Gray Matter Splatter: Chapter One

Here is the first chapter from the upcoming Deckard novel titled “Gray Matter Splatter.”

“I’ll tell you boys what,” the mercenary said with a grin as he told his story. “It smelled so bad that I almost didn’t eat it.”

The room exploded with laughter as his fellow mercenaries roared in approval.

“Anyway,” he continued. “That’s how I got pinkeye for the second time.”

Spinning turbines hummed outside, the buzz growing louder as the engines flared. It was one of two C-27J transport aircraft owned by Samruk International, a Kazakhstan based Private Military Company which the mercenaries worked for. Outside, the C-27J screamed down the airstrip and lifted off, its passenger successfully delivered to the remote outpost in Northern Russia.

The door swung open with a gust of arctic wind that sent playing cards flying off an overturned cardboard box which served as a poker table. In filed a dozen new recruits, big European and American dudes looking to secure their slot on Samruk International’s oil security contract with American gas and oil companies in the arctic.

The mercenaries looked at the new guys with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism. Samruk was a multi-national company, split down the middle between Kazakhs and Westerners. Over the last couple of years they had seen action in Afghanistan, Burma, Mexico, and Syria. Killing was their business and a batch of new guys could prove to be a valuable asset to the team, a team that had taken plenty of casualties over the last few missions. The newcomers could also prove to be incompetent idiots who got their team mates killed.

“Lookit these new jacks,” the mercenary with a sense of humor commented. The men shuffled by to their boss’ office carrying rucksacks, black roller bags full of tactical gear, and OD green aviator kit bags.

“Welcome to the thunderdome assholes.”

* * *

“Send the first one in!” Chuck Rochenoire yelled. The former Navy SEAL sat on a folding chair next to the door. Also sitting with their backs to the wall were other leaders within the Private Military Company. Pat, Aghassi, Frank, Nikita, Kurt, and Sergeant Major Kogan sat in on the informal board which would be the final interview for the new recruits. New hires would begin training, and rejects would be sent packing.

The first recruit came through the door and set his bags down. He was tall with dark hair and a two day beard.

“It says here you served in Italy’s counter-terrorism unit?” Pat, a Delta Force veteran, asked.

“Colonel Moschin,” the Italian responded with the name of his unit.

“You were a member of Task Force 45,” Pat said looking down at the resume in his hands. “Maurizio?”

“Yes. Also deployed to Libya and Sudan.”

“You also list military free fall and sniper operations among your qualifications.”

Pat grilled him on technical and tactical data for a few more minutes before looking across the room at the CEO of Samruk International. He sat behind a desk with a mug of coffee in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other. He nodded his head.

“Arctic, mountain, or winter warfare training?”

“High angle sniper courses and mountain warfare courses that my unit did with the French.”

“Welcome to the team,” Pat said shaking Maurizio’s hand. “You’re on probation for three months, meaning your contract can be cancelled at any time if you fail to perform.”

“I won’t,” the Italian soldier said, clearly happy with their decision.

The next recruit strode in as the Italian departed and stood in from of the desk.

“Name?” Pat asked.

“Jacob.”

The former soldier was built like a bull, but his muscle mass was the type built through long hard endurance exercise and training. His hair was salt and pepper and hands the size of catchers mitts.

“Unit?”

“Jaeger Corps.”

“Danish Special Operations,” Aghassi commented. “Were you on Operation Anaconda?”

“Ja, calling in airstrikes for US forces.”

“I appreciate that.”

“You were there too?” the big Dane turned to look at the former Army intelligence operative.

“I don’t remember,” Aghassi replied with a smile.

“Six rotations to Afghanistan,” Pat said interrupting Aghassi’s stroll down memory lane. “It says here you did clandestine intelligence work out of the Danish embassy in what country exactly?

The questions came hard and fast.

“We are specifically interested in your arctic warfare training,” Aghassi announced towards the end of the interview.

“We did plenty,” Jacob said. “Cross training in Greenland with Danish forces and other exercises in Switzerland, Sweden, and Norway.”

Pat probed for details for another few minutes until the CEO waved him away. Another new mercenary to add to the company rolls.

The next recruit walked in wearing a North Face jacket and Danner mountain boots.

“Nate,” Pat began. “Served in Force Recon until you guys got absorbed into MARSOC, huh? How did that go?”

“It was a total nut roll,” Nate answered. “But we eventually got our shit straightened out.”

“Did you go through Derna Bridge?”

“Later yeah.”

“And MTSC?”

“Yeah, to learn the spooky shit.”

“How many deployments?”

“Nine, including the Indonesia deal.”

“What about arctic warfare training?”

“I did some of the mountain warfare and cold weather training at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in California.”

The Samruk boss took a sip of his coffee and nodded before stubbing out his cigarette in a ashtray.

“Next!” Rochenior yelled.

In walked another towering European.

“You served with Norway’s FSK?”
“Yeah,” the Norwegian guffed.

“Dag is it? It says here you worked in an intelligence cell for your unit for several years. Tell me about that.”

Pat grilled him before asking about arctic warfare experience.

Dag laughed.

“We get plenty of that. A third of our country is inside the arctic circle.”

The CEO nodded and Dag was sent out to sign his contract with the others.

“Bring in the next-” Chucks words were cut off as the next recruited floated into the room. He had shed his cold weather gear once inside, opting for something more comfortable. He wore capri pants and and vibram five soles so that his little toes could stretch out. His shirt had some ironic pop culture reference on it that the other men were to old to even understand.

“Please tell me you are not American,” Pat pleaded.

“Whah-ut? Of course I am,” the new guy replied.

“Jesus. Throw me a bone and tell me you were one of those West Coast SEALs or something?”

Rocheniore’s eyes narrowed.

“I was Special Forces man.”

Pat rested his face in his palm.

“Why are you guys so aggro?”

The boss slammed his coffee mug down on his desk.

“Get the fuck out of my office.”

* * *

Third time.

Third time.

One more time.

Harold wrung his hands as a smile crossed his face. His eyes lit up, stars dancing around in them as he looked at the white building behind the black iron fence. The path was clear and nothing would stop him this time. Not like the last two attempts. This time he was going all the way.

Jump!

Harold sprang into action, launching himself at the fence. Filled with excitement, he bounded over the fence with little difficultly and hit the immaculately manicured green grass on the other side.

Success!

On the last two tries he was stopped on the lawn, brought down and tackled to the ground by the bad men. But not this time. This time he was going all the way, all the way to the big white house where the important man lived.

