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View Full Version : U.S. Special Forces shape the future of Afghan special operations


Dog Pound Zulu
10-20-2013, 16:16
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-afghanistan-army-20131020,0,7680434.story

Military News
U.S. Special Forces shape the future of Afghan special operations
By 49th Public Affairs Detachment (Airborne)
Oct 19, 2013 - 5:26:20 PM


Blackanthem Military News

Afghan commandos conduct a helicopter assault force mission Sept. 7, 2013, at Shurgerd Village in Herat province, Afghanistan. The Afghan Commandos are assigned to the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command's 2nd Special Operations Brigade. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Richard B. Lower/Released)
HERAT PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was activated September 1961. It is one of five such groups and a highly decorated special operations unit in the U.S. Army. The unit was originally formed during the cold war, specializing in teaching foreign fighters in guerrilla warfare tactics to topple corrupt regimes.

The group served a key role in Afghanistan’s fight for freedom by being the first soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. These elite warriors demonstrated their ability to adapt and overcome the challenges of being a completely expeditionary force with no infrastructure by working with Afghan tribal armies to overthrow the Taliban’s regime.

The group’s 2nd Battalion has spent the past seven months serving as the Special Operations Task Force – West headquarters, a subcomponent of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan. The SOTF combines special operations members from the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force.

The Afghans are beating the Americans. The Herat province locals shout to each other in Pashto and Dari as they maneuver across a field of sand, rock and broken glass. The American Special Forces members are doing their best to keep up in the desert’s September evening heat. “Go left,” yells one soldier, attempting to organize a last second defense against the Afghans. The SOTF warrant operations officer’s teammates hear the command, but don’t respond in time. An Afghan player brings his foot forward and the ball flies inches out of reach for the American team’s goalie. The Afghans celebrate together. The score is now Afghans 2, Americans 0.

One of the Americans playing soccer in the tournament, sits down over the edge of a drainage ditch along a nearby road. He watches the game, recovering from his time on the field earlier. In between breathes, he explains that the sport is what has brought many of the American Special Forces members together with their Afghan counterparts. “This is one place we build relationships,” he says. “This is where we can earn their trust.”

PRB
10-20-2013, 19:16
Nice story...in different circumstances it might bear fruit...not here.
In '73 I was on the Joint Military Commission to oversee the 'ceasing of hostilities' between the NVA and the ARVN according to the Paris peace accords.
Me and my radio guy 'lived' with an NVA unit outside of Pleiku during the day.
We'd play volleyball during the day, great fun...then try and kill each other at night.
I know the guys they are working with are 'friendlies' but the survival instinct is so inbred and reinforced they'd kill whomever to advance themselves or their clan.
From my limited 2 years in Astan I'd say we are throwing good people and money after bad.