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Tip of the Spear. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command historic activation. Gen. Doug Brown Commander, USSOCOM

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On-Line version TIP OF THE SPEAR Departments Global War On Terrorism Page 4 Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command Page 18 Naval Special Warfare Command Page 21 Air Force Special Operations Command
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On-Line version TIP OF THE SPEAR Departments Global War On Terrorism Page 4 Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command Page 18 Naval Special Warfare Command Page 21 Air Force Special Operations Command Page 24 U.S. Army Special Operations Command Page 28 Headquarters USSOCOM Page 30 Special Operations Forces History Page 34 Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command historic activation Gen. Doug Brown, commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, passes the MARSOC flag to Brig. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, MARSOC commander, during a ceremony at Camp Lejune, N.C., Feb. 24. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jim Moser. Gen. Doug Brown Commander, USSOCOM CSM Thomas Smith Command Sergeant Major Col. Samuel T. Taylor III Public Affairs Officer Capt. Joseph Coslett Chief, Command Information Mike Bottoms Editor Tech. Sgt. Jim Moser Editor This is a U.S. Special Operations Command publication. Contents are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, Department of Defense or USSOCOM. The content is edited, prepared and provided by the USSOCOM Public Affairs Office, 7701 Tampa Point Blvd., MacDill AFB, Fla., 33621, phone (813) , DSN the editor via unclassified network at The editor of the reserves the right to edit all copy presented for publication. Front cover: Marines run out of cover during a short firefight in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. The foot patrol was attacked by a unknown sniper. Courtesy photo by Maurizio Gambarini, Deutsche Press Agentur. 2 Highlights Special Forces trained Iraqi counter terrorism unit hostage rescue mission a success, page 7 SF Soldier awarded Silver Star for heroic actions in Afghan battle, page 14 20th Special Operations Squadron celebrates 30th anniversary, page 24 3 GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM Interview with Gen. Doug Brown part one Recently, the staff interviewed Gen. Doug Brown, commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, about the future of Special Operations Forces. The following is part one of a two part series. TOTS: What is your overall assessment of where US Special Operations Command and Special Operations Forces are today? Gen. Brown: Special Operations Command and Special Operations Forces are going though the most dynamic time in our history. I have been in this business a long time and today s Special Operations Forces are the best I ve ever seen. That fact is absolutely unquestionable. The guys in the past were great heroes, but today s Special Operations Forces on the battlefield are better than at any time in history and continue to become even more capable. SOCOM s area of operations is global so I get to visit all of the Geographic Combatant Commands, not just Central Command. No matter where I go and no matter who I see, whether they are Army special operators, SEALs, or aircrew members, they are all better trained, better equipped, more capable and more experienced than ever. Most of our forces have several combat tours and their experience shows. Not only are they trained for the mission and have the right equipment for the mission, they understand the mission, and are dedicated to mission accomplishment. Prior to the attack on Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. Special Operations Command was predominantly a train, organize, and equip headquarters, and we ve always been world-class at it. That hasn t changed. Today, we continue to accomplish our world-class train, organize and equip responsibilities, in fact, they re more important and more robust than ever. What has changed is that SOCOM has taken the lead in planning and synchronizing the Global War on Terrorism. The Unified Command Plan signed by the President in March 2005 designated SOCOM as the lead planner for the Global War on Terrorism for the Department of Defense. This is a significant change and significant addition to the role of Special Operations Command. The UCP gave us the responsibilities of a warfighting command to plan, synchronize, and as directed, execute global operations against terrorist networks around the world. Directing and executing operations are military terms we re all pretty familiar with, but synchronizing operations is a concept that may be new to many folks. Doctrinally it means we re responsible for arranging military actions in time, space, and purpose to produce maximum effects at the decisive place and time. On a more day to day level it means SOCOM will develop DOD s overall plans for the GWOT, ensure Theater Combatant Command plans support overall global objectives, 4 Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jim