Army Special Forces airborne general wants improved visibility on battlefield

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., 14 Nov. 2007 – The last thing U.S. Special Forces want is a "fair fight," said Maj. Gen. Thomas Csnrko, Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Forces Command Airborne to an audience of defense suppliers and special forces personnel at the Crown Expo Center in Fayetteville, N.C.

By John McHale


FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., 14 Nov. 2007 – The last thing U.S. Special Forces want is a "fair fight," said Maj. Gen. Thomas Csnrko, Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Forces Command Airborne to an audience of defense suppliers and special forces personnel at the Crown Expo Center in Fayetteville, N.C.

Special operation forces always want the enemy to be at a disadvantage, he added. Csnrko made his remarks as the keynote speaker of Special Ops East 2007 in Fayetteville, N.C.

"American innovation and ingenuity saves special forces lives" and his essential to the transformation of special operations forces today so they can continue to dominate the battlefield, he said. The challenge is to get special forces operatives the equipment they need when they need it, Csnrko noted.

During his talk, he identified what tops his technological wish list for the future. Csnrko said he wants more visibility on the battlefield other than direct observation. Unmanned platforms have been an excellent source for this, he said.

"Improving lethality is always high on the list as well," Csnrko added.

There is also a need for improved mobility more than ever before on the battlefield, Csnrko said. He referenced the contribution Special Forces are making to the Army's Joint Tactical Vehicle program to add a variant that fits their needs.

Csnrko also addressed an audience question on the amount of technology transfer to allied partners. He said that partners do get U.S. equipment, but it is typically two or three generations behind what U.S. warfighters use.

Once they see it, they want it, he continued. It is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed situation to situation, but becomes more important as U.S. forces works more closely with a partner nation. There are some countries, though where transfer is not an option, he added.

Today U.S. Special Forces are operating in 72 different countries, Csnrko said. However, the focus on Iraq and Afghanistan makes it more difficult to maintain relationships and contacts on other nations, and they absolutely must be maintained.

Csnrko continued to say that special forces in Iraq take very little direct action, but are now functioning as advisors for police and military, helping them maintain the security of their own country.

The Army Special forces Airborne is about division size with 9,500 troops, with about 3,200 of that number deployed today, Csnrko said. However, the remaining two thirds are not available as some may think, he continued.

They have either just returned from a tour of duty and are with their families or are in pre-mission training, Csnrko said. "We must not take for granted" that everyone outside the military will understand that fact.

Special Forces can do with 12 what would take a whole battalion to do, "because they live it everyday. It is not a pick-up game to us. This is our life."

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