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 SpecialOperationsWoundedWarriorstrainfornational,internationalcompetitions.aspxSpecial Operations Wounded Warriors train for national, international competitions7/30/2014
GULF BREEZE, Fla. - The U.S. Special Operations Command’s Care Coalition recently hosted a training camp for more than 40 wounded, ill and injured Special Operations service members who have been selected to participate in upcoming national and international athletic events.
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GULF BREEZE, Fla. - The U.S. Special Operations Command’s Care Coalition recently hosted a training camp for more than 40 wounded, ill and injured Special Operations service members who have been selected to participate in upcoming national and international athletic events.


USSOCOM athletes will join competitors from 14 nations in the Invictus games, in London, Sept. 7- 15.  Invictus will be followed by the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 22 – Oct. 4.  More than 200 wounded service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Special Operations will participate in the Games, which will be held at the Olympic Training Facility.


As part of the Military Adaptive Sport Program, the goal of these events is to promote physical reconditioning and skill development, including teamwork and self-reliance, within the contest of paralympic sports.


"The MASP is an opportunity for a lot of us that have been injured and wounded overseas to have the camaraderie that we had in the service and also a chance to improve our physical well-being,” said Army Staff Sgt. Patrick Smith, who has completed three deployments to Afghanistan and is assigned to the 6th Military Information Support Battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C.  “I’m able to interact with other veterans in a positive environment in which our physical and mental health are significantly improved through participation,” he added.


Invictus and Warrior Games bring together wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans across the nation and around the world to attest that individuals can recover from serious injury and lead fulfilling, productive and inspiring lives.


"They're entering a new stage of their recovery. Once they're past therapy and comfortable with their new life, their new challenges, they come out here and press the limits of where they can go now," said Army Maj. Anthony Gonzalez, USSOCOM military adaptive sports program manager.

 

 USSOCOMannounceschangeofcommand.aspxUSSOCOM announces change of command7/25/2014
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Navy Adm. William H. McRaven will turn the helm of U.S. Special Operations Command over to Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel during a change of command ceremony at 2 p.m., Aug. 28 at the Tampa Convention Center.
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MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Navy Adm. William H. McRaven will turn the helm of U.S. Special Operations Command over to Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel during a change of command ceremony at 2 p.m., Aug. 28 at the Tampa Convention Center. The ceremony is by invitation only.

Votel will be the tenth commander of USSOCOM and will be responsible for ensuring the readiness of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Special Operations Forces.

McRaven, 58, has commanded USSOCOM since Aug. 2011, and will retire from active duty after 37 years of service to the nation.

McRaven, who grew up in San Antonio, Texas, was commissioned an ensign in the Navy through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps after graduating from the University of Texas in 1977.  He completed Basic Underwater Demolition School/SEAL training in 1978 and has commanded at every level in special operations.

 

The admiral served in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom amongst others.  He also served as the Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council Staff.
  
The admiral also helped establish and was the first graduate of the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict curriculum at the Naval Post Graduate School.  His Naval Post Graduate School thesis was the basis for his book Spec Ops published in 1996.


McRaven is married to the former Georgeann Brady of Dallas, Texas.

 FuerzasComandosettotakeplaceinColombia.aspxFuerzas Comando set to take place in Colombia7/23/2014
TOLEMAIDA, Colombia (July 22, 2014) -- Special operations forces from 17 countries are poised to participate in Fuerzas Comando 2014 at the Colombian National Training Center in Tolemaida, July 23-31.
ApprovedTOLEMAIDA, Colombia (July 22, 2014) -- Special operations forces from 17 countries are poised to participate in Fuerzas Comando 2014 at the Colombian National Training Center in Tolemaida, July 23-31.

Special operations and commando forces from Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States and Uruguay will participate in the competition.

The opening ceremony for the 10th Fuerzas Comando exercise will kick off the competition, July 23.

Prior to the start of the competition, the teams spent two days validating the events and their equipment in preparation for the exercise.

The grueling eight-day competition will test the elite forces in areas such as physical fitness, weapons marksmanship, aquatic skills and tactical capabilities. The exercise concludes with a multi-national airborne operation and wing exchange ceremony, July 30, and the closing ceremony, July 31.

The Countering Terrorism Fellowship Program or CTFP will take place simultaneously during the competition. This year, senior military and government officials from more than 20 nations will gather in Bogota, July 28-30, to discuss regional challenges such as transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking. The Fellowship Program is designed to improve military-to-military relations and provides a collaborative environment for regional military leaders.

Both the exercise and Fellowship Program are aimed at enhancing training and strengthening regional and multinational cooperation, mutual trust, readiness and interoperability of special operations forces in the Western Hemisphere.

Colombia is the host of this year’s competition and Fellowship Program, which is sponsored by the United States Southern Command, headquartered in Miami, Fla. Special Operations Command South, headquartered at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., is the lead U.S. executing command for the exercise. SOCSOUTH serves as the special operations component for U.S. Southern Command.

For more information video and imagery of the competition, please visit:
SOCSOUTH Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/USSOCSOUTH
Fuerzas Comando website at: www.ejercito.mil.co\ fuerzascomando2014
DVIDSHUB: www.dvidshub.net Search Keyword: Fuerzas Comando 2014
U.S. Southern Command website: www.southcom.mil
 MedalofHonorrecipient,SpecialOperationslegendreceivesUSSOCOM’s2014BullSimonsAward.aspxMedal of Honor recipient, Special Operations legend receives USSOCOM’s 2014 Bull Simons Award5/27/2014
Tough, quiet, humble and a Soldier’s Soldier are all descriptions friends and colleagues use when talking about Medal of Honor recipient and Special Operations legend, Army Col. Robert L. Howard. Those attributes and Howard’s lifetime achievements in Special Operations led to his selection as USSOCOM’s 2014 Bull Simons Award recipient.
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Tough, quiet, humble and a Soldier’s Soldier are all descriptions friends and colleagues use when talking about Medal of Honor recipient and Special Operations legend, Army Col. Robert L. Howard. Those attributes and Howard’s lifetime achievements in Special Operations led to his selection as USSOCOM’s 2014 Bull Simons Award recipient.

The Bull Simons Award is USSOCOM’s highest honor and was first awarded in 1990 and has since become an annual tradition. The award recognizes recipients who embody “the true spirit, values, and skills of a Special Operations warrior.” Col. Arthur “Bull” Simons, whom the award is named after, was the epitome of these attributes.

Howard was born on July 11, 1939, in Opelika, Ala. He entered military service on July 20, 1956, following in the footsteps of his father and four uncles who had served in World War II. He retired on Sept. 30, 1992 and died Dec. 23, 2009.

Howard’s legendary combat skills were honed on the battlefields of Vietnam. Howard was assigned to Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG). While there, he was recommended for the Medal of Honor on three separate occasions. The first two nominations were downgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross and Silver Star because of the sensitive operations along the Ho Chi Minh trail. Howard reluctantly accepted the third nomination for the Medal of Honor, ever mindful he would be pulled from combat duty once he accepted the medal.