His legs pumped, propelling him across the open lawn like a gazelle. He hadn’t been this excited in a long time. All the lawyers and all the judges scolding him like a child, calling him crazy, saying mean things about him. This time he would prove them all wrong.

And he did.

Harold sprinted across the lawn like an olympic athlete. He had even surprised himself with his speed, struggling to slow down before he plowed right into the side of the white house. His hand wrapped around the brass door knob. He twisted and the door opened.

Finally!

Harold stepped inside. This was the furthest he had ever made it. Now he just had to go and find the important man. Harold had big ideas about economics and social issues to share with him. Looking around, he found himself inside an empty room filled with chairs. It looked like maybe it was set up for press conferences with a big podium standing on a stage at the end of the room.

But where was he?

Harold walked out into the hall. Pictures and paintings hung on the white walls. Fresh flowers leaned out of a glass vase which sat on a oak table.

Boring!

Harold went down the hall opening doors, finding little of interest until he stepped into what looked like a living room. Overstuffed leather chairs sat around a table, more paintings were hung on the walls. This was where the important man did important things.

A staircase!

Harold smiled. The important man must be upstairs. He walked towards the stairs, his hand caressing the wooden railing as his shoe landed on the first step. That was when the doors burst open and the bad men in black suits rushed him.

Not again!

Harold screamed as the bad men slammed him to the floor.

* * *

“Hey,” Pat said as he stood in the doorway. “What do you think of the new guys?”

“They’re good,” Deckard said. “Except for that one guy.”

“We need all the help we can get with this arctic warfare business. This is a different ballgame than we’re used to.”

“I think we ran a pretty good winter warfare course for our guys,” Deckard added. “But two weeks isn’t enough to understand how to fight in this kind of terrain. The cold and the distances add up to serious issues when it comes to maneuverability.”

Deckard finished his coffee and looked inside his mug as he set it down.

“You want the boys to brew some more coffee?” Pat asked.

“Good idea.”

“How do you like it?”

“The way I like my women.”

“Black and strong?” Pat joked.

“Ground up and in the freezer.”

“Holy shit,” Pat laughed. “It’s good to hear you joking again. You’ve been in the dumps for weeks.”

“Fuck you talking about?”

“Come on man, it’s obvious to everyone that something is bothering you.”

“Yeah,” Deckard trailed off. “I’m just wondering what the hell all of this is for.”

“This oil security contract?”

“No, the whole thing. Our entire careers.”

“That last one was rough for you,” Pat said making a statement rather than asking a question.

“If even our own guys are sinking to these depths then yeah, it makes you wonder what the hell all of this is for,” Deckard said referring to his last mission.

Deckard had gotten on the trail of a very dangerous group of former SEAL Team Six operators known as Liquid Sky. They were cold blooded killers. Samruk International put them out of business once and for all in the killing fields of Syria six months ago. Deckard had recovered from that mission, physically at least.

“You know just as well as I do that those guys are outliers,” Pat warned. “Crazies who should have been put out to pasture a long time ago. That’s not who we are.”

“Then who are we Pat? We’re the guys who spent the last 15 years landing helicopters on rooftops and shooting dirt farmers in the face, as if that is even that difficult. What the fuck for? It hasn’t gotten us anywhere. We haven’t made any progress and there is no victory.”

“That’s bullshit Deckard. Especially in this company. We’ve gone toe to toe with some evil motherfuckers and walked away from it. Including against our own kind. I know you didn’t expect a ticker tape parade.”

“Of course not, but…” Deckard trailed off.

“You of all people should know better Deckard. With Samruk International we took no shit. We got right down in the mud with the nastiest people out there and gave them the business. Stop this self loathing bullshit. You’re not a pussy so don’t act like one.”

“I’m not throwing in the towel Pat, it’s just that…”

“What?”

“I’ve got nothing left to believe in.”

* * *

Jake Reynolds leaned back in his seat, thinking that it was going to be a long night. These types of trips didn’t happen to often, but they were the entire purpose for which the 25-year-old former Ranger had been employed. Another nine contractors sat with him in the back of the truck’s cargo compartment. They had served in various Special Operations units, a few of them were still in 19th or 20th Group, the Special Forces National Guard components.

Highway 70 was long and lonely at three in the morning, which was exactly why the convoy was traveling on it. Five blacked out SUV’s surrounded a tractor trailer truck that cruised along just over the speed limit. The Department of Energy vehicles only traveled in the dead of night when transporting highly sensitive cargo. Just behind the convoy, and several hundred feet up in the air, a little bird helicopter provided overwatch.

The contractors were locked in the back of the truck with the cargo, the last and final line of defense. They wore OD green flight suits, body armor, and had HK 416 rifles slung around their necks. The reality of their job was that it was boring as hell. Mostly just qualifying out on the range with the occasional long distance transport job. Despite the mundane nature of the job, the cargo was so sensitive that the US government hired the best to ensure its safety.

The highway they were on cut straight through the state of Missouri as they drove from one secure DOE facility to the next. The ex-Ranger chugged some more water and sat patiently. It was times like this he missed the excitement of rolling out on midnight raids with 2nd Ranger Battalion.

There was no way he could have known that tonight would be hairiest mission of his career.

Jake was rocked back in his seat as the entire vehicle shook, his rifle swinging up and smacking him in the face, opening a ragged cut above his eyebrow.

Outside, the entire highway split into pieces and rose up into the air. The two SUV’s in the lead floated into the night like matchbox cars, turning side ways and then upside down before gravity could inevitably bring them back down to the ground. The tractor trailer driver slammed on the brakes then jerked the wheel in a desperate attempt to prevent the truck from jack knifing.

Several more Improvised Explosive Devices were detonated, taking out two more SUV’s. The remaining escort vehicle slid to a stop as the first two that had been propelled into the air crashed back down in a rain of debris. The doors on the surviving SUV were flung open and more contractors in OD flight suits jumped out, just as a linear ambush along the side of the road initiated with fully automatic fire.

The pilot of the little bird pulled hard on the stick, bringing the agile little helicopter back around on the convoy. The two contractors riding on the external pods attached to the side of the little bird spotted the muzzle flashes coming from the treeline, but the pilots could not identify any white-hot thermal signatures on their Forward Looking Infra-Red system.

The pilot clicked his mic to transmit over their secure communications net.

“Prairie Fire, I say again, Prairie Fire!”

