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Archive for the ‘SOF’ Category

SOFWERX – USSOCOM Innovation Foundry Event In March

Monday, January 27th, 2020

Space, Cyber Space and EMS/C4ISR Subject Matter Experts Needed !

On 10-12 March, SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM’s Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T), will host the Fifth Innovation Foundry Event (IF5) focused on Space, Cyber Space and the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum (EMS). This event will bring together Special Forces Operators and Subject Matter Experts to assist USSOCOM in discerning future capability areas for tech exploration in Unconventional Warfare (UW).?

Request to Attend NLT 12 February 11:59 PM EST U.S. Citizens Only


U.S. Army JFK Special Warfare Museum Becomes Army Special Operations Forces Museum

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — With the arrival of a new year, part of a new command vision will soon take place in the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) footprint.

The U.S. Army Special Operations Command initiated a plan to reinvigorate the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum. As a result, the museum is temporarily closed to the public while a complete historical inventory is conducted to identify and catalogue items. This will ensure a better understanding of the state of artifacts available to students and Soldiers, and to identify gaps in the history of Special Forces (SF), Civil Affairs (CA) and Psychological Operations (PSYOP).

Upon reopening, tentatively at the end of February, the former U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum will be renamed as the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) Museum. It will still provide support to the Special Warfare Center and Schools as well as all of the subordinate commands and units under the USASOC umbrella.

“The former SWCS Museum, now the ARSOF Museum, has been reorganized under USASOC to fully represent all of USASOC’s equities,” said Dr. Michael Krivdo, U.S. Special Army Operations Command Historian.

The idea of the reorganization is to take ownership of ARSOF’s proud history and to get artifacts into the hands of Soldiers by intellectually engaging students and Soldiers in areas where they congregate. It is intended to keep artifacts on display engaging, relevant, and fresh.

“Where the ‘old’ museum construct focused only on artifacts and displays at one fixed location, and only featured SF, CA, and PSYOP, the ‘new’ reorganized museum provides museum support for all the subordinate units which fall within the whole ARSOF enterprise,” Krivdo added.

“The ARSOF Museum will expand to include artifacts and exhibits of the Ranger Regiment and the Army Special Operations Aviation Command, which were previously not included in the current museum as it was tied to the regiments that are assessed, trained and educated at SWCS; these are the Green Berets, PSYOP and CA Soldiers,” said Janice Burton, a spokesperson for the Special Warfare Center and School.

Staff Sgt. Keren Solano, a spokesperson for the Special Warfare Center and School said, “It also serves to illustrate the unique and specialized part played by all aspects of the Army Special Operations community both in conflict and during crucial roles in peacetime. The museum has also proven itself to be a valuable recruiting catalyst.”

The updated look and feel of the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces Museum will leverage technology by making displays hands-on and ideally, three dimensional. Active duty students and Soldiers are the ‘center of the bullseye’ as the target audience. The content will focus on informing and educating them about the dynamic history of Army Special Operations.

“This would not only include students, Soldiers assigned to operational units, and support units, but their families and retirees as well,” she added.

With the museum set to have a new name and broader scope of information, U.S. Army Special Operations Command is setting the stage for the implementation of a vision of immersing Soldiers and students in the organizational heritage and history.

By SGT Larry Barnhill, USASOC Public Affairs Office

USSOCOM J5 Donovan Group Disruptive Speaker Series – Humans over Hardware: Posturing the SOF Enterprise for the Future

Sunday, January 19th, 2020

Disruptive Speaker Series
Humans over Hardware:
Posturing the SOF Enterprise for the Future

03 March 2020

Are you smarter than a well-oiled machine?

On 03 March, SOFWERX, in collaboration with the USSOCOM J5 Donovan Group, will host a Disruptive Speaker Series entitled “Humans over Hardware: Posturing the SOF Enterprise for the Future,” led by Dr. Lydia Kostopoulos, Strategy and Innovation Advisor for the Donovan Group.

The presentation hopes to stretch the audience’s thinking about how USSOCOM can creatively leverage talent in the context of increased connectivity, demographic changes, new understandings of sovereignty and dynamic threats.

RSVP NLT 24 February 11:59 PM EST


FYSA – SF Training SFAB

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

Green Berets with 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) lent their expertise during a combat marksmanship range where they mentored Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade, Nov. 18-21, 2019.

