Need for advanced infil techniques...

surgicalcric

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Nov 3, 2006
Messages
1,411
Location
Here and there
So, taken from the ARSOF Recruiting MI Brief thread so as not to derail that discussion...

Lindy said:
Their program... get infil/exfil via any method whereas we're pretty much ruck, truck, or oh ffffffffuuuuuuudddddgggggeeeeee.

I contend that SF in particular and SOF as a whole has little need if any for sending the majority of their support slice to MFF/CDQC (specifically SOT-As) or to BAC for that matter.

What purpose do they have for going to MFF/CDQC? How is their mission impacted by not currently being MFF/CDQC? (And while on that topic, if the Navy wasn't sending SWCC -God knows why - guys to MFF there would be an ass-ton more slots for guys that might use them.)

BAC is nice to have for the soldier's "bling" and can look good for the CDR if thats a briefing topic but tactically it adds nothing to the units ability to perform its function in a wartime environment. The likeliness of any PAC, LW mechanic, cook, intel analyst, etc jumping in to a hot DZ or UWE is the same as that same guy jumping in with the 173rd or 82nd ABN (inf) to secure a runway or conduct a force entry into a country where open combat is being conducted, little to none...

Fact is BAC, for the wide majority, is nothing more than a recruiting tool.
 

Brill

SOF Support
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
4,896
Location
221B Baker St
BAC is definitely a tool. :D

I contend, and will continue to do so over many drinks throughout the month, that advanced infil techniques of direct support elements would give the commander more options to employ his close in SIGINT assests. CAVEAT: I am not trying to do the job of a SF soldier or become a cool guy but rather get us the ability to be used to the utmost of our potential.

Check your AKO.

I'll call ya when I get into town on Sunday before the game inshallah!
 

18C4V

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 23, 2006
Messages
281
Location
California
Crip,
You can just tanden jump the guys in. Having a guy whose qualified in MFF is alot different than a guy whose proficient in MFF. Besides why would I want a SOTA guy to get in my stack and then he gets lost under canopy and now I lose that capability of what that SOTA had to offer.
 

surgicalcric

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Nov 3, 2006
Messages
1,411
Location
Here and there
Crip,
You can just tanden jump the guys in. Having a guy whose qualified in MFF is alot different than a guy whose proficient in MFF. Besides why would I want a SOTA guy to get in my stack and then he gets lost under canopy and now I lose that capability of what that SOTA had to offer.

I dont think we would be able to fly two guys plus two rucks under one canopy.... If so that would be one huge 'chute and corresponding reserve.

Not against the idea totally but a valid argument about how not being MFF or CDQC qualified has prevented them from doing their jobs. I would say that MFF/CDQC should be much further down the list of schools they need to attend, with Ranger school being near the forefront. This is especially true if they are talking about being "on patrol" solo.

As for being proficient, we have a difficult enough time maintaining proficiency on the ODA level.

Crip
 

Brill

SOF Support
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
4,896
Location
221B Baker St
I dont think we would be able to fly two guys plus two rucks under one canopy.... If so that would be one huge 'chute and corresponding reserve.

This has been done at a another level: same idea but different folks.

Not against the idea totally but a valid argument about how not being MFF or CDQC qualified has prevented them from doing their jobs. I would say that MFF/CDQC should be much further down the list of schools they need to attend, with Ranger school being near the forefront. This is especially true if they are talking about being "on patrol" solo.

As for being proficient, we have a difficult enough time maintaining proficiency on the ODA level.

Crip

Completely agree. In my opinion, it's about getting the right guys with the right tools in the right spot in order to provide better support...IF needed. ;)
 

Ranger Psych

Ranger
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Messages
3,846
Location
Keeping my hatchet sharp in the PNW
The likeliness of any PAC, LW mechanic, cook, intel analyst, etc jumping in to a hot DZ or UWE is the same as that same guy jumping in with the 173rd or 82nd ABN (inf) to secure a runway or conduct a force entry into a country where open combat is being conducted, little to none...

Fact is BAC, for the wide majority, is nothing more than a recruiting tool.

Beg to differ, things may have changed since I was in, but our PAC NCOIC, DFAC NCOIC, and a couple other non-rifle-primary-weapons-system MOS types were safeties for the jumps into afghanistan and iraq. Couple that with the combat taskings within Bn for the S2, PAC office and DFAC involving rifles and not spoons or pens... Damn near everyone jumped because everyone had an actual combat mission. Gearheads aka mechanics with JM would typically end up safteying then airland with their vehicle(s) and provide oh-shit fixes if necessary on the ground, if not divvy for follow-on stuff.

