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Archive for the ‘SOF’ Category

Col Claude Tudor To Assume Command Of 24th SOW

Friday, February 16th, 2018

I served with Col Claude Tudor at the 720th STG. Like the man he is taking 24th SOW’s reins from, Col Mike Martin, Tudor is an outstanding officer. Congratulations!


The Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command Lieutenant General Marshall B. Webb requests the pleasure of your company at a Change of Command Ceremony at which Colonel Michael E. Martin will relinquish command of the 24th Special Operations Wing to Colonel Claude K. Tudor, Jr. on Thursday, the eighth of March at ten o’clock in the morning


Colonel Claude Tudor is the Vice Commander of Twentieth Air Force (Air Force Global Strike Command) and ICBM Task Force 214 Deputy Commanding Officer (United States Strategic Command), Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. Twentieth Air Force and Task Force 214 are responsible for the nation’s ICBM force, including four operational missile wings with over 11,000 assigned personnel. As vice commander, he serves as the designated successor and principal advisor to the commander, Twentieth Air Force. He is also director of the 100-person headquarters staff.

Colonel Tudor was born in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and commissioned through the ROTC program at Troy State University in Alabama. He has spent the preponderance of his career in special-operations ground combat assignments. He has deployed extensively in support of Joint and Coalition special operations supporting combat, humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping/peace-enforcement operations globally.


1992 Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Troy State University, Troy, Ala.

1998 Squadron Officers School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama

1999 Master of Science Degree, Business Management, Troy State University, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

2003 Air Command and Staff College, non-residence course

2004 Joint Military Intelligence College, Bolling AFB, Washington D.C. (Intermediate Developmental Education)

2004 Master of Science Degree in Strategic Intelligence, Joint Military Intelligence College, Bolling AFB, Washington D.C.

2007 Air War College, non-residence course

2010 Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa. (Senior Developmental Education)

2010 Master of Strategic Studies, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.


1. September 1992 – May 1995: Flight Commander, 314th Combat Control Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark.

2. May 1995 – May 1997: Flight Commander, 320th Special Tactics Squadron, Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan

3. May 1997 – May 1999: Director of Force Management, 720th Special Tactics Group, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

4. May 1999 – May 2000: Assistant Director of Operations, 720th Special Tactics Group, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

5. May 2000 – April 2001: Chief, Air Ops Integration, HQ Air Force Special Operations Command/Plans and Programs, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

6. April 2001 – August 2003: Director of Operations, 321st Special Tactics Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, UK

7. August 2003 – June 2004: Student, Joint Military Intelligence College, Defense Intelligence Agency, Bolling AFB, Washington DC

8. June 2004 – July 2006: Commander, 321st Special Tactics Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, UK

9. July 2006 – July 2007: Chief of Special Tactics & Battlefield Airmen Branch, HQ Air Force Special Operations and Personnel Recovery Branch, Washington DC

10. July 2007 – July 2009: Foreign Affairs Specialist, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Global Security Affairs, Coalition and Multinational Operations, Washington DC

11. July 2009 – July 2010: Student, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.

12. July 2010 – January 2011: U.S. Army XVIII Airborne Corps Air Liaison Officer, 18th Air Support Operations Group, Pope AFB, N.C.

13. January 2011 – December 2011: Commander, 368th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Group, U.S. Central Command, Iraq

14. December 2011 – June 2014: Deputy Director of Operations, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.

15. June 2014 – present: Vice Commander, Twentieth Air Force (Task Force 214 Deputy Commanding Officer), F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.


1. July 2007 – July 2009: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Global Security Affairs, Coalition and Multinational Operations, Foreign Affairs Specialist, Pentagon as Lieutenant Colonel

2. December 2011 – June 2014: Deputy Director of Operations, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C. as Colonel


U.S. Army Special Forces (SF) qualified Military Free-Fall and Static Line Jumpmaster with more than 400 jumps. He is also a SF Combat Diver, Federal Aviation Administration certified Air Traffic Controller, and Joint Terminal Attack Controller.