The distress code was the final word that the pilot was able to get out before a SA-7 surface to air missile slammed into the side of the helicopter. The little bird was knocked out of the air and crashed into the forest on the opposite side of the highway in a brilliant ball of red and yellow fire.

In the back of the tractor trailer, Jake wiped at his forehead and tried to blink blood out of his eyes. As he reached down and undid his seatbelt, he realized that he couldn’t hear anything. His ears were ringing, but he wasn’t sure why.

The other contractors were coughing and struggling with their seat belts. A few of them fell out of their seats as they tried to stand. Jake struggled to his feet and jacked a round into the chamber of his HK rifle.

Over the ringing in his ears, he could now make out the staccato bursts of gunfire from outside. Rounds were thudding into the side of the truck. Thankfully, the armored cargo compartment kept them safe, at least for the time being.

Their team leader, a retired Sergeant Major, was already barking orders as the other contractors were racking rounds into the chambers of their rifles. He was pointing to the door at the end of the compartment.

Even though he couldn’t hear him, the message was clear to Jake.

They were the last line of defense.

* * *

Deckard set down his second cup of coffee and opened his laptop computer. The reality of running a Private Military Company was that there was a lot of mundane bullshit to take care. Samruk International had expended a lot of human and finance capital lately. He had been reduced to selling off two of the company’s mammoth An-125 cargo jets. Now they only had the one An-125 and two C-27J’s left in their aviation wing. At least the C-27’s had been bought dirt cheap. The U.S. Air Force decided they didn’t want them anymore after wasting millions of tax payer dollars.

They had taken the oil security contract in the arctic to keep the revenue coming in. Maintaining a small private army wasn’t cheap and this wasn’t the way most companies did business, usually they just hired independent contractors from job to job. Deckard was instead running a de facto military unit and he wanted to keep his team intact.

However, as it turned out there could be many interesting tasks rolled up under a oil security contract. Not only could those tasks include static security around off-shore oil rigs, but also involve training other security personnel, and maybe even killing off those would would threaten the business interests of said oil companies. Threats like the Russian mafia who had recently been acting like arctic pirates.

Deckard’s office door swung open again. Rocheniore looked up at him with a grin.

“We got the green light.”

“No shit?”

“No shit.”

“Everything is prepped and pre-staged, correct?”

“You know it.”

Now it was Deckard’s turn to smile.

“Spin the boys up.”

The giant black man turned around in the doorway.

“DROP SOCKS, GRAB COCKS. IT’S A GO!”

Deckard flung open his gear bag and began donning his kit. The first layer was thermal clothing, then a bare plate carrier which rode underneath his heavy winter jacket. Over his clothes he wore the new Samruk uniform for their arctic contract, a winter camouflage pattern made by PenCott called Snow Drift. Finally, a chest rig loaded with ammunition and grenades went over his chest. Picking up his AK-103 rifle, Deckard walked out into the the warehouse.

About eighty mercenaries were going through the same routine, kitting up for combat. The mission had been planned and re-planned for weeks. They were just waiting on approval from the Russian government. Mob ties ran deep in the halls of power and getting the political ducks in a row took some time. At the end of the day it was all about business and the pirates were costing both the government and private industry millions of dollars in extortion fees. Someone had finally gotten fed up.

Using a Private Military Company that had a Kazakh face rather than an American one made the job more politically acceptable, and kept the Russia military out of the firing line when things went pear shaped, which of course they always did.

“What about the new guys?” Kurt Jager asked as he spotted Deckard walking out of the office. The former GSG-9 commando spoke flawless English.

“Take them along. It will be on the job training. Keep them with the security elements so they can observe how we do things without getting them overly involved on their first op.”

“Got it.”

Deckard slung his rifle and pulled a white watch cap over his head. Pushing open the door, he pulled his hood up as well. The sunlight stung his eyes. As outlined in the stipulations of their contract, Samruk International was based out of a unused warehouse leased to house oil drilling equipment, and the occasional private army.

The wind swept snow across the desolate coast line, the cold already stinging Deckard’s cheeks. By the end of this deployment he knew they would all be sporting lumberjack beards just to try to keep themselves a little bit warmer.

A few hundred meters away was their new ride. It was a monstrosity of a ship, a chimera that never should have existed, but did thanks to a failed U.S. Navy and Marine Corps experiment gone awry. But just like the C-27J airplane, Deckard saw an opportunity to purchase some hardware that fit his needs and at bargain basement prices.

Renamed the Carrickfergus, the ship was a one of a kind. Sharing the characteristics of both a barge and a catamaran, the ship rested on two massive pontoons with the bridge of the ship, housing the captain’s control center, joining the double hulled design. On top of each hull were two passenger compartments.

It was big, it was blue, it was ugly, and it wasn’t even that fast.

But it was an ice breaker with a cargo deck which lowered from the center which accommodated beach landings. During travel, the deck would be raised and then lowered again along with a ramp when the vehicles onboard were ready to drive up onto the shore. Currently, the deck was lowered and waiting to take on the passengers. Under the tarps were eight Iveco assault vehicles, six snow mobiles, a few kayaks, two Zodiac boats, and a small connex container filled with ammunition.

“Let’s go!” Frank yelled, ushering the mercenaries out the door. The former Ranger was about as wide as he was tall and had been with the company since the beginning.

The Kazakh mercenaries were led out in a orderly fashion by one of the two platoon Sergeants, named Fedorchenko. He had started with Samruk as a Corporal after being recruited from a Kazakh special police unit. Since that time he had more than proved his metal. He had been leading a platoon since Mexico and had done an outstanding job.

Integrated into the platoons of Kazakhs were Westerners from units as diverse as Polish GROM and the French Foreign Legion. Initially, they had been the trainers and mentors but now they were assaulters fighting alongside their former students who were every bit as good as they were.

The mercenaries boarded the Carrickfergus and began climbing up to the passenger compartments. Inside, the seats had been torn out and the space converted for military purposes. Gear and weapons were everywhere, white boards with task lists scribbled on them were hung on the walls, and the soldier’s individual equipment, bags, and boxes of military rations were neatly stacked on plywood shelves that they had constructed. The ship was set up not just as a means of transportation but also to act as a mobile staging ground.

Designed to ferry 130 passengers, there was enough room for two platoons of mercenaries, plus Samruk’s intelligence, mortar, recce, and headquarters sections but it was still cramped inside. Deckard walked up the ramp and climbed up the ladder to the bridge as the captain began raising the deck and preparing to get underway.

