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Archive for the ‘SOF’ Category

USSOCOM Inducts 18 New Members into Commando Hall of Honor

Sunday, April 21st, 2024

U.S. Special Operations Command inducted 18 former special operators to include 9 Medal of Honor recipients into the USSOCOM Commando Hall of Honor located at the USSOCOM headquarters, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, April 17, 2024. More than 100 people attended the ceremony and watched as each inductee received a medal from U.S. Army Gen. Bryan P. Fenton, USSOCOM commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Shorter, USSOCOM command senior enlisted leader.

The Commando Hall of Honor was established in 2010 by former USSOCOM Commander Admiral Eric T. Olson and the award recognizes individuals who have served with distinction within the special operations forces community. The inductees join the storied ranks of those who preceded them.

This year’s Medal of Honor inductees were Vice Adm. John Duncan Bulkeley, Lt. j.g.  (SEAL) Joseph R. Kerrey, Petty Officer Second Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor, LT. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, Lt. (SEAL) Thomas R. Norris, Seaman David G. Ouellet, Lt. Cdr. Arthur M. Preston, Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Britt Kelly Slabinski, and Lt. (SEAL) Michael E. Thornton.

The special operators inductees were Air Force Col.. Stephen L. Baker, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Lewis H. Burruss, U.S. Army Col. Jerry M. King, U.S. Marine Corps Col. Craig S. Kozeniesky, U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Wesley H. Rice, U.S. Navy Capt. William M. Shepherd, U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Peter Stalik, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William P. Tangney, and U.S. Air Force Lt Gen. Marshall B. Webb.

“Today for us is historic. This ceremony is about our people and really reflects our first SOF truth that humans are more important than hardware,” Fenton said. “Today we will reach 8 decades inducting 18 heroes into the Hall of Honor who took on some of the toughest missions in special operations.”

Buruss is a Vietnam veteran who conducted frequent cross border operations against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army and was also heavily involved in sensitive activities. For his numerous valorous acts and courage under fire, he was awarded the Silver Star Medal, four Bronze Star Medals with valor, the Air Medal and three Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry.

“It’s just a real honor to be inducted to the Commando Hall of Honor,” Buruss said. “I know there are so many more deserving, but I am still honored and proud.”

Webb had a myriad of assignments over his 38 years of dedicated service to special operations. He participated in the search and recovery effort of United States Commerce Secretary Ron Brown who was on an official trade mission in Bosnia, when the Air Force CT-43 he was traveling in crashed into a mountainside near Dubrovnik, Croatia. Immediately following that mission, Webb participated in Operation Assured Response, the noncombatant evacuation operation of the United States Embassy located at Monrovia, Liberia. During both events, in recognition of his extreme fortitude, airmanship, and devotion to the humanitarian effort, he earned the 1996 Cheney Award. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he commanded a contingent of three Pave Low helicopters, crews, and support personnel to assist with recovery, search and rescue, and provided critical assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he led a flight of seven Pave Low helicopters that inserted several teams of United States SEAL teams and British Royal Marines in the al Faw area to safeguard oil platforms to prevent an ecological disaster. During the operation to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, he coordinated and facilitated the real-time video feed in the White House Situation Room as the United States President, Vice President, and members of the national security team looked on.

“This induction ceremony is so unique to SOCOM because it reached back 8 generations inducting people from World War II. You could see pride in the face of the families seeing their relatives inducted into the hall,” Webb said. “For me personally, it is an honor to be in the company of these heroes.”

The newest members will join other recognized warriors in the Commando Hall of Honor, which includes such legendary names as Aaron Bank, Charles Beckwith, Ted Lunger, Sidney Shacknow, William Darby and Army Col. Ralph Puckett, Jr.. Their contributions and legacies to the special operations community and this country have been unquestionably influential and are truly inspirational.

By: Michael Bottoms

USSOCOM Public Affairs

SOFWERX – Day and Night Heads Up Display (DANHUD) Assessment Event

Thursday, April 18th, 2024

SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM Program Executive Office Special Operation Forces – Warrior (PEO-SW) will host the Day and Night Heads Up Display (DANHUD) Assessment Event (AE) 25-27 June 2024 to identify solutions to enhance operator capability and situational awareness in both day and night conditions and decrease white-light self-illumination risk.