Legion of Merit

Bronze Star with one device

Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one device

Joint Meritorious Unit Award

Gallant Unit Citation

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor and eight devices

Air Force Recognition Ribbon


1994 Air Combat Command Combat Control Officer of the Year

1996 Air Force Special Operations Combat Control Officer of the Year

1996 Air Force Combat Control Officer of the Year

2004 Air Force Special Operations Gill Robb Wilson Award Recipient


Second Lieutenant May 29, 1992

First Lieutenant July 26, 1994

Captain July 26, 1996

Major Feb 1, 2003

Lieutenant Colonel Dec 1, 2006

Colonel Oct 1, 2010

(Current as of January 2016)

TacJobs – NSWG3 Director Of Requirements Assessments and Combat Development

Monday, January 15th, 2018

The selectee for this position will serve as a DIRECTOR OF REQUIREMENTS ASSESSMENTS AND COMBAT DEVELOPMENT in the REQUIREMENTS ASSESSMENTS AND COMBAT DEVELOPMENT (N8 DEPARTMENT HEAD) of COMNAVSPECWARGRU THREE. You will serve as the primary advisor to the Commander, NSWG-3, for the current year program execution as the primary operator/user of numerous undersea mobility platforms.

The successful selectee will perform the following duties:

Create strategic plans to meet long term goals.
Develop long range plans related to the use of manpower and equipment to verify resources are available for future work.
Engage with counterparts in support of mission priorities, requirements, and resources.
Develop program objective memorandum (POM) issues to capture program needs for funds (e.g., procurement, operations and maintenance, research development testing and evaluation (RDT & E), manpower resources).
Oversee the development of a requirements generation and capabilities process.

This job is open to
Permanent Competitive Service Internal Employees (within the DoD), Former Federal Employees, VEOA, ICTAP eligibles

$124,497 to $161,845 per year

Pay scale & grade
GS 15

Work schedule

Appointment type

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

For full details, visit:

Mustang Survival Launches Next Generation SOF Life Preserver Unit

Friday, January 12th, 2018

For the past several years, Mustang Survival has been working to introduce a new inflatable life preserver. What they’ve come up with is so low profile and lightweight, it changes the way we will look at them. While the SOF LPU only weights 1 lbs, it provides 40 lbs of bouyancy. The biggest contributor to this weight savings is a new ultralightweight membrane film, used for the inflation chamber.


But Mustang Survival didn’t build this new system in a vacuum. I first saw a prototype at last summer’s Warrior East. At that point, they’d already been working for five years with ADS to refine the form, fit, and function of what would eventually become the Mustang SOF LPU. But over the last six months that collaboration, conducting some pretty significant customer engagement and feedback, as well as market analysis, looks to have really paid off. In fact, the two companies have been working together for 20 years, since the whole Diving Equipment Prime Vendor program started.


Since my first look, they’ve brought in long-time partner CM Hammar to develop a new programmable inflator which allows the user to configure it to trigger inflation by depth, time submerged in water, or a combination of both. They are also working together to identify and validate a next generation electronic inflator technology for the SOF LPU.


However, the SOF LPU will be offered in three configurations which fit the operational profiles of most LPU users. The MD1500 utilizes a Programmable automatic inflator, MD1501 utilizes HIT Hydrostatic inflator, and MD1502 utilizes Hammar’s new manual inflator.

That video was shot during a demonstration in a Norfolk pool in November. When we discussed the history of the project, Mustang Survival reps told me that a SOF customer had initially approached them, asking if they could integrate a new life preserver into their armor vest. Mustang Survival took a look at how many different vests had been in use at that organization and suggested that they instead create an appliqué which could be attached to any vest. PALS compatibility seemed like the best answer.


It’s being referred to as a SOF LPU, but everyone who currently uses some form of inflatable LPU is going to want this. Not only can it be attached to equipment via PALS webbing, but they’ve also created a stand alone harness so the LPU can be worn alone. That’s great for over the water Helo passengers, parachutists during admin jumps and small boat passengers. Additionally, SOLAS retro-reflective tape or GLINT can be attached to the inflation chamber via hook and loop to support those TTPs which use those markings.


Because of the SOF LPU’s low profile, the wearer will barely know it’s there. It’s not going to impede movement or situational awarenes. In the event of inflation, the chamber is out front, above any equipment such as ammunition, first aid kit, or radios. That way, the wearer can still access that gear.

The SOF LPU will be offered in Sepia, MultiCam, Coyote Tan and Black.

ADS and Mustang Survival will be jointly launching the SOF LPU at SHOT Show 2018 (January 23-26 in Las Vegas).