MACV-SOG ran Special Operations including reconnaissance and hatchet force missions which involved a Special Operations team of American and South Vietnamese members who operated in small covert operations along the Ho Chi Minh trail. The units specialized in search and destroy missions and in locating missing American servicemen in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam.

 

 Army,USSOCOMannounceopeningofSpecialOpsaviationpositionstowomen.aspxArmy, USSOCOM announce opening of Special Ops aviation positions to women5/23/2014
The Department of Defense notified Congress today of the U.S. Army and U.S. Special Operations Command plan to eliminate gender restrictions within previously closed units of the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command.
ApprovedThe Department of Defense notified Congress today of the U.S. Army and U.S. Special Operations Command plan to eliminate gender restrictions within previously closed units of the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command.

This action involves approximately 1,300 positions.

In the January 2013 memorandum rescinding the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, the Secretary of the Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed the services and U.S. Army and U.S. Special Operations Command to work together in a deliberate, measured and responsible way to assign women to closed positions.

Advancing this effort, the Secretary of the Army and Commander U.S. Army and U.S. Special Operations Command forwarded to the Secretary of Defense a recommendation that expands opportunities for women to serve in all four battalions of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

"Given the joint nature of special operations, USSOCOM will synchronize our efforts with each service while observing the joint chiefs' guiding principles to preserve unit readiness, cohesion and morale," said Maj. Gen. Christopher Haas, director for Force Management and Development at U.S. Army and U.S. Special Operations Command.

Once the congressional notification process is complete, changes will be implemented through a deliberate and incremental process. Female officers and non-commissioned officers will be assigned to each unit previously closed to women, followed by female enlisted Soldiers.

DOD officials notified Congress of the intent to open the following positions in the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command:

15B, 15D, 15F, 15G, 15H, 15J, 15K, 15N, 15P, 15Z, 25A, 25B, 25U, 27D, 29E, 35D, 35F, 35G, 35L, 35N, 35X, 36A, 36B, 42A, 42B, 42H, 56A, 56M, 61N, 65D, 68W, 74A, 74D, 88N, 89B, 90A, 91B, 91C, 91D, 91E, 91J, 91X, 92A, 92F, 92R, 92Y, 94E, 94R, 94W, 151A, 255A, 350F, 351L, 915A, 920A, 948B

For questions on this press release, please contact U.S. Special Operations Command Public Affairs at public.affairs@socom.mil or 813. 826. 4600
 USSOCOMhosts2014InternationalSpecialOperationsForcesWeek.aspxUSSOCOM hosts 2014 International Special Operations Forces Week5/20/2014
Special Operations Forces (SOF) from the U.S. and partner nations around the world have descended on the city this week with a goal of building trust and partnerships.
ApprovedSpecial Operations Forces (SOF) from the U.S. and partner nations around the world have descended on the city this week with a goal of building trust and partnerships.

The United States Special Operations Command is hosting the fourth International Special Operations Forces (ISOF) conference May 19 – 22 at the Tampa Convention Center.  Delegates from 84 nations are attending this weeklong conference, focusing on the theme of “Strengthening the Global SOF Network.”  The conference, which last occurred in 2012, allows leaders from throughout the global SOF community to meet, learn from each other and advance a coordinated effort to meet security challenges.

“We had been doing the International SOF week every four or five years, but two years ago when we did this convention, it was so successful, and I thought so important to bring together the Special Operations network that’s out there, I elected to instead of doing it every four years, do it every two years,” said Adm. William H. McRaven, USSOCOM commander, during a brief opening ceremony Monday evening.  “What we hope to be able to accomplish during this week is to up the level of engagement to the senior level, to the operational or strategic level.”

McRaven stressed the importance of building the global SOF network and how partner forces must work together to achieve common goals.

“I do not view this as a global U.S. Special Operations network, this is a Global Special Operations network because of all the partners that are here tonight,” McRaven said.   “If you’ve been around the Special Operations community for even a short period of time, you know that we act alike, we think alike, we look alike – you can spot a Special Operations operator in a crowd of 1,000 people – and this relationship, which we have built together over decades, we need to continue to reinforce so that we can get at the problems that are systemic across the globe. The problems of extremism, the problems of terrorism, the problems of international crime -- problems that are not unique to any one nation that frankly will require all nations to come together to address these issues.”
USSOCOM hosts 2014 International Special Operations Forces Week
 USSOCOMinducts5thclassintotheCommandoHallofHonor.aspxUSSOCOM inducts 5th class into the Commando Hall of Honor4/18/2014
On the 27th Birthday of U.S. Special Operations Command, six new members were inducted into the Commando Hall of Honor during a ceremony April 16 inside the Donovan room at the USSOCOM headquarters.
ApprovedOn the 27th Birthday of U.S. Special Operations Command, six new members were inducted into the Commando Hall of Honor during a ceremony April 16 inside the Donovan room at the USSOCOM headquarters.

“It is fitting that this ceremony is occurring on the 27th anniversary of the activation of USSOCOM,” said Adm. William H. McRaven, commander USSOCOM. “Three of the inductees are connected with Operation Eagle Claw or Desert One, the subsequent Holloway Commission, and the debates and discussions leading to the establishment of USSOCOM.”

The Commando Hall of Honor was created by former USSOCOM commander Adm. Eric T. Olson in 2010 to recognize individuals who have served with distinction within the Special Operations Community. The inductees embody the skills, values, spirit and courage of a Special Operations Forces Warrior and their impact must be extraordinary and enduring.

“All of these incredible men are being recognized for their lifetime of service to the Special Operations community,” said McRaven.

Army Sgt. Maj. Joseph E. Brauch, Air Force Col. Philip G. Cochran, Mr. Richard T. Lunger, Air Force Lt. Gen. Leroy J. Manor, Air Force Col. Kenneth H. Poole and Army Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow will take their place alongside the 35 current members of the Commando Hall of Honor.

Brauch served with both 7th and 10th Special Forces Groups for more than seven years before making the move to Joint Special Operations Command to serve with a Special Mission Unit.  There he served for 16 years, holding numerous key positions while helping develop tactics, techniques, procedures and equipment for operations when dealing with weapons of mass destruction.
 RidgeRunnertrainingprogramoffersmeaningful,challengingtrainingopportunitiesforSOF.aspxRidge Runner training program offers meaningful, challenging training opportunities for SOF4/1/2014
The global security posture remains dynamic and unpredictable. Accordingly, Special Operations Forces must maintain the highest levels of readiness to support the Geographic Combatant Commander.  The West Virginia National Guard's Ridge Runner Irregular Warfare Training Activity provides realistic and challenging scenarios simulating today's operational landscape.
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The global security posture remains dynamic and unpredictable. Accordingly, Special Operations Forces must maintain the highest levels of readiness to support the Geographic Combatant Commander.  The West Virginia National Guard's Ridge Runner Irregular Warfare Training Activity provides realistic and challenging scenarios simulating today's operational landscape.

