Archive for the ‘Forces Focus’ Category

1st Special Forces Command Releases New Vision Statement

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

The Premier Partnered Irregular Warfare Force:

24,000 Strong

7 Special Forces Groups

2 Psychological Operations Group’s

1 Civil Affairs Brigade

1 Special Operations Sustainment Brigade

United under a single patch,

Focused on a single purpose.

Introducing the British Army’s Latest Cap Badge: Ranger Regiment

Friday, November 26th, 2021

The British Army has unveiled the cap badge of The Ranger Regiment.

Who are The Ranger Regiment?

The Ranger Regiment is an important contribution of the Army’s new global posture and was established as part of Future Soldier, the biggest transformation of the British Army in over 20 years.

It is part of the newly established Army Special Operations Brigade. It will be routinely deployed alongside partner forces around the world to counter Violent Extremist Organisations and hostile state threats.

The Regiment, initially announced earlier this year, will stand-up on 1 December 2021, commencing cadres and training for its four battalions.

The Ranger Regiment cap badge

The Ranger Regiment is very proud of its new cap badge which takes inspiration and spirit from the Peregrine Falcon; fast, agile and fiercely loyal to its partner, it operates around the world in all environments including deserts, mountains and cities.  It has been designed to demonstrate a new capability for the Army. 

It follows a long history of birds being used as emblems and logos around the world. Peregrine derives from the medieval Latin word ‘peregrinus’ which means wanderer. It is the most geographically dispersed bird of prey, and can be found on every continent, less Antartica. The Peregrine Falcon is also the fasted bird on the planet, with a diving speed of over 200 miles per hour.

While many regiments have a cloth badge for officers and a metal badge for soldiers, everyone serving in the Ranger Regiment will wear a metal badge, irrespective of rank.

Beret and Belt

A unique gun-metal grey colour has been chosen for the regimental beret and stable belt, taking inspiration from the Peregrine Falcon’s grey plumage.

Stable belts will fasten at the front with a round metal buckle bearing the Peregrine Falcon insignia from the cap badge.

Army Special Operations Brigade Heritage

The Army Special Operations Brigade will contribute to collective deterrence by training, advising and if necessary, accompanying partner forces across the world.

The design for the Army Special Operations Brigade formation flash is inspired by the badge of the Special Service Brigade. The Special Service Brigade was a formation of the British Army during the Second World War.

On 17 July 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued a directive to wage irregular warfare. This established the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and a Directorate of Combined Operations, and in the Autumn of 1940 a Special Service Brigade was formed to command the numerous new Army and Royal Marines commando units. The staff of this new Brigade wore a flash featuring two Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knives.

Members of the new Army Special Operations Brigade will wear the updated version of the wartime Special Service Brigade flash in acknowledgment and recognition of this shared heritage and history.

Click here to discover more about Future Soldier.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – UK Royal Marines

Sunday, October 31st, 2021

The Royal Marines are a maritime-focused, amphibious light infantry unit that can deploy on short notice to support the United Kingdom Government’s military and diplomatic objectives worldwide. They are designed for highly maneuverable operational situations. The Corps provides lead element expertise for the NATO Northern Flank and are optimized for high altitude operations as the United Kingdom Armed Forces’ specialists in cold-weather combat.

The Royal Marines were formed to serve as the infantry of the Royal Navy. On 28 October 1664, the first unit of what would become the Royal Marines was formed. The Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot was renamed the Admiral’s Regiment after the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot was disbanded. In 1672, the title ‘Marines’ first appeared in records. The Marine Regiments were then disbanded and re-established whenever the United Kingdom’s overseas colonies were threatened. His Majesty’s Marine Forces were established in 1755 and placed under Admiralty authority at Chatham, Plymouth, and Portsmouth. For many years after that, the Marines were connected with these communities. They were given the title Royal Marines by George III in 1802. The Royal Marines engaged in the ill-fated Gallipoli landings during World War One. The Royal Marines fought in several battles on the Western Front. During the conflict, the Royal Marines were awarded five Victoria Crosses.

