10/15/19 – MAFTF #2 Operation Porky-Insurgent’s Nightmare, SOF’s Dinner
Who doesn’t like bacon? The U.S. Air Force for one, after an F-16 fighter jet was destroyed by wild hogs on a Jacksonville runway. Or ISIS for that matter, but we’re not talking about an A-10 Warthog coming in on a gun run, we’re talking about sus scrofa the feral hog. Florida has the second largest feral hog population after Texas at well over 500,000 animals, which populate every county in the state. Some of the highest hog population densities in Florida can be found north and west of Lake Okeechobee in areas with large forested tracts, dense understory vegetation, and limited public access.3 Hogs start breeding at 1 year and produce 2 litters per year in Florida yielding an average of 13 off spring per year.4 Mature male boars will reach 200+ pounds and female sows will reach 150+ pounds. Wild hogs will typically live 4-5 years and some more than 8 years. Hogs are omnivores, acorns are their favorite food, but they will eat almost anything, including dead animals, and it seems like they’re always looking for opportunities.5 Feral hogs will range approximately 1 square mile depending on availability of food. In Hillsborough County wild hogs will cause more than $200,000 worth of damage to agricultural crops every year. Wild hogs are intelligent animals, with excellent smell and sight, and are quick learners. Wild hogs have attacked over 465 people worldwide since 2000, 15% were fatalities6, due to 6” tusks and aggressive behavior when wounded or cornered. With 2” thick breast plates and hard skulls hogs have been known to “shake off” several well placed 5.56mm rounds to critical areas.
We’ve established that feral hogs are ever present, cause significant agricultural and environmental damage, and are aggressive and cunning opponents. Hunting, trapping, and poisoning are of limited effect. So what do we do? Operation Porky
Are great opportunities for veterans and active duty personnel to enjoy the outdoors, use skills they’ve developed while serving in the military, spend quality time with family, put meat on the table, and reduce a nuisance pest. Both Elgin AFB and Avon Park Air Force Range have active hog hunting programs. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and state water management districts also offer special opportunity hunts for veterans.
This is a multi-faceted, multi branch operation against an elusive aggressor. It is a capture/kill mission within a given AO, night operations are preferable, UAV’s are used for HVT acquisition, helicopter sniper teams are on over watch, and ground teams are setting up the ambush site. Outcome, captured hogs which make for a great bbq at the team room, but what else can be done with all these nuisance pests?
Medic training, after all hogs are very similar to humans, after diseased animals are culled, various lifesaving medical procedures can be practiced on the sedated animals. Many trappers will sterilize the captured animals and rerelease them for later hunts.
· Training exercises
· Insurgent weapon
1. Easily trained to identify smells14, is there a specific smell associated with insurgents?
2. Is now sterile, has a limited lifespan, and range of operations, fire and forget
3. Is considered a “dirty” animal and has been used to uproot insurgents in Israel
4. Easily air dropped
5. Can be fitted with trackers-pig stops moving, who or what caused it? UAV over watch could possibly be a lead to tracking insurgents
6. Reduced supply chain, tasty food source for teams operating in AO’s with pigs
7. Launch Squeal Team 6!!!!
Please let me know if there is a specific agri-tactical subject you’d like me to write about.
Simon Bollin CCA
Agribusiness Development Manager