Moser establish global priority intelligence requirements, establish global collection plans against the enemy, and prioritize future capabilities. We ll also provide common situational awareness of global operations, establish a collaborative planning environment, and provide integration and links between all levels of national leadership including the President, Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, GCCs, Service Chiefs, and Interagency partners. It s a tall order, but we ve been moving out aggressively to do it. As a command we ve reorganized our staff to reflect this mission change. We have reorganized to handle both the normal train, organize, and equip responsibilities and the global warfighting capabilities all while supporting the biggest deployment of Special Operation Forces in the history of the command. The headquarters has done a phenomenal job. The Center for Special Operations took on the mission as the global planner and synchronizer of the Global War on Terrorism under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Dell Dailey. The CSO will soon move into its new facility designed specifically to integrate the J2 Intelligence, J3 Operations, and J5 Plans directorates with more than sixty interagency and other DoD agency representatives to facilitate our global planning and synchronization efforts. Bringing all these offices and agencies together in a collaborative environment is key. The big piece of the Global War on Terrorism resides with our Interagency partners not just the DOD. I am very happy with the CSO and the way they stood up and have taken this mission on. TOTS: The Department of Defense released the Quadrennial Defense Review on Feb. 6. What will be the QDR s impact on USSOCOM and SOF and what was USSOCOM s role in the QDR? Gen. Brown: The QDR s impact on SOCOM and SOF will be very significant. The QDR acknowledged the fact that the future threat will not try to take on our big Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps in a conventional way. Instead, we ll continue to face an asymmetric threat and an enemy who will use irregular warfare against us. SOCOM is uniquely qualified to counter this type of threat because our nation s irregular warfare and asymmetrical warriors are Special Operations Command s SOF warriors. SOF have the skills necessary for this new battlefield and the QDR acknowledged that. It is also the reason SOCOM and its forces will grow significantly in size and capability in the next six years. I was here for the last QDR, and we participated in that process, but we had nowhere near the level of participation we had this time. In this QDR we were involved just like a service because of our service-like responsibilities. Prior to the QDR starting, we sat down and did an analysis of what we thought our requirements were for the Global War on Terrorism. We wrote those requirements in a strategic working document intended to be a primer for our QDR team. This gave our team a good basis of knowledge on all the issues before they went up for the QDR discussions. Subsequently, much of what we had in our strategy was validated by the QDR, especially the areas we identified for future growth in personnel and capabilities. The QDR gives us a mandate to significantly grow the command while maintaining our high SOF standards and simultaneously planning the Global War on Terrorism. We ve been directed to grow by nearly 13,000 people in all the right areas. This will enable us to increase capability in all of our components. Some examples include getting our own Unmanned Aerial Vehicle squadron as part of Air Force Special Operations Command. The find piece of direct action is critical for us to accomplish the GWOT mission and UAVs will give us a key capability to find and track terrorist activity. This is a seed change to USSOCOM. Additionally, it s critical that we put a lot of emphasis on the indirect approach in the Global War on Terrorism. Our direct action capabilities are important, but they are only one part of our overall strategy. Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations are keys to the indirect approach and the real capability to win the Global War on Terrorism. Foreign Internal Defense and Unconventional Warfare are also very important. We have always had a very robust indirect approach capability in our Green Berets and our SEALs and we will continue to increase that. We ll grow five Special Forces battalions. However, that does not necessarily translate to a battalion for each one of the Special Forces groups. We ll have growth in our SEALs, our Civil Affairs units, and our PSYOP capabilities in the active and the reserve forces. We also have an aviation FID squadron in AFSOC but it s too small so we ll double it by We ll focus it on expanding and improving the capabilities of partner nations air forces. TOTS: With the addition of the UAV squadron and the expansion of the FID squadron will this transformation give AFSOC a broader role than what they have had in the past? Gen. Brown: That is a great question. All of the components of SOCOM are transforming to be more capable. But, the biggest transformation will be in AFSOC because they have taken on the