Friday, April 17, 2015

UPDATED - ARSOF NEXT A Return to First Principles

I received these comments from a friend in response to my comments on SOCAP.  I think these are very important clarifying comments especially in terms of Conventional and Special Operations Forces Interdependence, Interoperability and Integration (a new term I just learned):

QUOTE: Would like to add that this program focuses on educating Army planners to develop campaigns that incorporate Special Operations capabilities at the operational level,,,,,, but is intentionally at Fort Leavenworth and includes approximately 50% conventional force students.  It isn't just a SOF course.  Furthermore, we have been aggressively pursuing coalition partner attendance as well - the more diverse perspectives, the better.  Interagency students are also welcome.

In the end, this education opportunity addresses Conventional and Special Operations Force Interdependence, Interoperability, and Integration (CF/SOF I3), confronts the problematic striations that some have recently highlighted on this distro list, and invests in critical thinking about campaigning.  

This course is on its fourth iteration, runs once a year from Feb - Jun, should be institutionalized with a MOA in the next few weeks, and is resourced for 24 students.  Great collaboration between the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies (UFMCS / Red Team School), ARSOF, and CAC over the last few years has made this possible. END QUOTE


Original Comments:

If you are interested in the nature of Army SOF (with a discussion of love that you will not find in any military manual), its missions, organizations, equipment and training and education, and where Army Special Operations is headed this is the document to read.  The entire document in Special Warfare Magazine can be downloaded here. 

Table of concepts below the Commander's message.

As an aside I spent a couple of days this week at Fort Leavenworth at the Special Operations Campaign Artist Program (SOCAP).  It is an 18 week course to prepare them to serve in the Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOC).  It is adapted from and built on the Red Team Leaders Course or Red Team "chassis" as some say.  It is the best SOF course I have seen that focuses on campaign planning and design for SOF and does an excellent job of teaching design, red team methodology and most importantly critical thinking skills.  I especially liked the new concept I learned called the pre-mortem analysis (though I guess this has been around Red Teaming for quite some time).  I was especially impressed with the students who gave me a pre-mortem analysis of all the things that might make Korean unification fail.  I strongly recommend this course.

ARSOF NEXTA Return to First Principles

After a period of successful but intense transition, it is time to refocus on what is most important to ARSOF: Our people. ARSOF Next; A Return to First Principles brings the ARSOF 2022 vision full circle by defining who we are and where we come from. It reminds us of our principles, which are deeply ingrained in the traits of the ARSOF Soldier, the characteristics of an ARSOF Unit and our Promise to the Nation. It explores our collective shared history, demonstrating that these first principles are not only who we are, but also who we have always been. 

ARSOF Next is about similarities; similarities between our ARSOF Soldiers and ARSOF units. The interwoven traits coupled with the unit characteristics generate “One Force, Without Equal.” The U.S. Army Special Operations Command is a force with more than 25 years of history providing the world’s premier special warfare and surgical strike capabilities to protect our nation against its enemies world wide. 

On the advent of our 25th anniversary, we sought to do what many thought impossible — rapidly change our organization to adapt and prepare for the future, while maintaining our operational commitment to the geographic combatant commanders. Fiscal year 2015 has been a year of execution, and USASOC can take great pride in the milestones we’ve achieved. For example, we established the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne)(Provisional), a force of 21,000 that is counted as one of the Army’s divisions. We created the foundation and backbone for SOF operational art and made sound progress in incorporating it into the national defense lexicon. We restored our unconventional warfare focus and deployed revitalized unconventional warfare capabilities in support of geographic combatant commanders and our interagency partners. 

I am extraordinarily proud of all that you have achieved over the last two years, but more so of your legacy as warriors. In many ways ARSOF Next is a story of recognition that honors these efforts and the people who made ARSOF 2022 a reality. More than this, it is an acknowledgement of the excellence that has been the benchmark of our first 25 years, and a promise to deserve the unbreakable trust of the nation for the next 25 years, and beyond. 


03 > Commander’s Note 
04 > Introduction 
06 > ARSOF 2022 Review 
08 > ARSOF 2022 Execution 
11 > ARSOF 2022 Priorities 
24 > ARSOF Lineage 
26 > Characteristics of the ARSOF Unit 
34 > Traits of the ARSOF Soldier 
46 > Conclusion 
47 > ARSOF Promise to the Nation

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