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  • Now they will know why they are afraid of the dark.
    Now they will learn why they fear the night.
    --- Thulsa Doom, in "Conan"

    USSOCOM - supported command and supporting commandBack to Top

    • From 7 Jan 2003 SECDEF news briefing

        Over the past year, men and women in uniform have done a truly remarkable job, notwithstanding the fact that the Department of Defense is, for the most part, still organized, trained and equipped to fight armies, navies and air forces, not to target small cells or even individual terrorists. One of our most important goals, then, is to transform for the 21st century, and one of the key areas where we're doing so is in the U.S. Special Operations Command. In Afghanistan and elsewhere, we've seen the indispensable role that Special Operation Forces have and are currently playing.

        Today we're taking a number of steps to strengthen the U.S. Special Operations Command so it can make even greater contributions to the global war on terror. In the 2004 budget, we are requesting an increase in Special Operations Command's budgets; that added funds are needed to pay for equipment losses that occurred in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and for additional equipment as well as additional forces. Some of those new troops will be assigned to the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, which specializes in flying combat forces behind enemy lines.

        Others are needed for operational planning and will be assigned to the Special Operations Command and the regional theater command headquarters.

        Special Operations Command will function as both a supported and a supporting command. Since 1987 the Special Operations Command has been organized as a supporting command, meaning it provides warriors and materiel to the various regional combatant commanders, who then plan and direct missions. By organizing at SOCOM headquarters in Tampa, as well as at smaller theater Special Operations commands in regional theaters, the Special Operations Command will have the tools it will need to plan and execute missions in support of the global war on terror. This expanded operational role will be in addition to the current role it plays as a supporting command.

        The Special Operations Command will also continue its efforts to work with the various geographic unified combatant commands and U.S. allies to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks. To assist it in its expanded mission, over time, the Special Operations command will be divested of various missions, such as routine foreign military training and civil support, that can be successfully accomplished by other forces, U.S. forces and/or agencies.

        The global nature of the war, the nature of the enemy and the need for fast, efficient operations in hunting down and rooting out terrorist networks around the world have all contributed to the need for an expanded role for the Special Operations forces. We are transforming that command to meet that need.

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