Reexamining ground SOF command and control: does one size fit all?
Cogan, Thomas E., IV
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The current designs employed by the U.S. Department of Defense for the command and control of special operations forces (SOF) in limited contingency environments require reexamination to see whether they are sufficient or can be improved to meet the needs of the current operational environment. Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF) and Special Operations Command-Forward (SOC-FWD) structures provide a scalable response to identified problems but still primarily operate as closed organizations in complex turbulent environments that would be better influenced by an open organizational design. This research examines how existing Marine Special Operations Forces, Army Special Operations Forces, and Naval Special Operations Forces organizations can meet the demands of complex operational environments at the task force level more efficiently. JSOTFs and SOC-FWDs provide adaptive organizations when employed with clear unity of effort and command within a Joint Task Force. Performance is increased when homogenous organizations command and control ground SOF during operations, vice using a Theater Special Operations Command, as doctrine prescribes.
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