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Archive for the ‘SOF’ Category

First Munitions Squadron in AFSOC History

Sunday, July 12th, 2020

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla —

Formerly with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, the munitions flight distinguished themselves as a new squadron in the 1st Special Operations Wing.

The 1st Special Operations Munitions Squadron activated July 8, 2020, and is the first munitions squadron in Air Force Special Operations Command history.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Clayton Seiler, commander of the 1st SOMUNS, assumed command after serving as the 7th Munitions Squadron commander at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

“Our role is to provide the best munitions support to our warfighters in the most efficient, effective and professional manner,” said Seiler.

1st SOMUNS Air Commandos build, collect, package and distribute munitions to the 1st SOW’s inventory aircraft, directly maintaining the readiness and lethality of the wing.

“There is a recognition for munitions being a unique skill set required for our mission,” said Seiler. “It also allows us to be a right sized squadron to focus on our Airmen and their families.”

The 1st SOMUNS is composed of four flights with more than 250 personnel, creating a separate squadron allowing focused leadership capable of being there for every Airman and their families.

“My family does so much to support what I’m doing here so I can focus and support our squadron needs,” said Seiler. “They’re my rock.”

Similar to Seiler’s family supporting him, he wants to create the same type of support within his squadron.

“We can make this squadron a culture and climate people want to be a part of,” said Seiler. “This is a great opportunity for everyone to make this squadron what they want it to be.”

Seiler’s first priority is to understand his Airmen, talk to his leadership team and build the squadron together.

“Our role is to support warfighters and ensure we provide them with everything needed to complete the mission,” said Seiler.

1st SOW aircraft are lethal because of the combat capability provided by the 1st SOMUNS.

“Without munitions, we would just have a fleet of airliners,” said Seiler.

By Airman 1st Class Blake Wiles, 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

New Special Operations Outdoor Training Facility Allows Safe Workouts

Saturday, July 11th, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. Special Operations Command Central has opened a new outdoor human performance facility at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, providing the opportunity for safe and socially distant workouts while allowing a venue to maintain personal wellness.

Officials deemed it necessary to open the outdoor facility during a time where most public fitness facilities were closed due to COVID-19.

Navy Rear Adm. H. Wyman Howard III, the Soccent commander, cut the ribbon to open the facility June 3.

”This is a great moment for us to be able to expand the [human performance] facilities,” Howard said. ”With this new workout area, our teammates will have ample room to perform workouts necessary to keep the team fit for the fight.”

The facility is nearly the length of an American football field; stretching 247 feet, with half of the flooring made of synthetic turf and the remainder made of rubber matting for the equipment workout area. New lighting and industrial fans were installed throughout the facility, which also includes a purified drinking station. The open-air, yet covered, space allows athletes to work out without being exposed to the direct sunlight.

After the ceremony, Mike Renteria, Soccent’s strength and conditioning coach, invited a small group of personnel to stay for the initial workout session at the new facility.

This workout area is the first expansion phase of the human performance facilities, with plans for two more buildings on the Soccent campus to be converted as indoor facilities.

”The expansion of our Human Performance Training Center is going to be a world-class facility, with the best trainers, for the best warriors in the world,” said Army Maj. Juan Salas, the headquarters commandant for Soccent. ”It will serve as the pinnacle for all special operations forces while stationed at MacDill Air Force Base.”

The expansion and renovation project for the workout areas, physical therapy and rehabilitation facilities will span three fiscal years: 2019, 2020 and 2021.

”The project is moving nicely,” Salas said. ”The gym equipment will be installed in the new buildings by September of this year.” The project is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2020.

By Staff Sgt. Steven Colvin for Defense.gov

(Army Staff Sgt. Steven Colvin is assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command Central.)

SOFWERX – Versatile Integrated Protection with Encumbrance Reduction (VIPER) Virtual Assessment Event (AE)

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM, the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO CBRND), the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (CCDC CBC), and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), will host a virtual Assessment Event to identify technologies to develop the Next Generation CBRN Mask for the CWMD community.  

Next Generation CBRN Mask Focus Areas:
• Reducing User Burden
• Interoperability
• Tailored Protection
• Faceseal

Selected individuals will be allotted a one-on-one virtual session with USSOCOM to pitch, demonstrate, and/or discuss their solutions during the Assessment Event.

