Special Operations: SOCOM Sheds Support Troops


April 11, 2006: Despite, or perhaps because of, the war on terror, SOCOM is losing thousands of troops to other organizations. Some 6,000 Civil Affairs troops are being transferred from SOCOM to the reserves (Civil Affairs have always been largely reservists), while several thousand U.S. Air Force combat search-and-rescue troops (along with their HC-130 aircraft and HH-60 helicopters) are transferring to the Air Combat Command. In both cases, SOCOM has mixed feelings about losing these troops. Both Civil Affairs and search-and-rescue troops are not really, at their core, special operations forces. They are specialized troops, but not the combat commandoes that characterize what SOCOM is most noted for. Actually, even with these losses, most SOCOM troops will still be of the support variety, not armed "operators" who lead the raids and other commando type operations.


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