Special Operations News

US SOF, Afghan Commandos Rescue Pakistani Prime Minister’s Son

KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. special operations forces and Afghan commandos today rescued Ali Haider Gilani, son of former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, during a partnered raid in the Giyan district of Afghanistan’s Paktika province, U.S. Forces Afghanistan officials said.  He had been held hostage since he was kidnapped three years ago in Pakistan. Under Operation Freedom’s Sentinel authority, …

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US Navy SEAL Killed in Iraq

WASHINGTON, DC — A US Navy SEAL advising and assisting peshmerga forces in Iraq was killed by enemy fire north of Mosul today. Defense Secretary Ash Carter — in Germany for this morning’s U.S. European Command change of command and to convene a meeting of his counterparts whose nations are leading the effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq …

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US, Ukraine Discuss Future of Special Ops in Ukraine

STUTTGART, GERMANY (SFC Patterson) – Commander of Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR), Maj. Gen. Gregory Lengyel and the staff and components of SOCEUR hosted Maj. Gen. Ihor Lunyov, commander of Ukrainian Special Operations Forces Command (SOFCOM) and members of his staff in Stuttgart, Germany on 26 April 2016. The visit consisted of briefings and discussions at the SOCEUR Headquarters on …

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MARSOC Sergeant Major Passes Legacy Forward

CAMP LEJEUNE, NC (SGT Donovan Lee) – United States Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, bid farewell to one sergeant major and welcomed another during a relief and appointment ceremony at Stone Bay, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 22. Sergeant Maj. John W. Scott, relinquished his duties as sergeant major of MARSOC to Sgt. Maj. Doug Schaefer. …

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SOCOM Inducts Five New Members into the Commando Hall of Honor

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, FL (Tech Sgt Angelita Lawrence) — The U.S. Special Operations Command inducted five former special operators into the USSOCOM Commando Hall of Honor located at the USSOCOM headquarters, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, April 20. More than 100 people attended the ceremony to honor the inductees and watched as each of the inductees received a medal …

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Combat Aviation Advisors: Strong, Silent, Professional

DUKE FIELD, FL (1st Lt. Monique Roux) – A small team of Airmen arrive at a foreign airfield as the sun peaks over the horizon. They have been flying for hours and fighting their internal clocks to stay awake. They are Air Commandos, Combat Aviation Advisors, and they are the quiet professionals. “We have to be strong, but silent,” explains …

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WWII Marine Raider Returns Home After 73 Years

CAMP LEJEUNE, NC (SGT Donovan Lee) – Marine Raiders throughout history are renowned for their ability to accomplish seemingly impossible missions. The fact is Raiders take care of their own, in life and in death, is a major contributor to their audacity and mission accomplishment. After 73 years, Sgt. John C. Holladay, a Marine Raider killed in action during World …

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919th SOW Welcomes New Special Operations Squadron

DUKE FIELD, FL (Lt. Col. James R. Wilson) – The 859th Special Operations Squadron, formerly Detachment 1 of the 919th Special Operations Group, was activated in a ceremony here April 1. The ceremony was significant in that it marked a new chapter in the Non-Standard Aviation mission that members of the special operations community here have performed since 2012. More …

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Votel Relinquishes Command of USSOCOM

TAMPA, FL (Michael Bottoms) – Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, presided over the time-honored change-of-command ceremony, attended by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. “For both Joe Votel and newly promoted Gen. Tony Thomas, their families have been a vital foundation, providing them the flexibility to answer their country’s call repeatedly and …

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Special Operations Force Evolves, Adapts to Changing Operational Landscape

WASHINGTON, DC (Terri Moon Cronk) – U.S. Special Operations Command’s personnel continue to learn, evolve and adapt to an operational landscape of rapidly shifting power based on competition and conflict, Socom commander Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel told the Senate Armed Forces Committee March 8, 2016. Such an atmosphere between state and nonstate actors is “increasingly ambiguous, transregional and multidimensional,” …

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