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Former Navy SEAL Richard Machowiz died from brain cancer

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Former Navy SEAL scout/sniper

The sad day for SOF community as Richard “Mack” Machowicz, a TV star and former SEAL scout/sniper, passed away after a year-long battle with brain cancer.

Once upon time he described himself as a “difficult, intense personality.” That’s why the former Navy SEAL wound up becoming a Zen Buddhist. The goal, Mack said, was to learn to “access a part of myself, to care about [others], that I never was able to before.”

Machowicz, the host of Discovery Channel’s “Future Weapons,” died January 2, 2017, of stage IV glioblastoma, according to his friend and SEAL teammate Craig Sawyer. Sawyer shared news of his friend illness in an Oct. 5, 2015 on his personal Facebook account. According to his Discovery Channel biography, he spent ten years in the US Navy, and was Leading Petty Officer of Land, Mountain and Arctic Warfare with the SEAL training cadre.

But Machowicz, who was born in 1965, found himself as a television host. That was a job he clearly loved. He hosted multiple reality-television series, including Spike TV’s “Deadliest Warrior,” which led to his becoming a playable character in the video game “Deadliest Warrior: Legends.” Mack hosted and appeared in programs on the Military Channel, the History Channel, and Bravo.

On the Discovery Channel’s “Future Weapons,” his role included playing with some of the newest cutting-edge weapons systems on the planet. On the episode “Top Guns” he grinned as he got to test the then-new Barrett M468 carbine, which fired a larger caliber round than the standard M4. Mack followed that up with a look at the M777 howitzer, and then took a ride in an F/A-18 Super Hornet off the USS Eisenhower (CVN-68).

He was a SEAL, a tv host, writter and beloved husband and father. He is survived by his wife Mandy and two daughters.

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Special Forces

First female in Navy SEAL training drops out

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On Friday, Navy announced that the female midshipman voluntarily decided to not continue participating in a summer course that’s required of officers who want to be selected for SEAL training, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton, a Naval special warfare spokesman, told The Associated Press. The Navy has not released the woman’s name, part of a policy against publicly identifying SEALs or candidates for the force.

The SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection program that she was in is open to Naval Academy midshipmen and Navy ROTC cadets before their senior year.

According to the Associated Press, the three-week program in Coronado, Calif., tests physical and psychological strength, water competency and leadership skills. Sailors must complete it to be selected to take part in SEAL basic training. That basic training, which lasts six months is so arduous that 75 percent of candidates drop out by the end of the first month.

The successes and failures of women in the military’s most taxing units is part of a steady march toward integration of the country’s armed services. The entry of women in one of the military’s most elite fighting forces is part of ongoing efforts to comply with then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s directive in December 2015 to open all military jobs to women, including the most dangerous command posts.The efforts followed demands for equal treatment after thousands of American servicewomen served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, including many killed or wounded in service, according to the Associated Press.

The efforts followed demands for equal treatment after thousands of American servicewomen served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, including many killed or wounded in service, according to the Associated Press.

The services have been slowly integrating women into previously male-only roles. Those in special operations are among the most demanding jobs in the military. Two women in 2015 graduated from the Army’s grueling Ranger course.

When 1st Lt. Shaye Haver and 1st Lt. Kristen Griest became the first women to complete grueling Army Ranger training — among the most intense and demanding that the military has to offer — the Army heralded it as proof that every soldier could reach her full potential amid a growing call for equality. For example, 18 other women were accepted into the first phase of Army Ranger training with Griest and Haver. Yet they were the only ones who made it through.

It looks like, we’ll have to wait a little more for first female SEAL.

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Special Forces

Syrian paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines for first time ever

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The Russian Defense Ministry praised Syrian Arab Army Special Forces and their paratroopers’ first ever operation to free a populated area in ISIL’s rear.

On August 12, Syrian paratroopers from Syrian Arab Army Special Forces were deployed behind ISIL’s positions in 20 km from the battlefront; the operation resulted in the liberation of the town of al-Hadar located on the border between Raqqa and Homs provinces.

On August 12 night, for the first time since the beginning of hostilities against Daesh terrorist group in Syria, the [Syrian] government forces managed to prepare and conduct a brilliant operation to make a tactical landing in the rear of the militants which resulted in their complete defeat and capture of the settlement of Al-Hadar about 120 kilometers west of the city of Deir ez-Zor,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Russian Ka-52 combat helicopters conducted strikes in the area to help the Syrian army’s campaign.

With the help of night vision systems, the renowned [Ka-52] Alligators not only effectively directed and corrected the fire of multiple-launch rocket system, but also destroyed [terrorists’] armored vehicles and armed cars,” the ministry said.

Russian military advisors took part in the preparation of the Syrian paradrop behind Daesh’s defense lines, while well-known Syrian commander, General Suhel Hassan headed the operation.

“In a brief battle, the Syrian paratroopers… destroyed the headquarters and ammunition depots of terrorists, knocked out two [ISIL] tanks and three armored vehicles,” the Russian military said.

The Syrian paratroopers were holding the captured positions before the approach of the main forces. “The actions of the tactical landing force and the effectiveness of the fire damage inflicted on Daesh fighters allowed the government troops to seize al-Hadar without losses,” the Russian military said.

After the successful operation, the Syrian army gained control over 60 square kilometers of the territory, three populated areas and two oil fields. On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that that Russian military aviation helped the Syrian army liberate ISIL’s hotbed in the Homs province, the town of As-Sukhnah. The development paves the way for the operation to free besieged Deir ez-Zor.

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