The Royal Marines fought against the Chinese in the two opium wars, the Crimean War and the Boxer Rebellion in China during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. The Royal Marines engaged in the ill-fated Gallipoli landings during World War One. The Royal Marines fought in a number of battles on the Western Front. During the conflict, the Royal Marines were awarded five Victoria Crosses. The Royal Marines’ artillery and infantry units were combined in 1923 to become the Corps of Royal Marines. During World War II, the commando role so closely identified with the Royal Marines was developed. The Royal Marines commando groups that had fought in Norway, North Africa, and Dieppe were combined with the Army commandos. In 1943, the Special Service Brigade was formed, and the overall command structure was designated as the Special Service Brigade. During WWII, there were four Special Service Brigades, and the Royal Marines served in each of them. During the conflict, nine Royal Marines Commandos units were formed, ranging from 40 to 48 men.

During WWII, these commando battalions took part in numerous wars, including Italy, D-Day, and Antwerp.

During World War II, the Royal Marines received one Victoria Cross. The Army Commandos were abolished in 1946, leaving the commando function to the Royal Marines. The Royal Marines served in the Korean War, Malaya, Suez in 1956, Northern Ireland, and the Falklands War in 1982 after 1945. Together with the Parachute Regiment, the Royal Marines were regarded as the Task Force’s spearhead in the effort to expel Argentine soldiers from the Falkland Islands. The Royal Marines fought at Mount Kent, Mount Harriet, and Two Sisters before ‘yomping’ into Port Stanley after San Carlos Bay. In the Falklands, the Special Boat Service (SBS) played a major, if more hidden, role, successfully attacking a key Argentinean stronghold at Fanning Head, which overlooked San Carlos Bay. Since the Falklands War, the Royal Marines have served in the Balkans, Sierra Leone, East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

SCUBAPRO Sunday is a weekly feature focusing on maritime equipment, operations and history.

10th SFG(A) Group Foundations Course

Saturday, August 21st, 2021

The Group Foundations Course is a two-week course designed for Green Berets new to 10th SFG(A). During this two-week process, the new Special Forces Operators learn about the history of the group and cover the fundamentals of being an Original – which includes combatives, pistol and rifle marksmanship, physical fitness and in-depth military vehicle familiarization.

AFSOC Stands Up New Mission Sustainment Team at Cannon AFB

Saturday, August 7th, 2021


A new unit has been generated on base in support of mission readiness and efficiency. Mission Sustainment Team 1 is a group of individuals with diverse skill sets selected from the 27th Special Operations Mission Support Group, with the intent that they will cover and provide every asset required to sustain livable conditions in austere locations for an extended period of time.

The Mission Sustainment Team concept provides a way forward in building small, scattered teams capable of operating independent of main operating bases – a focus area highlighted by Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, Air Force Special Operations Command commander, during his 2021 Special Operations Forces Imperatives Forum earlier this year.

“This idea is not new or unique to the Air Force as a whole, but it is to the Air Force Special Operations Command,” said Senior Master Sgt. John Spencer, 27 SOMSG, Detachment 1 MST 1 team lead. “AFSOC is used to providing for the operators for a short duration, but something like this has never been done before in this Major Command.”

AFSOC currently does not have an on-demand capability to provide and sustain a livable environment in areas without pre-established facilities. To fix this issue, the MST consists of Airmen from different MSG specialties, and trains them all on necessary expeditionary functions.

“We are taking roughly 60 people from different shops in the MSG and making them work together to create livable conditions for a base worth of personnel,” Spencer said. “We have to try these things, see where they fail, then learn from our failures and do it better the next time.”

There are many unknowns surrounding the MST, as with any new unit. The team hopes to benefit from these unknowns however, documenting their experiences and applying the lessons learned to ultimately teach and train those who follow in the future.

