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Army SF to Get Back on Mission

I just wanted to make Kit Up! readers aware of a story running on news this afternoon that says top officials at the Army Special Warfare Center and School want to redefine the force after ten years of largely leaning toward the door kicking side of the house rather than FID and UW...

After ten years of post-9/11 conflict, SWC commander MGEN Bennet Sacolick is worried the mission of the Special Forces has veered too far toward direction action – snagging “high value targets” and confronting terrorists and insurgent leaders in lightning raids – and he’s taking it upon himself to steer the commandos back on course.

“I hate analogies like the pointy end of the spear. We’re not designed to hunt people down and kill them,” Sacolick said. “We have that capability and we have forces that specialize in that. But ultimately what we do that nobody else does is work with our indigenous partner nations.”

This is a trend matched by the Marine Corps, whose new commandant has stressed the traditional role of Marines as the "expeditionary force in readiness," not simply a second land army dispatched to the world's crappiest battlefields.

But I will say that some of the "door kickers in training " and "one shot killers" I spoke with during my trip to Bragg said they really dig the direct action stuff. One senior NCO said while the "mundane" work of ODAs engaging indigenous forces day-to-day pays off in the long term, the HVT missions and raids appeal to our "microwave society" which wants instant gratification.

Another SF Soldier who'd participated in JSOC missions said he wouldn't mind disengaging totally from the DA side of things as long as all the other spec ops units "got back in their lane" as he saw it. His logic was that as long as SEALs were doing FID missions in a landlocked country, so should SF being doing prisoner snatches.

"If everybody else gets back in their lane, I'll be happy to go back to mine," he argued.

Stay tuned for more of this kind of "back to basics" talk from all the services as the US begins to disengage from Iraq and Afghanistan. JRTC and NTC will have busy schedules soon...

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