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Global SOF 2018: AFSOC revitalises 6th SOS | Shepard Media

The recently released US National Defense Strategy has added emphasis to ongoing Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) efforts to revitalise its 6th Special Operations Squadron (SOS), a combat aviation advisory unit with missions to assess, train, advise and assist foreign aviation forces. Those ongoing efforts were highlighted during this week’s Global Special Operations Forum Symposium near Tampa, Florida. Speaking on a ‘SOF Aviation’ ... Read More »

Interview: Head of US Air Force special ops in Asia-Pacific talks regional threats, priorities | Defense News

In this day and age, the phrase “special operations” conjures the idea of the covert forces in Afghanistan that conduct raids on terrorist strongholds, train native forces in tactics or accomplish highly critical missions like the killing of Osama bin Laden. But in the Asia-Pacific regions, the work of special operators takes on a softer veneer, focusing instead on strengthening ... Read More »

FEARS FOR PAIR Brit couple kidnapped ‘by ISIS-linked terror suspects’ during South Africa holiday | The Sun

A BRIT couple have been kidnapped and held hostage by “ISIS-linked terrorists” while on holiday in South Africa. The holidaymakers flocked to the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal in order to collect seeds and indigenous plants as part of their travels. The couple who both hold dual British and South African citizenship, last spoke to relatives back home on February 12. ... Read More »

AFRICOM sees growing threat from ISIS affiliate | Stripes.com

An Islamic State affiliate operating under the radar in western Africa now poses a more significant threat to the region than the notorious Boko Haram terrorist group, U.S. military officials say. The Islamic State West Africa, made up of former Boko Haram fighters, broke away from its parent group about 2016 after internal power struggles. The group, which maintains loose ... Read More »

Officials Highlight Work of Special Operations Forces in House Hearing | U.S. Department of Defense

The global successes of the U.S. Special Operations Command and the services’ special operations forces are due to their extraordinary people and the support from Congress, senior special operations officials told lawmakers yesterday on Capitol Hill. Owen West, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, told the House Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee that funding for ... Read More »

Here’s What We Know About The US Airstrikes That Killed Russian Fighters In Syria | Buzzfeed News

It became clear on Tuesday that US airstrikes last week in eastern Syria killed an unknown number of Russian mercenaries fighting on behalf of the Syrian government. But both the US and Russia continued to dismiss the possibility that the deadliest clash known between US and Russian nationals since the Cold War could lead to open conflict between the two ... Read More »

Trump seeks 11 percent SOCom budget increase | Tampa Bay Times

President Donald Trump’s proposed military budget includes a nearly 11 percent spending increase for U.S. Special Operations Command headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base. The measure, if approved by Congress, would bump up the command’s budget by 10.9 percent, from a total of $12.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2018 to $13.6 billion, according to Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty, a SOCom ... Read More »

Niger incident report coming soon, Mattis says | Military Times

The incident report on the Oct. 4 firefight in Niger that left four U.S. personnel deadcould be out in a matter of weeks, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Sunday. The report could come as soon as “a week or two,” Mattis said, though he cautioned that the timetable will be set by Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the head of U.S. Africa Command. The ... Read More »

Q&A with SOCOM’s New Acquisition Executive, James Smith | National Defense

Special Operations Command has a new acquisition leader, the Air Force announced Feb. 8. James Smith, the former deputy director for acquisition at the command, assumed the role of executive as his predecessor, James “Hondo” Geurts, now serves as assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. A former Army officer, Smith joined SOCOM after his retirement from ... Read More »