Recently, a company from 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) traveled from Fort Carson, Co. to Camp Dawson, W.Va. to utilize the Ridge Runner program to prepare for employment within the European theater of operations.

“This training enhanced our company’s preparation for forthcoming operations in the EUCOM AOR, as well as increased our tactical and technical proficiency in our core mission set – unconventional warfare,” said Maj. Michael Lueckeman, the company’s commander.

Just as the propensity of SOF operations have transitioned from a kinetic nature to a more mutually supporting role with emphasis on the human dimension, the methodology for conducting Special Operations is also under continuous refinement.

The Ridge Runner program is a cost effective way for SOF to be able to train on varying aspects of irregular warfare in scenarios that are realistic and tailored to the participating unit’s upcoming mission.  The 3-10 SFG(A) staff and Ridge Runner personnel worked together to leverage existing West Virginia resources to add both realism and depth to a specific, requirements-driven scenario.

 SOFWoundedWarriorsTrainatMacDill.aspxSOF Wounded Warriors Train at MacDill3/7/2014
The U.S. Special Operations Command’s Care Coalition hosted 54 wounded, ill, and injured Special Operations Forces service members on MacDill AFB through the Wounded Warrior Athletic Reconditioning Program (WWARP) for a USSOCOM All-Sports Training Camp March 3 – 7.
ApprovedThe U.S. Special Operations Command’s Care Coalition hosted 54 wounded, ill, and injured Special Operations Forces service members on MacDill AFB through the Wounded Warrior Athletic Reconditioning Program (WWARP) for a USSOCOM All-Sports Training Camp March 3 – 7.

The weeklong event consisted of six different sports – shooting, archery, track and field, volleyball, swimming, and cycling, and Warrior Games trials with coaches on hand to provide instruction. The wounded warriors also had the opportunity to challenge USSOCOM’s command staff, led by the SOCOM Commander Admiral William H. McRaven, and the University of South Florida varsity women’s volleyball team to a few exhibition matches of seated volleyball.

“The purpose of this event is to introduce our wounded, injured, and ill SOF service members to new sports, activities, and equipment that are specially adapted to accommodate their injuries and limitations,” said Army Major Tony Gonzalez, USSOCOM adaptive sports program manager.

The WWARP’s mission is to assist in both the physical and mental recovery processes and works to improve the overall health and welfare of wounded, ill, or injured Special Operations Forces, through exposure to adaptive team sports and recreation. WWARP supports both active duty and retired members of the Special Operations community.

“Our program affords them the opportunities to get back into their sport(s) of choice and receive world-class training from some of the best coaches in the world,” Gonzalez said. “The program seeks to help its athletes adapt and adjust to their injuries and do so in a peer-based environment.” 

 

SOF Wounded Warriors Train at MacDill
 StrengtheningPartnershipsat1,500feet.aspxStrengthening Partnerships at 1,500 feet2/28/2014
ApprovedThe German liaison officer to U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) headquarters served as jumpmaster to 72 jumpers from USSOCOM and Special Operations Command-Central Feb. 28 during a foreign wing exchange at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.

As a liaison officer, Lt. Col. Wolfgang “Wolly” Beyer works with his U.S. counterparts at USSOCOM to build bilateral and multilateral cooperation, collaborative partnerships, and trust.

Creating a common experience between U.S. and international Special Operations Forces (SOF) partners through events such as this exemplify the importance of partner engagement and help strengthen existing networks of trust. This training evolution added to Beyer’s already impressive record of more than 5,600 jumps.

“I’m more than proud to be part of the awesome team that is the Airborne family here at SOCOM,” said Beyer, a German special operations officer who has been working at USSOCOM for the past year.

Along with representatives from 10 other nations who work at USSOCOM, Beyer serves as a conduit between his country’s national interests and SOF activities with the United States, as well as other partner nations.

USSOCOM is also expanding its liaison representation abroad, as well as welcoming more key partner nations to send officers to its headquarters. These liaisons have become a critical node of the global SOF network, providing a unique opportunity to strengthen global SOF partnerships by encouraging engagement, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing.

“It is important that we maximize these types of opportunities with our international partners,” said Army Lt. Col. Brian Howard, planner on the Global Campaign Planning team in the International SOF Coordination Center. “Opportunities like this help to build camaraderie, trust, and also demonstrate our partner's competencies.” 

It is special anytime an airborne qualified individual gets awarded jump wings from another nation, but it’s also a unique experience for the foreign jumpmaster as well.

“Today was my longest jumpmaster job without a break, but I was happy to put a smile onto the faces of the jumpers,” said Beyer.

For Howard, it was an especially rewarding day because waiting on the drop zone for a promotion ceremony was his family and guests. Col. Dan Hodne promoted Howard following his 1,500-foot descent and safe landing.

“My family enjoyed being a part of what we as service members in this community do on a somewhat routine basis,” said Howard. “They were excited, especially my youngest son, and it also gave them some insight into that part of my life.”

The event came to a conclusion with Beyer presenting each jumper with an official set of German jump wings.

“It was an honor to receive my German wings, but more importantly it was great to see Lt. Col. Beyer pin wings on all of those who participated in the jump,” Howard said. “There is a certain level of risk associated with airborne operations, and the jumpmaster position is extremely important…Lt. Col. Beyer is a true professional with a tremendous amount of airborne experience; he was able to demonstrate his capabilities to the service members participating in the operation.”
 JSOUbreaksgroundfornewcampus.aspxJSOU breaks ground for new campus2/27/2014
Leadership from throughout U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base and the local community gathered here today to break ground for a state of the art education facility that will take Special Operations Forces academic training into the future.
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Leadership from throughout U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base and the local community gathered here today to break ground for a state of the art education facility that will take Special Operations Forces academic training into the future.

The first shovels full of dirt were thrown for the construction of the Joint Special Operations University Feb. 27 at the facilities new site across the street from the USSOCOM headquarters building.  Participating in the ground-breaking was Dr. Brian Maher, JSOU president; Army Lt. Gen. John Mulholland, USSOCOM deputy commander; Retired Army Gen. Doug Brown, former USSOCOM commander and chairman of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation; Command Sgt. Maj. David Betz, JSOU senior enlisted advisor; Bob Buckhorn, mayor of Tampa; Retired Vice Adm. Joe Maguire, former commander of Naval Special Warfare Command and president of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation; Air Force Col. Andre Briere, 6th Air Mobility Wing vice commander; and Army Lt. Col. Thomas Nelson, Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District deputy commander

During his opening remarks, Maher credited three previous USSOCOM commanders with making JSOU what it is today: retired Army Gen. Pete Schoomaker, who envisioned JSOU and launched it at Hurlburt Field, Fla.; Brown, who ensured JSOU grew; and retired Adm. Eric Olson, who kept the vision alive.  Maher said it was Brown who was mostly responsible for the current state of the academic institute.

