dominant U.S. ground combat force in the future. Hmmm. Read “Five Reasons the Marine Corps Is the Future of U.S. Ground Combat”, Forbes.com, June 21, 2018.
CIA’s Tech Start-Up. Read about how the future of the spy world will revolve around silicon valley and the CIA’s non-secret investment company – In-Q-Tel. (Maxim, June 22, 2018).
Photo: Afghan Commando provides overwatch during operations in Deh Bala district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. Photo by SSG Marcus Butler, RS HQs, June 1, 2018.