AFSOC Combat Aviation Advisors Adopt Brown Beret

Sunday, January 7th, 2018


Air Force Special Operations Command’s Combat Aviation Advisors unveiled the newly minted Charcoal Brown beret during a special ceremony at Duke Field yesterday. The 492nd Special Operations Wing says the beret, which is only authorized for wear on AFSOC installations, is a visual reminder to the wearer of each member’s personal and professional responsibility to serve the mission and partner forces with integrity, selflessness and tenacity.



Some might see this as an Air Force “me too”, following the lead of the US Army 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade’s adoption of a Brown beret. While the Army originally planned to issue an Olive Drab beret, just recently the Chief of Staff of the Army, GEN Mark Milley announced they’d wear a Brown beret instead. However, the CAA community claims that they presented the Brown beret to President Trump On 18 July of this year, long before the Army made the Brown beret announcement. Looks like the Ar,y is following AFSOC’s lead.


The Brown beret is only for wear by Air Force personnel assigned as Combat Aviation Advisors in AFSOC’s 6th Special Operation Squadron. These billets are limited to 18 Air Force Specialty Codes. Additionally, the Brown beret may only be worn while on AFSOC installations.

The wearer of the charcoal brown beret is accountable to be professional, mature, trustworthy, a trade expert, and most importantly, a team player committed to mission accomplishment. The color signifies fertile soil and reminds the wearer daily to look for potential where others see barrenness. It signifies grit, hard work and commitment to transform potential into capability by, with and through our foreign partners…”Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere.”

Other USAF careerfields with berets include:

CCT/STO – Scarlet
PJ/CRO – Maroon
TACP/ALO – Black
Weather Parachutists – Grey
Security Force – Blue
SERE Specialists – Sage Green


This image came from the Air Force and still isn’t quite right. For instance, Special Operations Weather Technicians have a metal beret device and no longer wear the DUI of the ARSOF units they support. At least the beret colors are all correct.

Interestingly, in 2011, the USAF EOD careerfield petitioned the Air Force Uniform Board for award of the Tan beret, but that request was denied.

For the most part, USAF berets are for careerfields and not units, like in the Army. For example, USAF parachutists in numerous careerfields serving in jump billets do not wear berets. This beret is an exception, as is the Sky Blue beret worn by upper class cadets at the US Air Force Academy solely while conducting BCT for first year cadets.

Thunderstorm Technology Demonstration Program – Support for Small Unit Operations

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

The Thunderstorm Technology Demonstration Program is sponsored by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Emerging Capability & Prototyping, Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO).


The intent is to accelerate the delivery of innovative capabilities to the warfighter by demonstrating and experimenting with the capability in an operationally relevant environment. The results of this effort will be used to inform decision makers of emerging and available technology solutions that enhance or improve existing capabilities with a focus on small unit operations.

They are soliciting technology candidates from private industry, government research and development (R&D) organizations and academia for inclusion in future capability demonstration and experimentation events focused on the support for small unit operations. Technologies must be at a technology readiness level (TRL) of 4 or greater.

Thunderstorm 18-1 will be the first of a series of FY18 planned events in support of small unit operations, with demonstrations and experiments planned for March 2018 at or near Fort Bragg, NC.

The notional scenario is a small team is deployed for an operation in a potentially hostile region. The team is lightly equipped and required to be highly mobile to support the mission requirements. The operational area may have a variety of physical and electromagnetic environmental constraints. The team is required at all times to operate in all types of terrains (desert, forest, mountain, open, urban, etc.), vegetation (desert, grassland, brush, forest, etc.) and in all environmental conditions.

The program is interested in the following capabilities:

• Wireless tactical headsets for improved tactical communications: resistant to jamming, secure, use within vehicle and with dismounted personnel.

• Power for individual and squads – battery longevity: wearable power generation/harvesting technologies, proximity charging, next generation batteries for Soldier and squads (potential combination of battery & body armor); power management tools (analytics/AI to decide when/how each item is powered for max efficiency).

• Goggle or helmet mounted heads-up display – capability to improve Situational Awareness (SA), Augmented Reality (AR), etc.:

o Display of networked information (sensor display(s), mapping, alerts, etc.), networked to command center, identification of persons of interest;

• Sensor technologies providing enhanced SA – next generation night vision, see through walls, see around corners/over roofs, ID/alert potential threats (predictive analysis), 360° awareness/vision, see through smoke & other obscurants, magnification, stand-off biometrics, etc.

• Sniper training platform – augmented reality and/or virtual reality system for maintaining sniper training.