The team had the opportunity to test themselves recently in an Operational Readiness Exercise. Select individuals from Cannon AFB were involved in a mock deployment to an austere location and required support from MST 1. This entirely new scenario helped participants as it was an ideal testing ground for the capabilities of sustained support for multiple personnel.

Within a limited resourcing environment, MST 1 gives AFSOC the ability to enable the larger joint force with unique capabilities; things that no one else can do.

The opportunities to blaze new trails are plentiful for MST 1. As the first of its kind in AFSOC, there is no manual or guidebook to follow. Instead, the team will take the knowledge and practices of similar groups in other MAJCOM’s and tailor them to their needs.

During the 2021 SOF Imperatives Forum, Slife spoke on the necessity for the development and continuous acceleration of SOF and AFSOC forces, including those a part of MST 1.

“The standards of yesterday were applicable to yesterday,” Slife said. “The question is, what are the standards of tomorrow and how do we build the force we need, to be most effective in the future? Our competitive advantage will continue to be the men and women who make up our formation, but the challenge for leadership is ensuring… those men and women in AFSOC know that they are relevant to the nation.”

Not many in support roles have the opportunity to see how their work directly affects the mission downrange. The work of this new unit provides Airmen a tangible link between their efforts and the final product, something that boosts morale while transforming them into a team of lethal, multi-faceted Airmen.

“It brings me real joy to see how folks who, before joining this group, had never worked with a services Airman, and then see them training on a field kitchen three days later,” Spencer said. “This is what I like to do. I like building teams, being out in the field, and doing what the Air Force trained me to do in defending airfields. Seeing all this [come together] from my personal perspective is unique and amazing. It also helps the Air Force as a whole as it takes someone from their regular unit for a while, and then returns them 100% better than when they left because they got to learn all the things they would normally never do.”

MST 1 may be new, but they have their work cut out for them. Providing support for active personnel at austere and un-furnished locations is no easy feat, but it means the work done by MST 1 will be vital in helping similar units in AFSOC for years to come.

Story by Senior Airman Christopher Storer, 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Photos by Senior Airman Vernon R. Walter III

Undaunted Service: Elite Firefighters Serve in Austere Environments

Sunday, August 1st, 2021


A quick reaction force is an elite unit comprised of Airmen from multiple squadrons trained in combat and evasion. These Airmen are not only highly-skilled professionals, but they undergo special training to perform their duties in austere and potentially hostile environments.

Recently, the QRF firefighter component from the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, was sent to a forward operating base in Syria to provide support to its flight line.

“This team is made up of highly-qualified firefighting professionals trained for bare environments,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Rigsby, 386th ECES deputy fire chief. “We’re a rare group. Also, it’s just not very common for firefighters to get sent on a forward deployment. I’ve been in 16 years and this was my first time.”

The QRF firefighters’ purpose in Syria was to provide flight-line support per Air Mobility Command instructions. This allowed for a limitless number of aircraft to take off and land, and people and equipment to be removed for rotation. Their mission was to provide support so that the Army’s M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle unit could be extracted and replaced.

“We flew in with three fire trucks and our firefighting equipment. The Army was due to change out their people and equipment, and our presence allowed more aircraft to land in a shorter time span,” Rigsby said. “That enabled the Army to keep their same level of base and area protection and perform change-out 16 days quicker.”

While the QRF firefighters are tactically trained to operate under hostile and combative conditions, their essential duties are the same as non-QRF firefighters. They are vital to safe and expedient flight-line standards.

“Our primary job on a flight line is to provide it with crash-fire support so that they can maintain air operations over the area of responsibility, and also to provide hazmat and medical support as well,” said Senior Airman Travis Ferrell, 386th ECES firefighter. “So if anything goes down on the flight line, we respond. Whether it’s an in-flight or ground emergency, we will respond to mitigate any possible crisis that could happen. We like to say we’re the insurance policy for anything that happens on the flight line.”

