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Archive for the ‘SOF’ Category

Cannon Service Member of the Year: Air Commandos Test Their Grit

Sunday, November 5th, 2023


The 27th Special Operations Wing hosted its annual Service Member of the Year Competition Oct. 10-13 at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.  

Twelve Air Commandos tested their technical prowess, grit and leadership abilities during a week of competitions that included the Air Force Physical Fitness Test, weapons qualification and assembly, a written academic test and a six-mile ruck/run.  

Senior Master Sgt. Adam Hardy, 6th Special Operations Squadron senior enlisted leader, stated that he believes the individual selected as the 27th SOW Service Member of the Year must exemplify pride in being an Air Commando, possess the physical fitness required to complete any mission, and demonstrate exceptional performance and superior leadership. 

During the events, Air Commandos from a range of career fields were pushed to their limits as they vied for the title of 27th SOW Service Member of the Year and the chance to represent the 27 SOW at the U.S. Special Operations Command level, where they will compete against other joint service members in similar events. 

“The point of this competition is to identify the individual from our Wing who most embodies the Warrior Ethos. Professional, credible and capable Airmen deserve to compete against the finest warriors in the DOD, and I’m incredibly excited to be able to put Cannon AFB’s Airmen on the radar of our sister services,” Hardy said. “Our nominees are not from Special Tactics; they are from career fields all over the base, and the Wing’s nominee will compete in an environment that is unfamiliar, against opponents who are incredible in their own right.” 

27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Foreign Air Attachés Visit AFSOC

Thursday, November 2nd, 2023


Air Force Special Operations Command welcomed Air Attachés from 12 various allied and partner nations to Hurlburt Field, Florida, October 23, 2023.  

Attaché tours are a key function of the Department of the Air Force Foreign Liaison Office, which organizes the engagements to enhance partners’ understanding of American history and culture and enable firsthand experience with U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force operations and structure. 

During their visit, the Air Attachés were provided with a comprehensive briefing on several key aspects of AFSOC. This included an overview of the command’s history, which dates back to its establishment in 1990. This historical context was provided to the Air Attachés, offering them a deeper understanding of the command’s evolution and the critical role it has played in operations across the globe. 

Later on, Lt Gen Tony Bauernfeind, AFSOC commander, engaged with the Air Attachés and introduced them to the AFSOC mission and capabilities.  

The Air Attachés had the unique opportunity to delve into AFSOC’s array of aircraft and mission sets visiting static displays and learning from subject matter experts.   

The United States Air Force Special Operations School also gave a briefing highlighting the school’s mission. The Air Attachés were provided insights into AFSOC’s joint and combined training efforts as well as special operations best practices.  

“Our enduring relationships with allies and partners are a cornerstone to our enhanced readiness,” said Bauernfeind. “Engagements like these help educate our allies and partners on the unique capabilities and opportunities that our command can provide and strengthen our connections for future combined operations.” 

This visit served as a valuable opportunity to enhance international cooperation and understanding. By sharing insights into AFSOC’s history, mission sets, and collaborative training efforts, this visit contributed to strengthening the bonds between allied and partnered nations, furthering our collective commitment to global security. 

Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs

Green Berets Partner with Spanish Special Operations Forces for Training

Wednesday, November 1st, 2023

ALICANTE, Spain — Green Berets with the U.S. Army’s 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) concluded a nearly two-month joint combined exchange training — known as JCET — with members of the Spanish Army’s Grupo Especial de Operaciones near Alicante.

The U.S. and Spanish special operations forces practiced a wide variety of skills during this exercise, including training in long-range marksmanship, crew-served weapons familiarization, mission planning, close-quarter battle, breaching operations, military operations in urban terrain, rappelling and other critical combat and unconventional warfare skills.

U.S. Special Forces conduct JCETs with foreign militaries and partner agencies in their home countries. “JCETs facilitate shared understanding and awareness of capabilities and readiness,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Bowman, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe’s special operations liaison officer to Spain. “More importantly, they allow for both country’s units to build bonds and relationships, which are invaluable, particularly in times of crisis.”

Conducting JCETs with traditional U.S. allies like Spain is important to U.S. Special Operations Forces. “Spain is a very capable NATO ally with diverse, yet shared interests around the globe. It is critical that both countries collaborate wherever possible, given the high probability that we’ll be asked to work together in a future scenario,” Bowman said.

