Army Special Operations Forces 2010

Article excerpt

In 2010, U.S. Army special operations forces (ARSOF) continued to be decisively engaged in six named operations around the world, advising and assisting the military and the local security forces of friends, partners and allies to defend against lawlessness, insurgency and terrorism while simultaneously capturing, killing or eliminating highvalue targets that are threats to the United States. On a daily basis, there are approximately 6,500 ARSOF soldiers deployed in more than 60 countries executing 132 theater security cooperation plan events supporting persistent engagement of geographic combatant commanders (GCCs) and U.S. ambassadors.

Army special operations continue to operate at a very high tempo including Special Forces training, advising and assisting, and building partner capability with host-nation forces in countries such as Bangladesh, Mali, Romania, El Salvador, Colombia and India. The 4th Psychological Operations Group's military information support teams and the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade's civil military support elements maintain a continuous presence supporting U.S. ambassadors in more than 40 countries. The 75th Ranger Regiment continues to be the premier direct action force, masters of the Ranger raid, capturing and killing high-value targets in Afghanistan and Iraq. The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment continues to provide precision fires and medium and heavy lift and high-altitude assault capabilities to U.S. special operations. Finally, the 528th Sustainment Brigade provides the behind-the-scenes logistics coordination, special operations communications' connectivity and medical elements to provide advanced trauma management, resuscitation and essential care for stabilization during evacuation. All of these units bring a broad spectrum of lethality and influence to combatant commanders and ambassadors. As such, this precisely relevant force will remain in high demand and continue to require soldiers with the highest level of training and the ability to operate in complex, dangerous and austere environments while dealing with the stress of repeated deployments on both soldiers and families.

ARSOF operations conducted since September 11, 2001, have come at a heavy cost. Through 2010, more than 2,115 Army special operations soldiers have been wounded in action, and more than 255 have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. On May 27, 2010, during U.S. Army Special Operations Command's (USASOC) annual memorial ceremony honoring these soldiers and their Gold-Star Families, a new memorial wall was unveiled with the names of all USASOC soldiers who have lost their lives since the Vietnam War. This memorial wall, built with the help of generous supporters of Army special operations, is a tribute to the sacrifices made by these selfless soldiers and their families.

ARSOF Capstone Concept 2010

USASOC published the ARSOF Capstone Concept 2010 in December 2009. This document is nested with the U.S. Special Operations Command Strategy 2010 and the Army Capstone Concept, and it explains the vision for Army special operations. The USASOC vision statement follows:

Provide our nation with unique, sophisticated and tailored capabilities built around specially selected and trained soldiers with proven, mature decision-making and problemsolving skills to operate in ambiguous, high-risk environments around the world.

To meet this vision, there are three lines of effort that provide the concept to organize, train and employ ARSOF.

The soldier is the centerpiece of special operations, and the USASOC core Title 10 mission is to provide trained and educated soldiers to meet mission requirements. ARSOF soldiers must be superb problem solvers capable of operating in complex and dangerous areas around the world. Integral to this line of effort is the development of regional expertise including language capabilities and cultural understanding; the development of relationships with indigenous personnel over the length of a soldier's career; and the development of the advanced skills enabled by state-of-the-art technology that are required to operate across the spectrum of engagement and combat operations. …