Presentation on theme: "SOF Core Operations and Activities"— Presentation transcript:
1 SOF Core Operations and Activities Welcome to the Introduction to Special Operations Forces course lesson on Special Operations Forces core operations and activities. In this lesson we will identify and describe the current core operations and activities of United States Special Operations Forces.Click arrow below to continue
2 SOF perform tasks that: No other forces in DoD conduct Are conducted by DoD forces, but do so to a unique set of conditions and standards, normally using equipment and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) not utilized by conventional forcesUnderstanding the core operations and activities of Special Operations Forces (SOF) is critical to understanding the how and why SOF are organized, trained, equipped, and employed as they are. These tasks represent not only the capabilities of SOF but also where they invest their precious training, procurement, and sustainment resources.SOF performs tasks that no other forces in the Department of Defense conduct. They also perform tasks that are conducted by conventional forces. However, they do so to a unique set of conditions and standards using tactics, techniques, procedures and normally equipment that conventional forces do not possess.
3 History of SOF Core Activities ACTIVITYHumanitarian AssistanceCivil Affairs Operations (CA)Counterterrorism (CT)Foreign Internal Defense (FID)Strategic Special Reconnaissance (SR)Psychological Operations (PSYOP)Military Information Support Operations (MISO)Direct Action (DA)Theater Search and RescueUnconventional Warfare (UW)Activities Specified by the President or SecDefWhen USSOCOM was created by Congress back in 1987 the legislation listed ten special operations activities that the command was responsible for conducting as long as they related to special operations. Along with the ten was a catch-all task of “such other activities as may be directed by the president or the Secretary of Defense.” Over the years the original list of ten core activities has been modified to include the addition of new activities, the renaming of specific activities, and in some cases the deletion of activities that were deemed not appropriate for SOF.Humanitarian assistance and theater search and rescue were deleted from the core activities over time. Strategic reconnaissance was renamed Special Reconnaissance and psychological operations became military information support operations. Along with these changes additional tasks were added to SOCOM’s menu of core activities. These include counterinsurgency, information operations, Security Force Assistance and counter proliferation.Counterinsurgency Operations (COIN)Information Operations (IO)Security Force Assistance (SFA)Counter Proliferation (CP)
4 SOF conducts Core Operations and Activities within the Operational Framework using unique capabilities and under conditions in which other forces are not trained or equipped to operate.Core Operations - Military missions for which SOF have unique modes of employment, tactical techniques, equipment, and training to orchestrate effects within the Operational Framework, often in concert with conventional forces.Core Activities - Operationally significant, unique capabilities SOF apply in different combinations tailored for an operational problem set. Core Activities can be applied independently or in combination as part of global, Geographic Combatant Command (GCC), or Joint Force Commander campaign, operation, or activity.In August 2011 the USSOCOM commander, Admiral Eric Olson, adopted the current list of seven core operations and ten core activities. This represents a philosophical change away from strictly core activities and separated Special Operations Forces’ requirements into two distinct categories of operations and activities.Core operations are the military missions for which SOF have unique, tactics, techniques and procedures, modes of employment, equipment, and training to achieve specific or desired effects. Core operations are often conducted in concert with conventional forces.Core activities are unique capabilities SOF apply in different combinations that are tailored for an operational problem set. The SOF core activities can be applied independently or in combination as part of a campaign, operation, or activity.The key delineation between the two is that core operations are missions while core activities are capabilities.USSOCOM Directive 10-1 assigns primary and secondary operations activities to its subordinate commands. Some activities such as Direct Action are common to all subordinate commands. However some operations, such as civil affairs may be assigned to only one or two of the subordinate commands.
