8/20/2005

NDM Article - SOCOM Creates New Hub For Fighting War on Terror

SOCOM Creates New Hub For Fighting War on Terror

by Harold Kennedy

The U.S. Special Operations Command has reorganized its headquar-

ters at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., in order to fulfill a new leadership role in the war on terrorism.

The core of the reorganization is the Center for Special Operations, explained SOCOM’s chief, Army Gen. Bryan D. Brown.

The center “is a joint and interagency directorate that has responsibility for all war on terrorism-related operational issues,” Brown told National Defense in an e-mail interview.

“We are working toward a structure that allows SOCOM to serve as a standing joint task force headquarters, offering an in-place capability for seamless planning and execution of operations that span the spectrum of conflict,” he said.

“Essentially, [the center] serves as SOCOM’s ‘war-fighting’ hub,” Brown said. “Free of administrative functions, the center’s sole responsibility is for planning, supporting and executing special operations in the war on terrorism.”

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld directed SOCOM take the lead in planning and leading future U.S. counter-terror operations, rather than merely supporting other combatant commands, as it has in the past.

Since 2001, special operators have played major roles, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq.

“You hunted Scuds, pinpointed high-value targets, secured oil fields, established landing strips in the desert ... When we were unable to get our forces into Iraq from the north, special operations forces mobilized the Kurdish Peshmerga ... and helped unravel the northern front with amazing speed,” Rumsfeld said at the change of command ceremony at MacDill in September, when Brown took over SOCOM.

NDM Article - SOCOM Creates New Hub For Fighting War on Terror

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