Thanks for the link. I downloaded it and read it. A bit weak on Air Force specifics in when Air Force established unit types specifically to conduct special operations or warfare. Sort of disappointed the writers used end of European Campaign when the more specific Victory in Europe (VE) Day, May 8, 1945 is the event allowing the reallocation of manpower from Europe to SEA. Same with the Mercy Mission to liberate allied PW in Manchuria and other areas of SE Asia which BTW also included Korea, which commenced effective Victory over Japan (VJ) Day, August 14/15, 1945. Time zone difference is why it's 14 or 15 August.
Curious that while President Kennedy did inherit foreign affairs crisis from previous President, he also domestically inherited a war weary nation in which most of the population no longer supported fighting wars that other countries should fight themselves. The growing need for a more vigorous special warfare capability was also significantly influenced to limit putting US Forces into other countries to fight wars most Americans didn't perceive or recognize as being a war Americans should be fighting.
I'm assuming SOF/SF must already be engaged in, or already planning to implement, some of the capabilities and tasks the authors are recommending. Aside from the historical recap in the first few chapters, much of this seems to be a reiteration of Special Operations known areas of expertise (UW, IW, FID, COIN, DA etc) and a call for an increase in scope.
The global threat assessment was comprehensive and the various ways described to counter those threats made sense. If SOF were to take on many of the roles described in the paper, in many of the localities, I think a number of things would be necessary: more money funneled in to Special Operations, an expansion of SOF/SF manpower strength, and a presidential administration (such as JFK's) committed to expanding the kinds of operations detailed in the paper and a population willing to foot the bill and support it.
I think the key paragraph to me, with regard to future operations, was this:
SOF will also benefit from augmented reality and holographic computer technologies, robotics and autonomous systems, human-machine interface, cybernetics, regenerative medicine, advanced biomedical technology and human performance enhancement, solar power collectors, quantum communication, and electromagnetic pulse-hardened equipment, while other developments might be effective at countering thermal imaging and sophisticated electronic detection. The recent accomplishments of private spacefaring companies Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, launching rocket planes that accelerated to three times the speed of sound, skirting the edge of space before returning to earth, should stir the imagination of those seeking methods for circumventing A2/AD challenges to infiltrate denied territory.
Very interesting read. Thanks for sharing.
(Just slightly disappointed the historical recap made no mention of Marine Corps COIN/FID initiatives in Vietnam.)
(Just slightly disappointed the historical recap made no mention of Marine Corps COIN/FID initiatives in Vietnam.) There are a few should be mentions that the authors omitted. The Air Force's Air Resupply and Communications Service (ARCS) was activated February 23, 1951. Subsequently the 582nd Air Resupply and Communications Wing was established 3 Sep 1952 and activated 24 Sep 1952, Inactivated, 14 Aug 1953. While three wings were activated, only one saw action in Korea.
In April 1953 the Air Staff directed ARCS to limit operations to Air Force only projects, thus ending support for such outside agencies as the CIA. Nine months later Department of the Air Force Letter 322 and Military Air Transport Service General Order 174 deactivated ARCS, effective 1 January 1954. The mission somewhat lingered about at various locations until 1958.
At the start of the Korean War it was The Far East Air Force 21st Troop Carrier Squadron, 315th Air Division flying C-47 Skytrain transports flying Special Air Missions. the 581st flying modified B-29s arrived in Korea during 1951.
None of these Air Force units had jumpmasters, medics or rescue-survival specialists assigned, so they borrowed them (the PJs) as needed from the Air Rescue Squadrons. Another little known fact is the Air Rescue Service until December 1952 operated several survival schools to train aircrew, and its Rescue-Survival Specialists (PJs, Pararescue) which btw also supported providing survival training to the CIA until Air Force Letter 322 put an end to that. This is the same survival course location giving the E&E survival training to the ARSC folks in Idaho. Shumate and others Instructors were on the PJs teams on the Korean peninsula during the Korean War.