From the commandant
By Brig. Gen. David G. Fox
Originally published in the January-February 2013 edition of Special Warfare
Throughout the month of November, the Philippines dominated international news; not for the hard won success of its government to combat violent extremist organizations and transnational
terrorists, but rather for Typhoon Haiyan, the mega storm that wreaked havoc on the country’s central region.
While reading about the storm, you probably didn’t read about the efforts of the men and women of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command to open airfields and get aid to the people
in the affected region. But they were there, quietly, professionally going about their jobs, just as they have been for the past 12 years operating under the auspices of Joint Special Operations Task
JSOTF-P, which was established by Special Operations Command-Pacific in July 2002, has as its mission support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines as they wage their war against terrorism.
Prior to the establishment of JSOTF-P, members of the U.S. Special Operations Command operated under the auspices of Joint Task Force 510.
The mission of JSOTF-P, which operates at the request of the Government of the Philippines, is to work alongside the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and other designated units to defeat terrorists and create the conditions necessary for peace, stability
and prosperity in the Southern Philippines.
Over the past decade, the men and women of JSOTF-P have done a magnificent job in fulfilling the mission, making it one of the most successful unconventional warfare missions of this century. It has occurred without much fanfare, but rather with the determination and hard work of the U.S. advisers working in the area.
In this issue of Special Warfare, you will not only read about the success of JSOTF-P, you will also read about the larger role of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) in the PACOM area of operations. The Soldiers of the 1st SFG(A) have spent the past decade quietly conducting missions in countries throughout their AOR. They have remained tied to the historical role of Special Forces, advising and assisting our partner nations, and in doing so have developed a strong understanding of the unique cultures of the countries within their region.
Far from the flagpole, the 1st SFG(A) has embraced its historic lineage and serves as a stabilizing force in the Pacific realm, supporting our partners and building relationships with developing countries throughout the region.