This JCET built upon past training and exercises for the Green Berets of 10th SFG (A). “This two-month JCET was extremely successful – not only did we increase our own tactical capabilities, but we also improved our interoperability and integration with our Spanish Army SOF peers,” said a U.S. Army special forces detachment commander directly involved in the training. “My Spanish counterpart and I integrated our teams to the maximum extent possible… this afforded both detachments the opportunity to develop our mission planning skills, mobility capabilities, and combined special reconnaissance and direct action tactics, techniques, and procedures.”

Both the Green Berets and the GOE gained valuable experience and increased their interoperability according to the detachment commander. JCETs continue to provide unique training opportunities for both U.S. forces and their multinational counterparts.

By CPT Jonathan Leigh

Photos by SSG Jacob Dunlap

SWCS Enhances Allied SOF Partnership with International Military Student Ceremony

Thursday, October 26th, 2023

The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School’s International Military Student Office conducted a ceremony for the international students, their military sponsors, and the IMSO staff to recognize the partnerships and bonds formed across American and allied partner Special Operation Forces, Sept. 18, 2023.

Brigadier General Guillaume “Will” Beaurpere, SWCS commanding general, hosted the social at Fort Liberty, North Carolina.

“It is an honor to have them here and, every time, it is an impressive group of leaders,” Beaurpere said, recognizing the additional obstacles, such as language or different operating procedures, that the international students must negotiate and surpass. Many countries send their top officers and soldiers to receive training through SWCS.

The recognition ceremony of allied SOF relates to the USSOCOM line of effort to expand and reinforce generational and new relationships. The partnership and relationship for the Soldiers begin at SWCS during initial acquisition and later in advanced skills and education experiences.

“The Special Warfare Center and School is honoring approximately 40 international military students and international exchange officers representing 23 countries such as Germany, Canada, and Switzerland, among others,” he said.

Our allied partners are here for a myriad of reasons: Joint Special Operations Master of Arts Program, Army Special Operations Forces Qualification Courses, liaison officers, and advanced skills training such as Military Freefall Jumpmaster Course. These international military soldiers embark on a unique journey, experiencing a world-class education in special operations and a first-rate intercultural exchange.

At the core of ARSOF is fostering relationships built on trust and understanding to create an ability to partner with people from other nations and to help strengthen both partners’ capabilities.

ARSOF Soldiers invest a baseline of six months to acquiring a foreign language, which help to create mutual trust and understanding, build partnerships, and forge alliances.

“Perhaps the greatest benefit of training here are the enduring interpersonal and professional relationships,” Beaurpere said.

He added explaining the benefit of having international students enrolled in SWCS. Their experiences help build the foundation of interoperability and integration that are critical to SOF.

The IMSO ceremony represents a snapshot of the larger global SOF network, creating an opportunity for attendees to connect and further develop intercultural exchange. Relationships formed at SWCS become the bedrock from which many operational and strategic partnerships develop.

Echoing Beaurpere’s comments is an international student, who completed the Special Forces Qualification Course. The student’s name is not being released to the public as an active international special operations service member.

“We’re building the relationship with each other,” the student said. “As partner nations, we might have to face the same enemy in the future, so we are now building the rapport and making our relationship stronger by doing so.”

The students spent an evening celebrating international students and strategic partnerships.

Beaurpere concluded the evening’s events by highlighting the importance of partnership.

“The strength to stand against our adversaries will never come alone, it will come together,” he said.

Editor’s note: Capt. Shao, a recent graduate from SWCS, contributed to the article.

The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (USAJFKSWCS) at Fort Liberty, N.C., is one of the Army’s premier education institutions, managing and resourcing professional growth for Soldiers in the Army’s three distinct special operations branches: Special Forces, Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations.

For more information about the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, visit

Story by By Steve Morningstar, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Public Affairs Office

Photos by K. Kassens, SWCS Public Affairs Office

CMSAF Underscores Need for 137th SOW Multi-Capable Airmen

Wednesday, October 25th, 2023


Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass saw firsthand how Airmen with the 137th Special Operations Wing set the Oklahoma Standard across the force during a visit Oct. 12.

She encouraged every service member she met to understand the “why” of the Air Force’s prioritization of learning multiple skill sets and becoming multi-capable Airmen, noting that the wing had leaned into the concept through its mission sustainment team.

“I hope you appreciate learning this skill set that we hopefully will never have to tap into,” Bass said. “We are more focused on reoptimization than we ever have been before. How do we reoptimize what the Air Force looks like to do the number one thing we are supposed to: defend our nation?”

She noted that the variety of civilian and military experience of Air National Guardsmen makes them ready-made to be formed into small mission teams, whether someone is a power production specialist in the Guard and a mechanic as a civilian, or a fireman in the Guard and a carpenter as a civilian.

