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Special Forces

April 28, 2012 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan — For the first time, a member of Afghanistan's elite special forces has carried out a deadly attack against an American military mentor, a senior Afghan army official said Friday, an ominous escalation in the "green-on-blue" shootings that have threatened Western troops' partnership with the Afghan police and army. Until now, rank-and-file members of the Afghan security forces had been responsible for most of the dozens of "insider" shootings targeting members of the NATO force in recent years.
December 29, 2002 | David Zucchino, Times Staff Writer
With machine guns rocking in their turrets, a convoy of Special Forces soldiers plowed into this mountain town in pursuit of enemy fighters one cold winter afternoon. What they found instead was a knot of rumors and contradictions. The local police intelligence chief, squatting on the dirt floor of his compound, told the Americans intriguing tales of armed Taliban and Al Qaeda supporters massed in a nearby valley. The soldiers braced for battle.
October 10, 2010 | By Aimal Yaqubi and Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
A British aid worker was killed by her captors after a failed rescue attempt by NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan, the British government said Saturday. Linda Norgrove, 36, was taken hostage along with three of her Afghan co-workers in an ambush two weeks ago while visiting a project in Kunar province along the border with Pakistan. Her colleagues had already been released. The British government gave few details on the Friday night rescue attempt, a former United Nations worker who headed a $150-million project attempting to strengthen local economies for the U.S. aid group Development Alternatives Inc. NATO allies received a tip on Norgrove's whereabouts, and a decision was reportedly reached that her best chance, given the danger she faced, was to send in U.S. special forces.
August 22, 2012 | By David S. Cloud and Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has made contingency plans to send small teams of special operations troops into Syria if the White House decides it needs to secure chemical weapons depots now controlled by security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, senior U.S. officials said. President Obama warned this week that any effort by Assad to move or use his arsenal of chemical munitions in the country's conflict would cross a "red line," implying it could prompt swift U.S. intervention.
May 12, 2012 | By Laura King and Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - In many ways, the two young soldiers were not so different from each other. Each was tough-minded and physically powerful. Each worked hard to win a place in an elite military unit, and spoke with pride of serving his country. They were 25 years old, these two: one newly married, the other planning a wedding this year. Their upbringings were as disparate as their homelands were distant, but religious faith was entwined with the family lives of both.
March 22, 2003 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Col. Edson Raff, who bucked higher-ups in the Army to outfit Special Forces units with what would become their trademark green berets, died March 11 in Garnett, Kan. He was 95. Raff came up with the distinctive beret in 1954 as a way to boost the flagging morale of a Special Forces unit of which he had been given command. Officers of the 77th Special Forces Group at Ft. Bragg, N.C., adopted the beret and picked a green color similar to that of British Royal Marine commandos.
February 3, 2003 | Benedict Carey, Times Staff Writer
During a routine military training exercise some years ago, two skydivers collided about 1,000 feet above the desert floor east of San Diego. One of the parachutes shuddered, and held. The other one collapsed, sending a Navy commando named Mark Divine into free fall. In the next few moments, which promised to be his last, Divine's training took over. He worked his parachute lines up and down, to try to catch air.
November 14, 2012 | By Carol J. Williams
Despite unspeakable brutality committed over 25 years, Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony continues to elude betrayal even by his victims. He is hunted by thousands of African Union troops guided by U.S. special forces, yet few familiar with Kony's history of murder, mutilation, kidnapping, sexual enslavement and child-soldier recruitment see much immediate prospect for his arrest and trial on war crimes charges. Kony's loyalists may have dwindled to as few as 200. Yet even as they remain scattered across remote stretches of the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, his ragtag, poorly armed followers and their young captives survive by their wits in a sheltering jungle, ignored by indifferent governments and able to maintain a reign of terror.
Although retired Army Col. Aaron Bank never completed his most important mission--a top secret 1945 assignment to kidnap Adolf Hitler in Austria--today the 94-year-old founder of the famed Green Berets is still a hero among members of the Army Special Forces Command. "Col. Bank is the father of the Special Forces," said Carol Jones, a spokeswoman for the Army Special Operations Command at Ft. Bragg, N.C. "He is the cornerstone of our Special Forces heritage."
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