See the story and more photos at www.fortcarsonmountaineer.com

SOFWERX – 3D Geospatial Tech Sprint Series

Friday, December 27th, 2019

On 24-28 February, SOFWERX, in concert with USSOCOM Program Executive Office for Special Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Exploitation (PEO-SRSE), will host a 3D Geospatial Tech Sprint to further automate production and dissemination of 3D geospatial data.

Selected software engineers and developers will be afforded the opportunity to collaborate with others to combine their tools for assessment and integration during the week-long event. Selectees will receive an $8,000 stipend for participation in the Tech Sprint.


Submit your technology for review, related to the technology focus areas, to be considered for attendance.

Submit NLT 27 January 11:59 PM EST

For full details, visit www.sofwerx.org/3dgeo

In Memorial – CISO Founder Conrad “Ben” Baker

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

Former US Army Civilian Conrad “Ben” B. Baker has passed away. During the Vietnam War he supported Studies and Observations Group as a founder of the Counter Insurgency Support Office on Okinawa which purchased or created specialized weapons, clothing and equipment for SOG.

Between 1963 and 1972, he served as CISO’s Deputy Commander and made more than 80 TDY trips to Vietnam, occasionally accompanying SOG personnel into the field to check on the men and equipment.

For his service, he was later made an honorary member of the SF Regiment.

Read about his exploits here.

USSOCOM Selects Nightforce Optics for Precision-Variable Power Scope

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

United States Special Operations Command has awarded Nightforce a contract for the Precision-Variable Power Scope (P-VPS). This award addresses the precision weapon solution for the USSOCOM Miniature Aiming Sight – Dayscope (MAS-D) family of optics.

Lightforce USA Inc., doing business as Nightforce Optics,* Orofino, Idaho, is awarded a $53,735,930 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a five-year ordering period for Precision-Variable Power Scopes (P-VPS).  This procurement is for the P-VPS Standard and the P-VPS Standard, Long Range.  The P-VPS is a precision direct view optic with continuously variable magnification ranging from 3x to less than or equal to 7x and greater than or equal to 25x continuous zoom for U.S. Special Operations Command.  Work will be performed in Orofino, Idaho, and is expected to be complete by December 2024.  Fiscal 2020 defense procurement funding in the amount of $2,351,124 will be obligated at the time of award and will expire at the end of the current continuing resolution period.  This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website with two offers received.  The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Indiana, is the contracting activity (N00164-20-D-JQ57).

The optics selected for the P-VPS award are the MIL-SPEC ATACR 5-25×56 Dayscope and MIL-SPEC ATACR 7-35×56 Long Range Dayscope l, both manufactured by Nightforce Optics. The P-VPS Dayscopes are designed to improve target detection, acquisition, and identification as well as increase probability of hits during day and night time engagements between 0-1500m and feature the Tremor 3 reticle.

The P-VPS is awarded as a system and in addition to the optic includes the Nightforce MIL-SPEC UltraMount with RAP-I Laser Range Finder attachment bridge, tool kit, and soft case.

Seen above is the 7-35×56 mounted to the Mk22 Advanced Sniper Rifle manufactured by Barrett. In addition to the Nightforce scopes and mounts (NF UltraMount and RAP-i LRF Mount), it includes a suppressor manufactured by Barrett. The ASR is a multi-caliber system capable of firing 7.62mm NATO, 300 Norma Mag and .338 NM.

MARSOC Takes Certification Exercise To The Next Level

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

Marine Forces Special Operations Command recently concluded a series of exercises in the Gulf Coast region aimed at streamlining integration of forces at various command levels. The three-10-day exercises were a collaborative effort between MARSOC, governmental agencies and other stakeholders to evaluate Marine Special Operations units deploying in support of Theater Special Operations Commands and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Forces across the globe.

RAVEN Unit Readiness Exercise serves as the certification exercise for a soon-to-be deploying Marine Special Operations Company. It has evolved into a multilevel venue to integrate the various command structures and capabilities deployed by MARSOC. Each level of command, down to the team, is challenged in planning and executing, and command and controlling activities in urban environments. Through RAVEN, the MARSOC commander ensures operational readiness and capability of Marine Special Operations Forces to conduct special operations missions across a range of military operations and domains. It tests Marine Raiders’ individual and collective abilities to synchronize operations, activities, and actions in the information environment with those in the physical environment to affect decision making and mission planning.

Since its inception in 2012, the unit readiness exercise has become increasingly complex. What was originally done at Fort Irwin, Calif., has expanded to several locations throughout Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Teams were spread across a 100-mile area, with the exercise operations center at the National Guard Base in Gulfport, Miss. The decentralized approach is intended to mimic the challenges in communication, planning and logistics when evaluating considerations for mission execution.