5 CORE ACTIVITIES CORE OPERATIONS Preparation of the EnvironmentSpecial ReconnaissanceSecurity Force AssistanceMilitary Information Support OperationsCORE OPERATIONSCounterinsurgencyUnconventional WarfareCivilAffairs OperationsDirect ActionForeign Internal DefenseNational Strategies,Global Campaign Plans,and Theater PlansStabilityCountering Weapons of Mass DestructionSupport Major Combat Operations & CampaignsAs we explore SOF core operations and activities we start with national strategies and global and theater campaigns. Like conventional forces, SOF conduct operations that support and achieve the goals and objectives of these strategies and plans.To do this SOF conduct the seven core operations of Counterinsurgency Operations (COIN), Stability Operations, Unconventional Warfare (UW), Foreign Internal Defense (FID) operations, Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD), Counterterrorism (CT) operations, and support major combat operations and campaigns.In conducting the core operations, SOF apply one or more of the core activities, which consist of capabilities unique to SOF. These activities are Preparation of the Environment (PE), Special Reconnaissance (SR), Security Force Assistance (SFA), Military Information Support Operations (MISO), Direct Action (DA), Civil Affairs Operations (CAO), interdiction and offensive Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction operations, Hostage rescue and Recovery or HR, and SOF combat support and service support.The next few slides will look at and define each of the SOF core operations and activities. We will begin with the core operation of combating weapons of mass destruction.CounterterrorismInterdiction and Offensive CWMD OperationsSOF Combat Service SupportSOF Combat SupportHostage Rescue & Recovery
6 Counterproliferation OF WMD Actions taken to defeat the threat and/or use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, our military forces, friends, and allies. (JP 1-02)DetectMonitorOffensive OperationsActive DefensePassive DefensePrepare to conduct CP operationsCombating weapons of mass destruction refers to nonproliferation (NP), counter proliferation (CP), and WMD consequence management. Weapons of mass destruction are chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) weapons capable of a high order of destruction or causing mass casualties. Combating weapons of mass destruction excludes the means of transporting or propelling the weapons where such means are a separable and divisible part from the weapons. SOF have a role primarily in nonproliferation and counter proliferation by providing expertise, materiel, and teams to support the geographic combatant commands to locate, tag, and track weapons of mass destruction; conducting interdiction and other offensive operations in limited areas as required; building partnership capacity for conducting counter proliferation activities; conducting Military Information Support Operations to dissuade adversary reliance on WMD; and other specialized technical capabilities.
7 Counterinsurgency Operations Military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions by a government to defeat insurgency. (JP 1-0)Offensive approach that includes:Strategic and operational planningTrainingInfrastructure developmentTactical-level operationsMISO elementsIntelligence development and analysisMateriel, technical, and organizational assistanceCounterinsurgency Operations (COIN) refer to the comprehensive civilian and military efforts taken to defeat insurgency and to address core grievances. SOF are particularly well suited for COIN operations because of their regional expertise, language, and combat skills, along with their ability to work among populations and with or through indigenous partners. COIN operations normally incorporate a number of special operations core activities using both direct and indirect approaches. All SOF service components have capabilities that can contribute to a COIN effort.
8 CounterterrorismOperations that include the offensive measures taken to prevent, deter, preempt, and respond to terrorism. (JP 1-02)Intelligence operationsAttacks against terrorist networks and infrastructuresHostage rescueRecovery of sensitive material from terrorist organizationsCounterterrorism operations include actions taken directly against terrorist networks and indirectly to influence and render global and regional environments inhospitable to terrorist networks. SOF often conduct counterterrorism operations through clandestine or low visibility means. SOF activities within counterterrorism include, but are not limited to, intelligence operations, attacks against terrorist networks and infrastructures, hostage rescue, recovery of sensitive material, and non-kinetic activities to counter ideologies or motivations hospitable to terrorism.
9 Foreign Internal Defense Participation by civilian and military agencies of a government in any of the action programs taken by another government or other designated organization to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency. (JP 1-02)Foreign Internal Defense (FID) operations involve participation by civilian and military government agencies in any of the action programs taken by another government or other designated organization to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, insurgency, terrorism, and other threats to its security. Special Operations Forces’ primary role is to assess, train, advise, and assist partner or host nation’s military and paramilitary forces. The goal is to enable these forces to maintain the host nation’s internal stability and to address the causes of instability.
10 Unconventional Warfare Activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary and guerrilla force in a denied area.Unconventional Warfare (UW) operations are the inverse or opposite of foreign internal defense operations. While FID operations support a legitimate government, UW operations support a movement against a government. They enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary, and guerrilla force in a denied area. UW can be conducted as part of a geographic combatant command’s overall theater campaign or as an independent, subordinate campaign. When conducted independently, the primary focus of UW is on political-military objectives and psychological objectives. When Unconventional Warfare operations support conventional military operations, the focus shifts to primarily military objectives; however, the political and psychological implications remain. UW includes military and paramilitary aspects of resistance movements and represents the culmination of a successful effort to organize and mobilize the civil populace against a hostile government or occupying power. From the U.S. perspective, the intent is to develop and sustain these supported resistance organizations and to synchronize their activities to further U.S. national security objectives. SOF assess, train, advise, and assist indigenous resistance movements to conduct UW and, when required, accompany them into combat.Guerrilla warfareSubversion and sabotageIntelligence activitiesUnconventional assisted recovery
11 StabilityStability operations encompass various military missions, tasks, and activities conducted outside the United States in coordination with other instruments of national power to maintain or reestablish a safe and secure environment and to provide essential government services, emergency infrastructure reconstruction, and humanitarian relief. Stability operations are aimed at reducing threats from state fragility and instability. Enduring Stability Operations consisting of high-quality, low-profile SOF engagement conducted in concert with U.S., interagency, international, and host nation partners can mitigate the risk of lengthy post-conflict interventions. Stability operations also include tasks performed after a natural or man-made disaster as part of a humanitarian-based intervention or during major operations and campaigns to establish conditions that enable civilian authorities following cessation of organized hostilities.