 

 AdmiralMcRavenspeakstoClassof2015at500thNight.aspxAdmiral McRaven speaks to Class of 2015 at 500th Night2/22/2014
The Class of 2015 celebrated a milestone with a banquet inside Washington Hall Jan 18 as the cadets reached the 500th Night until graduation.
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The Class of 2015 celebrated a milestone with a banquet inside Washington Hall Jan 18 as the cadets reached the 500th Night until graduation.

It’s a tradition commenced by their 50-year affiliation class—the Class of 1965—to first recognize this particular night in the 47-month West Point experience. Class of 2015 Cadet William Goodwin said when those cadets gathered for the first 500th Night in 1964 the nation was still grieving over the death of President John F. Kennedy, and so too were the Corps of Cadets over its commander in chief.

“…The class decided it was time for a celebration and they petitioned the superintendent for a chance to come together and look ahead to the future. And 500th Night was born,” Goodwin said.

Too easy, Goodwin said, is it for cadets to get caught up in the day-to-day routines at the academy and lose perspective on what’s ahead. It’s even easier to dwell on the past and second guess choices made.

 

“Tonight we’re here to celebrate looking ahead to our shared future,” Goodwin said. “Both over the next 500 days at West Point and upon graduation when we open a new chapter as second lieutenants in our nation’s Army.”

Admiral McRaven speaks to Class of 2015 at 500th Night
 USDAPartnersWithUnitedStatesSpecialOperationsCommandtoSupport.aspxUSDA Partners With United States Special Operations Command to Support2/21/2014
Today, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta
Harden and Admiral William H. McRaven signed a Memo of Understanding between
the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Special Operations Command
(USSOCOM) to increase support services for military families. The MOU allows
the USDA supported Cooperative Extension System and Land Grant Universities
ApprovedToday, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and Admiral William H. McRaven signed a Memo of Understanding betweenthe U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to increase support services for military families. The MOU allows the USDA supported Cooperative Extension System and Land Grant Universities to work directly with USSOCOM to conduct research and develop programs for military families of Special Operations Units on issues such as personal financial management, health and nutrition, child care and youth empowerment.

"The USDA and the Department of Defense have a longstanding relationship in support of service members and their families" said Deputy Secretary Harden. "This agreement allows us to extend similar support to Special Operations

Forces by developing programs and services that help improve the quality of life for military family members. From offering workshops and classes about financial management for families, to creating positive youth development environments for military kids, to promoting healthy lifestyles, the USDA stands at the ready to serve."

"We are very grateful for USDA's support to our special operations warriors and their families," said Admiral McRaven. "One of the fundamentals of special operations is that people are more important than hardware. This partnership exemplifies that truth. By facilitating access to a magnitude of valuable and credible family support programs and research through land grant universities, USDA will play a vital role in strengthening our force's resiliency and mission readiness."

This MOU builds on a current MOU between USDA and the Department of Defense to strengthen child, youth and family programs for military personnel and their families. That agreement was signed by Dr. Roger N. Beachy, former Director of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Dr. Clifford L. Stanley, for Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) in 2010.

USDA Partners With United States Special Operations Command to Support
 SpecialOperations.aspxSpecial Ops Forces in Transition, Pentagon Officials Say2/12/2014
Like the rest of the Defense Department, the special operations community is in transition, and officials are working on how best to shape the force for the future, a senior Pentagon official said here yesterday.
ApprovedLike the rest of the Defense Department, the special operations community is in transition, and officials are working on how best to shape the force for the future, a senior Pentagon official said here yesterday.

Michael D. Lumpkin spoke at the National Defense Industrial Association’s 25th annual Special Operations/Low-intensity Conflict Symposium. He is the assistant secretary of defense for special operation and low-intensity conflict, performing the duties of the undersecretary of defense for policy.

The end of the war in Iraq and the scaling down of the conflict in Afghanistan has opened a new chapter for the Defense Department, Lumpkin said. “We must adapt to a changing world in which global security threats are taking new forms and arising more swiftly and unpredictably than ever before,” he added.

Defense officials and industry partners must rethink the roles, missions and purpose of the entire military. “But this time of transition is especially important for the special operations community,” the retired Navy SEAL said.

Lumpkin said special operators will have an appreciably different and more active role for the future, noting that while the wars concentrated efforts in the U.S. Central Command area, the mission going forward will be more global. “The business of [special operations forces] will not be business as usual,” he said.

The period of post-9/11 combat operations is coming to an end, Lumpkin said. “Nearly every al-Qaida member involved in [the 9/11] attacks is either dead or in jail,” he told the conference audience. “The core al-Qaida leadership in Afghanistan or Pakistan has been decimated.”

But the terror group has metastasized to areas with security vacuums, he acknowledged. “The threat of terrorism and attacks is one we take very seriously,” he said. “Al-Qaida’s most capable affiliate – al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula – poses a major threat to the U.S. and its allies. We work closely with our Yemeni partners to disrupt and defeat their plots.”

Other affiliates – such as the al-Nusra Front in Syria, al-Qaida in the Islamic Mahgreb and Al-Shabaab in Somalia – are currently regional or local threats, but their violent attacks have great potential to harm or kill Americans, Lumpkin said. He pointed to the attack on an oil refinery in Algeria last year as an example of this threat.

“With regard to these and other terror attacks across the Middle East and North Africa, let me say this: We will never make the mistake of letting up in pursuit of terrorist groups that threaten our nation, wherever they may be,” the assistant secretary said.

The winding down of two long wars gives the United States the chance to act in its interests as a truly global power. “It is time to widen our scope and to deploy our forces and our energy in a manner more consistent with the deeper economic and geopolitical realities of our age,” he said

This is the logic underlying the military’s rebalance toward the Pacific. The Asia-Pacific-Indian Ocean area is a rising region. The United States does about $1.4 trillion worth of two-way trade with Asia every year, and half of the world’s shipping by tonnage passes through the South China Sea. The region is home to more than half the world’s population. Seven of the 10 largest standing militaries in the world are in the region as is five of the world’s declared nuclear nations.

“It is in our clear economic and strategic interest to move our focus to the Pacific,” Lumpkin said. “This geographic shift hints at something even more fundamental: a fundamental shift in how we use and think of special operations forces in a post-9/11 era.”

The United States has been the bulwark of security in the region and is working to perpetuate the relative peace and stability, Lumpkin said. The United States accomplished this by building and maintaining a series of bilateral relationships and addressing potential sources of conflict before they create larger problems, he added.

This work centers on security cooperation, building partner capacity and building awareness of local conditions, he explained, and leans heavily on special operations capabilities. “The ability of [special operations forces] to operate in a low-visibility way will only become more important in the future of a globally dispersed and irregular threats,” he said.

