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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Europe’s special operators are watching Ukraine closely for lessons learned | Breaking Defense

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Ukrainian Special Operations Forces (UASOF) have been tasked with various missions, including reconnaissance and direct attack. They were instrumental in driving Russian troops out of Hostomel airport in the early days of the conflict and executing characteristic defensive operations against Russian conventional forces. Their victory has offered crucial lessons for European and NATO SOF troops as they assess how to react to a similar invasion. NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) analyzes lessons learned to improve SOF preparedness. UASOF benefitted from NATO SOF training, which enabled it to acquire “measurable, relevant, and sustained SOF capabilities.”

Before Russia invaded Crimea, many Ukrainian SOF Special Operations Land Task Groups (SOLTGs) had completed the NATO SOF assessment procedure. SOF needs a good connection to maintain effective command and control, situational awareness, and decision-making procedures. According to reports, SOF must be armed with lightweight, highly mobile, but effective precision-guided weapons. These range from anti-tank guided missiles (such as the Javelins and NLAWs supplied by the UK and US to UASOF during the present fight) to loitering munitions such as Aerovironment’s Switchblade 300 and 600 systems. Ukrainian Special Operations Forces (SOF) have spearheaded any necessary resistance effort.

In January, Ukraine’s government authorized the National Resistance Strategy, assigning UASOF to spearhead such a campaign. According to James Dobbins, senior fellow and distinguished chair in diplomacy and security at RAND, Insurgency might be an effective strategy in Ukraine’s battle against Russian invaders. NATO SOF sources express worry about Russian intelligence assets infiltrating Ukraine’s administration and the potential consequences of a resistance campaign within more concretely Russian-controlled territory. The next NATO Special Operations Forces Commanders’ Conference is slated for autumn 2022. The discussions will center on the NATO Summit’s conclusions and their implications for SOF, training, and exercises and an update on the newly established Maritime SOF Development Program.

Source: https://breakingdefense.com/2022/04/europes-special-operators-are-watching-ukraine-closely-for-lessons-learned/amp/


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