Special Operations Command Asks For More Troops, Biggest Budget Yet by Todd South - Military Times
Special operations forces numbers are higher than they have ever been, but leaders in that community want Congress to approve their highest budget request ever made to increase the force by more than 1,000 troops.
The special operations forces, which include Army Special Forces and Rangers, Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders and Air Force Special Tactics Operators and others, are being strained to their breaking point, officials have said publicly over the past year.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has said that conventional forces would have to assume some of those duties to supplement the missions special operations troops perform across more than 80 countries on an ongoing basis.
Owen West, the newly appointed assistant defense secretary for special operations/low-intensity conflict, and Army Gen. Raymond Thomas, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, told the House Armed Services Committee subcommittee on emerging threats last week that SOCOM needs to push its numbers to more than 71,000.
The force stands at 70,000 now, nearly double the 33,000 who called SOCOM home before the 9/11 attacks…