• Robotic technologies & automation – improved operations thru unmanned systems, automated processes, etc.: support/improve decision making, reduce number of personnel required for mission, remove person from dangerous jobs, e.g. possible CBRNE threats.

o Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) – small, light, man-portable, tactical systems operating autonomously/semi-autonomously; modular payloads to support multiple missions, all terrains.

• Small unit Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) – ability to operate in buildings or tight spaces

• Covert UAS – stealth to perform surveillance and reconnaissance missions without attracting unwanted attention due to its visual and/or acoustic properties; small UASs (Group 1 (0-20 lb.) and Group 2 (21-55 lb.)) that can be launched and recovered without the use of a runway.

• Personnel signature management – textiles/material to manage signature of radar, electronic, thermal, infrared, visual, electro-optical, and acoustic detection technologies. Alter or camouflage aspects of the operator or their equipment to make them undetectable and/or unrecognizable.

• Soldier down/medical alert – person in need of medical care, reports medical condition/status, contains pertinent medical records.

o Ability to scan personnel (with associated wearable technology or leads as required).

o Ability to determine Soldier workload, hydration, heartrate, blood pressure, temperature, and other vital health indicators to support Soldier efficiency and “The Golden Hour” from injury to medical support.

• Multispectral beacon – non-signals ability to quickly identify all personnel and their positions in all weather and climate conditions; providing positive identification to overhead close air support.

• Security for commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) apps – ability to utilize standard apps with an encryption level to support communications with Partner Nation Force (PNF).

• Cellphones teamed with HF/VHF transceivers – ability to send text and other data (encrypted) from a cellphone over an HF / VHF transceiver.

• Tactical hotspot or denied area internet – providing LTE and Wi-Fi and an information gateway in a denied environment.

• PNF communications and sensor control systems using indigenous commercial systems – exfiltration of secure data (AES encryption) from PNF via commercial system; data pulled, viewed and heard in real-time.

• Suppressed weapon system – accurate fires providing quieter, less flash, reduced recoil, lighter, stronger system.

• Lensless cameras – lightweight systems that do not require mechanical movement to capture images.

• LED LIDAR – lightweight systems that can provide near range measurements.

All capabilities should emphasize individual mobility and automated operations with a goal of limiting/reducing size, weight, power, etc. and reducing or eliminating operator workload requirements.

Although the date on FBO has passed to accept applications, the KO will take additional applications until 1700EST Friday, 5 Jan 18.

For instructions on how to apply, visit

MILDEP Brings SOF Perspective to Acquisition Strategy to Deliver Now

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

By John Higgins, PEO IEW&S Public Affairs, December 29, 2017

On Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., Program Executive Officer Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO IEW&S) joined by members of other PEO’s: Command Control Communications — Tactical (PEO C3T) and Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (PEO ACWA) along with Joint Program Executive Office Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO Chem Bio) hosted Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, the Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army, for his Acquisition Streamline & Culture Initiatives brief, Dec. 20, 2107. (Photo Credit: John Higgins)

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Program Executive Officer Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO IEW&S) joined by members of other PEOs: Command Control Communications — Tactical and Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives along with Joint Program Executive Office Chemical and Biological Defense hosted Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, the Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), for his Acquisition Streamline & Culture Initiatives brief.

Ostrowski’s whirlwind tour took him to Huntsville, Ala., for time with PEO Aviation and PEO Missiles & Space, then it was off to Warren, Mich., home of PEO Ground Combat Systems and PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support.

The purpose of the tour was to meet with Army Acquisition professionals and discuss plans for the future.

Ostrowski certainly had a plan. It’s a rare thing when a speaker can be said to be “electrifying” in the field of acquisition.

“We’ve been so brain washed in a way,” Ostrowski said to a well-attended auditorium, “to follow processes and that those processes were more important than product, which has put us in a position where we no longer than keep up with the threat and we no longer can keep up with the advances in technology with the speed at which they are turning.”

In Special Operations fashion, Ostrowski directly offered to “fly high cover,” saying “I’ve got your back. Because it’s on me. Which is exactly where I want to be, because we have got to change this thing.”

The first part of these dramatic plans actually began almost a year ago with the Section 809 Panel, assembled specifically to assess acquisition and identify areas of improvement. They presented their initial findings to the Armed Services committee in May of 2017.

Their fifty page paper ended with this conclusion:
“All these events exact a toll on the morale of the acquisition workforce. At some point people, motivated by their desire to serve the country and the men and women defending it, feel frustrated in their efforts to make a difference and do not feel empowered with respect to work processes. The workforce deserves a better system.”

