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Thread: GEN Schwarzkopf and Special Operations Forces/Command

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    Default GEN Schwarzkopf and Special Operations Forces/Command

    FYI,
    Last night on the History Channel ran the Bravo Two Zero documentary. In it, several flag officers claimed that GEN Schwarzkopf had to be coaxed into having specialops personnel go scudbusting. (Actually, I read and heard numerous times that the general had a problem with SOFs period. What I know is that during Vietnam, Schwarzkopf had a XO who was a real POS. Horrible to the men, me first attitude, and actually beat one of his suborndinates. This guy was a nonvolunteer SF--at one time a soldier could be assigned without notice for SF training. Hence, a distrust to SOF.)
    The main reason GEN Stormin Norman had to be coaxed is that GEN Downing CINC of SOCOM, at the time, wanted to have his entire command along side of CENTCOM in Riyadh. Which is like putting two bulls in the same pen--its just not done. GEN Stiner went so far as to actually go to GEN Powell and insist on a forward command for SOCOM. Obviously, this created for the Pentagon ego jungling and turf wars between SOCOM and CENTCOM. Eventually, GEN Stiner did not get his way, but a new system was developed.

    Before the GW, CINCs did not have a SOCOM directorate. Directorates are offices or boxes controlled and managed by the CINC (now know as Regional Commanders) to implement military action as directed by his superiors--SECDEF and the President . Directorates include personnel, operations--the most important directorate since ops is what makes the military, and intelligence. Within directorates are sub-directorates. For example, intelligence will have its own personnel and operations boxes; and operations will have individual subdirectorates for Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines operations .

    As for SOCOM, after the GW, they now had a directorate in each regional command. Their responsibility is to advise the RC on his SOCOM options, since SOF are not organic or tenets of any Regional Command. Instead, they are still under SOCOM. For example, the 25 ID (L) is part of the Army's PACOM, but 1st SF, whose AOR is PACOM, is under SOCOM.

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    Wyatt Earp Trigger's Avatar
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    Hey Duke, how was the program? I missed it.

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    I caught parts of it and it was pretty decent. I'll post some more later. Its time to head to the chow hall.

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    Hot Biker Dude of Death Royal's Avatar
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    I think Swartzkopf was coaxed in large part by Gen de la Billiere (the commander of British land forces). DLB was SF through and through, he served as a platoon commander in Korea and then spent the entire remainder of his career (including staff jobs) to 1 star level in SF. He was decorated (for valour) as both a troop and squadron commander and was finished his SF career as Director Special Forces.

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    Pretty good. As for Bravo 2-0, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. For example, some commo guy issued them the wrong crypto series. (These are the frequency numbers that allow secured radios to communicate. On a side note, when PFC Lynch's unit was interogated, the Iraqi's asked about some digits inside one of the solider's helmets. He claimed they were some sort of gas price. Heads up Solider! Got a Silver Star)
    If I was on B2-0, the first thing I would of done when I got back to base was kick **** out of the dude issued me those numbers.
    Royal, exactly.

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    not only that but if they where not heard from for 48 hours a choper was to kick them up. never happend.

    i saw that i was pretty good.

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    General Downing was the honcho of JSOC during the Gulf War and was only a two star. It was General Carl Stiner who was the commander of SOCOM during the Gulf War who did the end run to General Powell. The commander of SOCCENT at the time was Colonel Jesse Johnson(a former Delta officer), as a colonel he just did not have pull among the CENTCOM staff with the stars on their shoulders to get the SOF forces into play. The SAS got a big boost by having General de la Billiere sitting at Schwarzkopf's right hand. Interestingly enought Schwarzkopf's USMA roomate and great friend, General Leroy Suddath, eventually commanded either Army Special Forces Command or Army Special Operations Command(can't recall off hand). While Stiner initially made it into theatre to lobby for a seperate SOF command, he eventually departed. Downing on the other hand(if I remember correctly) remained in theatre where he helped oversee the 'Scud Hunt'. **** Potter, who was a brigadier general at the time and another former Delta officer, was the commander of SOCEUR and oversaw the special operations contingency being run out of Turkey and the eventual relief operations in the north for the Kurds.

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    Thats right. I was going from memory, but I'm not sure about the SOEUR.

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    About SOCEUR's involvement or something more precise.

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    I meant Im not sure if a SOC directorate existed in 1991. Ill look that one up.
    I'm not nitpicking, but I thought the former Iraqi Civilian Admin and GEN Zinni were in charge of PROVIDE COMFORT.

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    I should've made that more clear. I did not mean BG Potter himself ran Provide Comfort, I meant he ran the SOF side of the operation. My mistake.

    As for the SOC directorates, I'm pretty sure they were in play. I'm not quite sure when they came into fruition, but I'm pretty sure they were up and running by then. I've seen quite a few documents that list Colonel Johnson as the SOCCENT at the time and the same for General Potter being the man at SOCEUR. I'll check around and get back to you with some 'hard evidence'.

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