You strip away BAC from the Regiment's requirement for support guys, that's 2 JM's per bird for safety duties, that will have to be slotted with 11B2V or better which specifically means now you have teams or squads that don't have their combat leaders with them.

No JM experience so I can't say what duties a JM has related to bundle prep for air drops, but once again that would be something that someone without BAC and JM wouldn't be able to do.

I have no MFF experience so I don't know how that works, but I feel comfortable in the operational assumption that you have a JM who's jumping and don't really need a safety since you have no static lines to manage? If it works that way then I concur wholeheartedly on MFF not being a requirement, necessity, or the like. CDQC, perhaps it can/does open up secondary taskings for maintenance intensive stuff related to the dive shop. Congrats you've been to scuba school, here's your patch kit for the zodiacs you only get to use for DZ boat detail? *snicker*

The way things work in the Groups is probably significantly different judging by how you feel combined with common knowledge of the limited amount of actual 'combatants'.
 

surgicalcric

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Nov 3, 2006
Messages
1,411
Location
Here and there
Beg to differ, things may have changed since I was in, but our PAC NCOIC, DFAC NCOIC, and a couple other non-rifle-primary-weapons-system MOS types were safeties for the jumps into afghanistan and iraq. Couple that with the combat taskings within Bn for the S2, PAC office and DFAC involving rifles and not spoons or pens....

I did say majority...

But I see where you are going and agree. However, how many guys from Regiment were tasked with JM duties for those jumps out of your entire SPT slice? And bundles are prepped by riggers who are already ABN qual'd by the nature of their job.

Would love to see what "combat" related duties that S2, PAC, and DFAC SGT were assigned. I am sure somewhere there was a list of Os and Sr NCOs that didnt need to be there other than to get their mustard stain just like in Grenada, Panama, and the 173rd jump into Iraq.

My argument isnt against every Support guy not going to BAC, but more so that there is a disproportionate number who go vs. the number who need to go.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
16,404
Location
Not Afghanistan
In my very humble opinion, not being an MFF guy, I think the Army would be better off going to a static-line, ram-air method of infil for SOF. You could still do a stand off exit and glide to the DZ without the overhead of teaching guys how to freefall, O2, etc.

Failing my Nobel Prize winning idea, you have as Crip mentioned the simple problem of slots for school or you do a tandem insert which is quite possible, but jumping tandem requires more competency than a "normal" jump and also more currency.

This is more rhetorical than anything, but how many MFF/ UWO ODA's out there have all of their personal fully qualified in their infiltration specialty? You will be hard pressed to find an 18A willing to give up school slots for an Enabler over his 18 series.

I'm going to "pick" on the SOT-As for a moment: Until all of your soldiers are Ranger and SERE-C qualified, asking for an advanced infil technique is a bad idea. I've been out for awhile, but I already know how it will be perceived because human nature is constant: "They want the cool guy school instead of the gut check." Everyone knows those are V coded slots when they join a SOT-A. As a commander I would have a hard time justifying any school beyond MOSQ if that soldier wasn't Ranger qualified. Yes, there are indeed exceptions, especially if you're prepping for a deployment, but every SOT-A should go to Ranger school as soon as possible because that is part of being qualified. That "V" isn't there as a polite suggestion.

I'm very pro-SOT-A and if anything I think each BN should have more than 3 because of what they bring to the fight. I think having SOT-A's with an advanced infil technique is a good idea with a lot of merit, but the system is stacked against it and there are more worthwhile dragons to slay.
 

Brill

SOF Support
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
4,896
Location
221B Baker St
For clairification: the 35PX billets in USASOC are V coded for ONE reason: to exclude females from occupying those billets. RSLC is much more appropriate to our job vice Ranger school (but I'm still trying to go).

Wait just a f'ing second: MFF, CDQC, Combat Swimmer, or learning to step off with your left foot then moving your right foot forward is a way to get from point A to point B as has zero to do with anyone's MOS. They are infil (exfil) techniques. Going through a "gut check" school is a BS artificial pre-req. Ranger school is, as I understand it, a leadership school for ANY soldier, some sailors, airmen, and Marines to learn to LEAD subordinates in combat from squad to platoon sized elements. SERE-C is probably the best military training I've ever attended and am shocked that 37 and 38-series soldiers have precedence to attend over 35-series. WTF?

