TYR Tactical

Archive for the ‘SOF’ Category

USSOCOM Seeks Maritime Backpack Suite

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Last week, Program Manager Special Operations Forces which is located at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Soldier Center at Natick, MA, issued a sources sought notice for a Maritime Backpack Suite.

For the purpose of this RFI, a Maritime Backpack Suite consists of:
Backpack, Large 1
Backpack, Small 1
Pouch, Man-pack Radio 1
Pouch, Gas Mask 1
Pouch, MK48/Med Kit 1
Rucksack Liner, Roll Top, Large 1
Waterproof Duffel Bag 1
Mesh Bag 1
Backpack Frame 1
Yolk / Stability System 1
Waist Belt 1
Backpack Repair Kit 1

This table depicts desired attributes.

They also want the colors to be consistent with current Body Armor Load Carriage Systems (MultiCam, solid gray/green). The suite must also be compatible with the CRYE JPC & AVS and Eagle MMAC 2012 as well legacy load carriage systems (LCS) as well as all individual airborne equipment items and rigging procedures utilizing Single Point Release Harness, SOF Harness, and parachutist drop bag.

Interested vendors have until Jul 29, 2019 at 4:00 pm Eastern to respond. For full details, visit www.fbo.gov.

Warrior EAST 19 – Silent Tactical Energy Enhanced Dismount by Hendrick Motorsports

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

The Silent Tactical Energy Enhanced Dismount or STEED, by Hendrick Motorsports is an all terrain, electric power card. It has zero emissions and can carry up to 500 lbs over complex terrain. STEED will even climb stairs and can be used in water.

This is not a robot. It is simple to use. STEED is a two wheeled cart and not gyro stabilized, requiring at least one person to balance and operate the STEED. It features forward and reverse along with a thumb pedal to control speeds up to 5 1/2 mph. The two wheels make it easy to maneuver into tight spaces.

STEED began as a USSOCOM mobility project but was temporarily shelved due to other, pressing requirements. It was picked up by Asymmetric Warfare Group for use by squads to transport Subterranean operations equipment. STEED has successfully completed a Combat Validation with SOFWERX.

STEED is also a participating technology in the 2019 Advanced Expeditionary Warrior Experiments.

Although it is envisioned for use in subterranean operations, it handles the transit across rough terrain quite well and would greatly enhance the capability of a squad to move bulky equipment such as weapons along with bulk fuel, food, water, and ammunition as well as casualties.

For more information, contact RFlanagan@hmsracing.com

SOFWERX Presents – Disruptive Speaker Series The Iranian Threat Network: Implications for the U.S.-Iran Crisis

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM J5 Donovan Strategy and Innovation Group and Joint Special Operations University, will host a Disruptive Speaker Series entitled “The Iranian Threat Network: Implications for the U.S.-Iran Crisis,” led by Dr. Diane M. Zorri from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on 25 July, 2019.

The presentation offers a novel perspective on the study of Iranian proxy organizations in Iraq and Yemen. This comparative analysis of Iranian proxy groups in the Middle East intends to provide a deeper understanding on how to counter Iranian decision-making.

For more information and to RSVP, visit sofwerx.org/donovan.

19th SFG(A) Conducts Exercise Ridge Runner with Polish, Latvian Allies in West Virginia

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

CHARLESTON, W. Va. — West Virginia Army National Guard (WVARNG) Special Forces Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) recently completed the first irregular and unconventional warfare training iteration for members of the Polish Territorial Defense Forces and Latvian Zemmessardze as a part of the Ridge Runner program in West Virginia.

Ridge Runner is a WVARNG training program that provides various National Guard, active duty, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally nation armed forces training and experience to in irregular and asymmetrical warfare tactics and operations.

Both nations have newly established national guard-type forces for their militaries, the Territorial Defense Forces for Poland and the Zemmesardze for Latvia, that are focused on the defense of their homeland and resistance against an aggressor.