Staff Sgt. Anthony Hill, 137th SOW Mission Sustainment Team, or MST, member, is a civil engineer Airman and policy analyst for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma as a civilian. He encountered the MCA concept during a previous deployment to Africa where they did not have the equipment and training needed to rapidly establish a base for austere operations.

“The tent systems we were setting up were more difficult and heavier in design, it took a longer time to train individuals and assemble units with those different levels of experience and they required a dedicated power grid,” he said. “The tent systems that are now part of our MST deployment package would have made a huge difference in sustaining the mission in that expeditionary environment.”

Discovering how to better equip Airmen for expedient operations in locations with limited resources has been the focus of the MST since its inception. A photo of the MST’s preliminary training activity was featured in the U.S. Air Force “Profession of Arms” as it calls for Airmen to serve in whatever form is needed to get the mission accomplished while meeting the expected standard of excellence.

“Our number one job is to deter. If deterrence does not succeed, we will make sure that we are able to compete and win. We are not fighting conflicts that we have before. We have to optimize ourselves in the information, space and cyber domains because if you lose in those things, you lose – period.”

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass

Airmen with the 137th Special Operations Group have developed equipment to be compatible with an expeditionary warfare environment. On the tour, Bass encountered the mobile processing, exploitation and dissemination center, which was built to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in austere locations.

“We were the first to develop this package,” said Tech. Sgt. Stephen Rosebrook, 285th Special Operations Intelligence Squadron, Oklahoma National Guard. “We have since trained active-duty special operations squadrons as well as partner nation forces.”

The 137th SOW mission is to provide forces organized, trained and equipped to support combatant commanders across the spectrum of conflict. Ensuring its citizen air commandos are prepared to deploy to the fight together anytime, anywhere, is a focus of the wing.

“We have got to reprioritze and reoptimize to make sure that we can continue deterring,” Bass said. “It is not our job to predict when challenges and crises and conflict will come, but it is our job to be ready today for anything.”

By TSgt Brigette Waltermire, 137th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

USSOCOM Combines Two Program Executive Offices Into One

Monday, October 23rd, 2023

The announced during SOF Week in May, the amalgamation of United States Special Operations Command’s Program Executive Office C4 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications) and PEO SR (Special Reconnaissance) into PEO Tactical Information Systems (TIS) is complete.

The command stated that the move was to better align the acquisition arm of USSOCOM with the National Defense Strategy. It results in a rather large portfolio including Technical collection and communication, Integrated sensor systems, Sensitive site exploitation, Remote Capabilities, and Tactical Communications.

However, the enterprise networks and transport systems the command relies upon for day-to-day work in garrison did not move to PEO TIS, but rather comes under the Director for Enterprise Information Systems.

SOFWERX- Urban Non-LOS Targeting Systems Feasibility Study & Rapid Prototype Event

Tuesday, October 17th, 2023

SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM in collaboration with USSOCOM Program Executive Office – SOF Warrior (PEO-SW), will facilitate a series of Feasibility Studies (FS) and Rapid Prototype Events (RPE) 11-13 December, 2023, to develop concepts and components of systems that utilize an open architecture to enable rapid, precise, operator-controlled Non-Line of Sight (Non-LOS) targeting in urban, surveilled environments. Additionally, system-level aspects, such as integration, testing, and training, are also considered to ensure fieldable solutions.

ecent battlefield advancements with fixed and mobile sensors are changing the relational dynamic between opposing sides in the close-in fight. Autonomous vehicles and remotely placed sensors have made it very difficult to ingress to and operate in static, fixed locations with Line-of-Sight (LOS) of opposing positions. Reliable networks of sensors can provide virtual LOS for targeting, while enabling SOF operators to remain in unexposed positions. In situations in which a human operator cannot maintain direct LOS, targeting data must be obtained, integrated, and validated to ensure the entire situation is fully understood before kinetic action is initiated. This sensor to integration to visualization process for the operator must occur almost instantaneously to take advantage of fleeting opportunities of the close-in fight. There are many commercially driven opportunities that should be investigated, and the myriad of issues must be better understood to develop a complete close-in, non-LOS targeting system. Further, the system should have an open architecture to permit easy technology insertion. This system will rely heavily on Artificial Intelligence and due to its complex nature will need advanced means to evaluate and train with it in many differing scenarios.

The operational focus of this effort is an urban environment. World-wide trends toward urbanization will force military operations in urban areas that have much more complex environments. Collateral impact to neutral parties must be minimized in rapidly changing scenarios. Urban structures and high-signal densities impact sensor, communications, and weapons operations.