To find that better system, Ostrowski directed his team to “Go to the Navy: they got this thing called an ACAT [Acquisition Category] IV, I want to know all the things about what an ACAT IV is and whether or not we can use something like that in our Army.”
An Acquisition Category IV was exclusive to the Navy and Marines until very recently. It designates either testing or monitoring of a product. Further, those ACAT IV items will be directly managed at the Colonel (O-6) or Civilian GS-15 level.

“I also said, ‘Look, I want you to go to SOCOM and I want to you pull up a thing called a SAMP, a Simplified Acquisition Management Plan,” Ostrowski continued. “Right now one size shoe fits all, weather you’re at ACAT I or ACAT III, in our Army? The documentation isn’t substantially different.”

A SAMP contains acquisition strategy, logistic support plan and a testing plan in roughly ten pages. The reason for this is the paper work is required by law, the there is no specified length.

Ostrowski pointed out that there are waivers that would allow Acquisition personnel to tailor their paperwork, not just to the military requirement but how an item is created and what its intended purpose will be. The issue, he said, was it was easier to do something the “process” way, then to get permission to do it the “product” way.

“That’s why I had to do a Corrosion Prevention Control Plan for a combat shirt. In case you’re wondering, a combat shirt doesn’t have any metal on it at all. It’s just cloth. But I signed it! Because it was easier to that than to ask for a waiver!”

Ostrowski then launched into a comprehensive plan that would allow for a greater degree of customization across the board in acquisition strategies. Ostrowski also addressed testing, and how to hold industry partners accountable to a greater degree of initial functionality, but also a greater degree of long-term improvement. That also means communicating with industry partners on their level, the lieutenant said. “We have to bring the testing community into acquisition reform,” he said continuing, “Acquisition is a team sport.”

A key element of this, is “fly before you buy,” and “buy down risk.” Ostrowski said. This means that rather than rush a product to Milestone B where there is a greater oversight for development, project managers should utilize a more deliberate process to eliminate as much risk as possible before entering the next Milestone gate. Ostrowski said that while this will cost us time in the short term, it will save us time and money in the long term.

These reforms are even more necessary now, as The Army now owns 835 programs, with Integrated Air Missile Defense, Lower Tier Missile Defense and Future Vertical lift the only three programs still under the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Ostrowski identified an ambitious plan, however, he made it clear that he had put in the work to make it happen and would continue to put in the effort to do so.

“You have equipped the most lethal, the most force protected and the most situational aware Army that has ever walked the face of this earth.” Ostrowski said, reflecting on the accomplishments of the PEO community. “You should be very proud of what it is that you have done.”

USSOCOM Awards Revision Contract To Develop Advanced Technology Demonstration Helmet

Friday, December 29th, 2017

Even as USSOCOM continues to evaluate industry proposals for their next Family of Tactical Headborne Systems, the command’s Science & Technology arm awarded an 18-month, $1,813,065 contract to develop Advanced Technology Demonstration Helmet. The award is based upon USSOCOM-BAAST-2015 Appendix J, Amendment 14 published on April 20, 2017 under the BAA’s area of interest, Topic 4.4 Optical Electronics. In July 2016, Revision was awarded a similar contract for the advancement of headborne systems technologies.


During AUSA, Revision previewed their Sensys technology which serves as a platform to integrate new helmet and body worn technologies such as augmented reality and conformal power sources.

The Yarborough Knife

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

The Yarborough knife, aka The Green Beret Knife.


Soldiers graduating from the Special Forces Qualification Course were presented The Yarborough knife along with their Green Beret, beginning in August 2002.

The knives were initially “issued” to graduates and signed for on a “hand receipt”, making them government property. According to myth, legend , and folklore, this made them illegal to re-sell. You rarely see a Yarborough for sale.

Today, graduates must purchase their knife through the SF Museum. You may only purchase one. Each knife is serial numbered and that number kept on record.

Chris Reeve’s Knives manufactures the Yarborough and also makes a civilian version minus the ‘Yarborough’ and serial number engraving on the blade.

The Yarborough knife, a combat field knife specifically designed by renowned knife maker William Harsey – which serves as a link to the brotherhood of unconventional warriors.

Blade Length: 7.0″
Cutting Edge: 6.25″
Handle Length: 5.375″
Overall Length: 12.375″

Info via Special Forces Association Chapter LX