“The conclusion of this Ridge Runner training is an exceptionally important milestone for both West Virginia and our allies in Poland and Latvia, who we have a longstanding relationship within our State through the State Partnership Programs with the Illinois and Michigan National Guards,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard. “West Virginia is the perfect venue for our highly trained special forces to help these two nations’ military forces develop the skills vital to their mission at home, which is extraordinarily important in this era of geo-political uncertainty.”

“This exercise provides us a unique set of skills needed in developing our unconventional warfare skill sets,” said Marek Zaluski, acting public information officer for the Polish Territorial Defense Forces. “Our primary role is similar to that of the National, which is to support the local communities. In addition, we serve as a reserve base for conventional forces. Here at Ridge Runner, we developed skills beyond that. We’ve learned how to work with Special Forces, serve as liaisons, how to speak the same language, have the interoperability and cooperation.”

He continued, “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to train with the West Virginia National Guard, through Ridge Runner and the State Partnership Program. All those skills being developed go right along with what we learn at home. The soldiers who came with us for this exercise were specifically handpicked from a larger group because they represent the skills needed to operate with the Special Forces community as liaisons, pathfinders, and as people who are the points of contact in case of an unconventional warfare situation.”

Ridge Runner’s mission is to develop and execute irregular warfare training across the State of West Virginia that contributes to the development of Special Operations Forces’ (SOF) and General-Purpose Forces’ (GPF) irregular warfare understanding and capabilities, in order to support national security.

The Ridge Runner program operates in different parts of the state because of its diverse training needs and the terrain the State of West Virginia offers. Ridge Runner is held numerous times per year to train forces in both the United States and around the world.

The State Partnership Program (SPP) is a National Guard Bureau initiative that links states and territories with partner countries around the world to foster mutual interests, establish long-term relations, enhance U.S. national security interests, and promote political stability. Through the SPP program, the Illinois National Guard is partnered with Poland and the Michigan National Guard is partnered with Latvia.

Story by CPT Holli Nelson, West Virginia National Guard

Photos by Edwin Wriston

SOFWERX – Next Generation PEO-RW Cockpit Capability Collaboration Event

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

USSOCOM PEO-Rotary Wing (RW) is interested in the next generation Special Operations Aviation (SOA) Cockpit. Join subject matter experts to ideate on potential solutions. This event will help participants understand the operational needs of the RW user community.

Focus areas include:
• Controls
• Voice Activation
• Heads Up Eyes Out Display
• Windscreen
• Display
• Communication/ICS
• Operational Flight Program (Operating System)

The event will ensure exposure to any technology that could increase aviator capability from the cockpit.

SOFWERX will hold an event on 16 July 2019 and the RSVP Deadline: 09 July 11:59 PM EST (sic).

For additional details, visit www.sofwerx.org/cockpit.

AFSOC U-28A Aircraft Named “Draco”

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019


After more than 13 years in service, the U-28A intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft officially received approval in May for the naming convention of “Draco”.  

Draco is the Latin term for dragon. Most aircraft commonly have a name after their numerical designation, such as CV-22 Osprey. 

Col. Robert Masaitis, 492nd Special Operations Training Group commander, Draco pilot and former commander of the 34th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, commented on the process of naming the aircraft.

“From my time in the community (2010-2012), we were split between a couple of schools of thought on the official naming of the U-28,” said Masaitis. “Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, the AFSOC commander at the time, had told us we ought to name the aircraft. Between the two, then later three squadron commanders, we could agree that ‘Draco’ was probably the obvious choice. I’m glad to see we’re bringing this initiative to fruition after all this time, as the U-28 has become so much more than the single-engine, non-descript ‘utility’ aircraft we brought into the service over a decade ago.”

The mission of the Draco is to provide manned fixed-wing tactical airborne ISR support to humanitarian operations, search and rescue, conventional and special operations missions.