The ship was a hulking beast at 59 meters long and looked like it had been cobbled together from the left over parts of other ships. As Deckard reached the bridge, the twin motors that powered the hydrolic system which lifted the deck switched off as it was locked into place. Walking inside the helm, he was confronted with the dizzying array of dials and instruments on several consoles.

The old salt that captained the Carrickfergus stood behind the wheel. He wore a battered old sweater from which his beer belly swelled out from under, revealing a stained white t-shirt underneath. His beard was almost fully gray and his shoes were a beat up pair of loafers.

“Hey Deck!” he exclaimed. “Glad you could make it.”

“Thanks Otter.”

They had been calling him by his sea name long enough that no one really remembered what the real name was on his file anymore.

“Time to go kill some commies, huh?”

“Organized criminals,” Deckard carefully corrected.

“Same difference,” Otter said as he grabbed the wheel with one hand. In the other was a coffee mug which looked like it hadn’t been washed in years. Unlike Deckard’s coffee, Otter’s was always spiked with something a little more fun.

“Can you get us to the beach landing zone without killing us.”

“We’ll find out,” he chuckled.

The four Diesel-fueled engines churned and the Carrickfergus began reversing out into the icy waters. This close to shore, there wasn’t much ice to cut through this time of year, but they would still be traveling relatively slowly. The ship’s top speed was only 20 knots. By comparison, most commercial shipping vessels traveled at 25 knots, although most deliberately slowed to 20 to keep fuel consumption down.

Deckard looked out to sea and was greeted with a sight that would have been impossible just a few years ago. A half dozen commercial cargo ships loaded with connex containers, or sitting low in the water because they were filled with oil, could be seen in the arctic sea with the naked eye as he swept his gaze across the ocean.

With polar ice melting, a new trans-actic sea route had been opened. The opening of the North-East passage in the spring in summer months in Russia was already saving European companies billions of dollars and cutting days off their shipping times to Asia. The opening of the North West passage in northern Canada was having a similar effect for commercial shipping. More than that, the melting ice was also opening up the region to other commercial ventures. From oil drilling to the mining of rare earth minerals, the arctic circle was now ripe for the taking.

But with that came arctic sovereignty disputes, and the further militarization of the arctic as great powers like Russia and the United States eyed each other across their frozen shores. Of course, with the advent of commercial interests in the arctic, along came crime. That was what brought Samruk International to the arctic in the first place.

But what really shifted commercial maritime traffic up into the arctic was ISIS. Once the Jihadists had launched terrorist operations around the Suez Canal, sinking several ships, the insurance premiums for ships traveling through the canal sky rocketed. Churning through the arctic was cheaper in more ways than one.

Looking through the window to the deck below, Deckard could already see the mercenaries throwing the tarps off their vehicles and mounting PKM machine guns in swing arm mounts.

“How long?”

Otter snorted.

“I’ll get you there by EENT,” he said referring to End of Evening Nautical Twilight.

He could have just said at dusk, but the U.S. Navy has a way of institutionalizing sailors.

Deckard ran the numbers in his head.

“It’s almost too good to be true.”

* * *

Seventy Special Forces commandos assembled at the tarmac kitted up for war.

A C-17 waited for them in the distance, surrounded by the airfield’s blue lights. The turbine engines hummed as the pilots went through their pre-flight check list as quickly as possible.

“Gather around,” Major Thomas shouted. “We’ll do this right here.”

The C/1/10 CIF commander got the orders just an hour ago but the Commanders-In-Extremis Force was designed for no-notice deployments. The Green Berets belonged to a specialized direct action company within 10th Special Forces Group. While Special Forces soldiers specialized in training foreign troops and conducting unconventional warfare, the CIF’s sole purpose in life was counter-terrorism.

“You’ve probably figured out by now that our mission training the Croatian counter-terrorism unit is on hold until further notice. The latest reports out of Nairobi are that the U.S. embassy is under siege. At least half of the compound is now in enemy hands. Intel is shit but what else is new. No one knows if it is Al-Shabaab, Al-Hijra, or someone new to the game. After we hit the ground, the Kenyan government has already cleared the way for us to drive straight to the embassy grounds. We’ll clear the exterior of the embassy and secure the area. Flight time is seven hours and the boys from Bragg should be just a hour behind us.”

The multi-cam clad Special Forces soldiers understood the mission immediately. They had trained for it countless times, but had never gotten the call.

Until now.

Once they secured the perimeter of the embassy, Delta Force would breach the buildings and conduct the hostage rescue mission.

“Size, strength, and disposition of enemy forces?” one of the Team Sergeants asked.

“We’re expecting close to a hundred crows,” the Major said using their internal code word for enemy combatants. “Expect them to be armed with AK-47’s, RPGs, and PKMs. Remember that the bad guys in this AO have a history of using suicide vests. The IED threat is assessed as high. Diplomatic Security Services and the contractors pulling static security were quickly overwhelmed so that should tell you something. CNN is reporting small arms fire and several explosions.”

“CNN is reporting?” one of the Weapons Sergeants asked.

“You know the deal,” the CIF commander replied. “We’re going in blind to act as the eyes and ears for the main effort.”

“Roger that.”

The Major looked down at his watch.

“We’re wheels up in fifteen, you know what to do.”

The CIF team members turned around and jogged over to the aircraft. Their plate carriers bounced slightly with each step. Getting closer, they pulled on their Peltor headsets and snapped OpsCore helmets over their heads. They had already received their basic load of ammunition and explosives. The gun trucks were already tied down inside the plane with ratchet straps.

As the CIF team took sat down in the red seats lining the inner fuselage of the C-17, Major Thomas went over to the loadie. The flight crew member wore a khaki flight suit and helmet with a long black wire linking his headset into the aircraft’s comms system.

“We’re up!” the commander yelled over the whining engines.

The loadie nodded and clicked on his mic, saying a few words to the pilots. The flight crew then walked down the ramp and began flipping up the two flaps that reached down from the ramp to the tarmac.

Major Thomas took an empty seat next to the rear of the aircraft and buckled himself in. His Executive Officer was sitting next to him and immediately started asking more questions about the mission.

“Hey, what the fuck!” one of the loadies yelled, his voice drowned out by the engines.

A black clad man suddenly scrambled up the ramp of the aircraft and into the interior.

Major Thomas looked up at the interloper with a frown. He held something in his hand.

