New SOCPAC Commander First Marine To Lead Theater-Level Special Operations Command

news

Maj. Gen. Daniel Yoo took command of Pacific Special Operations on Friday, becoming the first Marine to head a theater-level special operations command.


Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III, head of U.S. Special Operations Command, described Yoo as "the embodiment of the American dream."

"Born on the Fourth of July, in Korea, he immigrated to this country at a young age and the rest, as they say, is history," he said during a ceremony at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.

Yoo is a career infantry officer who has led units from a rifle platoon to the entire 1st Marine Division. He previously served as director of operations for U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

Yoo replaces Maj. Gen. Bryan Fenton, who had assumed command of SOCPAC less than a year ago.

Fenton was scheduled to receive a third star after the ceremony and then become U.S. Pacific Command's deputy commander.

That position has been unfilled since Lt. Gen. Anthony Crutchfield left in February and retired.

PACOM commander Adm. Harry Harris told the audience it was significant that Fenton, as PACOM's 32nd deputy, was the first one to come from the ranks of special operators.

"I think this point not only proves what kind of outstanding leader General Fenton is, but it also demonstrates the value that I place on the work by our SOCPAC warriors," Harris said. "And considering our global fight against the scourge to humanity known as ISIS, I think the time is right for this historic appointment."

The spread of jihadist terrorism in the Pacific theater, in particular fighters connected with the Islamic State organization in Iraq and Syria, is considered an emerging threat by PACOM officials and by some governments of Asian nations.

Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines was formed shortly after 9/11 to help the Philippine government with training and surveillance to defeat al-Qaida-linked groups in the southern part of the country.

That task force was deactivated in 2015, but Fenton said there are 2,000 special operators forward deployed in the Pacific in 17 locations.

Much of what SOCPAC does in the theater is classified.

Harris praised Fenton for making sure that SOCPAC's operations directorate and logistics support facility in Singapore "have meaningful effects at the operational level."

He said Fenton's command led to greater collaboration with other agencies during complex exercises involving responses to terrorism.

SOCPAC commands the 353d Special Operations Group and 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) on Okinawa, Japan; Naval Special Warfare Task Unit-Pacific and SEAL platoon at Apra Harbor Naval Station, Guam; and E Company, 160th Special Operations Regiment (Airborne), based in Taegu, South Korea.

___

(c)2017 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo via DoD

Dashcam footage from a freeway commuter shows the moment a pilot ejected from an F-16 military jet last week, releasing a parachute before the aircraft slammed into a Riverside County, California warehouse.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Oscar L Olive IV)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Several members of the Marine Corps' famous Silent Drill Platoon were kicked out of the service or punished by their command after someone reported witnessing them using a training rifle to strike someone.

Three Marines have been discharged in the last 60 days and two others lost a rank after the Naval Criminal Investigative Service began looking into hazing allegations inside the revered unit that performs at public events around the world.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Keion Jackson).

The U.S. military will build 'facilities' to house at least 7,500 adult migrants, the Pentagon announced on Wednesday.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to construct the facilities, said Pentagon spokesman Army Maj. Chris Mitchell.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur.)

Defense officials will brief President Donald Trump's national security team on a plan that involves sending 5,000 more troops to the Middle East to deter Iran, Task & Purpose has learned.

So far, no decisions have been made about whether to send the reinforcements to the region, unnamed U.S. officials told CNN's Barbara Starr.

"The military capabilities being discussed include sending additional ballistic missile defense systems, Tomahawk cruise missiles on submarines, and surface ships with land attack capabilities for striking at a long range," CNN reports. "Specific weapons systems and units have not been identified."

Read More Show Less

The thousands of sailors, Coasties and Marines who descend on New York City every year for Fleet Week are an awesome sight to behold on their own, but this year's confab of U.S. service members includes a uniquely powerful homecoming as well.

Read More Show Less