Without the firefighter component of QRF, the flight line would only be able to support a limited number of aircraft taking off and landing per week, but with the QRF, the number of flights were unlimited. They supported 15 aircraft at two per day during their 30-day mission.

QRF members went through pre-deployment combat skills training at McGregor Range, New Mexico, and Evasion, Conduct After Capture training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. This type of training is for Airmen who will be operating outside the wire in high-risk environments.

“As QRF, we go to pre-deployment training so that we can deploy to places that don’t have established support, like FOBs,” Ferrell said. “Here, at Ali Al Salem (AB), we have great support and infrastructure, but we didn’t find that in Syria. We had nothing there.

We had to find our own water sources. We had to basically write our own standard operating procedures while we were out there on the fly. For instance, this is where we’re going to stage and this is how we’re going to respond,” Ferrell continued. “We get there. We make all these decisions. We face all these challenges, and then we complete the mission as quickly as we can, pack up and move on to somewhere else keeping the mission alive wherever we go.”

By SSgt Ryan Brooks, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

State of the 75th Ranger Regiment

Monday, July 26th, 2021

“There must be within our U.S. Army a sense of purpose, and a dedication to that purpose. There must be a willingness to march a little further, to carry a heavier load, to step into the dark and unknown for the safety and well-being of others.”

General Creighton Abrams, 26th Chief of Staff, United States Army.

Rangers Lead the Way!

(Video produced by SPC Jonathan Bryson/Multimedia Illustrator/75th Ranger Regiment Public Affairs.)

822d Base Defense Squadron Supports Agile Flag 21-2

Friday, May 14th, 2021

NAVAL OUTLYING LANDING FIELD CHOCTAW, Fla. — The 822d Base Defense Squadron provided security and opposing forces for the 4th Fighter Wing, North Carolina, during Agile Flag 21-2, May 3-5, 2021.

Air Combat Command’s Agile Flag 21-2 tested the 4th FW’s ability to deploy as a lead air expeditionary wing from its main operating base at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, while supporting three forward operating bases, which included Naval Outlying Landing Field Choctaw, Florida.

“The (exercise) allowed several ACC units to come together and complete a realistic mission set,” said Tech. Sgt. Steven Ethridge, 822d BDS section chief. “The Air Battle Staff was made up of several functions to include civil engineering, security forces and communications. This allowed the members to understand how actual deployments could require working with other units to accomplish the mission. The 822d (BDS’) role in Agile Flag was to provide the 4th FW with a scalable security element at the FOB in order to facilitate integrated combat turns from multi-capable Airmen.”

Integrated combat turns are rapid refueling and rearming procedures that allow pilots to get back to the fight as soon as possible. Without a secure base to conduct ICTs, pilots would be unable to project airpower at faster rates.

“(Base defense Airmen) are highly trained and provide a light, lean and lethal force anywhere in the world,” Ethridge said. “We also bring capabilities such as Airborne and Air Assault, in addition to built-in support functions such as (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), medical, transportation maintenance and communications.”

The 822d BDS joined Agile Flag to augment the 4th FW’s security mission.

In addition to security, the base defense Airmen acted as opposing forces to simulate a near-peer adversary at the FOB. These forces are crucial because they inject realism into the training, allowing Airmen to sharpen their tactics, techniques and procedures for agile combat employment.

“These TTPs will allow current and future lead wings to project air power anywhere, anytime,” Ethridge said. “A team becomes a stronger and more lethal force when they help each other complete the common mission.”

ACC will conduct future exercises focusing on the ACE construct, and for the Airmen involved, the opportunity is invaluable.

“Any time we have an opportunity to address and experiment with force presentation and agile combat employment concepts … it’s a victory for our Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Frasch, ACC operations dynamic force employment chief. “We take what we learned and build on those (lessons) for the next iteration. The more we do this, the faster progress will come.”

Story by A1C Jasmine Barnes, 23d Wing Public Affairs