Photo via Special Operations Command - Philippines Army
In late October, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) declared victory over the ISIS-inspired Maute group after a five-month pitched battle left more than 1,000 dead in the sprawling city of Marawi. The siege, which prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law and the Pentagon to deploy an unidentified detachment of special operations forces, finally culminated with the deaths of two top terror leaders. Now, more than a month later, the AFP’s own elite forces are taking a victory lap.
On Nov. 28, the AFP’s Special Operations Command published an eight-minute sizzle reel detailing the rise of the ISIS-inspired groups and AFP special forces’ months-long struggle to expel them from the city:
We’ve had to sit through plenty of disconcerting (if informative) ISIS propaganda videos as the terror group made its last gasps in its former Iraqi and Syrian and strongholds of Mosul and Raqqa, so the AFP clip is pretty sweet, even if it’s a highly produced state public relations product.
At the same time, there’s one thing worth noticing in this video: the non-presence of the many U.S. special operations forces deployed to the Philippines — ostensibly to provide “technical support” against Islamist groups. It’s possible that American commandos are present in the footage and simply dressed out like their Philippine counterparts rather than in distinctive U.S. uniforms; they’ve done that before, with the black kit worn by the Iraqi military’s elite Counter Terrorism Service’s “Golden Division,” which the American operators assisted during the battle for Mosul last March.
There’s no footage of the deployed U.S. SOCOM forces in DVIDs, the military’s public affairs imagery database … nor would you expect there to be; perhaps American special operators remained quiet professionals while deployed in the Philippines, even in someone else’s touchdown dance.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.