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Old 23 December 2018, 22:22
quixotic quixotic is offline
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SFG team organization

Apologies if this is in the wrong area.

I don't know how to explain/ask this succinctly. Here goes.

As I understand it, SF A-Teams and UKSF `patrols' generally consist of several specialists, to whom the TL/ patrol comm defers for expert advice/ ops planning and execution when and where the specialists' specialization comes into play.

The guy holding the highest rank in the unit merely serves to facilitate and support mission execution, based on what the lower-ranking specialist/s require for ops planning/ execution.

I think I have that right...?

So does that model of organization/ revolving expertise-based leadership and command have an actual NAME?

I'm asking because I have the opportunity to propose that my agency begins working like (what I think) an A-Team or UKSF patrol does (not in terms of RoE, I only mean in terms of the model I refer to above, about allowing specialists to lead the relevant mission components, regardless of the formal rank they hold). I was hoping that, if I understand this right, that there is a name for the model that I can cite in the proposal, rather than stumble-bumming around with words like I am here

Do I understand correctly, in a general sense? If so, does the model have a `name'?

Thanks for indulging me.

Oh, and Merry Christmas to all.
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  #2  
Old 23 December 2018, 22:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quixotic View Post
The guy holding the highest rank in the unit merely serves to facilitate and support mission execution, based on what the lower-ranking specialist/s require for ops planning/ execution.
The commander of the unit is responsible for everything the element does or fails to do. He cannot delegate that responsibility. He is not a facilitator. Whether or not the commander listens to the professionals subordinate to him...some do, some don't. That is true both in US and UK SOF.
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Old 23 December 2018, 22:50
quixotic quixotic is offline
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Gavin, thank you. I think I was unclear in what I was thinking/ saying. What I meant was;
Team's gotta blow up a bridge. The TL is an SF-qual subaltern, not a sapper by trade. He defers to the sapper for the expert advice on this operation, while retaining overall ultimate responsibility for the op. So while the buck stops with the TL, he has the sapper run the op because the sapper is the SME on blowing that bridge.
Am I still totally off base?
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Old 24 December 2018, 00:02
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A smart commander will listen to the experts he commands, and, if those he commands aren't experts, he'll remedy that issue.

Not all commanders are smart.
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Old 24 December 2018, 16:01
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John Simpson John Simpson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quixotic View Post
As I understand it, SF A-Teams and UKSF `patrols' generally consist of several specialists, to whom the TL/ patrol comm defers for expert advice/ ops planning and execution when and where the specialists' specialization comes into play.

You're actually engaging in an apples and oranges comparison. You can't make a one to one comparison between a 12-man Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (SFODA) commanded by a Captain and a 4-man SAS patrol led by an NCO.


And I also agree that the leader doesn't defer (as you put it) as a matter of doctrine to his subordinates. The SAS has kind of that concept in their DNA but that led to the Bravo Two Zero debacle.


My favorite examples are from Ben Schemmer's book on the Son Tay Raid. In one the demolition specialists came up with the required charges to blow a hole in the wall and Colonel "Bull" Simons told them to double the size of the charges. You can't delegate responsibility.



That said, I think the term you're looking for is a "cellular organization". In the 1955 edition of FM 31-20 US Army Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Chapter 4 we find:


31. General
a. The special forces group (airborne) contains
cellular operational teams which represent group's
primary training responsibility. The operational
teams are identified by using letter combinations to
indicate their relative operational levels after
deployment.



As a matter of interest this was the last edition of an SF doctrinal manual to use that word to describe an operational detachment.
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  #6  
Old 24 December 2018, 19:47
ExSquid ExSquid is offline
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In a thumbnail sketch:
18A - responsible for overall command & long range training plan
180A - tactical & technical repository and sounding board for 18A, 2IC and element commander during split Team operations
18Z - responsible for day to day Team activities (good order & discipline) and short term training plain IAW commander's long range training plan
18F - intelligence analyst responsible for up to date intelligence, stand-in Team SGT during split Team operations
18B(s) - weapons experts
18C(s) - construction, demolitions, & team logistics
18D(s) - medical specialists
18E(s) - communications & electronics

Depending on experience and qualifications like Jumpmaster, Diving Supervisor, etc. certain Team members may take the lead for some limited activities. Good commanders always listen to inputs but at the end of the day, they get paid to make final decisions and are held responsible. At least this is how it should function.

x/S
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Old 24 December 2018, 23:08
quixotic quixotic is offline
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`Cellular organization'- magic. Great starting point. Thank you very much- I'm grateful. Now, off to research the shit out of this! Thanks to all who replied.
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Old 27 December 2018, 03:08
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Permission to comment in this SF section please.....


Quixotic, for an alternative perspective you might want to get hold of the book "The Team Secret" by Koos Stadler and Anton Burger. It is Anton Burger's (author) take on utilizing (SADF Recce) small team tactics in the civvy world, in consultation with Koos Stadler (Recce). Koos Stadler is a bit of a legend in my end of the world and in my early days he was my mentor.

Very pertinent and useful info in the book, albeit written in a bit of a tedious repetitive fashion in my perspective. All about keeping management teams as small and as specialised as possible

Regarding the comparative hierarchy SF vs SAS mentioned in earlier posts, in the South African context it was not unheard of to have a lower ranking person designated as mission-specific team leader. Horses for courses same as the other specialist job descriptions on a team
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Last edited by Soutpiel; 27 December 2018 at 03:21.
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  #9  
Old 27 December 2018, 08:13
quixotic quixotic is offline
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Soutpiel- Dankie. I just ordered it through my local indie bookseller. Cheers.
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