 “This is fantastic recognition of an aircraft and community,” said Brig. Gen. William Holt, AFSOC special assistant to the commander. “Draco has changed the very fabric of our AFSOC DNA and will continue to be our premier ISR platform for years to come.”

The Draco reached a historic milestone on June 22, 2018, when the AFSOC aircraft reached the 500,000 flying hours mark.

Lt. Col. Chad Anthony, 319th Special Operations Squadron commander, commented on the capabilities of the aircraft.

“Over the battlefields of the global war on terror, Draco has come to mean unparalleled special operations intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support, especially to the men and women on the ground in the line of fire,” said Anthony. “Aircrew and special operators who have flown and worked with the Pilatus U-28A have known it as Draco since its first combat deployment in June 2006.”

Maj. Caitlin Reilly, a U-28A Draco pilot and AFSOC director of operations executive officer, commented on the importance of the name approval and the Draco community.

“All of us in the U-28 community today are humbled by the vision and expertise of the U-28A plankholders (the original founders of the program),” said Reilly. “They created something that had never been done before, and it has evolved into an asset that is now one of the ‘minimum force requirements’ of our nation’s elite SOF teams on their ‘no-fail’ missions.”

The Draco is an integral part of AFSOC’s light tactical fixed wing fleet.

Col. Andrew Jett, 492nd Special Operations Wing commander, former 34th SOS commander and Draco pilot, commented on the significance of the name. 

“Our partners may not have known the personal names of the crewmembers, but they always know Draco,” said Jett. “There is a tremendous amount of recognition and respect when a crewmember identifies him or herself as being a member of Draco. I’m thrilled about the exceptional reputation Draco has built over the 13 plus years of the program and it’s now codified as the permanent aircraft name, and is something every member of Draco, past and present, can take pride in.”

Reilly further commented on the pride she and fellow Draco aviators take in the name.

The best thing about the U-28 community, and AFSOC as a whole, is that it is a competency-based organization, she said.

All of the U-28 aircrew are equally proud of the Draco name approval.

Every Air Commando in the U-28A community dedicates themselves to the demanding task of upholding the level of expertise and respect that the name Draco commands, said Reilly. It’s extremely challenging, and we’re all immensely proud of what this name represents.

By SSgt Lynette Rolen, Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs

U-28 Photo by photo by A1C Joel Miller

Constellation graphic by Jeff Pendleton

The Special Forces Operator – A History Lesson

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

Written by the US Army Special Operations Command Historian, this is a very interesting piece of Army Special Forces history which is sure to ruffle some feathers. I was certainly surprised by it, having always understood use of the moniker “Operator” began in the late 70s as a legal definition.


In the last fifteen to twenty years, the practice of calling a Special Forces (SF) soldier an ‘operator’ has caused considerable rancor within Army special mission units (SMU), the original of which adopted that appellation in the late 1970s. Today, all U.S. military service special operations forces and their higher headquarters apply that moniker to their sea, land, and air warfighters. Even staff personnel adopt that term for themselves. In the warfighter units this distinction clearly delineates and separates staff and support personnel from those assessed to undergo a mentally and physically tough selection course. Those that successfully achieve the rigorous standards must satisfy a leaders’ board to qualify for advanced training that could lead to operational assignments. In some SMUs psychological, physical, and mental assessments and re-evaluations are constant, hence the phrase, ‘Selection is an ongoing process.’ Regardless of the rigor applied by Special Operations Forces (SOF) elements, feelings of rancor in the ‘ranks’ of Army SOF towards the popular use of ‘operator’ are unwarranted.

Retired MAJ Albert Valentine ‘Jake’ Clement, Official Military Personnel Record (OMPR), National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, MO.

SF did not misappropriate the appellation. Unbeknownst to most members of the ARSOF community, that moniker was adopted by Special Forces in the mid to late 1950s. SF-qualified officers and enlisted soldiers voluntarily subscribed to the provisions of the ‘Code of the Special Forces Operator’ and pledged themselves to its tenets by witnessed signature.