“ALLLAAAAH AKBAAAR!”

* * *

The President looked away from the screen as a half dozen Secret Service agents burst into the war room and slammed the door shut behind him.

“We have a situation Mr. President,” one of them announced.

“What the hell is going on?”

“Sir,” one of his aides said trying to get his attention. “We need-”

“Perimeter breach,” one of the agents said.

“Where is-”

“Sir!” the aide screamed. “We need your authorization!”

The President swung around angrily to face the aide.

“Sir, F16s are on station.”

The President looked up at the black and white image displayed on the screen at the end of the room. It showed a tractor trailer stopped in the middle of a highway. White thermal images surrounded the truck and a bright glow came from the rear doors. Apparently someone was trying to burn their way inside with a blow torch.

“Do it,” the President ordered. “Now someone tell me why we are on lockdown?”

An officer sitting at the other end of the table wearing a blue Air Force uniform picked up a phone and relayed the President’s authorization.

“The situation is still developing Mr. President.” One of the Secret Service men said. “We were told that someone breached the White House.”

“Another fence jumper? Are you fucking kidding me?”

The President had deep lines around the corners of his eyes and a lot more gray hair than when he had taken office seven years prior. A administration plagued with scandals and an indecisive Congress could do that to any President.

Another phone rang, and the President’s aide picked it up.

“The suspect has already been apprehended sir, but we can’t take any chances.”

“This is the third time this month,” the President complained. “What the hell is the problem with-”

All eyes in the room suddenly shot back towards the screen. The tractor trailer disappeared in a massive gray cloud. The 2,000 pound Joint Direct Air Munition vaporized the truck, and everyone except the Secret Service agents knew that ten good men had been vaporized with it. It was all part of the protocol, but that didn’t make it any easier.

“It will be reported as an eighteen car pile up in the news tomorrow,” a Department of Homeland Security representative said breaking the silence. “We’ll say a chemical spill was involved to explain the clean up crews.”

“Jesus,” the President said under his breath.

“The truth is that this section of Highway 70 will be unusable for decades. The JDAM will have spread radioactive material for several kilometers. Destroying it like this creates an even bigger radioactive mess than an actual detonation,” the DHS rep said ominously.

“We just got hit in Croatia,” an Army General said as he slammed down his phone. “The entire CIF team got taken out on a airfield in Zagreb.”

“What happened?”

“We don’t know yet.”

The aide sitting next to the President set down his phone softly.

“Mr. President, a situation is developing in the arctic.”

“I don’t think we have time for that right now.”

“I agree,” the aide said, leaning on his chair closer to the President. “Sir, it is now very clear.”

“What is that,” the President said, his eyes still fixated on the smoking hole in the middle of Highway 70.

“Someone just declared war on America.”

“Who?”

“We don’t know.”

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Meet the new Recruits of Samruk International in the newest Deckard Novel, “Gray Matter Splatter”

“Send the first one in!” Chuck Rochenoire yelled. The former Navy SEAL sat on a folding chair next to the door. Also sitting with their backs to the wall were other leaders within the Private Military Company. Pat, Aghassi, Frank, Nikita, Kurt, and Sergeant Major Kogan sat in on the informal board which would be the final interview for the new recruits. New hires would begin training, and rejects would be sent packing.

The first recruit came through the door and set his bags down. He was tall with dark hair and a two day beard.

“It says here you served in Italy’s counter-terrorism unit?” Pat, a Delta Force veteran, asked.

“Colonel Moschin,” the Italian responded with the name of his unit.

“You were a member of Task Force 45,” Pat said looking down at the resume in his hands. “Maurizio?”

“Yes. Also deployed to Libya and Sudan.”

“You also list military free fall and sniper operations among your qualifications.”

Pat grilled him on technical and tactical data for a few more minutes before looking across the room at the CEO of Samruk International. He sat behind a desk with a mug of coffee in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other. He nodded his head.

“Arctic, mountain, or winter warfare training?”

“High angle sniper courses and mountain warfare courses that my unit did with the French.”

“Welcome to the team,” Pat said shaking Maurizio’s hand. “You’re on probation for three months, meaning your contract can be cancelled at any time if you fail to perform.”

“I won’t,” the Italian soldier said, clearly happy with their decision.

The next recruit strode in as the Italian departed and stood in from of the desk.

“Name?” Pat asked.

“Jacob.”

The former soldier was built like a bull, but his muscle mass was the type built through long hard endurance exercise and training. His hair was salt and pepper and hands the size of catchers mitts.

“Unit?”

“Jaeger Corps.”

“Danish Special Operations,” Aghassi commented. “Were you on Operation Anaconda?”

“Ja, calling in airstrikes for US forces.”

“I appreciate that.”

“You were there too?” the big Dane turned to look at the former JSOC spy.

“I don’t remember,” Aghassi replied with a smile.

“Six rotations to Afghanistan,” Pat said interrupting Aghassi’s stroll down memory lane. “It says here you did clandestine intelligence work out of the Danish embassy in what country exactly?

The questions came hard and fast.

“We are specifically interested in your arctic warfare training,” Aghassi announced towards the end of the interview.

“We did plenty,” Jacob said. “Cross training in Greenland with Danish forces and other exercises in Switzerland, Sweden, and Norway.”

Pat probed for details for another fives minutes until the CEO waved him away. Another new mercenary to add to the company rolls.

The next recruit walked in wearing a North Face jacket and Danner mountain boots.

“Nate,” Pat began. “Served in Force Recon until you guys got absorbed into MARSOC, huh? How did that go?”

“It was a total nut roll,” Nate answered. “But we eventually got our shit straightened out.”

“Did you go through Derna Bridge?”

“Later yeah.”

“And MTSC?”

“Yeah, for tradecraft and TTL.”

“How many deployments?”

“Nine, including the Indonesia deal.”

“What about arctic warfare training?”

“I did some of the mountain warfare and cold weather training at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in California.”

The Samruk boss took a sip of his coffee and nodded before stubbing out his cigarette in a ashtray.

“Next!” Rochenior yelled.

In walked another towering European.

“You served with Norway’s FSK?”
“Yeah,” the Norwegian guffed.

“Dag is it? It says here you worked in an intelligence cell for your unit for several years. Tell me about that.”

Pat grilled him for a few minutes before asking about arctic warfare experience.

Dag laughed.

“We get plenty of that. A large portion of our country is inside the arctic circle.”