He cited the Philippines as a good example. “With a task force of about 500 operators and general-purpose force enablers, we helped that nation degrade what was once considered a grave internal threat,” he said. “Just think what the cost would have been in dollars, and perhaps lives as well, if violent extremists had succeeded in establishing a sanctuary in a place like the Philippines, so centrally located along the shipping routes of the South China Sea.”

The timely and effective deployment of special operations forces and their supporting personnel made this possible, he said.

The Philippine example can be used as a model for the rest of the world, Lumpkin said, a model that would rely less on direct action and more on indirect efforts.

Colombia is another nation where this has been successful, the assistant secretary said. “We provided significant military aid, counterinsurgency training and humanitarian assistance in a broad-based initiative to prevent narcotics traffickers from establishing sanctuaries in that country,” he said. “‘Plan Colombia’ was a sustained commitment to building the capacity of a vitally important nation.

“This was no third-grade soccer team where everybody ran to the ball,” he continued. “It was patient, it was painstaking, and it worked on several problems at once.”

Special operators were just one part of the overall plan, Lumpkin said. They helped Colombia build a professional and capable military giving the nation the ability to solve its own security challenges, and to take ownership of the long process of eliminating terrorist and insurgent sanctuaries within its borders.

“But Plan Colombia also involved an interagency effort to assist the Colombians in eradicating narcotics and building stronger financial institutions,” he added. “The work paid off. Colombia is not only a far more secure and prosperous nation now, it has emerged as an exporter of regional security.”

The United States is moving from perpetual war to perpetual engagement, Lumpkin said, and the special operations forces community is going to be busy because of unpredictable threats and uncertain budgets.

“We in the SOF world have long known that when it comes to national security and global stability, an ounce of prevention is not worth a pound of cure, but a ton of cure,” he said.

The response to rising threats will grow shorter, Lumpkin said. “In the past, the traditional Iron Triangle of Congress, the Defense Department and industry were always able to assemble the resources in time to meet various challenges to our national security,” he said. This was because the threats of the past usually arose from nation states with their own political and industrial bureaucracies, he explained.

A major factor in this change is the rise of the Internet in general and social media in particular, “which has transformed the local into the global and the tactical into the strategic,” he said. “As a result, the traditional players don’t have the same power to shape events that they have had in the past.”

The increasing connectivity of people around the world can challenge traditional hierarchal struggles, Lumpkin noted. “When an idiosyncratic pastor in Florida issues statements that set off riots in Pakistan, you know something has changed,” he said.

“On a more significant scale, we saw in the Arab Spring how populations can rally in only minutes because of social media, with little warning from traditional analysis,” Lumpkin said.

Over the long run, Lumpkin said, flattening of communications works to benefit the United States and favors the spread of democratic values worldwide. “But the process will not be linear, and it will not be smooth, as we have seen increased connectivity present security threats as well as opportunities,” he added.

Network threats present new challenges and require new ways of planning, the assistant secretary told the audience, and cyber operations come to mind first. “As we continue to work our doctrine for response in the cyber realm,” he said, “it is entirely possible that SOF units, or even individuals, would be called upon to act online or offline to address these threats.”

Beyond cyber, Lumpkin said, the special operations community is concentrating on understanding the human domain – the totality of physical, cultural, political and social environments within a conflicted region.

 McRavenPeople,Technology,PartnersareSocomPriorities.aspxMcRaven: People, Technology, Partners are Socom Priorities2/12/2014
At U.S. Special Operations Command, taking care of special operators and their families, using technology to increase the safety of exacting special ops, and expanding partnerships of all kinds worldwide are priorities, the Socom commander said here yesterday.
ApprovedAt U.S. Special Operations Command, taking care of special operators and their families, using technology to increase the safety of exacting special ops, and expanding partnerships of all kinds worldwide are priorities, the Socom commander said here yesterday.

In his morning keynote address at the National Defense Industrial Association’s 25th Annual Special Operations/Low-intensity Conflict Symposium, Navy Adm. William H. McRaven described recent efforts on behalf of what he called “the finest special operations forces in the world.”

At Socom, he said, “we have spent the last year knitting together this incredible expanse of [special operations forces] talent into the global SOF network. We instituted a disciplined battle rhythm, [and] video teleconferences that allow me as the commander … to talk to senior leaders and [noncommissioned officers] around the world every week to ensure they are getting what they need to do the mission.”

McRaven said Socom is bringing more allies into headquarters, expanding its U.S. liaison efforts overseas, realigning special operations talent to Theater Special Operations Command and redistributing manpower from the Iraq war and the drawdown in Afghanistan.

“Most importantly,” the commander added, “we continue to work with the geographic combatant commanders to ensure Socom is providing the best trained and equipped SOF operators to meet the needs of the region.”

Socom’s No. 1 warfighting priority is and will remain Afghanistan, McRaven said, noting that he sees progress each time he returns to the country thanks to the work of U.S. service members, the International Security Assistance Force and partnership with the Afghan security forces.

“Afghan security forces are good, and thanks to our SOF investment, they are getting better,” he added.

Afghan soldiers and police now protect their fellow Afghans, and local police are the first layer of defense against the insurgency, especially in rural and remote areas, McRaven said.

“No matter the size of our presence there next year,” he added, “our future [military-to-military] engagements with the Afghans will remain vital in the region.”

Because of lessons learned in Afghanistan, some of them learned the hard way, the commander said, Socom established a program called the Tactical Assault Light Operator-Shooter, or TALOS, program, sometimes called “the Iron Man suit.”

The TALOS program is a collaboration of efforts, he said, involving 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities and 10 national laboratories. The goal is to give operators lighter, more efficient full-body ballistics protection and beyond-human strength. Embedded antennas and computers will provide user-friendly, real-time battlefield information.

Integrated heaters and coolers will regulate the suit’s temperature and embedded sensors will monitor the operator’s core body temperature, skin temperature, heart rate, body position and hydration levels.

If an operator is wounded, the suit’s final version may be able to administer the first oxygen or hemorrhage controls.

“The TALOS project is leveraging the expertise of leading minds throughout the country to redefine the state of the art in survivability and operator capability,” McRaven explained. “We're already seeing astounding results.”

Three prototype suits are being assembled, and in June will be delivered to Socom. They will be rigorously evaluated to produce a deployable combat suit in August 2018.

The TALOS team also will host a Monster Garage-type event to pair the creativity and ingenuity of local garage tinkerers with the expertise of professional engineers, designers and craftsmen to build components for the suit, potentially even a complete suit, in a collaborative environment, the admiral added.

“This unique collaboration effort is the future of how we should do business,” McRaven said. “If we do TALOS right, it will be a huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give warriors the protection they need in a very demanding environment.”

Because he sees education as a critical factor in producing the nation’s finest special operations warrior, McRaven said, in the past year he approved a plan for the Joint Special Operations University to become what he called “the internationally recognized, regionally accredited, degree-producing SOF university that our special operations forces deserve.”

