U.S. Special Operations Command

U.S. Special Operations Command Terms of Reference – Roles, Missions and Functions of Component Commands

This directive provides Terms of Reference (TOR) for United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC); Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM); Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Joint Military Information Support Command (JMISC), and Joint Special Operations University (JSOU).

U.S. Special Operations Command Security Force Assistance Guide

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has a long history of conducting security force assistance (SFA)-type activities. These activities were primarily focused on gaining access and influence to partner nations (PN). However, by 2005, the purpose of SFA-type activities had evolved. SFA would now enable and develop the sustainable capabilities of foreign security forces (FSF) to a sufficient capacity in order to provide regional stability. The primary purpose of SFA is the development of sustainable capabilities to allow PNs to defend themselves or contribute to operations elsewhere. This is a fundamental shift in how and why the DoD conducts SFA.

(U//FOUO) U.S. Special Operations Forces Reference Manual 2nd Edition

Special operations (SO) encompass the use of small units in direct or indirect military actions focused on strategic or operational objectives. These actions require units with combinations of specialized personnel, equipment, and tactics that exceed the routine capabilities of conventional military forces. SO are characterized by certain attributes that cumulatively distinguish them from conventional operations. SO are often politically sensitive missions where only the best-equipped and most proficient forces must be deployed to avoid detection and possible mission failure.

Joint Special Operations University Report on Convergence of Special Forces and Civilian Law Enforcement

In recent years there has been an apparent convergence of the operations conducted by Special Operations Forces (SOF) and those of civilian law enforcement agencies (LEAs), especially Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units, in what were formerly separate and distinct missions. The requirements to obtain warrants prior to execution of raids for high-value targets, collect and preserve evidence for criminal prosecution, and on occasion present testimony in courts of law are new missions for SOF. They are not relatively simple changes in the rules of engagement or comparable techniques. As far as can be determined, previously no U.S. military combat arms unit has ever been tasked with such a mission during combat operations. The thesis is straightforward; if such missions are to continue, then consideration must be given to adequate training for them.