role of providing airborne manned and unmanned Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities. AFSOC will also have a squadron of small mobility aircraft that can operate around the world delivering SOF. The CV-22 looks like it s going very well. But we need a plan for our C-130 fleet because the situation with our C- 130s worries me. We re flying them at a much greater rate than we envisioned when we bought them which, in turn, accelerates serious issues such as center wing box replacement on our Gunships and Talons. Modernizing the C- 130 fleet and transitioning Talons, Gunships and Shadows for the future is essential and will further enhance AFSOC s transformation. In sum, the biggest transformation you ll see is in AFSOC. TOTS: What impact will the Marine Corps Forces SOC have on SOCOM and SOF? Gen. Brown: The MARSOC is going to be a great addition to Special Operations Command. MARSOC is going to be an enabler to all of SOF. They ll add radio reconnaissance with SIGINT capabilities, HUMINT capabilities, dog teams, and additional communications and logistics capabilities that will be available not only to the MARSOC but can be task organized for any SOF unit needing those kind of capabilities. These are enablers that we have been short on for a long time. The first MARSOC unit that will stand up and deploy will be the Foreign Military Training Unit. The FMTU will give us additional Foreign Internal Defense capabilities enabling Green Berets and SEALs to train more counterterrorism type forces. Enabling partner nations to secure themselves against terrorists is a key to success in the Global War on Terrorism and the spectrum of FID capabilities we ll have with FMTUs, Green Berets, SEALs and AFSOC aviation FID units is significant. Additionally, the MARSOC will help us alleviate some of our challenges with SOF presence around the world. We re not always able to get SOF into some areas of the world due to lack of SOF bases or other considerations. Marine SOF composed of about one-hundred-men elements will deploy onboard ships with the Marine Expeditionary Units giving us additional forward presence and very, very capable direct action forces in areas where basing is a challenge. MARSOC will perform direct action missions, and other missions from non-combatant evacuations to joint combined exchange training, all of which will enable SOF to be even more effective. 5 GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM U.S. Special Forces, Iraqi army ops: Raids result in 102 detainees, large weapons cache, no losses CJSOTF-AP Public Affairs T The Iraqi Army s 2/2/5 Battalion, advised by U.S. Army Special Forces Soldiers, conducted assaults on two targets Feb. 12 in Diyala Province, detaining 102 persons of interest, killing two insurgents and discovering a large weapons cache. The assaults were combined cordon and search missions designed to capture key insurgents and to disrupt multiple insurgent cell operations especially improvised explosive device production. The target locations were chosen because intelligence indicated specific locations of individuals wanted for planning and facilitating insurgent activities. During the raid on the first target, an Iraqi army assault team encountered four armed insurgents when the team began searching a house. The assault team exchanged small arms fire with the insurgents but was forced to withdraw outside of the house for cover. One of the team s sergeants stayed in the house and in the fight, killing one and wounding two of the insurgents before falling back to regroup with his team and assault the house again. Those three insurgents were taken into custody and two wounded received immediate medical treatment. One wounded insurgent later died enroute to receive additional medical care. Of the 102 persons detained after the raids on both target areas, 25 were on Iraqi security forces most wanted lists. A weapons cache discovered at the first objective contained one Katusa rocket, two 155mm artillery rounds, two 120mm mortar rounds, three 60mm mortar rounds, three rocket-propelled grenades, an RPG launcher, three AK-47 assault rifles, and a collection of IED-making materials including electrical wire and fuses. One Iraqi army soldier was slightly wounded by enemy small arms fire during the operation. He was treated on the scene by Iraqi and U.S. medical personnel. Iraqi commanders stated that the combined operation was a success, and is a mark of the effectiveness of Iraqi army forces. They are looking forward to conducting additional missions in the future to deny insurgent groups safe havens in Diyala Province, which insurgents use to regroup, rearm and refit. Additionally, leaders from the Iraqi battalion used the operation to assess the capabilities of the 2/2/5 in order to make needs-based assessments on future training opportunities. Special Operations Forces from the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Arabian Peninsula are involved throughout Iraq in training and advising Iraqi security forces, including army and police units. A U.S. Special Forces Soldier observes Iraqi troops during an exercise. CJSOTF-AP photo. 