The CEO nodded and Dag was sent out to sign his contract with the others.

“Bring in the next-” Chucks words were cut off as the next recruited floated into the room. He had shed his cold weather gear once inside, opting for something more comfortable. He wore capri pants and and vibram five soles so that his little toes could stretch out. His shirt had some ironic pop culture reference on it that the other men were to old to even understand.

“Please tell me you are not American,” Pat pleaded.

“Whah-ut? Of course I am,” the new guy replied.

“Jesus. Throw me a bone and tell me you were one of those West Coast SEALs or something?”

Rocheniore’s eyes narrowed.

“I was SF man.”

Pat rested his face in his palm.

“Why are you guys so aggro man?”

The boss slammed his coffee mug down on his desk.

“Get the fuck out of my office.”

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South African Contractors in Nigeria

Apologies for not paying as much attention to this blog as I usually do.  I’ll have some cool announcements coming up in the future but for now I want to pass on some recent work I’ve done concerning the war against Boko Haram in Nigeria.  In a series of six articles about the South African contractors and the Nigerian strike force that took the fight to Boko Haram, I was able to interview Eeben Barlow, the Chairman of STTEP.

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Part One:

In the dead of night, close to 400 Filipino police commandos comprising the country’s Special Action Force (SAF) moved into position. Their target: Malaysian national Zulkifli bin Hir, aka “Marwan.” A hardcore member of Indonesia’s Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), Marwan was believed killed in 2012 by what was most likely a drone strike coordinated with U.S. forces.

Read more: http://sofrep.com//sofrep.com/39753/u-s-special-forces-trained-filipino-special-action-force-kills-jemaah-islamiyah-leader/#ixzz3Y9H8Wld7

Part Two:

STTEP, a private military company (PMC) on the ground in Nigeria, was asked for assistance and was subcontracted to the Nigerian government by a primary contractor after they’d heard good things about the company’s reputation. Arrangements like this are fraught with difficulties, as disagreements can and do arise between the primary contractors, the subcontractor, and the host nation. This relationship has proven fruitful thus far, however; recent battlefield successes speak for themselves.

Read more: http://sofrep.com//sofrep.com/40623/eeben-barlow-speaks-pt-2-development-nigerian-strike-force/#ixzz3Y9Qm33sK

Part Three:

When asked about the tactics that STTEP mentors their Nigerian counterparts to use, Eeben Barlow, the company’s chairman, replied, “The strike force was never intended to hold ground. Instead, it operated on the principle of relentless offensive action.” Barlow has previously indicated that this tactic is key to waging an effective counterinsurgency.

Read more: http://sofrep.com//sofrep.com/40633/eeben-barlow-speaks-pt-3-tactics-used-destroy-boko-haram/#ixzz3Y9QxP8Pr

Part Four:

“Some in the media like to refer to us as ‘racists’ or ‘apartheid soldiers’ with little knowledge of our organization,” Barlow says. “We are primarily white, black, and brown Africans who reside on this continent and are accepted as such by African governments—but as usual, us palefaces are outnumbered in the company.” Although seldom stated in the press, Executive Outcomes primarily hired black Africans, as does STTEP.

Read more: http://sofrep.com//sofrep.com/40675/eeben-barlow-speaks-pt-4-rejecting-racial-narrative/#ixzz3Y9R4o98E

Part Five:

While there were plenty of motivating factors behind Nigeria’s conflict, there were also external ones such as the Libyan Civil War and the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. As the Nigerian Army, with the help of South African contractors, put Boko Haram on the ropes, Abubakr Shekau pledged his allegiance to ISIS. Interestingly, there is also a power struggle within two factions of Al-Shabab in Somalia. One faction wants to remain aligned with al-Qaeda while the other wants to pledge allegiance to ISIS.

Read more: http://sofrep.com//sofrep.com/40700/eeben-barlow-speaks-pt-5-external-drivers-nigerias-war/#ixzz3Y9RCiUPE

Part Six:

The South African contractors of STTEP trained and served alongside the Nigerian Strike Force in combat against Boko Haram starting in January of 2015, putting a significant dent in the terrorist organization and helping to pave the way for Nigerians trapped behind enemy lines to participate in democratic elections in late March. With their three-month contract expiring, STTEP made a controlled withdrawal from Nigeria and had all of their employees returned home by late March.

Read more: http://sofrep.com//sofrep.com/40865/eeben-barlow-speaks-pt-6-south-african-contractors-withdrawal-nigeria/#ixzz3Y9RLBcng

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A Nightmare Called Syria

Syria

As the SUV bounced down the rocky slope towards the Tigris river, the truck’s headlights illuminated a small inflatable boat churning through the current towards us.  I dumped my bags on the ground and waited for my turn to make the clandestine river crossing from Iraqi Kurdistan into the newly liberated region of Kurdish Syria called Rojava.

I was surrounded by teenage kids, the next generation of Kurdish freedom fighters.  The previous generation had been wiped out by the ISIS meat grinder in places like Rabbia, Jezza, and Kobani.  Hardcore guerrillas who had fought in the Turkish mountains for 12 years were sent to Rojava and killed within a year.  Rojava is running out of fighters and ISIS, referred to as the Daash, are not.  The teenagers are being sent up the front to fight and die for a country which does not yet exist.

These boy soldiers are not conscripted.  They volunteered to fight.

Climbing into the raft, I crossed the river and found myself in a surreal new land.  Some of this land had only been ridden of Daash a month or two prior.  This region was now a part of Rojava, a place that did not really exist as an idea much less as a country until a few years ago as the Syria civil war opened up a front for Kurdish nationalism in what had been northern Syria.

This war is nothing like what I saw in Iraq in 2005 or 2009.  The combat is conventional, armed forces squared off in mostly urban centers where they have reached stalemates.  This has become a status quo battlefield, occasionally broken by US airstrikes or bold offensives.  Urban combat is vicious and often house to house.  Snipers and heavy machine guns duel with each other and casualty rates are astronomically high on both sides.

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Driving down the road with a YPG (People’s Protection Unit) commander the next morning, he comments on the school children smiling and waving at him from the streets.

“The people here love us,” he says referring to the YPG.  “Because we fought for every single inch of this.”

In Rojava, Muslims, Christians, Yezidi, and the socialists of YPG and YPJ co-exist with each other peacefully.  They also fight a ruthless war against the Daash, a war in which female snipers wearing US Marine Corps camouflage kill Daash fighters who refuse to die as they have been injecting a combination of heroin and morphine.  After racking up impressive kill counts they hang up their Dragonov rifles to read books about philosophy and politics.