Much of the advanced education will help operators become regional experts, he said.

“If we want to be value-added to the regional combatant commanders, SOF operators require the ability to think, assess and rapidly respond at the tactical level while always considering the strategic implications,” McRaven said. Such operators need more language training and an understanding of the historical, political, sociological, economic and geographic underpinnings of the region, he added.

And because the forces rely heavily on noncommissioned officers, Socom is developing a world-class NCO education program. The Joint SOF Senior Enlisted Academy has been online for two years, with a resident and nonresident professional military education program for senior NCOs, McRaven noted.

“Ultimately, however, the future of SOF lies in how well we take care of our men and women and their families who have shouldered the burden of 13 years of sustained combat,” the commander said.

On Feb. 21, McRaven said he will sign a memorandum of agreement with the Agriculture Department that will enable Socom to access more than 100 land-grant universities to conduct research and implement programs to support and promote the well-being and resilience of U.S. Socom service members and their families.

“The recent passing of the 2014 [National Defense Authorization Act] gives the Socom commander authority to use SOF funds to support family programs,” the commander said.

The three-year pilot program authorizes Socom to use up to $5 million a year to supplement service-provided programs or develop innovative programs that meet family needs, he said, adding that the focus will be on building and maintaining resilient, fully functioning families.

Socom also is working to increase the predictability of its deployments and standardize the time a service member is deployed, he said.

For special ops warriors who are wounded, injured or ill, McRaven called the Socom Care Coalition a gold standard in nonmedical care. The program supports the entire family, and the advocacy is for life, according to the coalition’s website.

“The Socom Care Coalition serves a multitude of roles,” McRaven said, “acting as advocates and liaisons, connecting service members and families with charitable organizations and or federal entities to fill gaps the government traditionally does not fill.”

Socom’s future is full of challenges and opportunities, the admiral said, and the world is a difficult place where a handful of men and women of talent, character and commitment can make a huge difference.

“On any given day in the special operations community, over 10,000 of America's finest soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and DOD civilians are engaged in more than 70 countries around the globe, supporting the geographic combatant commanders and the chiefs of mission,” McRaven said.

“If we continue to carefully select our warriors, train them to the highest standard, equip them with the finest tools and demand the best from them,” he added, “then wherever they go they will be a tremendous resource for our policymakers, our diplomats, our geographic combatant commanders and our nation.”

 CareCoalitionhighlightedatrecentGasparillaparade.aspxCare Coalition highlighted at recent Gasparilla parade1/25/2014
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Care Coalition of U.S. Special Operations Command that tends to the needs of wounded, ill and injured servicemembers and their families was recently highlighted during an annual parade that celebrates the pirate way of life here.
Approved

The Care Coalition of U.S. Special Operations Command that tends to the needs of wounded, ill and injured servicemembers and their families was recently highlighted during an annual parade that celebrates the pirate way of life here.

Air Force Master Sgt. Christian “Mack” MacKenzie was chosen to represent USSOCOM’s Care Coalition and serve as the Grand Marshal of the Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest Parade of Pirates Jan. 25. MacKenzie has most recently served as a hospital liaison officer with the Care Coalition and superintendent of their community outreach department, but is currently in their Transition Internship Program as he is being evaluated by a medical board.  He was injured in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004 when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the MH-53 helicopter he helped crew, causing facial trauma, shrapnel wounds to his upper body, the loss of his left eye and hearing damage.

While MacKenzie’s prior missions were flying Special Operations missions, his goal during the parade was to throw out as many strands of plastic, colored beads to the spectators lining the 3-mile route.

“This is a lot of work … my arm’s getting tired,” MacKenzie said during the parade.

His arm wasn’t just worn out from tossing all the beads – he had waves of costumed “pirates” coming up to the convertible he was riding in, shaking his hand and thanking him for his service.  “You’re welcome” and “thank you” were always MacKenzie’s response.

Care Coalition highlighted at recent Gasparilla parade
 SailingtoRecovery.aspxSailing to Recovery11/15/2013
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – As 15 knot winds with gusts up to 20 filled the sails of the numerous boats on the water, propelling them quietly on Tampa Bay Nov. 7, 18 service members and veterans serving as crewmembers were getting much more than a joyride , they were getting therapy.
Approved

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – As 15 knot winds with gusts up to 20 filled the sails of the numerous boats on the water, propelling them quietly on Tampa Bay Nov. 7, 18 service members and veterans serving as crewmembers were getting much more than a joyride , they were getting therapy.

The injured service members were taking part in the inaugural U.S. Sailing Military Sailboat Racing Camp, which was organized through St. Petersburg Yacht Club, U.S. Sailing and U.S. Special Operations Command’s Care Coalition.  The driving force of the program is Jen French who is the 2012 Paralympic Games’ silver medalist in sailing.  After returning from the 2012 games, she was determined to reach out to disabled veterans and wanted to host a training camp that was more than just taking veterans on a sailboat ride, but teaching them the skills and techniques of sailing.

“I think this is a way to give back to those who have served us so well.” said French, who was paralyzed from the waist down from a snowboarding accident 15 years ago.  “This is a great life skill that we can give to them. The benefits of this boot camp (for the participants) are not only leadership and teamwork, but they are learning how to be self-reliant.”

 USSOCOMmarks20thanniversaryofthe‘MogadishuMile’.aspxUSSOCOM marks 20th anniversary of the ‘Mogadishu Mile’10/4/2013
Sixty-eight members of the U. S. Special Operations Command participated in a Mogadishu Mile event on MacDill AFB Oct. 4 in remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the events in Mogadishu, Somalia that inspired the book and movie Black Hawk Down.
ApprovedSixty-eight members of the U.S. Special Operations Command participated in a Mogadishu Mile event on MacDill AFB Oct. 4 in remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the events in Mogadishu, Somalia that inspired the book and movie Black Hawk Down.

The battle of Mogadishu resulted in the downing of two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters that were part of the mission to capture the lieutenants of warlord Mohamed Farrah Hassan Aidid. Task Force Ranger was sent to secure the crash sites and ended up engaged in a firefight lasting through the night of Oct. 3 into the morning hours of Oct. 4.

Finally, the task force was reinforced at the crash sites by armored vehicles and extracted, but due to space limitations in the convoy, a group of operators were unable to be transported in the vehicles, and were forced to move on foot, fighting their way back to the rally point at the Mogadishu soccer stadium.  This event is known today as the “Mogadishu Mile.”