With the rapid advancements in both Augmented Reality (AR) and plug-ins that provide additional capability to the Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK), USSOCOM operators require a device that can display a wide variety of information without requiring the operator to look down at the End User Device (EUD) display on their chest. Such a device is expected to take the form of a look-through Heads-Up-Display (HUD) that would either mount onto the operator’s helmet or be integrated into ballistic eye wear, allowing for seamless heads-up operation. Because ATAK and future AR initiatives provide capability in both day and night conditions, this HUD device needs to be capable of being bright enough to be seen in sunlight, but also be used in conjunction with an operator’s Night Vision Goggles (NVG). Thus, the name for this device – Day And Night Heads-Up-Display (DANHUD). 

Additionally, the operator must be able to quickly and easily change the type and number of battery cells powering their NVGs and the DANHUD system via a Modular Smart Battery Pack, allowing flexibility/adaptability in degraded logistics situations.

The objective is to discover and develop a HUD system (including a Modular Smart Battery Pack) that is capable of working both ‘stand-alone’ in daylight conditions and in conjunction with currently issued NVGs and future Advanced NVGs (such as the L3Harris Fusion Binocular (F-BINO) or Fused Panoramic NVG (F-PANO)) with integrated cameras/displays for night operation. Additionally, the HUD system needs to be able to receive data from an EUD-operating ATAK and be capable of powering and interfacing with helmet-mounted directional laser warning devices. The solutions provider(s) shall create an Interface Control Document (ICD) that allows ‘plug-and-play’ upgrades to the DANHUD system in the future. They should also expect to collaborate with USSOCOM operators to refine operator touch points and functionality throughout the development of the system.

Interested parties must submit 22 May 2024 11:59 PM ET. U.S. Citizens Only, ITAR Restricted.

For more details, visit events.sofwerx.org/day-and-night-heads-up-display.

Special Operations Joint Task Force Central Establishes Space Force Team

Thursday, April 18th, 2024

UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, Southwest Asia —  

Special Operations Joint Task Force Central established Space Force-Team Sentinel, Feb. 16, 2024.

Team Sentinel is SOJTF-C’s designated space support element operating throughout Central and South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. It provides integrated full spectrum space-based capabilities across SOJTF-C’s area of operations.

Designed to optimize Special Operations Forces space integration, this team will provide integrated SOF specific space support, deliver innovative space solutions to unique problems, maintain awareness of threats, coordinate regional space operations, and integrate SOJTF-C with global space components to enable multi-domain special operations.

Team Sentinel supports and integrates with U.S. Central Command’s space component, U.S. Space Forces Central, contributing to unity of effort across the CENTCOM space enterprise.

Special Operations Joint Task Force-Central

Now Online in The Objective Series: SIG-MMG 338 Program (Part 1)

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024

In 2017, U.S. SOCOM challenged industry to provide potential solutions that could fill the gap between its man-portable, medium machine gun—the 7.62 NATO M240B/L, and its 84-plus-pound sibling—the 50 BMG M2A, a gap that was made all too apparent in the 2009 battle of COP Keating in Afghanistan.

This is the first post in a two-part series that details the journey of SIG SAUER’s machine gun development effort that began with the SIG MMG 338 for U.S. SOCOM’s LMG-M program, transitioned to the U.S. Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons program, and is now returning to its roots.

www.sigsauer.com/blog/the-sig-mmg-338-program-conception-to-reality-part-1

Dedication Ceremony Honors SrA Daniel Sanchez

Sunday, April 14th, 2024

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. —  

Members of the Special Tactics community past and present, and the family of Senior Airman Danny Sanchez gathered for a dedication ceremony of the Special Tactics Training Squadron Schroeder Building auditorium, Apr. 8.

The 720th Special Tactics Group commander, Col. Matthew Psilos, presided over the ceremony.

“This dedication ensures Danny will never be forgotten and that we will always keep his family close,” said Psilos. “He chose to stand between the enemy and all the people he loves and respects, and every American citizen that day.”