They are fighting and dying for a dream called Rojava, an ancient dream of Kurdish autonomy blended with socialist ideology.

The sacrifices the Kurds are making for Rojava is impossible to calculate and as much as it hurts to says this, I’m not sure if they can win.

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Latest Work

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Ukraine

SOFREP recently had the opportunity to ask a few questions of a friend who was just returned from Ukraine. As I’ve written before, it is very difficult to discern what is actually happening amongst the chaos and confusion of the battlefield. Throw some war-time propaganda into the mix and it can become almost impossible to discern reality. Thankfully, we were able to interview a neutral third party who actually met with Ukrainians to find out what is going on.

 
ISIS and American hostages
 
The recent propaganda film featuring the murder of journalist James Foley by a British ISIS fighter, also carried the follow on threat to murder another freelance journalist named Steven Sotloff.  Today video has emerged that Sotloff has now been beheaded, and the third captive threatened is a former British soldier who does security work for aid organizations, David Cawthorne Haines.  The pattern seems to be that every two weeks another hostage is executed.
 
PKK vs. ISIS in Northern Iraq
 
Crossing back across friendly lines can be a tricky proposition in the middle ISIS-made warzone.

“Can you have your commander write you a letter to help you get through the check points?”

“He’s dead.”

“What?”

“He’s dead, Jack.”

“What about your Squad Leader?”

“He’s dead too.”

“Are you kidding me?  There must be some officer around there somewhere.”

“Not really.  They died or ran away.”

“Dude, are you in charge now?”

“Pretty much.”

This was the conversation I had today with a friend fighting alongside the PKK in their war against ISIS in North West Iraq.  The last time we spoke was several days ago.  He filled me in on what had happened since then.  About three hours after our conversation his position was hit by ISIS.  Once again they were outnumbered and outgunned.  ISIS had fifty jihadist and three or four DShK 14.5 machine guns assembled around their redoubt in a L-shaped formation that rained fire down on them all night.  The PKK position was occupied by ten fighters, including my contact, who were armed with one DShK, one PKM, their Kalashnakovs.

 
My appearance on Sun News:
 
Yesterday I did a segment on Sun News about Al-Baghdadi, westerners going to fight for ISIS, and how to build a coalition that can defeat them.  Check it out on Sun News.
Record Setting South African Special Forces Sniper Shot:
 
Last year a South African Special Forces operator chalked up the 6th longest range kill in history against M23 rebels in the Congo, but with the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) remaining quiet, the story has not been told until now.
 
Horse Soldier Horror in NYC:
 
Commemorated by General Muholland and Vice President Joe Biden on Veteran’s Day in 2011, the horse soldier memorial is a larger than life bronze representation of an iconic image from the early days of the War on Terror. The actual name of the statue is “America’s Response” in reference to the US Special Forces soldiers who were the first in to fight in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. Some of these soldiers even rode into combat against the Taliban on horseback. Although I never rode horseback in Afghanistan and missed the initial invasion, I later served in the same unit as these men and was fortunate to meet and work with some of them.
 
Al-Baghdadi Does Not Exist
 
The media is currently in a frenzy about the leadership of ISIS, hailing Al-Baghdadi as the new Bin Laden, the next Public Enemy #1 for them to write about and report on as the next 21st Century boogyman. The problem is, there is no Al-Baghdadi. As most media reports confirm themselves, the details of this guy are iffy at best. This article advances the alternative thesis that Al-Baghdadi is not an actual biological individual but rather an immortal idea.
 
Back when Special Operations forces were conducting nightly raids in Iraq, a number of individuals were fingered as being a terrorist leader named “Al-Baghdadi” but they turned out to be bogus claims, little more than whispers in the desert night. Commanders wrote off the mistakes and figured they had the wrong guy so they kept looking, rather than concluding that this person was more of a myth than a man. While HUMINT sources blabbed about Al-Baghdadi there was never any SIGINT or other technical sources which confirmed his existence.
 
Yezidi Protest the UN for Inaction
 
Today at 10AM a group of about forty Iraqi immigrants belonging to the Yezidi religious minority protested in front of the United Nations building in Manhattan.  Among them was my friend Dakheel who I worked with when he was my interpreter in Iraq back in 2009.  At the time, I remember hanging around the camp fire at night with Dakheel talking about the future of Iraq.  We both agreed that after the United States pulled out of the country that things would get pretty bad.  We were already dealing with what was then called ISI, the Islamic State of Iraq, which was a group of hard core terrorists.  Dakheel told me at the time that there was no future for Iraq and that he was starting the process to immigrate to America with his wife and children.  He got his visa and I’m glad he did.
 
Non-Violent Unconventional Warfare
 
US Special Forces has some fairly good Unconventional Warfare doctrine to work from as a base.  The concept of using a small 12-man team to infiltrate deep behind enemy lines, train guerrilla forces, and launch of unconventional campaign is a sound one, but one that is only now beginning to be updated, an endeavor which took far too long.  Special Forces is making some positive steps in the direction of modernizing their approach to Unconventional Warfare but they still have a long way to go.  Until Title 10/50 disputes are resolved, Special Forces will never truly conduct covert operations unless they are done so under the auspices of the CIA.  With new UW capabilities left in legal limbo, it may only be a matter of time before some bean counter in the Pentagon, or even within SOCOM, realizes they are spending money on a shiny new toy whose only purpose is to gather dust in garrison and suck up training resources at the Special Warfare Center.
 
Counter-Insurgency in Ferguson
 
A few years ago I had a New Jersey cop who was deployed as a Civil Affairs soldier tell me about how police officers approach counter-insurgency differently than guys who are career soldiers.  While soldiers have a propensity towards going straight towards an escalation of force, police officers are used to walking around bad neighborhoods and engaging with the locals.  While this is not a rule, there is some truth to it.  A soldier who has been doing nothing but Infantry training his entire career will be missing a vital piece of the Counter-Insurgency puzzle by comparison to someone else with experience as a beat cop.

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Coming Soon: Deckard Audio Books!

I get asked again and again if my novels are available as audiobooks.  Well, now your wildest dreams have come true!  All three Deckard novels will be produced and narrated as audio books in the near future.  This week I signed a deal with Beacon Audiobooks and the official announcement has been made on Beacon’s website so go check it out.  No release dates or names of any narrators attached to this project yet, but I will keep you guys up to date!  Thanks to Beacon and all the readers out there who kept asking for this to happen.

