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Navy SEALs Going Back to Basics to Take on Russia and China

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us navy seals in the 1990s - Navy SEALs Going Back to Basics to Take on Russia and China

In modern warfare, there is no room to prepare for only one scenario, or to start train for something when things already happend. That means that sometimes, the way takes us far away from home, or better said in this case far from basics. In this interesting article written by Patricia Kime you will see an interesting change in operational domain of the Navy SEALs. Down below you can read the whole article.

Having spent 17 years conducting counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations in the deserts and mountains of the Middle East, the Naval Special Warfare community is shifting its focus to threats from China, Russia and aspiring adversaries.

Navy operations planners are including Navy SEALs in all aspects of planning and training, such as war games, exercises and tabletop scenarios, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran told reporters Jan. 16 at the Surface Navy Association’s annual conference.

The shift began in 2013 when Rear Adm. Brian Losey, then-commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, began making “a concerted effort to talk to his teams about getting back to the ‘blue side,’ ” Moran said, referring to the Navy’s large fighting forces of ships, submarines and aircraft.

That focus has continued since Losey retired in 2016, Moran added.

“[Losey] saw the ‘great power competition,’ he saw the threats of an emerging Russia, China, North Korea and Iran,” Moran said. [SEALs] have a very specific and important role to play in all situations.”

Since the U.S. insertion into Afghanistan in 2001, special operations forces, including the SEALs, have focused on a specific selection of their skill sets, including small-scale strikes and offensive actions, counterinsurgency, hostage rescue, counterterrorism and countering weapons of mass destruction.

But these forces have other expertise that is relevant to both large-scale military conflicts as well as the type of posturing and competing for regional and global dominance that currently is happening, according to a 2017 report by David Broyles and Brody Blankenship, analysts at CNA, an Arlington, Virginia-based think tank that concentrates on the U.S. Navy.

Those skills include preparing an environment for operations, reconnaissance, unconventional operations, military information support operations and foreign humanitarian assistance, according to the report, The Role of Special Operations Forces in Global Competition.

“Special operations forces have a greater role to play in today’s global competition through a counteractive approach to adversary maneuvers,” Broyles and Blankenship wrote. “The United States has only recently recognized that adversaries are exploiting the U.S. view of ‘preparing for future war’ vice ‘competing in the here and now.’ ”

Moran agreed that Navy SEALs have a unique talent set that the “blue side” had largely forgotten.

“We’ve grown used to not having them in a lot of situations. … Wow, there are some great capabilities here that can set the conditions in the world for the kind of operations we are going to need in every single one of our campaigns,” he said.

A draft environmental assessment published by the Navy on Nov. 8 indicated that the SEALs are planning to increase training in Hawaii, asking to increase the number of exercises from the 110 events allowed now on non-federally owned land to as many as 330 training events on non-federal land or waterways and 265 training events on federal property.

The proposed training also would expand the area for conducting exercises to include Kauai, Lanai, Maui and Molokai, in addition to Oahu and Hawaii.

The training, in a location relatively near to and similar in climate to the South China Sea, where China continues to assert its dominance, is necessary to enhance the Navy Special Warfare Command’s traditional skill sets, including diving and swimming; operating with submersibles and unmanned aircraft systems; insertion and extraction; reconnaissance and parachuting; and rope suspension training activities, according to the report.

Moran said the SEALs’ return to their roots will bolster lethality of the Navy as a whole.

“As much as it’s their chance to re-blue, it’s our chance to reconnect from the blue side,” he said. “That will continue to grow, I think.”

Editor’s Note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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British Special Forces Lacks of Recruits

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British Army soldiers boarding Chinook

British elite special forces, including SAS and SBS, are 200 soldiers short after ­recruitment plunged 20 percent. The lack of “good quality” soldiers has hit the Special Air Service (SAS), Special Boat Service (SBS) and SRR, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment. Hardest hit is the Special Boat Service, down in numbers by around 100. The SRR needs 60 and the celebrated Special Air Service – motto Who Dares Wins – is 40 light. Each unit normally has 340 to 400 operators.

Senior defense sources say the SBS and SRR are now classed as being “over-stretched” with troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Baltic States and Africa. The shortage is being linked to cuts and a recruitment and retention crisis affecting the rest of the armed forces.

The British Army is down in size from around 150,000 in 1990 to 78,000. Despite that reduction, the SAS and the SBS have remained the same size.

A military source said: “The talent pool is shrinking. A lot of guys who built up experience in Iraq and Afghanistan and who would often see the special forces as the next step have left. In the last 25 years, the SBS has increased in size and the SRR has been created but the Army has shrunk around 40 percent. So there are fewer quality people coming through. But we have been down this road before and it hasn’t had an impact on our operational commitments. It means that everybody has to work harder to get the job done.”

Twice-a-year selection courses are tough and an average pass rate of 10 percent has led to as few as eight recruits. One serving member of the SAS said: “Life is tough. You spend a lot of time on operations, overseas exercises and on courses. It is unrelenting.”

British Special forces earn about £30 extra a day but experienced operatives can earn far more in private security. The British MoD does not comment on special forces.

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Witness seeks immunity to testify against Navy SEAL accused of battlefield murder

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Chief Gallagher - Witness seeks immunity to testify against Navy SEAL accused of battlefield murder

Prosecutors could gain an ally in the case of a Navy SEAL accused of executing a young ISIS fighter during the battle of Mosul in 2017 and his commanding officer, who allegedly failed to report the incident.

Author of the article:

An attorney for a fellow SEAL has requested immunity for his client in return for testifying that Chief Edward Gallagher called in “false target coordinates to engage a mosque” and put his team at risk, yet Lt. Jacob Portier failed to relieve him on several occasions, Navy Times’ Carl Prine first reported.

Gallagher is charged with premeditated murder for allegedly using his knife to kill a wounded ISIS fighter and then posing for a reenlistment video next to the man’s corpse. Portier has been charged with obstruction of justice and related offenses for allegedly destroying evidence in the case and lying about Gallagher, as well as dereliction of duty for allegedly not stopping Gallagher from wounding two non-combatants.

The SEAL who served with Gallagher and Portier is requesting immunity so that he will be protected against any possible retaliation in the future, said attorney Michael Hanzel, who is defending the SEAL along with his wife Lauren and a Navy attorney.

“Our client has done nothing wrong, and we believe the record will demonstrate that,” Hanzel said in a statement to Task & Purpose.

“It is never an easy thing to be placed in the middle of a situation like this, but it is crucial to the integrity of the military justice system that witnesses in a case as high-profile as this are protected from retaliation later. The only way to ensure that is through grants of immunity, which is why we requested that for our client.”

The SEAL is showing “great courage” by offering to testify about what he witnessed during the deployment with Gallagher and Portier, said Hanzel, who added his client is not seeking any publicity, nor does he bear a grudge against any of the accused SEALs.

The full article can be found here.

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