Accession Number:

AD1024461

Title:

U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Congressional Research Service Washington United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2017-01-06

Pagination or Media Count:

12.0

Abstract:

Special Operations Forces SOF play a significant role in U.S. military operations and, in recent years, have been given greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. U.S. Special Operations Command USSOCOM has about 70,000 Active Duty, National Guard, and reserve personnel from all four services and Department of Defense DOD civilians assigned to its headquarters, its four Service component commands, and eight sub-unified commands. In 2013, based on a request from USSOCOM with the concurrence of Geographic and Functional Combatant Commanders and the Military Service Chiefs and Secretaries, the Secretary of Defense assigned command of the Theater Special Operations Commands TSOCs to USSOCOM. USSOCOM now has the responsibility to organize, train, and equip TSOCs. While USSOCOM is now responsible for the organizing, training, and equipping of TSOCs, the Geographic Combatant Commands will continue to have operational control over the TSOCs. Because the TSOCs are now classified as sub-unified commands, the Services are responsible to provide non-SOF support to the TSOCs in the same manner in which they provide support to the Geographic Combatant Command headquarters.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE