Category Archives: News

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.

add052-40408ec79098f3fbed99c9bfd297b57b

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
SOG6
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
CSOR212
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!

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under News

Switzerland’s DRA-10 in Libya

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.

Even before Hillary Clinton and Silvio Berlusconi unfriended Omar Gaddafi on Facebook in 2011, relations had begun to sour between Libya and Switzerland as early as 2008. The trouble began when Swiss police arrested the Libyan dictator’s son, Hannibal Gaddafi, in Geneva for allegedly mistreating his house staff. Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife were later released, but the damage had been done, and Omar Gaddafi carried out a series of retaliations against Switzerland.

Flights from Switzerland to Libya were halted, Gaddafi threatened to stop oil shipments, Swiss businesses were forced to close their doors in Libya, and most notably, two Swiss businessmen named Max Göldi and Rachid Hamdani were held on house arrest in Libya, kept as de facto hostages and political bargaining chips to be used against the Swiss government. The two Swiss nationals were initially allowed to stay in the Swiss embassy but were not permitted to leave Libya. Then, in 2009 when diplomatic negotiations broke down, the two Swiss nationals were kidnapped and disappeared and were not returned for over a month.Negotiations over the fate of Max and Rachid continued to grind away. Both were convicted in a Libyan court of visa violations. The dispute went from being a Swiss problem to being a European problem when Gaddafi then refused to issue visas to any European Union citizens. When Max Göldi was imprisoned, the Swiss government secretly paid Hannibal Gaddafi 1.5 million francs to try to smooth things over and normalize relations with Libya.

While the falling out between Switzerland and Libya was being reported in the European media, what was not reported was the quiet deployment of Swiss counter-terrorist operators to the Swiss embassy. Planning for a high-risk hostage rescue operation began, as the Swiss commandos started working to recover Max and Rachid. In Bern, frustrations were growing with Gaddafi’s bluster.

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Direct Action Giveaway, Time Running Out!

DirectActionGiveAwayOnly three more days left to get your submissions in for the Direct Action giveaway.  If you ever bought one of my three novels (Reflexive Fire, Target Deck, or Direct Action) then you are eligible.  Get the details here and enter to win!

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Direct Action Release Date (and other good news)

DirectActionPreviewshotNow that I’m in the final stages of finalizing the cover and back cover art, I am announcing the release date for Direct Action.  Look for it on the 21st of February in both paperback and ebook formats.  I can’t know exact pricing for the paperback until the book is constructed, but expect it to be very similar to the previous two books.  Probably $15 for the paperback and $4 for the ebook.

I’m excited about the release and look forward to the response.  Some people are going to be seriously offended by the content of the book and many will want to string me up for it.  But I didn’t write Direct Action for shock value, the book is directly influenced by factual events.  My previous novels were about writing the ultimate action adventure tale but Direct Action is different.  This book is about sending a message to a very particular and specific group of people.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that I had friends tell me that I would be killed simply for investigating the subjects I wrote about in this book.  There is a lot of money, prestige, power, and legacy tied up in these events, and some people will do anything to cover up criminal activities.

Lets move on to somewhat better news.

Fans have been asking me for Deckard/Samruk International hats, t-shirts, ect for a long time now.  The hats and patches are both on their way.  Here are some preview shots for those interested.

Samrukhat2patch3They will both be offered on this website sometime later this month so stay tuned for that.  Again, I’m excited to finally release Direct Action and get it into reader’s hands.  I think it is my best written, and most important, book to date.  Deckard will return for book #4, but right now I’m going to be focused on finishing up college over the summer and a few other projects I have going on.  For instance, after the release of Direct Action I will be working on the release of a Danish SOF operator’s memoir which I’ve been having translated into English.  I’ve also got some great articles planned for SOFREP.com that I need to get cracking on.

10 Comments

Filed under Action Adventure, News

The Super Operator

1009862_10153198296510176_1243263406_n-630x361

 

The world is changing. The question is whether or not we will realize it soon enough for any of us to make a single bit of difference.  Behind the scenes, a debate has taken place about to what extent the People’s Republic of China has engaged in a controversial practice called gene-doping.

Gene-doping is a series of techniques for genetic manipulation and modification.  You may have heard of it in the past as being called gene-therepy, a practice which manipulates genetics in order to help sick people.  Whether you call it gene-doping or gene-therepy depends if you are using the techniques on a healthy person or a sick person, or the difference could simply lay in a moral judgement which you are making.

What are the potential benefits of gene-doping?  Well, there are is a cocktail of possibilities.

Read more: http://sofrep.com/30349/gene-doping-birth-super-operator/#ixzz2nOBGS0CZ

1 Comment

Filed under News

Samruk International Ballcaps: Coming Soon

Viper Headwear is currently working on some Samruk International ballcaps for us.  These will be fitted caps and unlike the prototype below, they will be in PenCott’s “Green Zone” pattern since I’ve decided that PenCott is going to be the unofficial camo pattern for the fictional Private Military Company featured in my novels.  Look for ordering instructions in about a month.  Also, please keep in mind that this is a prototype.  The final hat won’t have those stiff front panels.

Samrukhat1Samrukhat2

14 Comments

Filed under News

2nd Ranger Battalion and the Panama Prison Riot

img105There are certain Special Operations legends out there that are sometimes hard to make heads or tails of.  One involves a little-known prison riot in Panama which resulted in a subsequent snatch and grab operation that the 2nd Ranger Battalion was involved in.  The author first heard about this event from his Platoon Leader in a patrol base in Afghanistan with 3/75 back in 2004.  Realizing that this event is under-reported, and parts of it completely unreported, this was clearly something that had to be written about.

As a part of Operation Safe Haven in 1994, thousands of Cuban refugees who had been trying to sail from Cuba to the US in improvised rafts and small boats were detained en route and imprisoned at the US military base in Guantanamo, Cuba, then transferred to Panama where they were set up in refugee camps.  The program was overseen by the US military, and the refugees were told that they would be granted entry to the United States.

From the time the refugees were transferred in September, they waited in the camps in Panama, becoming increasingly frustrated with their delayed entry to the United States.  By December, the situation reached a boiling point when the Cubans were told that they would not be immigrating to the US, but rather would be repatriated to Cuba.  On December 8th, 1994, the refugees rioted.  The unit charged with maintaining the refugee camp was 5th Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, and it fell on them to put down the riot.  They were denied shotguns and tear gas, and sent in to deal with the mob with batons and plastic riot shields.

Some bright star had decided to use rocks instead of pavement for one of the pathways in the prison, and when less than a hundred American soldiers from Charlie Company, 5/87 Infantry entered the camp to quell the riot, they faced hundreds of rioters hurling rocks that rained down on their formation.  Face masks and shields were smashed to pieces in the onslaught, limbs were broken, faces bloodied.  “When I watch movies about the Civil War and men marching into fire, that’s what it was… Everybody was hurt. Everybody got [messed] up,” one of the American soldiers present told Stars and Stripes.

Leave a comment

Filed under News