This document, signed by SF-qualified Infantry Captain (CPT) Albert V. ‘Jake’ Clement, an FA Team Leader [an Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) today] in 1st Company, 77th Special Forces Group (SFG), and witnessed by John J. Hanretty on 2 April 1959, substantiates original ownership. According to Provision 10 of the SF Operator Code, the signed certificate was to be filed in one’s Official Military Personnel Records (OMPR). The original was found in the OMPR of retired Major (MAJ) ‘Jake’ Clement, second-in-command of the 10th SFG Congo Rescue Mission in 1960.

Cross-referencing sources is a standard practice of the USASOC History Office. It is critical to verify information in interviews, memoirs, and secondary source works. Primary documentation provides official, factual information to reinforce statements and/or disprove claims. Credibility is key to USASOC historical publications ‘standing the test of time.’ And, sometimes official records have surprises like the Special Forces Operator Code. It reinforced ‘silent professionalism.’ This document ought to stir memories of early SF veterans and reduce the angst among serving ‘special operators.’

by Charles H. Briscoe, PhD // charles.briscoe@socom.mil
First published in Veritas, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2018

Col Matt Allen Assumes Command of 24th SOW – The Air Force’s Sole Special Tactics Wing

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. – U.S. Air Force Col Matt S. Allen, a Special Tactics Officer, assumed command of the 24th Special Operations Wing during a ceremony at 10 a.m., June 24 at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, presided over the ceremony.

The 24th SOW is the only Special Tactics wing in the U.S. Air Force. The primary mission of the wing is to provide Special Tactics forces for rapid global employment to conduct global air, space, and cyber-enabled special operations across the spectrum of conflict to prepare for, fight, and win our nation’s wars. The 24th SOW is U.S. Special Operations Command’s tactical air/ground integration force and the Air Force’s special operations ground force that leads global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations.

Since April 2018, when the 24th SOW had their last change of command, Special Tactics operators have conducted 264 combat missions, controlled over 500 aircraft and removed more than 730 enemies from the battlefield. Webb commended their efforts.

“To the 24 SOW, particularly, this is the message – you guys continually impress. You lead this command, AFSOC, in many ways,” Webb said. “This [major command] is drafting off the intellectual energy of this wing, and I am not ashamed to say that. Actually, you’re making us that much better.”

As the commander of the 24th SOW and roughly 2,500 Airmen, Allen is responsible for preparing Special Tactics forces to conduct global air, space, and cyber-enabled special operations across the spectrum of conflict to prepare for, fight, and win our nation’s wars.

“This is about putting the right person at the right place in the right time, and that person is Col. Matt Allen,” Webb said. “Matt, of course you are going to command during interesting times. You will lead your charges while you balance the demands of the present, counter [violent extremist organizations], with what is frankly, right on our door step or what will be in the future, and is expressed in the National Defense Strategy – great powers competition.”

Prior to assuming command of the 24th SOW, Allen was the commander of the 720th Special Tactics Group, here.

Over a 20-year career, Allen has served in three Special Tactics Squadrons as Team Leader, Director of Operations, and Commander. Colonel Allen has led and participated in joint special operations in Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM-Trans Sahara.

“I am proud and humbled to be here,” Allen said. “Immensely proud of this organization and our professional standards and incredibly humbled at the enormity of the task that lies ahead of us.”

Air Force Special Tactics is the most highly decorated community in the Air Force since the end of the Vietnam War and has received one Medal of Honor, nine Air Force Crosses, 46 Silver Stars, nearly 650 Bronze Stars medals (more than 250 with valor), and hundreds of Purple Hearts.

“Our men and women provide access, strike, recovery, and battlefield surgery across the spectrum of conflict, and foundational to this, is mission command,” Allen said. “The joint team depends on us to get it right the first time, every time, and we will continue to deliver.”

24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, Senior Airman Joseph Pick and Senior Airman Rachel Yates