This attitude of "it's never been done before" is exactly the roadblock that hinders progress. The bottom line is that if a Team has had a good experience with a SOT-A they are more likely to "adopt" a particluar SOT-A ensure they are "one" with the ODA as far as their SOPs. Conversely, some Teams have had very bad experiences with 35P soldiers (I myself have too as well) and, as most of you know, one dipshit can screw things up for quite a long time. We still hear ODA's talk about "on the '09 deployment, we had this one retard SOT-A who..." and sadly they're not all talking about the same guy.

I was recently at 10th SFG clinic getting a Ranger physical and there was a female PFC who was getting a MFF physical because she was a rigger who was heading to Yuma for the training. Think she'll ever make a combat jump? Yeah, sure she needs the course to pack chutes; I get it. Just don't try to sell me the keeper of the badge or cool guy school because I'm not buying it and it's a weak argument that clearly indicates a lack of understand of SOT-A capabilities, which is most likely rooted in a poor unclassified briefing (our fault).

Personally, I believe that the advanced infil techniques should be reserved for the most competent and mature direct support soldiers vice every Joe who has a heartbeat. Out of the 12, there should be at least one per team IF the need arises.

I'm not saying that I'm cool because I have a clearance and operate "technical stuff" and you should send me to X school, I'm just advocating to give us the pre-reqs so we can meet the standards to attend.

The infil techniques are no different than having a team who has advanced knowledge of CDMA, UMTS, LTE, or 802.11 technologies. They are all just skillsets that allow us to get there and do our jobs to either support the Team, the BN CO, or to meet National requirements.

Hristos, next you guys are going to tell me we shouldn't attend SOTACC! :D

In closing, I'm not trying to be YOU but I'm trying to support YOU better! If we can go where you go, take care of ourselves medically (within reason), be able to use YOUR weapons systems, and be able to use our radios to support the ODA/SOT-A team, then the ODA could focus on their mission vice always having to play big brother to the SOT-As and look after us. That is my end state. Do-able? I don't know but we cannot stop trying because WE, the ODA/SOT-A team, cannot fail.
 

tigerstr

Verified Military
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
182
Location
ATHENS
I don’t have first hand experience/knowledge on this subject but a simple question arises.

Are there any mission profiles where SOT-A (or other SOF Combat Support) personnel would be required to infil by advanced means, together with a SF Team?

If the answer is yes, then I suppose at least some of them should get those schools, to cover contingencies.

The “how often it happens” is also part of the equation, but in my humble opinion, just for prioritizing school slots

If “how often” becomes a primary argument by itself, then I suppose you would also have to ask if there is a reason for UWO Teams to exist.
 

surgicalcric

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Nov 3, 2006
Messages
1,411
Location
Here and there
...If “how often” becomes a primary argument by itself, then I suppose you would also have to ask if there is a reason for UWO Teams to exist.

Every SF ODA is a "UWO Team."

But with respect to your quoted statement, what makes you think it (UW) isnt ongoing? ;)
 

surgicalcric

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Nov 3, 2006
Messages
1,411
Location
Here and there
For clairification: the 35PX billets in USASOC are V coded for ONE reason: to exclude females from occupying those billets. RSLC is much more appropriate to our job vice Ranger school (but I'm still trying to go).

I disagree about RSLC but am open to hearing how you would benefit more from a course teaching reconnaissance than one that teaches patrolling from the Squad to Company level. The basics of patrolling is what many of us (ODA guys) have found to be lacking in the SOT-As in a tactical setting.

Wait just a f'ing second: MFF, CDQC, Combat Swimmer, or learning to step off with your left foot then moving your right foot forward is a way to get from point A to point B as has zero to do with anyone's MOS. They are infil (exfil) techniques. Going through a "gut check" school is a BS artificial pre-req. Ranger school is, as I understand it, a leadership school for ANY soldier, some sailors, airmen, and Marines to learn to LEAD subordinates in combat from squad to platoon sized elements. SERE-C is probably the best military training I've ever attended and am shocked that 37 and 38-series soldiers have precedence to attend over 35-series. WTF?

Again, RS isnt just a gut check but a 62 course in patrolling. Since you guys lack that in your training pipeline RS is the quickest alternative to get you up to speed on it so that when we talk about crossing linear danger areas we dont have to need to spend time explaining Scroll the Road or Fire Team Blast, etc...

And yes those courses listed are "just" infil techniques however how many of your guys are as interested in CDQC or being in condition to cross-country ski as they are getting to MFF?

