The Year in Special Operations 2017-2018

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Above: Chile and U.S. Special Forces (SF) wait for a U.S. Army MH-60 Black Hawk to evacuate two simulated hostages July 22, 2016, during a training rescue operation as part of exercise Southern Star in Antofagasta, Chile. SF assigned to Special Operations Command South conducted simulated operations under the command and control of a Chile and U.S. combined operational headquarters. Right: A local female Manbij Military Council (MMC) trainee fires a 7.62 mm PK machine gun during marksmanship training Feb. 21, 2017, at Sanaa Training Center in northwest Syria. The instruction was 20 days long to include basic rifle marksmanship and squad-level weapons and movement techniques. This was the first cycle of women to graduate and join the MMC. The course is administered by Special Operations

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indigenous approach, a small number of operators can respond to crisis with and through partner forces in an effort to enable host-nation solutions to local or regional security challenges. Would you share some examples of ARSOF employment over the past year? In the past year, members of USASOC fought against violent extremist organizations, built partner-nation capacity, and ultimately stood prepared for any crisis that might threaten the United States. In CENTCOM [Central Command], Special Forces, Rangers, and Army special operations aviators maintained pressure on insurgent networks in Afghanistan through partnered operations. Their efforts enabled Afghan forces to retain control of key cities under threat from Taliban. Additionally in the past year, 1st Special Forces Command established Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve [SOJTF-OIR] as the SOF component headquarters of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The SOJTF-OIR headquarters is synchronizing SOF activities and effects in the fight against ISIL [Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, also known as Daesh] in Iraq and Syria.

U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY STAFF SGT. OSVALDO EQUITE

Engagement in countries worldwide allows ARSOF to develop long-term partner-nation relationships and the understanding of complex operating environments that can be leveraged to secure our national interests. Developing understanding and wielding influence in culturally and politically complex operating environments requires ARSOF personnel to be adept at interacting and coordinating with multiple agencies and partners. Institutional training and education programs unique to ARSOF, along with long-term regionally aligned employment, provide the expertise necessary to understand complex environments and the ability to influence relationships and circumstances. Crisis response, provided through alert forces and persistently deployed and dispersed units, provides national decisionmakers with agile, tailorable, and rapidly employable special operations formations necessary to respond to emergencies. These forces provide options to rescue people under threat, to recover sensitive materials such as WMD [weapons of mass destruction] components, or to address other short-notice requirements. ARSOF crisis response capabilities leverage the SOF network and partner-nation relationships established before crisis occurs. ARSOF crisis response includes unilateral capabilities and those created through partner-force development. Through an

U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY MASTER SGT. MARK BURRELL

Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve trainers.


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