“RAVEN’s scenario design incorporates current and future dynamics the joint force may encounter to present exercise participants challenges across the range of military operations,” according to a former company commander, now the special operations officer in charge of the entirety of training execution. “Within this, participants must account for the implications of tactical actions across operational and strategic levels. The great thing about RAVEN is that it lets a unit execute full spectrum operations in a realistic military training environment without any requirements to support the exercise.”

It is also an opportunity to enhance collaboration and strengthen our operational relationships between members of the SOF community, conventional Marine Corps units and other partners with whom Marine Raiders work closely, ensuring MARSOC provides the nation with an agile, adaptive force to meet the complex demands of the future operating environment.

“RAVEN incorporates lessons learned from academia, the joint force, and redeploying MARSOC units to maintain a realistic and current exercise. The [Exercises, Training and Education Branch] consistently seeks incorporation of experimental and new technology, equipment, and TTPs into the exercise providing exposure to the force, and testing and evaluation feedback under simulated real-world conditions,” said the OIC. “This enables the exercise the ability to immediately implement the Commander’s initiatives while quickly adapting to emerging indicators of the future operating environment.”

The exercise also capitalizes on the opportunity to further streamline the integration of other SOF and conventional forces.

“SOF are inherently reliant on support from joint forces across conventional and SOF formations. Conventional forces gain the exposure and experience of working aside SOF units and the joint force improves interoperability with both SOF and conventional forces. As Marines, [Raiders] are intimately familiar with the task organized Marine Air-Ground Task Force concept. Our understanding of the MAGTF, and both USMC and SOCOM concept allow us to improve institutional and operational cooperation through interdependence, interoperability and integration with conventional forces,” said the former company commander.

For this particular exercise, MARSOF integrated with conventional Marine Corps assets from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366 from 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, and 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion from 2nd Marine Division and 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion from 1st Marine Division. There was also integration of Air Force Special Operations Command assets from the 73rd and 319th Special Operations Squadrons, and the 178th Attack Squadron; and Army Special Operations Task Force. These units were able to come together and execute missions beginning at the target development phase all the way through mission execution.

“This is the kind of stuff you envision when you join the Marine Corps,” said one of the platoon commanders from 3rd AABN. “You can see the added excitement and engagement from my Marines who are getting the added exposure to infantry skills that may have some carry over for when we have to operate with infantry Marines in the future,” he added. His team of 15 Marines conducted weapons familiarization, close quarters battle drills and planned and executed a raid with the MSOT they were attached to.

For the MAGTF Marines, the training conducted at RAVEN provides exposure to small unit tactics they might not otherwise receive, particularly units like 3rd AABN, whose day-to-day responsibilities are focused on amphibious assault vehicle readiness, basic formations and water ops, and terrain driving.

At the MARSOC company level, RAVEN is the last in a series of training evolutions within the 180-day training cycle an MSOC will execute in preparation for deployment. At this point, units are refining and streamlining processes. Considerations for mobility, sustainment, and logistics all require additional planning and coordination, according to a critical skills operator and team chief evaluated during this RAVEN series.

Having first participated in RAVEN as a sergeant, the gunnery sergeant has seen the exercise grow in scale and complexity, providing units the ability to execute the full range of special operations core tasks, special insertion skills, and missions against an opposing force.

“The command has invested quite a bit of time and money into making the training challenging and realistic,” he said. While there are still role players, the scenario is much more developed, requiring in-depth analysis in developing possible targets.”

According to this team chief, another aspect that has improved is the extent of the integration of mentor-evaluators and Exercise Control Group into the training.

“It is an opportunity for the team to cross-pollinate [tactics, techniques and procedures] from units across MARSOC. We all have the same baseline, but it comes to identifying gaps and refining efficiencies, down to things as simple as naming conventions,” he said. “Having been a mentor-evaluator and seeing teams go through the stress of the exercise, it is eye-opening to have that outsider’s perspective. It can be time-consuming, but it spreads the learning across the entirety of the exercise.”

MARSOC conducts the RAVEN series several times a year, alternating locations from the Gulf Coast Region and the Kentucky-Tennessee border two to three times per year, with the next one being conducted in April, 2020.

Story and Photos by Gunnery Sgt. Lynn Kinney , Marine Forces, Special Operations Command

Additional Photos by Photo by Lance Cpl. Elias Pimentel. Marine Forces, Special Operations Command