Today, members of the SOF community gathered at the Special Operations Forces memorial to honor the memories of Task Force Ranger in the battle of Mogadishu, in which 16 Special Operators and two additional U.S. service members on the convoy made the ultimate sacrifice, with an additional 80 wounded, and 1 aviator captured. It is estimated that Task Force Ranger inflicted 1,500 casualties on the enemy during this one engagement.
 GuidanceforShutdownFurlough.aspxGuidance for Shutdown Furlough9/27/2013
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has prepared human resources guidance for agencies and employees on shutdown furloughs (also called emergency furloughs). A shutdown furlough occurs when there is a lapse in annual appropriations.
Approved

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has prepared human resources guidance for agencies and employees on shutdown furloughs (also called emergency furloughs).

 

A shutdown furlough occurs when there is a lapse in annual appropriations. Shutdown furloughs can occur at the beginning of a fiscal year, if no funds have been appropriated for that year, or upon expiration of a continuing resolution, if a new continuing resolution or appropriations law is not passed.

 

Click the link to see entire document: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/guidance-for-shutdown-furloughs.pdf

 

Click to view DoD Shutdown Guidance: http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2013/0913_govtshutdown/

 SOCOMSoldierhonoredasDistinguishedMemberof75thRangerRegiment.aspxSOCOM Soldier honored as Distinguished Member of 75th Ranger Regiment9/20/2013
An active-duty member of U.S. Special Operations Command’s logistics directorate was recently honored by his previous command by naming him to an elite group of members who have helped carve the unit’s prestigious history.
Approved 

An active-duty member of U.S. Special Operations Command’s logistics directorate was recently honored by his previous command by naming him to an elite group of members who have helped carve the unit’s prestigious history.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Billy Frazier Jr., the USSOCOM Property Management Officer, was named a Distinguished Member of the 75th Ranger Regiment during a July 23 ceremony at Fort Benning, Ga., which was part of the Ranger Rendezvous.  Soldiers are named as distinguished members of the 75th Ranger Regiment for their outstanding accomplishments while assigned to the unit.

Frazier first served with the Regiment in 1994 as a company supply sergeant with Bravo Company, 3rd Ranger Battalion, after completing initial Ranger training.  While there, he deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in support of operation Uphold Democracy.  Frazier stayed in the regiment, serving with headquarters, headquarters company, as the company supply sergeant from 1996 to 1997, until his selection to attend Warrant Officer Candidate School.

Fast forward to 2008, and Frazier was back on his old stomping grounds with the regiment, this time serving as the regimental property book officer as a chief warrant officer 4.  He served there until February 2013, and it was during that time he played a key role in shaping the logistics future of the unit, earning him the distinguished member honors.

Frazier and his team changed the way supply kept the logistics train moving, ensuring the warfighters of the regiment had the proper equipment and were always ready for the next mission.

“We looked at a lot of things from an operational perspective – made sure logistics tied into the operational picture,” Frazier said.  “Back in the day we were more in a training environment, where now we are in an operational environment.  We have to make sure the systems are able to support that, but are just as flexible and efficient so when we get guys back, we get them through the reset process, training process, op-alert and then back into the fight.”

Frazier said one way they did that was by building three Ranger Issue Facilities (RIFs)  – supply warehouses designed for Rangers and stocked with all the gear needed for their training and deployments.  The facilities replaced an old way of doing business – issuing gear out of shipping containers in the elements, whether raining or cold.  The new facilities keep the Rangers from the elements, and give them a comfortable place to receive gear, which can often take hours.

“What we found is that we needed to build a facility Rangers could go to and be comfortable, because there’s a long wait time, but more importantly make sure they know that facility is there for them,” said Frazier, a Soldier of 25 years.  “It’s not a [Central Issue Facility], it’s shaped in particular for them and their mission, not only in garrison but also forward.

“The RIFs are a collaborative effort among all the logisticians in the regiment,” Frazier added.  “I see that facility as one of the fundamental pieces of the regiment because it’s a cornerstone … because it actually ensures that the individual Ranger, when he gets in that aircraft, he has all the necessary kit he needs to do his mission set.”

In addition to building the facilities, Frazier and his fellow logisticians took a look at the property books and ensured they were updated to reflect the gear Rangers currently need and use.  He said that by doing so, it took pressure off of the company commanders who sign for the gear.

"
We needed to figure out if we’re being efficient, if we were providing relief of pressure on the force,” Frazier said. “If you have a company commander coming off deployment that’s spending all his reset time doing inventories – are we really efficient?  Is he counting widgets just to count widgets, or is he counting widgets that he actually needs?”

The solution Frazier and his staff came up with was taking items off the inventory that weren’t being used operationally.  This took the responsibility of accounting for gear that wasn’t being used downrange off of commanders, whose property books now only included the gear they actually needed, as well as helping to mitigate losses.  Frazier said this helped align P-11 assets – Special Operations Forces Equipment – and made authorizations visible in the service system, allowing commanders to see all the gear they are authorized to have.

By reducing the table of organization and equipment, Frazier and his staff were able to take approximately 300 pieces of “rolling stock” off the books within a two-year period.

“Now company commanders, supply sergeants, platoon sergeants aren’t out there inventorying Humvees that they’ll never use in combat, just for the sake of inventorying,” Frazier said.  “We shrunk the books down to the right size.”

While Frazier was honored by the recognition, he’s also very humble, and repeatedly said this recognition wasn’t about him.

“I only did my job as a Ranger, but more importantly our logistical success over the past four-and-a-half years is due to the 75th Ranger Regiment's leadership throughout, from the team leaders and above,” he said.  “It was the support of the regimental commander, regimental [command sergeant major], the regimental staff, battalion leadership, logisticians, and Rangers at all levels … as well as our exceptional civilian counterparts within the team.  Success also is directly tied to the superb support from higher such as the USASOC Headquarters, as well as the USSOCOM staff.

“It was an honor and a privilege to be part of the regiment, because every day I was able to go to work and look my heroes directly in the face. Those guys are doing a tremendous amount of work in the [area of responsibility], and they are modern-day heroes … guys that have written our history in a lot of ways.  Just to be a part of that was an honor and privilege.”

And while Frazier was honored to work with his heroes, he was even more honored for the respect shown to him when he was honored in his job as a logistician.

“Just to be on stage with [the fellow honorees at this year’s ceremony] was eye-watering to me because you have proven combat veterans that haven’t just done it once, twice or three times, they’ve done it 10, 11 or 12 times,” Frazier said.  “So to be acknowledged in that forum and be part of that family … it was very overwhelming.”

 

 USSOCOMSeeksIdeasforAdvancedAssaultSuitDevelopment.aspxUSSOCOM Seeks Ideas for Advanced Assault Suit Development9/20/2013
Tampa, Fla.--U.S. Special Operations Command issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for proposals and research in support of the development of Tactical Light Operator Suit (TALOS)  TALOS is a USSOCOM effort to provide special operation forces (SOF) with enhanced mobility and protection technologies in a fully integrated assault suit.
Approved 

Tampa, Fla.--U.S. Special Operations Command issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for proposals and research in support of the development of Tactical Light Operator Suit (TALOS)  TALOS is a USSOCOM effort to provide special operation forces (SOF) with enhanced mobility and protection technologies in a fully integrated assault suit.