6 Iraqi counterterror unit proves its mettle in hostage rescue Article and photos by Monte Morin. Used with permission from the Stars and Stripes Stars and Stripes A A retired government official who was kidnapped recently and beaten was rescued from captivity in dramatic fashion Mar. 6 by a little-known unit of Iraqi army counterterrorism soldiers trained by and modeled after the U.S. Special Operations Forces. The hostage, who was not identified by name, was found shackled to a steel bed in a dilapidated apartment building just east of Taji, about an hour north of Baghdad. Initial reports said that the hostage was a former Iraqi army brigadier general. However, that has not been confirmed by authorities. Jackpot! American advisers shouted after members of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Force, or ICTF, blew open the building's front door and found the haggard and bruised hostage in a pitch-black, concrete room. The elderly man threw one free arm into the air and shouted for the Iraqis to free him as other members of the unit chased down and captured three of the suspected kidnappers. As soldiers used a pair of bolt cutters to snip the handcuffs that bound the man's left wrist to the bed frame, a U.S. Army Special Forces adviser said the rescue was a coup for the 2-year-old unit. It's not every day that you rescue someone, said the Green Beret, who is one of a small number of Army Special Forces Soldiers and Navy SEALs who train and supervise the ICTF. In a nation known for violent and deadly kidnappings, the rescue of a living hostage is indeed rare. However, Iraqi officials and U.S. military advisers hope the ICTF will improve some hostages' odds of survival. The group, which falls under the 1st Iraqi Special Operations Forces Brigade, is trained and See ICTF, Page 8 Iraqi Counter Terrorism Force soldiers search the home where a hostage was discovered east of Taji. 7 GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM ICTF continued from Page 7 equipped as an elite force whose repertoire of skills includes rescuing hostages, sniper shooting, marine and river operations and scouting. While the ICTF has participated in every major military action in Iraq since the 2004 siege of Fallujah, it is not well known among Iraqis, to say nothing of Americans. Part of this anonymity is because, like the U.S. Special Operations Forces, the ICTF is reluctant to be photographed or identified in the media, fearing that members will be targeted for assassination by insurgents. U.S. advisers say that at least two ICTF soldiers were killed after their pictures appeared in newspapers. Another reason for its low profile is that up until recently, a portion of ICTF training was conducted in Jordan and not Iraq. Now that U.S. advisers believe that security in Iraq has progressed to the point where they can adequately screen and train recruits, the three-month-long school was moved to Iraq in March. The ICTF, which is outfitted with state-of-the-art military equipment, wears a uniform entirely different from the Iraqi army's famous chocolate chip camouflage pattern fatigues and is better equipped than most U.S. Army units. While Iraqi army soldiers are armed with AK-47 assault rifles, ICTF soldiers carry M-4 carbines. They are also equipped with nightvision goggles, which allows them to drive their modified Humvee gun trucks to some missions with their headlights blacked out. The unit is designed to act quickly on tips and information, Soldiers cut the handcuffs from the hostage during the rescue mission. 8 SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES and such was the case Mar. 6 when ICTF soldiers learned of the kidnapping victim and his possible whereabouts. While regular Iraqi army units will spend days and weeks planning an operation, ICTF soldiers were storming the kidnappers' hideout before the end of the day. Wearing a variety of knit face masks and Arab head coverings, unit members and U.S. advisers drove with their lights out into a town heavily decorated with posters of Shiite clerics and religious icons. The trucks plowed through foot-deep lakes of sewage runoff and garbage as they navigated the city streets. Within 10 minutes of reaching the building's front entrance and triggering a door-shattering explosive, the soldiers had cleared the building and found the prisoner. Since the training and missions they are asked to execute are more complicated and difficult than regular Iraqi army troops, ICTF soldiers are paid slightly more than regular army soldiers. U.S. advisers say that instances of desertion are rare, and far below what the regular army sees. They said this was not so much a matter of extra pay, but comes from the fact that the unit represents the demographics of Iraq as a whole. While regular Iraqi army units are more regional units will usually have a majority of one particular ethnic group this is not the case with the ICTF. In fact, U.S. advisers said, they were trained to look beyond religious and ethnic differences and view their fellow soldiers as an elite force whose members were dependent on each other for survival. An Iraqi ICTF captain said this was indeed the case with his men. My family is the ICTF, the capta
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