US Spec Ops Get Creative Amid Cutbacks

( – U.S. military officials will have to make due with less after budget cuts require a reduction in the number of special operators by 5,000 soldiers over the next half-decade. This comes as military operations around the world are heating up in Ukraine and the Middle East. It’s been suggested that the U.S. commanders are taking notes on the conflict in Ukraine and using lessons learned there back home.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command will suffer the most personnel cuts, but it wants to increase the size of its usual 12-man Green Beret squads to include more specialized skill sets. They’re considering adding drone operations specialists who have the ability to hack drones or other advanced equipment in the field.

Gen. Bryan Fenton suggested that the teams could use Air Force pilots, Navy ship captains, encryption and other high tech experts due to an evolving battlefield and changes in tactics. He mentioned that the army is learning a lot from the Ukrainian war, and suggested Spec Ops teams were on the ground in the country despite the official pronouncement that the U.S. has no troops in Ukraine.

The official narrative is that the current U.S. military personnel in Ukraine are there for training, logistics, and support only and are not in direct combat with Russians.

The Army is reducing its total force by ~24,000 troops and reorganizing itself to shift from counter-terrorism to larger scale operations. The problem is complicated by the Army’s inability to meet recruitment quotas in recent years.

Maj. General Patrick Roberson added that some of the skill sets they’re looking to include are highly specialized that take years to master, suggesting that they’re not something they can train their soldiers in regularly. He pointed to the difference between piloting a drone and programming one as vastly different.

Roberson added that the idea was flexibility and adapting to changing circumstances on the battlefield. They want to make sure their Spec Ops teams are as reactive and versatile as possible, despite the budget cuts.

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