Although the event is on 08 September 2020, you submit by 13 August 11:59 PM EST,

For full details, visit events.sofwerx.org/aimviper.

Maj Gen James F Glynn Takes Command at MARSOC

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

Marine Forces Special Operations Command hosted a change of command ceremony today, as the Marine Raiders bid farewell to Maj. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo and welcomed Maj. Gen. James F. Glynn.

Glynn returns to MARSOC to serve as it’s eighth commander, having previously served as the commanding officer of the Marine Raider Training Center from 2011-2013.

“You don’t get too many opportunities to come back to a unit,” said Glynn, “but when you come back, you stand among giants… people of character, people who care, people of concern that transcends the operational mission. It is personal.” Glynn summarized his feelings about taking command in three words. “Pride, at the opportunity to come back to this formation and have the opportunity to stand amongst you. Humility at the opportunity to command in an organization like this. And some would call it a burden of command. It is actually a privilege to have the opportunity to be a part of and to contribute to all the great things that this force and its families do.”

As the MARSOC commander, Glynn will be responsible for manning, training and equipping Marine Raiders for deployments in support of special operations missions across the globe. MARSOC maintains a continuous deployed presence in the areas of operations for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command.

“We have lots of stuff in the Marine Corps three Divisions, three Wings, three Logistics groups. We have one MARSOC, it is that unique,” said Gen. David H. Berger, 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps and the senior officer presiding over the ceremony. “There is no part of the globe that this command does not operate in,” going on to explain how much the organization provides the service. “We get back so much from MARSOC in the Marine Corps, in equipment, in training…the most that we are going to draw from MARSOC in the next couple of years, is not a technique, it’s not a weapon and it’s not a radio. It is the focus on the individual.”

Also in attendance were Gen. Richard D. Clarke, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, previous commanders of MARSOC, and various dignitaries from the local government, as well as the Marine Corps and interagency.

“When I think of MARSOC, I always think of SOCOM’s Sparta. When you look at this force, it is 2% of our budget from SOCOM, 6% of our manpower, conducting over 10% of SOCOM’s missions globally.It’s a great payback for what we put into it. Much of it is the human capital invested…the great Marines represented out here on the field,” said Clarke.

Yoo departs the command after two years leading the organization. During his time commanding MARSOC, Yoo drove the implementation of MARSOF 2030, the vision document designed to shape and inform the next decade of acquisitions, capability development, and operations for the command. In the same vein, he merged the G-5 Plans Directorate, and the G-8 Requirements Directorate, creating the Combat Development and Integration Directorate to continue expanding MARSOC’s role beyond the traditional battlespace. Yoo directed the establishment of MARSOC’s Cyber Integration Working Group to build the command’s future cyber capability and implemented the annual Cognitive Raider Symposium to increases awareness and critical thinking of key issues facing the Department of Defense and Special Operations Forces.

“As a commander, your time is fast, and as the commandant eluded to, we are the caretaker of the organization and the organization is a reflection of the individuals,” said Yoo. “From the moment you take the colors as a commander, you hope you can move the organization forward and that the things you do will have lasting impacts. It has been a life time of honors to be a part of these different formations, but to conclude with you all here at MARSOC, makes me very, very grateful.”

MARSOC is the Marine Corps service component of U.S. Special Operations Command and was activated Feb. 24, 2006. Its mission is to train, organize, equip and deploy task-organized Marine special operations forces worldwide.

Story by Lance Cpl Christian Ayers, Marine Forces, Special Operations Command

Overcoming Adversity: How an Italian Became a Special Tactics Operator

Sunday, June 28th, 2020

Sometimes in order to achieve one’s goal in life, one has to overcome a great deal of adversity and life lessons to do so. No one appreciates this more than Master Sgt. Stefano Guadagnuolo, a Special Tactics operator assigned to the 125th Special Tactics Squadron, Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore. His teammates prefer to call him G for short.

G grew up in the town of Piacenza, Italy in an 80 person condominium, where there was an ‘army of kids’ for playing and snowball fights. Italians are used to being very social, it’s a cultural thing, said G. Every weekend is a celebration and you don’t have to walk far to be with friends and family.