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Foreign Special Operations Roundup, News, and Future projects

One of my favorite subjects to research is foreign Special Operations units.  Many of our allied SOF units are very professional and I think much more proficient than we often give them credit for.  Some of them have literally been fighting and dying alongside American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, a fact that the American public is painfully unaware of.  One of my main goals is to cut through the misinformation and bring some of the realities of foreign SOF to American readers.

This includes a two-pronged approach.  First, writing articles about these units with as much insight as I’m able to dig up via my sources and research.  Second, actually buying the foreign rights to books written by and about foreign SOF and having them published in America.  The current project that I’m working on is Jaeger: At War with the Elite by Thomas Rathsack.  The book is written by a former member of Denmark’s Jaeger Corps who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.  I’ve read the translation and it is an amazing book that I can’t wait to bring to American readers.

Currently, we are discussing having our company, SOFREP.com, actually open our own publishing house for Special Operations books like this.  Mainstream publishers won’t bring these books to America because they haven’t been able to make money on them.  That’s a shame and the English speaking world is missing out on some great books from Denmark, Poland, France, and beyond.  No wonder why Americans don’t know about this stuff…

So on that note, here is a roundup of some of the foreign SOF material I’ve worked on recently.

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Swiss DRA-10

In our coverage of foreign Special Operations units, there is one country which is easily overlooked. When we think of SOF in the Western world, it is Rangers, SEALs, SAS, KSK, or somewhat more obscure units like SOG or FSK that come to mind. In a conversation about international Special Operations units, few would mention Switzerland’s DRA-10. In a country famous for neutrality and chocolate, fewer still would be aware of the Swiss hostage rescue mission that almost got off the ground in Libya several years ago.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/34395/switzerland-dra-10-libya/#ixzz2zCJA4Zcj
Israeli S13

Shayetet 13, the Israeli answer to the US Navy SEALs, executed a ship seizure operation off the coast of Sudan yesterday.  The ship was carrying Syrian made rockets that were en route from Iran to the Gaza strip.  These are the type of rockets that would be used if we saw a repeat of the 2006 offensive against Israel.  I had the opportunity to meet a S13 veteran about two years ago in New York City.  He was a cocky little guy who gave a friend of mine (a former US Navy SEAL) a t-shirt that said, “Don’t worry America, we got your back!”  I always recognize SOF guys, doesn’t matter what country they come from!
Read more: http://sofrep.com/33652/israeli-s13-maritime-commandos-capture-ship-carrying-iranian-missiles/#ixzz2zCHwluYO
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Swedish SOG

We hear little about the Special Operations units of Scandinavian nations, but in recent days the veil has been lifted, if only just a little, to give us a small look at what our allied SOF units have been up to in Afghanistan.  Policy-makers in Sweden have refused to confirm or deny any operations that Swedish troops may have participated in, but by correlating martyr biographies of dead jihadists, at least one newspaper has been able to put two and two together.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/32212/swedens-sog-takes-taliban/#ixzz2zCIZGvTj
Australian Commandos

By all accounts Corporal Cameron Baird was true warrior and is greatly missed by his team mates in 2 Commando.  Corporal Baird is Australia’s 40th KIA in Afghanistan during the War on Terror and is now Australia’s 100th Victoria’s Cross recipient.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/33001/australias-100th-victorias-cross-corporal-cameron-baird/#ixzz2zCI8gteY
Norwegian FSK/MJK

Tom Bakkeli is a Norwegian writer and journalist who has written extensively about Norway’s Special Operations units, MJK and FSK. Unfortunately, his books are not available in English, but Tom was gracious enough to spare SOFREP a few minutes of his time to answer some questions about Norway’s allied Special Operations units, which have been helping us fight the War on Terror.

Q: What is the Norwegian approach to special operations? Is it roughly along the same lines as other NATO member nations, or do the Norwegian units feature historical and cultural traits unique to their country?

A: As a country with a five million population, we have a quite small defense force. It has undergone a huge modernization after the cold war. In this process, the special operations forces, Forsvarets Spesialkommando (FSK) and Marinejegerkommandoen (MJK), have been strengthened. The operations in the former Yugoslavia – Bosnia and Kosovo – and especially in Afghanistan, have shown that they are capable. The Norwegian SOF traditions go back to Second World War, when they were established under British command in Special Operations Executive. Company Linge executed several spectacular operations in Nazi-occupied Norway; one of the best known is the heavy water operation in Vemork in 1943.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/33876/inside-fsk-norwegian-special-forces-command-interview-tom-bakkeli/#ixzz2zCHhdiFd

Peruvian SOF

On the 17th of December this past year, a joint police and military operation commenced in the Valley of the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro rivers (VRAEM) in which Peruvian forces launched multiple synchronized strikes against clandestine airfields used to smuggle an estimated 1.2 tons of cocaine per day.  Four 30-man teams were reportedly launched from a base in Pichari to begin the process of disabling the illegal airfields with explosives, probably cratering charges in this case.  The Peruvian troops were drawn from the police counter-terrorism directorate known as Dircote, a counter-narcotics units called Dirandro, and a Special Forces unit reported as being called FEC, however as Navy personnel are reported to be conducting the operation with law enforcement, it seems more likely that this unit was actually Fuerza de Operaciones Especiales which is more akin to America’s Navy SEALs.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/31564/peruvian-sof-strikes-narco-traffickers/#ixzz2zCIkvQFT
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Canadian CSOR

W5′s Mercedes Stephenson recently filmed a rare documentary about Canadian SOF, specifically about CSOR conducting Foreign Internal Defense operations in Niger.  The Canadians are very tight lipped about their SOF units, the other being JTF-2, so it is surprising that they were willing to publicize their involvement in Flintlock.  One of the interesting things about foreign SOF units is that what the US government considers to be the most low grade operations are often considered to be the most sensitive by foreign governments like Canada.  While the US military openly publicizes SOF’s involvement in Flintlock, allied nations treat it like a closely held state secret.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/34370/canadian-sof-operation-flintlock-niger/#ixzz2zCHQ6kEd
Hope you enjoyed the articles.  In addition to the Jaeger book, there are a few other projects in the works.  SOFREP will be publishing a ebook about the history of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, we’ve got an account from the Australian Commandos coming, and I may be participating in a military exercise abroad later this year.  More on that soon!

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