Proposals in the following areas will be considered based on technical merit and diversity of focus area coverage among the submissions. Targeting is intended for kinetic follow-on effects, but parallels to Cyber, Electronic Warfare, and other effects can be included.

1) Sensors. What sensors can provide unique discriminating data to aid in obtaining a non-LOS targeting solution? What platforms can be used to standardize sensor control and data formatting? What sensor collaboration would be beneficial (radar, electro-optical, infrared, hyperspectral, etc.)? What are the parametric requirements for the use case? What is the impact of the urban environment? Fixed vs mobile sensors. Demonstrate your concept in an urban environment.

2) Data networking (transport/backhaul). What short-range data links can be used to form a network? How do the data requirements match the networking capabilities? What mechanisms are available to ensure availability, integrity, enhanced survivability, and other required protections? What network structure is suitable for urban environments? Demonstrate your concept in an urban environment.

3) Data processing. What is needed to effectively clean and normalize the data? How are missing elements of data handled? How can distributed processing be accomplished? How is data accuracy evaluated? Develop a data architecture concept. Demonstrate your concept using data representative of an urban environment.

4) Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. What algorithms can be used to group, correlate, and synchronize data to build a complete, accurate and actionable picture? Timeliness vs completeness vs resource trade-offs. What can be accomplished on the edge to produce dependable target recognition? Defined by characteristics that include:

• increased identification rates of intended targets

• increased discrimination of decoys

• ability to maintain target lock while maneuvering in 3-D space

Demonstrate your concept using data representative of an urban environment.

5) Data Visualization. How are the data and processing results displayed? How would Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) or similar devices be integrated into the non-LOS targeting system? How is data presented horizontally and vertically? Concepts for relating non-LOS targeting data with other display data. Demonstrate effective visualization in a complex urban environment.

6) System Integration, Testing, and Training Concepts. The system aspects of solutions are as important as specific components. What are the issues with integration when looking at the above focus areas collectively? What integration trade-offs are available? What are concepts to test the components separately and together in a real urban environment? What are training concepts for situations in which you may not be able to combine all aspects of the system in an actual environment?

For full details and access to submission templates, visit

Submit NLT 08 November 2023 11:59 PM ET.

SOFWERX- USSOCOM Innovation Foundry Event: SOF Aspects of Cyber Security in 2035

Thursday, October 12th, 2023

SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM’s Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T) Futures, will host the fourteenth Innovation Foundry (IF14) Event in Tampa, FL, 12-14 December 2023, which intends to bring together Special Operations Forces (SOF), industry, academia, national labs, government, and futurists in an exploration, design thinking, facilitated event to assist USSOCOM in decomposing future scenarios and missions.

Political, social, and technological developments will have an increasing impact on the future of world societies. Organizations, militaries, governments, and entire economies rely on complex digital infrastructures for their operations. The safety and reliability of these information systems are of significant concern to organizations around the world, while malicious actors seek to exploit vulnerabilities to achieve their ends. Because of this, cyber security has been a focus of increasing attention and will be of critical importance in the future operational environment.

The theme of IF14 is SOF Aspects of Cyber Security in 2035. The event seeks to explore the nature of cyber security operations and infrastructure in 2035 and SOF’s role in this environment.

Specific areas of interest include the growth of digital infrastructure for civilian and military systems; the impact of artificial intelligence technologies in the design, implementation, exploitation, and securing of information systems; the impact of innovative communications, networking, and control systems on future cyber infrastructure; advancements of quantum computing and encryption tools; as well as offensive and defensive approaches including prevention, pre-emption, detection, isolation, defeat, and the exploitation of digital vulnerabilities.

In this effort, S&T Futures is working with the Next-Generation Effects (NGE) and Network and Data Management (NDM) Capability Function Areas, in conjunction with echelons of intelligence and operational staff.

S&T Futures has developed and refined a unique process, the Innovation Cycle, to engage technology pioneers and leaders, and to discover and develop high risk, innovative, and disruptive technologies for future on-boarding. This Innovation Foundry is the first phase of the Innovation Cycle and will be focused on idea generation. Deliverables for the IF14 event will include preliminary capability concepts targeting the defined problem areas which may impact SOF forces and operations in the 2035 timeframe in cyber security. This event will be followed by: 1) a Rapid Capability Assessment (RCA) to further develop the preliminary capability concepts and, 2) a series of Integrated Technology Sprints (ITS) to demonstrate proofs of concept.

For more information, visit

Submit NLT 30 October 2023 11:59 PM ET.