12 Support to Major Combat Operations & Campaigns Operation Desert Storm 1991Operation Urgent Fury 1983SOF support to major operations and campaigns consist of operations in support of conventional forces as part of a geographic combatant command’s operation or campaign involving major combat forces. Although major operations and campaigns are characterized by armed conflict between nation-states, the character of these operations includes a hybrid of technologically advanced capabilities and conventional combat forces. Typical SOF support to major operations and campaigns includes Unconventional Warfare, special reconnaissance, direct action, military information support operations, and Civil Affairs operations.Now that we have covered the Special Operations core missions let us look at the core activities that SOF use to conduct the core missions.Direct ActionMISO BroadcastSpecial ReconnaissanceCivil Affairs
13 Civil Affairs Operations Operations by Civil Affairs Forces -Enhance the relationship between military forces and civil authorities.Require coordination with interagency, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental organizations, indigenous populations and institutions, and the private sector.Involve application of functional specialty skills that normally are the responsibility of civil government to enhance the conduct of civil-military operations. (JP 1-02)Civil Affairs Operations (CAO) enhance the relationship between military and civil authorities. CAO require coordination with other governmental agencies, international governmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), indigenous populations and institutions, and the private sector. CAO include population and resource control, foreign humanitarian assistance, nation assistance, support to civil administrations, and civil information management. CAO performed in support of special operations are characterized by smaller civil affairs teams or elements, generally without the support of larger military forces, acting in isolated, austere, and, in many cases, politically sensitive environments.
14 Airborne Airfield Seizure Direct ActionActions in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments using specialized military capabilities to seize, destroy, capture, exploit, recover, or damage designated targets.Direct action differs from conventional offensive actions in the level of physical and political risk, operational techniques, and the degree of discriminate and precise use of force to achieve specific objectives. (JP 1-02)MH-6 Assault AircraftAirborne Airfield SeizureNight Urban AssaultDirect Action (DA) operations are short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions conducted as a special operation in hostile, denied, or diplomatically sensitive environments, which employ specialized military capabilities to seize, destroy, capture, exploit, recover, or damage designated targets. Special Operations Forces’ DA differs from conventional offensive actions in the level of diplomatic or political risk, the operational techniques employed, and the degree of discriminate and precise use of force to achieve specific objectives.AC-130 Close Air Support
15 Hostage Rescue & Recovery Time sensitive offensive missions to prevent or recapture personnel.March 2003Pvt Jessica Lynch held in IraqApril 2009Capt of the MV Maersk-Alabama Richard Phillipsrescued at sea from SomaliapiratesJanuary 2012Jessica Buchanan andPoul Hagan rescuedfrom Somalia piratesin SomaliaHostage rescue and recovery operations are sensitive crisis response missions that include offensive measures taken to prevent, deter, preempt, and respond to terrorist threats and incidents, including the recapture of United States facilities, installations, and sensitive material.
16 Interdiction & Offensive CWMD Operations Special Operations Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction operations (CWMD) include two of the eight military mission areas: interdiction and offensive operations. Interdiction Operations track, intercept, search, divert, seize, or otherwise stop the transit of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems or related materials including dual use, technologies, and expertise. Weapons of mass destruction offensive operations are actions to disrupt, neutralize, or destroy a weapon of mass destruction threat before it can be used or to deter subsequent use of such weapons.
17 Military Information Support Operations Convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.Purpose is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives.Military Information Support Operations (MISO) convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences in order to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of MISO is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behaviors favorable to the joint force commander’s objectives. Dramatic changes in information technology and social networking have added a new, rapidly evolving dimension to operations, and the ability to influence relevant audiences is integral to how SOF addresses local, regional, and transnational threats and challenges. MISO are executed within carefully reviewed and approved programs and under mission-tailored approval guidelines that flow from national-level authorities.