This attitude of "it's never been done before" is exactly the roadblock that hinders progress. The bottom line is that if a Team has had a good experience with a SOT-A they are more likely to "adopt" a particluar SOT-A ensure they are "one" with the ODA as far as their SOPs....

Again, this starts with SOT-As being tactically proficient to begin with. cough Ranger School cough

I was recently at 10th SFG clinic getting a Ranger physical and there was a female PFC who was getting a MFF physical because she was a rigger who was heading to Yuma for the training. Think she'll ever make a combat jump? Yeah, sure she needs the course to pack chutes; I get it. Just don't try to sell me the keeper of the badge or cool guy school because I'm not buying it and it's a weak argument that clearly indicates a lack of understand of SOT-A capabilities, which is most likely rooted in a poor unclassified briefing (our fault).

Personally, I believe that the advanced infil techniques should be reserved for the most competent and mature direct support soldiers vice every Joe who has a heartbeat. Out of the 12, there should be at least one per team IF the need arises.

You are correct. Chances are she wont conduct a combat jump, however to be a malfunctions NCO - a requirement to jump - riggers assigned to units who conduct MFF operations need to have them. Now if she was the S1 or S2 you would have a more solid argument.

O, its really not about being the keeper of the cool schools. It is about not tying up the course with guys who may/may not ever utilize the skills presuming they can maintain proficiency. Logistics eventually have to play into this.

And you guys do give some shit poor briefs on your capabilities. One would think as much time as you guys spend in front of a computer you could manipulate ppts to come up with a much better product. lol

I'm not saying that I'm cool because I have a clearance and operate "technical stuff" and you should send me to X school, I'm just advocating to give us the pre-reqs so we can meet the standards to attend.

cough Ranger School cough

Hristos, next you guys are going to tell me we shouldn't attend SOTACC! :D

Once we have one per ODA and ODB have at it...
 

tigerstr

Verified Military
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
182
Location
ATHENS
Every SF ODA is a "UWO Team."

But with respect to your quoted statement, what makes you think it (UW) isnt ongoing? ;)


UWO as in UnderWater Operations :-"

In other words, I meant SCUBA Teams.

I do think UW is ongoing, although I am not sure if this is correct in your "doctrinal" terms. I get a bit mixed up with proper definitions of IW, COIN, FID and UW.
 

Brill

SOF Support
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
4,896
Location
221B Baker St
Crip,

Everything you said are known issues within our community (especially the capabilities brief) and there is a force driving us to improve. So, do you really think Ranger school would be beneficial? :p
 

18C4V

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 23, 2006
Messages
281
Location
California
As a MFF Team daddy, MFF JM, and MFF JM ATIC grad, tandem is the way to bring enablers for MFF operations. It's a TTP that's been proven in combat and I'll leave it at that.

The force does need to move to a better rig and maybe even do what the Marines do for MFF Stand offs which is using a static line to deploy their main. Obviously you still have to do the work up to be proficient under canopy, using NODS, compass, computer, talking on radio and listening to the high man under canopy and that's doing it slick.

As for proficiency, it's like any other ODA in any SF Company, it's up to the detachment leadership to make things happen regardless of their infil skills. I know budget's are tight but there's ways to think outside the box to make things happen. I just had four guys on my team re-enlist in January, three guys who re-enlisted in December, that's seven guys on my team who re-enlisted because of me doing my job as the Zulu. The other teams look like student company with their high turn over rates.

Riggers need to go to MFF school so that they can do IP's or rigger checks on the rigs while we're packing our chutes. Malfunction NCO's are E-5's and above and they have to be riggers. A long time ago, a SOF JM could be a malfunction NCO if you went to the class to be a malfunction NCO. I was one of the last guys who went to that class in 2004.

The active duty teams depending on what Group they belong to can have most of their guys MFF qualified. In the guard, it's a little different since slots are hard to get. I got 11 guys on my team with 8 guys qualed, 1 in school right now and 2 with hard reserved slots so by the end of April, I'll have 11 guys fully qualified. I lost my 12th guy who was qualed who went on to better and bigger things in the Army. ;)

As for Ranger School, go while you can...with the Army downsizing they will go back to how it used to be....combat arms only (I went in 1993 when it was combat arms only).

My last trip, we used alot of enablers. They went on HAF's and GAF's with us, but our mission was mostly DA and Combat FID. We did not allow them to drive, gun...pretty much they stayed with the head shed during movement and when it came to actions on, it was up to the TA who decided when it was ok for them to come inside the house.
 
Top