He attended college in Parma and at the age of 18 he was drafted into the Italian Army as a Mountain’s Troop Officer, where he served for two and a half years. After going back to Parma for college, he decided it was time to venture out and try something new. He ended up in Costa Rica to be a diver, and from there travelled to Honduras for a year to become a Dive Master as an underwater tour guide. G met many American friends there vacationing who told him he should come to the states, so he sold all of his scuba gear and flew to Houston.

After arriving in the U.S., he toured the country for a while eventually ending up in San Diego, again as a Dive Master on a boat. He remembered how he always wanted to join the Air Force’s Combat Control career field because he learned about them during his time as an Italian officer, but he couldn’t get a security clearance at the time. Air Force recruiters told him to join the Marines or the Army to get jump and dive certified and then try again. He then joined the U.S. Army Airborne Infantry, and ended up with an Army Ranger contract.

“I had only been in the states for less than a year when I joined the Army, so I had to pick up English very quickly,” said G. “The American culture is very different from Italy, also. Everyone is so spread out and you have to make plans to see each other.”

Once he had gotten used to the culture, the Army realized there was a mix up with his security clearance, and as a result the Army sent G back to Italy where he was assigned to an Infantry Airborne Brigade. He served as a gunner in Vicenza, Italy for four years, but still dreamed of joining the Air Force. He decided to give it another try and called up an Air Force recruiter to apply to become a Special Tactics Combat Controller, but found out he would have to be stateside to apply for Active Duty. Once again G had to veer away from his goal and decided to re-enlist in the Army, as a Deep Sea Diver and was stationed in Virginia for four years. Eight years later, he still had hopes of joining the Air Force, and worked on his citizenship to do so.

“It felt like the target would keep moving past me, and I had to keep asking myself ‘should I do this,’ said G “…but I had already made it this far so I might as well keep going.”

The year he tried to get into the Combat Control pipeline, was also the year the 142nd stood up the 125th Special Tactics Squadron. The squadron saw his resume and concluded he had the qualifications to join, so G moved his family to Portland to take on the extremely difficult two-year pipeline at 35 years of age.

While his 20-year-old teammates were out on the town, he would be at home icing up and letting his body recover after long days of intense training.

Despite some difficulties he was already qualified in many of the required skills and was even named honor graduate at Combat Control School. Thanks to his hard work and determination, G was offered a full-time Active Guard Reserve position at the base. He now currently serves as the Squadron’s Superintendent 13 years later.

“Don’t stay comfortable in what you do,” said G. “Plan on trying new roles and career developments, and take on new challenges. Know your limits and stick to your goals.”

He enjoys what he does, so it made the challenges worth it. He stuck to his goal that he had his heart set on, but had to go through years of experience first to achieve it. Besides the challenges he’s faced in learning English, the cultural differences in the states, and joining the Army to reach his ultimate goal, he has also had to deal with challenges as a Special Tactics operator during conflicts in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

The Air Force has a much better lifestyle than the Army he said. He now has an 18-year-old daughter, Kate Guadagnuolo, who wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and join the U.S. Air Force as well. Kate is scheduled to attend Basic Military Training by the end of the summer after she graduates high school.

“My dad has taught me to take life in strides and that’s how you venture through life and get through it,” said Kate.

G will be retiring in a year, but is proud of his daughter for wanting to follow in his Air Force footsteps and even more glad he stuck to his goal of becoming a Special Tactics Combat Controller by staying resilient, keeping his heart set on his goals, and overcoming the adversity he has faced in his career.

“I know she will be able to handle the military as she is mentally tough,” said G. “You have to be able to stay positive and resilient, but the rewards are worth it.”

She was able to meet his family in Italy and said that they are very intense, but sweet and are very family oriented. Kate enjoys playing in the water, like her dad, through water polo and said that he is goofy and likes to embarrass his kids.

She’s excited to join the Air Force and follow in her dad’s footsteps, but she will be going in to Public Affairs as a Photojournalist. She said G makes fun of her for not being able to run as fast as her old man, so she’ll have to work on that, but has told her that the military can offer her more opportunities for education and travel.

