View Full Version : How do you do it?...

03-28-2009, 10:03 PM
With JFCOM's IW vision out and the many reports, papers, blogs etc...,postulating the role of GPF's in IW/SFA.
Also recently you have the testimony of Robert Martinage before the Senate Armed Services committee where he speaks of this but I got the sense it was more of a brush over. My point is how do you do this?
IW/SFA runs a gamut of different skill sets and levels of involvement. It can be simply Army or Marine forces sending MTT's to train a FSF on FMS equipment, A Marine unit conducting bi-lateral training with the Thai's can be considered SFA, as the TT's in OIF and OEF are also. It seems to me any GPF dedicated to this mission will be "specialized" but not "Special".
As I stated I have heard a lot of what we need to do, but not much in the way of how we do it. Any thoughts welcomed.


Robert Martinage testimony on SOF;

JFCOM found here;


03-29-2009, 05:43 PM
Geez replying to myself.:confused:


Ken White
03-29-2009, 10:01 PM
plus, I, for one am not sure what your question is. I read the linked testimony -- didn't agree with all of it but do agree with some of it. I read it -- and my basic thought on that was "that's a way -- but it wouldn't be the smartest thing we've ever done." He's got some good ideas and some that won't fly. He is correct in that SF is the premier IW / FID / SFA element (and doesn't really hit on the fact that they're being misused). He wants SEALS to get FID, etc. training -- dumbbb -- with three 'b's. I do agree with him on much of his AFSOC stuff but it isn't likley to happen. Also agree on JSOC.

Thus, your link discusses SOF expansion (which IMO is not a good idea) and, as you say brushes over the stated question: How do we employ the GPF in IW/SFA. Martinage says the GPF should be doing more -- but I think he does not know (he certainly doesn't state) that the GPF are today doing the bulk of the FID/SFA work in Iraq and Afghanistan (two areas that took most of their effort and capability).

You mention a few examples of GPF operations in that type of effort, how they would contribute and I get the sensing that you could name more -- but I then do not understand why you're asking "how do we do this"....

Sorry to be dense but I truly am not sure what you're looking for.

03-30-2009, 03:39 AM
SOCOM and the CIA (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=6805)

Link to the full report here SOF Future Challenges and Opportunities (http://www.csbaonline.org/4Publications/PubLibrary/R.20081117.Special_Operation_/R.20081117.Special_Operation_.pdf)

Might want to check out the discussion there.

03-30-2009, 04:39 PM
Sorry for the muddy question, what I mean is, how do GPF, man, train and equip for this task. Its easy to state that they will be involved, but what does that mean? And as you pointed out, GPF are already doing so in OIF/OEF, so if this is to be an enduring capability and core competency of GPF, then how do you man, train, equip and employ. Who has C2? TSOC's? The MilGrp's and of course in combat its already addressed in OIF/OEF.

03-30-2009, 04:40 PM
I will check it out ODB.

Bob's World
03-30-2009, 05:41 PM
Ken mentioned SOF expansion. Its a matter of public record, but I'll state it here that the USSOCOM Commander is very firm that SOF can only be grown at an annual rate of 3-5 %, (and it is probably closer to 3).

Worth noting as well as I talk to SF officers down range who are receiving and employing Marine SOF units in FID and SFA missions is that these guys have turned the corner and are doing a terrific job. But we don't have another service to carve a SOF out of, so don't expect any significant growth of SOF.

Also concur that, other than special niche missions working with peer forces, SEALs are best employed in SR/DA/CT in and out type missions. Keeps them happy, they are great at it, etc.

And we really need to avoid terms like "IW/SFA," that is like saying "GM/Camaro" and just adds to the current wealth of confusion.

But if I were to give the GPF a few things to consider:
1. This isn't about platforms so much as it is about service culture.
2. Enforced regional orientation of GPF will go a long way to preparing them for operating in an IW environment. (Give the boys back to the GCCs and let them homestead!)
3. Flexibility of employment and Command and Control. You have to be able to pull a smart slice out of a BCT tailored to the mission, and be prepared to have them subordinate to some SF Major working out of the embassy, or to a USAID GS12 female who has lead on the ground.
4. Stop pushing engagement on Country teams, submit to only providing what the Ambassador pulls. Send planning teams to high priority Country teams and help them shape a holistic scheme of engagement and then support it.
(I.e.: Port Calls are NOT good engagement. Amphibious/airborne assaults are NOT the solution to every tactical problem and should not be the culminating event of every major exercise. And service component commanders DO need to submit to the GCC and not just do their own thing.)

J Wolfsberger
03-30-2009, 06:43 PM
To add to Bob's comments, the GPF needs training to perform the kind of operations SOF need in conjunction with their efforts. If the SOF teams take the lead in disaggregatating tribal leadership from an insurgency, they need GPF troops to come in and provide security, training, medical clinic, infrastructure improvement, etc. I.e., all the things necessary to ensure the SOF efforts continue to bear fruit, but the SOF don't have the manpower or TOE to execute.

Ken White
03-30-2009, 10:39 PM
...how do GPF, man, train and equip for this task. Its easy to state that they will be involved, but what does that mean? And as you pointed out, GPF are already doing so in OIF/OEF, so if this is to be an enduring capability and core competency of GPF, then how do you man, train, equip and employ. Who has C2? TSOC's? The MilGrp's and of course in combat its already addressed in OIF/OEF.In order; You take a Bn (or if more persons are needed, a Bde or Regt), form a TF with those added skills needed in the form of attachments (particularly CA, Engr, Intel, MP and PsyOp) for the specific mission for which the unit is tasked and you train those people together for 90-180 days.

That training should orient to the precise mission and language training should be a large part of it. The training can be conducted mostly by the unit with some MTT assistance and specific Language assistance provided by contract (Most of the civilian instructors in DLI aren't too flexible...) and a graded final workup at at major training center. Equipping should not be a major problem other than added wheeled vehicles; all mission dependent, of course. The key to all that is a defined mission as opposed to the ad hoc methods used so far in OEF/OIF.

That doesn't mean I think all that is easy or simple -- I know very well that it is not. Not one bit. However, I also know it can be done and that we are capable of doing it. We may get an inkling on how well this works with the Bde from the 82d Airplane tabbed to go to Afghanistan which is apparently using that model or something along that line.

As Bob said it gets done under the C2 of the Country Team and an Army or Marine Bn Cbt Tm may find itself guided by an SF Major -- or even a Captain -- or the rep may be the DAO. All one has to remember is that guy or gal is representing the Ambassador who is in turn representing the Prez ...

TSOCs shouldn't be involved unless finally USASOC realizes they have an FID / SFA role that goes beyond their current focus. Hopefully, they will and they will assist in the training of GPF units for these missions. One would expect the proponent for something to be involved. Directly involved...