SPECIAL OPERATIONS: New Commanders at SOCOM, CENTCOM
Ranger In, Ranger Out.
Four star Army General Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), has taken over as commander of U.S. Central Command (CENCOM), which oversees U.S. operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Both men are Army Rangers and both are former commanders of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) — a SOCOM component which oversees the hunt for terrorists among other tasks. Thomas has also served in the 1st Special Operations Forcers Operational Deteachment — Delta, the highly secretive Army commando unit known as Delta Force.
Both Thomas and Votel are also 1980 graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point New York.
At a brief press conference before the change of command ceremonies in Tampa, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said “accelerating the defeat” of the terrorist group that calls itself Islamic State is President Obama’s top priority. Carter added that the United States and its allies would be successful in Iraq and Syria in defeating Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL), but the group has spread around the world and the United States may be fighting the terror group on U.S. soil. “It’s going to require effort around the world, and yes, it’s going to require protection against the homeland,” Carter added.
Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Army, Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, Homeland Security, Iraq, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Skills and Training, Special Operations, Syria, Unconventional Warfare. Tags: 75th Ranger Regiment, Afghanistan, Army, Counter Insurgency, counter terrorism, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, General Joseph Votel, General Raymond Thomas, Homeland Security, Islamic State, Special Operations, Topics, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command.