Saturday, October 12, 2013

Special Ops Nominee Wants Review of SOCOM Initiatives

Excerpt:

While there’s no indication that Lumpkin would work block McRaven in any significant way, his comments do show that if nominated, his office wouldn’t simply rubber stamp the significant changes McRaven is proposing.

Question:  Has there ever been a time when ASD SO/LIC has been a "rubber stamp" for SOCOM initiatives?


The control over personnel management is not only critically important to USSOCOM but it is to all services.

Asked if the head of SOCOM should have greater control over personnel management decisions for the nation’s special operators, Michael Lumpkin said that he would prefer that “additional coordination and study should be done within the Department to fully understand the impact of this proposal” before it be given the green light.

I know it is cliché to say that we must move to a system of industrial personnel management to one of talent talent management.  However, I think that is one of our strategic military weaknesses especially in terms of addresses the complex requirements and threats of the 21st Century.  I do not think our personnel management system has evolved much since I did a year in purgatory in 2002-2003 but we have to find a way to do it better.  It may be counterintuitive but I think that one of the problems is with our readiness system.  One of the easiest metrics for measuring readiness is personnel fills – that units have the right number of people at the right grade levels with the right skills.  Combine that with other traditional personnel management "techniques" such as moving people every X number of years as well as the checklist requirement of having certain jobs and schools to be competitive for promotion and we have a system that takes precedence over being able to put military personnel in the right jobs in the right places for the right length of time to achieve the effects we want to achieve in terms of national security and military objectives.  I know it is hard enough to manage to the readiness and promotion requirement standards and would probably doubly hard to move to a talent management system.  But we really do not have a personnel management system today.  We have unit and regulatory requirements management system and if we are unable to move to a talent management system we ought to stop lying to ourselves and rename the personnel management system because in such a system people (and talent) do not come first.


And I think the operations in Libya and Somalia last week reinforce these statements:

And while Lumpkin said that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) — which has given the president wide authority to use military force to conduct counter-terror operations since it was enacted 2001 — should remain in place, he would prefer that military action be governed under the traditional Title 10 authorities.
Title 10 is “a preferred way to do things when we can. And I think we should strive to make Title 10 the principle method of conducting these operations,” he said. 

Special Ops Nominee Wants Review of SOCOM Initiatives

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131011/DEFREG02/310110015/

Oct. 11, 2013 - 03:20PM   |  
By PAUL McLEARY   |   

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s nominee to become the next civilian head of the country’s special operations forces gently pushed back against a proposal by Adm. William McRaven — head of the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) — in his written responses submitted to lawmakers for his nomination hearing on Oct. 10.
Asked if the head of SOCOM should have greater control over personnel management decisions for the nation’s special operators, Michael Lumpkin said that he would prefer that “additional coordination and study should be done within the Department to fully understand the impact of this proposal” before it be given the green light.
Lumpkin, a former Navy SEAL with operational experience in Latin America and the Middle East, has been nominated to succeed Michael Sheehan as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC).
While the line might not sound like much, the proposed change would for the first time give the SOCOM commander a role in deciding on promotions, assignments, retention, and training of special operations forces.
SOCOM, unlike the other combatant commands, doesn’t actually control troops. Instead, the command is only responsible for the equipping and training of special operators who then deploy under the operational control of the global combatant commanders they are assigned to.
But since assuming his position in 2011, McRaven has made a big push to claim more control over the force, and has launched a controversial campaign he dubbed the “Global SOF Network” which would allow him to coordinate intelligence sharing among his operators once they are assigned to work for a combatant command.
The proposal has met with some pushback from Capitol Hill, with the House Armed Services Committee cutting the $10 million SOCOM request to establish a Washington office in its fiscal year 2014 markup bill. The committee also slashed the $15 million requested to create regional SOF coordination centers in Colombia and Hawaii.
(Continued at the link below)

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131011/DEFREG02/310110015/



1 comment:

  1. Your statements above in blue about the personnel management system ring very true when one looks at the way that the SFA advisor positions have been filled in Afghanistan over the past few years. There are too many cases of U.S. infantry Lieutenants advising Afghan MI MAJs and LTCs; of Navy officers advising ANCOP, of Air Force officers advising senior Afghan ground commanders; and of U.S. Captains advising Afghan Colonels. The Army's (and DoDs) personnel management system never made the leap from peacetime personnel management to wartime personnel management.

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