Story by Tech. Sgt. Emily Moon 

142nd Wing Public Affairs

#DJMIKENICEDAY – Buy a T-Shirt and Support St Louis Youth

Friday, June 19th, 2020

MSG Mike Riley was a legend. Next Thursday will mark one year from when Mike passed away. Master Sgt. Micheal B. Riley, was a Special Forces communications sergeant, assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He died on June 25, 2019, while engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan. Mike was known by many and loved by all who had the opportunity to interact with him. Not only was Mike a Green Beret with multiple deployments all around the globe, but he was also a very renowned and talented DJ.

Most that knew him as DJ Mike-Nice, had no idea he was in special operations because of his true, quite professionalism. He saw people as individuals and not by a label. He was Humble to his core, he believed in respect, honor, loyalty to the ones he loved, and would never let his friends or family down.

To celebrate his Legacy, and support a cause he truly believed in. His project has designed this shirt, that only captures a small fraction of who Mike was, as a way to honor him and the life he lived, as well as get money to a cause he felt so strongly towards.

This fundraiser will be raising money for the youth project in St. Louis that Mike had discussed at length with his Mom, before his passing. This fundraiser will end on June 30th, 2020. Once closed, the shirts ordered will be printed and shipped.

Go to www.customink.com/fundraising/djmikeniceday to get yours and support this cause.

Task Force Dagger Foundation and Cubic Raise Awareness For Special Operations Forces Families

Thursday, June 18th, 2020

Task Force Dagger Foundation (TFDF) will be the beneficiary of the SOF Online Auction presented by Cubic, opening June 15 at 8AM EDT and closing June 19 at 5PM EDT.

Auction items include an OMEGA “James Bond” watch, Daniel Defense Experience, 75th Anniversary D-Day Flag shadow box, Argentina 4 person Dove Hunt, Maxim Defense Pistol Kit, Custom Bourbon Barrel Table, Tickets to 2021 PGA Championship, Weapons from Benelli, SigSauer, Glock, S&W and an Adams Arms TFD rifle, Plus additional items from Under Armour, Aimpoint, Magpul, FirstSpear and many more.

Funds raised though the auction will directly impact families of the Special Operations Community and will be applied to TFDF’s three core programs: Immediate Needs, Rehabilitative Events, and the SOF Health Initiatives Program.

To bid on an item or learn more about this fundraising event, please visit: bit.ly/SOFAuction

Task Force Dagger Foundation provides assistance to wounded, ill, or injured United States Special Operations Command members and their families. We respond to immediate needs, conduct Rehabilitative Therapy Events, and provide next-generation health solutions for issues facing our service members. Our cohesive programs improve the quality of life for Special Operations Families.  To learn more about Task Force Dagger Foundation, visit our website at www.taskforcedagger.org.

 

 

SOFWERX – Trusted Capital AI Virtual Venture Day Starting 24 June 2020

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Trusted Capital, in concert with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), and the Department of Energy (DOE), will host an AI-focused Trusted Capital Virtual Venture Day.

Trusted Capital events are designed to bring together DoD-critical companies and capital providers to align their existing capabilities with national security interests.

The goal is to facilitate funding of companies with critical technology to provide risk mitigation against adversarial influence in supply chains and funding channels.

Trusted Capital maximizes the public-private partnership model. The U.S. government screens capital providers and companies for national security risks prior to offering participation in Venture Days and the Trusted Capital program. Eligible companies are firms offering technologies and capabilities critical to national security and seeking to secure sources of funding in support of the defense industrial base. Eligible capital providers are investment groups that support U.S. national security sectors that align with their investment portfolio.

Approximately 10 qualifying AI companies will deliver their pitches and funding needs to trusted providers of capital weekly over the course of several weeks. If your organization is accepted in Trusted Capital, you will receive an opportunity to prepare a five-minute pitch video with one minute at the end for questions from the capital providers and acquisition community.

This program will be administered on a first-come, first-serve basis for those companies that qualify to participate in the Trusted Capital Marketplace (TCM).

AI sectors of interest:
• Autonomous Vehicles
• Machine Vision and Image Recognition
• Machine Learning
• Robotics and Scale Automation
• Navigation System
• Language Processing and Recognition

Potential participants will undergo the due diligence required to pass a national security review for entrance into the Trusted Capital Venture Day and Trusted Capital Marketplace.

Submission Deadline: 22 June 11:59 PM EST

Visit events.sofwerx.org/trustedcapital to enter.