18 Preparation of the Environment (PE) Actions taken by or in support of SOF to develop an environment for current or future operations and activities.Key components of PE include the following:Orientation activities (area familiarization, developing plans and infrastructure)Target Development (acquiring real time target specific information)Preliminary Engagement ( find, fix, monitor or influence the target prior to conducting operations.Preparation of the environment is an umbrella term for actions taken by or in support of SOF to develop an environment for current or future operations and activities. Special Operations Forces conduct preparation of the environment in support of geographic combatant command’s plans and orders to alter or shape the operational environment to create conditions conducive to the success of a full spectrum of military operations. The regional focus, cross-cultural in sights, language capabilities, and relationships of SOF provide access to and influence in nations where the presence of conventional U.S. forces is not warranted.
19 Security Force Assistance The focus of the SFA operation is enabling the Host Nation to take over all of the security tasks within their own country.The focus is not on USG “doing” - it is on enabling the host nation to employ and sustain their own forces.Security Force Assistance (SFA) involves Department of Defense activities that contribute to unified action by the United States government to support the development of the capacity and capability of foreign security forces and their supporting institutions. Security force assistance supports the professionalization and the sustainable development of the capacity and capability of foreign security forces, supporting institutions of host countries, and international and regional security organizations. Security force assistance must directly increase the capacity and/or capability of foreign security forces and/or their supporting institutions. SFA activities assist host countries to defend against internal and transnational threats to stability. However, the Department of Defense may also conduct SFA to assist host countries to defend against external threats; contribute to coalition operations; or organize, train, equip, and advise another country’s security forces or supporting institutions.
20 Special Reconnaissance (SR) Actions in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments to collect or verify information of strategic or operational significance, employing military capabilities not normally found in conventional forces. (JP 1-02)EnvironmentalArmed ReconnaissanceTarget and Threat AssessmentPost strike reconnaissanceSpecial Reconnaissance (SR) are those reconnaissance and surveillance actions conducted as a special operation in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments to collect or verify information of strategic or operational significance, employing military capabilities not normally found in conventional forces. SR complements national and theater intelligence collection assets and systems by obtaining specific, well-defined, and time-sensitive information of strategic or operational significance. SR may also complement other collection methods constrained by weather, terrain-masking, or hostile countermeasures. Specific examples of SR include target acquisition, area assessment, and post-strike reconnaissance.
21 SOF Combat Support & Service Support Typical service-provided combat support and combat service support capabilities required to augment or replace SOF combat support/combat service support organic capabilities consist of:Combat SupportCombat Service SupportSupplyMaintenanceTransportationHealth servicesExplosive ordnance disposalLegal supportFinanceInfrastructure sustainmentIndirect firesChemicalEngineerIntelligenceInformation operationsMilitary policeSignalAviationThe final two SOF core activities are combat support and combat service support. Combat support and service support operations are integral to any military operation. SOF units generally have limited organic combat support and combat service support elements, so they normally require additional service-provided combat support and combat service support to accomplish missions. SOF usually deploy with enough combat service support to internally support for limited durations of time until theater support structures can be established under the Common User Logistics Agreements.Due to the nature, scope, and remote environments in which SOF often operate, theater support structures are not always available. This is a significant challenge because SOF have limited organic combat support and combat service support. Despite increases in Special Operations Forces’ organic combat support and combat service support force structure, a gap remains due to escalating demands for SOF and the current operations tempo.
22 ConclusionThis concludes the lesson on SOF core operations and activities. In review, SOF perform tasks that no other forces in the Department of Defense conduct, or are performed by conventional forces but do so to a unique set of conditions and standards using tactics, techniques, procedures and normally equipment that conventional forces do not possess.SOF core tasks have changed and evolved since the created of USSOCOM in Currently, the SOF core tasks consist of seven core operations and ten core activities.Not all Special Operations Forces possess the capability to perform all of the special operations forces core operations and activities. USSOCOM Directive 10-1 assigns primary and secondary operations activities to its subordinate commands. Some activities such as Direct Action are common to all subordinate commands. Others however such as Civil Affairs Operations may only be assigned to one or two of the subordinate commands.Before moving to the next lesson you will need to complete the learning check on the primary lesson page
Your consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.