Sanchez was killed-in-action in the vicinity of Kajran District, Afghanistan, when his team came under enemy insurgent fire within the Afghan National Army partner force. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Valor while engaged in ground combat from Aug. 4, 2010, to Sept. 16, 2010.

A large plaque donning his scarlet beret, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals, and name were unveiled before Special Tactics leaders, and friends and family members of Sanchez, including his mother and half-brother.

“It is a duty and privilege to honor his sacrifices,” said Psilos. “May the next generation understand that obligation and carry it on for years to come.”

A native of El Paso, Texas, Sanchez enlisted in the Air Force on Jun. 27, 2006. After graduating Basic Training, he successfully completed the Combat Control training pipeline and reported to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron. Sanchez’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Purple Heart, Air Force Combat Action Medal, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

By Capt Savannah Stephens, 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

US, Canadian Special Forces Forge Partnerships in Jamaica

Friday, April 12th, 2024

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The District of Columbia Army National Guard joined forces with elite U.S. and Canadian Special Operations Forces for a subject matter expert exchange in Jamaica.

The collaboration with SOF counterparts from the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago marked a significant milestone in international military cooperation amid Tropical Dagger, an annual event orchestrated by Canada in partnership with the Jamaica Defense Force focusing on the Jamaican SOF element.

The D.C. National Guard’s Lt. Col. Tyson Mele, Maj. Bill Seskey, Capt. Michael Humphrise and Sgt. 1st Class Jurgen Soekhoe provided instruction on U.S. troop-leading procedures and operations orders. Despite geographical and organizational differences, they shared a common framework of tactical techniques and procedures.

The exchange’s success Feb. 16-22 extended beyond the classroom to field exercises where the Soldiers forged camaraderie.

The Jamaicans’ hospitality and professionalism were key to the exchange’s success and included cultural immersion, allowing the visiting Soldiers to experience local customs and traditions.

The participants plan to cultivate their new partnerships with future joint exercises and SMEEs to enhance interoperability and collective security in the region.

The success of Tropical Dagger 2024 serves as a testament to the power of collaboration and cooperation among like-minded nations.

The SOF SMEE was not merely a training exercise but a testament to the strength of international partnerships in fostering peace and security. As the sun set on Tropical Dagger 2024, it illuminated the path forward, where collaboration and cooperation remain the cornerstone of our collective defense.

By MAJ Matthew Dewaegeneer, District of Columbia National Guard

Blast From The Past – Detachment B-52 (Project Delta) Reconnaissance Tips Of The Trade

Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

This is a repost of a story from a few years ago. I was reminded of it based in a TTP you’ll see later today.

When I joined the Army in 1985, most of my senior NCO leadership had served in Vietnam. They were men who had seen combat and we hung on their every word as we trained.

In the late 80s, I served in a LRSD in Germany. We turned to photocopies of a document produced by the Vietnam-era Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observation Group’s Det B-52 aka Project Delta called ‘Reconnaissance Tips Of The Trade.’

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We poured over its 32 pages which were gold to us, offering guidance on how to configure equipment and conduct ourselves on patrols. Some of the information was outdated due to equipment changes, other data was not applicable because we faced a different foe, on different terrain. However, the basics remained the same.

Around the same time, 1st Bn, 7th SFG(A) were gathering their own lessons learned from operations in Central America which would not be released formally until the mid-90s. This update was entitled “Combat Recon Manual: Tips of the Trade” but is often referred to as the “ODB-720 Tips.” Unfortunately, it was much more difficult to share information pre-internet and I never saw a copy until I was about to leave a 3rd Group SOT-A for the Air Force.

The original B-52 Manual is available on the web from Chapter 31 of the Special Forces Association at www.sfa31.org/deltarecontips. Whether you’re reading from a historical perspective or a professional one, there are still a few gems in there. You can find the ODB-720 Tips here.

Call for Articles: Military Review Special Edition on Irregular Warfare

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

Army University Press and the US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School invite submissions for a special edition of Military Review focused on Irregular Warfare. They’re looking for insights from academia and the field to expand the understanding of IW. Topics include policy, training, future trends, digital age effects, space, cyber, and more.

Deadline: 15 May 2024

Submit to: usasoc.milreview.submissions.shdmbx@socom.mil