 

Some of the potential technologies planned for TALOS research and development include advanced armor, command and control computers, power generators, and enhanced mobility exoskeletons.

“USSOCOM is interested in receiving white papers from a wide variety of sources, not just traditional military industry but also from academia, entrepreneurs, and laboratories capable of providing the design, construction, and testing of TALOS related technologies,” said Jim Geurts, USOCOM acquisition executive.  “The intent is to accelerate the delivery of innovative TALOS capabilities to the SOF operator.”

The BAA goal is to foster collaboration with government, academia, and industry representatives on the TALOS effort. Prior studies and analysis have determined a number of technical challenges exist for the SOF equipment that require improvements for missions into the future. Those challenges include trade space between weight, protection, power, and mobility, cost, and system component integration.

BAA will remain open until September 3, 2014.  For more information on the TALOS BAA, go to https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=2d62002ee85aa7bb758d01e0ddbd32c4&tab=core&_cview=0 .

 
A video about the TALOS effort can be found here: Www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePl9TC2ySUY

 
Contact LCDR Cohen at 813.826.1350 for further information.

 TheDoubleEdgedSword–AnEmpoweredNCOCorps.aspxThe Double Edged Sword – An Empowered NCO Corps8/19/2013
As we move toward the end of
combat operations in Afghanistan it is
fitting to examine the effects of nearly
12 years of combat on our
noncommissioned officer corps. I
submit that the greatest single effect is
that at no time in our military’s history
has the NCO Corps ever been more
empowered.
Approved

As we move toward the end of combat operations in Afghanistan it is fitting to examine the effects of nearly 12 years
of combat on our noncommissioned officer corps. I submit that the greatest single effect is that at no time in our
military’s history has the NCO Corps ever been more empowered.

The wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan were and are counter insurgency fights. COIN is characterized by decentralized
command and control and small unit tactics. For these two reasons, NCOs were given more responsibility and
authority. You only have to watch the documentary “Restrepo” to see this empowerment in action. The reasons for
NCO empowerment become even more obvious when you add the complexity of joint and coalition forces.

If we reflect on the successes of the last decade on the battlefield it is due in large part to our NCOs. They have
been magnificent at executing commander’s guidance and intent in a complex operational environment. Deployment
after deployment our NCOs have led troops in offensive action, stability operations, facilitation of governance,
security force assistance, civil-military operations and a myriad of other missions. They have been truly remarkable
at integrating joint-force and inter-agency capabilities.

The Double Edged Sword – An Empowered NCO Corps
 EagleClawveteran,SpecialOpsAviatorreceives2013BullSimonsAward.aspxEagle Claw veteran, Special Ops Aviator receives 2013 Bull Simons Award5/22/2013
Special Ops guys come in all shapes and sizes.
Approved 

Special Ops guys come in all shapes and sizes.

 

When you look at Fred Arooji, you think you are looking at a kindly grandfather. Standing about five feet six inches, weighing maybe a 160 pounds and sporting gray hair that has long resided on his scalp.

 

Arooji is all that, but he is also a guy who entered Iran ahead of an American hostage rescue attempt in April 1980, survived on his own for two weeks after the mission was aborted, escaping only by his wits.  A guy, who would become a Special Ops pilot, help pioneer night vision goggles technology, and fly hundreds of Special Operations missions during his more than 30 years in Special Operations.

 

The hostage rescue mission in Iran became known as Operation Eagle Claw and the mission planners would have to bring in unique talent from throughout the Department of Defense. One skill they were looking for was Farsi language speakers.

 

 

 2013WarriorGamescelebratesanindomitablespirit.aspx2013 Warrior Games celebrates an indomitable spirit5/20/2013
In a remarkable celebration of perseverance and resiliency more than 200 wounded military athletes competed in the 2013 Warrior Games. The games held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. May 11 -16 had seven events: archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field and wheelchair basketball.
Draft

In a remarkable celebration of perseverance and resiliency more than 200 wounded military athletes competed in the 2013 Warrior Games. The games held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. May 11 -16 had seven events: archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field and wheelchair basketball.

Opening ceremonies were held at the Olympic Training Center May 11 and included special guest of honor, Britain’s Prince Harry, who joined U.S. Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder and Olympic swimming champion Missy Franklin in lighting the Olympic flame.

The Warrior Games was created to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle for troops with permanent physical disabilities such as amputations, as well as traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other serious injuries.

In his first cycling race ever, Master Sgt. Mark Vomund won the silver medal in the 30 kilometer Men’s Bicycle Open. A Green Beret and 24-year Army veteran with 10 deployments under his belt, Vomund was severely injured in an IED blast in 2010. A year later and in the midst of traumatic mental and physical recovery, he took up cycling.

“For me, it’s not about winning medals, it’s about doing something that I haven’t done before – and becoming a more complete person in the process,” said Vomund. “Cycling has given me back a part of what I was, which also has given me self-worth and self-pride.”

This year marks the fourth year for the Games, an Olympic-style event open to Armed Forces servicemembers who were injured while serving on active duty. The USSOCOM team had more than 30 Special Operations athletes from across the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The team competed against athletes from all service branches including members of the United Kingdom's Armed Forces.

 

 USSOCOMWarriorGamesAthletesKickOffCompetitionwithMedalWins.aspxUSSOCOM Warrior Games Athletes Kick Off Competition with Medal Wins5/12/2013
The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Warrior Games team joined more than 250 other wounded warriors from around the country and the United Kingdom for the 2013 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., this week.
ApprovedThe U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Warrior Games team joined more than 250 other wounded warriors from around the country and the United Kingdom for the 2013 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., this week.

This year marks the fourth year for the Games, an Olympic-style event open to Armed Forces servicemembers who were injured while serving on active duty. The USSOCOM team is comprised of over 30 Special Operations athletes from across the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The team is competing against athletes from all service branches including members of the United Kingdom's Armed Forces.

Opening ceremonies were held at the Olympic Training Center May 11 and included special guest of honor, Britain’s Prince Harry, who joined U.S. Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder and Olympic swimming champion Missy Franklin in lighting the Olympic flame.

Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Alfredo De Los Santos served as torch bearer for the USSOCOM team.

Athletic competitions kicked off May 12 with cycling, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball matches. Members of the USSOCOM team secured an unprecedented four medals in cycling events.

USSOCOM team member and retired U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Justin Gaertner brought home the Bronze medal in the men’s 10 kilometer handcycling event.  U.S. Army Master Sgt. Mark Vomund secured the Silver medal in the 30 kilometer men’s open cycling event. Retired Sgt. Maj. Chris Self claimed the Gold medal in the 30 kilometer men’s disability cycling category, while U.S. Army Maj. Ivan Castro and Army Capt. Richard Kirby also won Gold in the mixed tandem cycling race.


 
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