USA — Official Outlines Special Operations Needs

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Aug. 31, 2011 — Spe­cial oper­a­tions staff mem­bers are work­ing to ensure the orga­ni­za­tion retains its tech­no­log­i­cal edge on the bat­tle­field, a Joint Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Com­mand staff offi­cer said.

Army Maj. Bri­an Weyen­berg, sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy lead for JSOC’s force struc­ture, resources and assess­ment direc­torate, yes­ter­day described cur­rent and near-term capa­bil­i­ty gaps in spe­cial oper­a­tions for an audi­ence attend­ing the Nation­al Defense Indus­tri­al Association’s Joint Mis­sions Con­fer­ence here. 

A sub-com­mand of U.S. Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Com­mand, which is based at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., the Fort Bragg, N.C.-based JSOC is a joint head­quar­ters designed to study spe­cial oper­a­tions require­ments and tech­niques, ensure inter­op­er­abil­i­ty and equip­ment stan­dard­iza­tion, plan and con­duct joint spe­cial oper­a­tions exer­cis­es and train­ing, and devel­op joint spe­cial oper­a­tions tactics. 

Per­haps the most press­ing con­cern for that head­quar­ters — what he termed as “the 800-pound goril­la” — is the pos­si­bil­i­ty of major fund­ing cuts, Weyen­berg said. 

“While there is no indi­ca­tion yet that the bud­get deficit issues touch­ing our nation will affect [spe­cial oper­a­tions forces] or SOF resourc­ing … we must all be pre­pared for that,” he said. 

One resourc­ing con­sid­er­a­tion for the spe­cial oper­a­tions com­mu­ni­ty is deter­min­ing when “SOF-unique” equip­ment or sys­tems can be replaced with ser­vice-com­mon solu­tions, Weyen­berg said. 

Anoth­er area of pos­si­ble sav­ings is trans­fer­ring “mature tech­nol­o­gy” — proven sys­tems and equip­ment — from nation­al to the­ater mis­sions when­ev­er pos­si­ble to reduce costs, he added. 

Weyen­berg said a spe­cial oper­a­tions imper­a­tive is devel­op­ing new capa­bil­i­ties to sup­port its core mis­sion: to find, fix, exploit and ana­lyze the ene­my; in mil­i­tary par­lance, F2EA. That require­ment “man­dates SOF to oper­ate and col­lab­o­rate as an inter­a­gency part­ner and pool resources to counter and exploit com­mer­cial tech­nolo­gies,” he said. 

SOCOM’s spend­ing to sup­port F2EA capa­bil­i­ties has expand­ed and like­ly will keep grow­ing, Weyen­berg said, giv­en increas­ing mis­sion demand across the globe. 

“Expand­ing our [sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy] focus and capa­bil­i­ties also increas­es their endurance,” he said. “Inno­va­tion and speed-to-mar­ket are essen­tial to stay­ing abreast of the com­mer­cial marketplace’s capa­bil­i­ties and ser­vices … avail­able and used by our tech-savvy adversaries.” 

Sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ment is inher­ent­ly dis­tant from the fight, he said, and focus­es on deliv­er­able prod­ucts or capabilities. 

“With­in SOF’s doc­trine of find, fix, exploit and ana­lyze, [resources] will con­tin­ue to be the engine of suc­cess,” he said. “The fran­chis­ing of the vio­lent extrem­ist net­works con­tin­ues. Addi­tion­al­ly, the Arab spring remains unpre­dictable and exploitable by groups that could use ter­ror­ism as a means to an end.” 

Weyen­berg said giv­en these threats, geo-loca­tion and over-the-hori­zon sur­veil­lance are and will remain key “find and fix” capa­bil­i­ties, requir­ing inte­grat­ed sen­sors and net­works that can deliv­er both point and area sur­veil­lance, allow users to devel­op pat­tern-of-life data, and pro­vide over-the-hori­zon cues for aer­i­al assets. 

“We have made great progress and must con­tin­ue devel­op­ing and build­ing soft­ware-based sur­vey and geo-loca­tion sys­tems,” he said. “Addi­tion­al­ly, we will need to con­tin­ue to expand SOF … beyond-line-of-sight capa­bil­i­ties to gain greater range and free­dom of access.” 

Anoth­er crit­i­cal need, he said, is to fur­ther devel­op com­mand, con­trol, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, com­put­ers, and intel­li­gence — “C4I” — sys­tems that can link a glob­al­ly dis­persed force and allow access to part­ner organizations. 

“Infor­ma­tion shar­ing, and inter­op­er­abil­i­ty with­in the inter­a­gency envi­ron­ment, is a crit­i­cal angle,” he said. “Such tech­nolo­gies, tools and archi­tec­tures, which improve our abil­i­ty to search, parse, ana­lyze, destroy and dis­trib­ute data, increas­ing­ly become … require­ments for us.” 

JSOC is work­ing, in part through inter­a­gency and inter-ser­vice col­lab­o­ra­tion and its sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy task force, to bridge the gap between mis­sion require­ments and new capa­bil­i­ties, Weyen­berg said. 

As oper­a­tions in Iraq wind down and Afghan forces grad­u­al­ly assume secu­ri­ty respon­si­bil­i­ty for their coun­try, U.S. spe­cial oper­a­tions troops “will con­tin­ue to be the nation’s force of choice for dif­fi­cult and polit­i­cal­ly sen­si­tive mis­sions,” he said. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →