To coincide with the release of The Year in Special Operations 2012-2013 publication at the 2012 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), May 22-24, we thought it would be interesting to showcase some of the best recent photos depicting U.S. special operations forces. Some of these photos can be found in our print edition, while others couldn’t be included due to space considerations, but are nevertheless great photos of America’s “Quiet Professionals” at work. If you are in Tampa for SOFIC make sure to stop by the Defense Media Network booth to pick up your own copy of The Year in Special Operation 2012-2013.
Special Forces Photos
Coalition special operations forces (SOF) sprint to board a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a mission in Chawkai district, Kunar province, Afghanistan, Feb. 25, 2012. The commando-led mission was to conduct reconnaissance for a future village stability platform where Afghan forces and coalition SOF can live and work with villagers. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clayton Weis Coalition special operations forces members provide security during a two-day presence patrol with Afghan commandos from the 9th Kandak in Sar-e Takht village, Farah province, Feb. 27, 2012. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kyle McNally A Navy SEAL climbs up a ladder attached to the side of a gas and oil platform during training to prepare for an upcoming deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Henderson A CV-22 Osprey with the 20th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., descends on the Air Force Academy Cadet Area during the Academy's Polaris Warrior event April 28, 2012. Polaris Warrior combined several military training challenges designed to reinforce skills that cadets may need in the field. U.S. Air Force photo by Raymond McCoy A 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment MH-47 Chinook helicopter approaches a landing zone to drop service members from the 10th Special Forces Group during Emerald Warrior 2011 March 1, 2011, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Emerald Warrior is an annual two-week joint/combined tactical exercise sponsored by U.S. Special Operations Command to provide realistic training opportunities to conventional and special operations forces. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erik Cardenas A Navy SEAL fires a MK 11 sniper rifle from an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 9, deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, during a training flight. George H.W. Bush was deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility on its first operational deployment conducting maritime security operations and support missions as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Apprentice Brian Read Castillo A Navy SEAL from Naval Special Warfare Group 1 out of Coronado, Calif., fast-ropes off a U.S. MH-47 Chinook helicopter onto the helicopter deck of the AOE-59 Hwachun – a Korean naval refueling vessel – in Jinhae Harbor, Republic of Korea, March 20, 2012, as part of Foal Eagle 2012. Both U.S. and ROK Navy SEALs fast-roped out of the helicopter and performed a visit, board, search, and seizure drill to demonstrate the interoperability between the two forces. DoD photo by Sgt. Aaron Rognstad Coalition special operations forces and Afghan National Army special operations forces conduct a security patrol in the mountains around Latif district, Ghazni province, Afghanistan, April 17, 2012. Security Patrols are used to gain atmospherics and assess security and stability in the local villages. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David Frech An AC-130U gunship from the 4th Special Operations Squadron flies a local training mission on Jan. 27, 2011, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The AC-130U "Spooky" gunship is the primary weapon of Air Force Special Operations Command. Its primary missions are close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance. The U model is an upgraded version of the H and is equipped with side firing, trainable 25 mm, 40 mm, and 105 mm guns. DoD photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock A jumpmaster with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command (MARSOC), conducts a freefall jump during a double-bag static-line parachute course in Wendover, Utah, April 9 - 21, 2012. The course was taught by personnel from the 2nd MSOB paraloft and the Airborne Mobile Training Team, and is designed to give Marines a basic understanding of HAHO operations. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kyle McNally A PC-12 from the 34th Special Operations Squadron flies over the gulf coast during a training sortie, Hurlburt Field, Fla., Feb. 15, 2011. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne Showalter A U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, with Special Operations Task Force-South, scans the horizon for enemy activity in Shah Wali Kot district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, during a clearing operation Feb. 8, 2011, alongside Afghan Commandos from 2nd Company, 3rd Commando Kandak. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy D. Crisp A Coalition special operations forces soldier observes a valley in Uruzgan as a Black Hawk circles above. Afghan National Police and their Australian special operations forces partners have further degraded the insurgent networks operating in central Uruzgan by capturing three key leaders in separate missions. Members of the Provincial Response Company Uruzgan (PRC-U) and the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) detained the objectives in Deh Rafshan and Baluchi during targeting operations in May, 2012. ISAF photo A U.S. sailor fires a GAU-17 minigun during Emerald Warrior 2012 on the Apalachicola River, Fla., March 6, 2012. Emerald Warrior is an annual two-week joint/combined tactical exercise sponsored by U.S. Special Operations Command designed to leverage lessons learned from Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom to provide trained and ready forces to combatant commanders. DoD photo by Senior Airman Devin Doskey, U.S. Air Force A coalition special operations forces member looks through the scope on his MK 17 rifle during a patrol of Gerandai village, Panjwai district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, May 16, 2012. Coalition SOF, partnered with Afghan National Army commandos from the 3rd Commando Kandak, conducted village clearing operations in the surrounding districts of Kandahar to disrupt insurgent safe havens and promote security in the area. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Martine Cuaron U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Corban Caliguire and Tech. Sgt. Aaron Switzer, 21st Special Tactics Squadron joint terminal attack controllers (JTAC), call for an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft to carry out a show of force during a close air support training mission Sept. 23, 2011, at the Nevada Test and Training Range, Nev. JTACs performed proficiency training with U.S. Air Force Weapons School students during the close air support phases of the Weapons School six-month, graduate-level instructor course. DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth, U.S. Air Force A U.S. special operations forces member fires a 60 mm mortar during a fire fight in Kunar province, Afghanistan, March 7, 2012, after Afghan National Army commandos and coalition special operations forces searched an Afghan village for weapons caches and known anti-Afghanistan forces. DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clayton Weis, U.S. Navy Coalition special operations forces prepare to board CH-47 Chinook helicopters as part of a two-day presence patrol with Afghan Commandos from the 9th Kandak in Sar-e Takht village, Farah province Feb. 27, 2012. SOCOM personnel worked with 9th Kandak Commandos to protect local communities and eradicate insurgent activity in the region. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kyle McNally U.S. Air Force Maj. James Rowe, an Air Force CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft pilot, and co-pilot U.S. Air Force Capt. Timothy Skypeck, both from the 8th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) "Black Birds," take off from a landing zone Jan. 26, 2011, during a local training mission at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The Osprey's primary mission in the 8th SOS is insertion, extraction, and re-supply of unconventional warfare forces and equipment into hostile or enemy-controlled territory using airland or airdrop procedures. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock SEALs and divers from SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team (SDVT) 1 swim back to the guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) during an exercise for certification on SEAL delivery vehicle operations in the southern Pacific Ocean. These exercises educate operators and divers on the techniques and procedures related to the delivery vehicle and its operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristopher Kirsop