Special Operations Command and Control Element - Kuwait (SOCCE-KU)
Special Operations Command and Control Element - Kuwait (SOCCE-KU) fostered the development of host-nation military-to-military contacts and civilian contacts in Kuwait. SOCCE-KU also performs liaison with other US special operations forces stationed in Kuwait in order to share information and to deconflict operations. SOCCE-KU was established for maintaining professional, redundant, long-term relationships with key Kuwaiti personnel, units and organizations in the vicinity of Camp Doha.
As a subordinate command of the Special Operations Command-Central Command (SOCCENT), SOCCE-KU was charged with conveying to various audiences the operations, plans and intent of the SOCCENT commander, as well as demonstrating the professional capabilities, prowess and maturity of special operations forcse non-commissioned officers. SOCCE-KU's liaison function also included providing relevant information from the land-component commander back to SOCCENT. During peace and conflict, SOCCE-KU executed the special operations forces mission of foreign internal defense through Exercise Iris Gold.
During combat operations SOCCE-KU was charged with maintaining command and control of the Coalition Support Teams (CST) assigned to work with Kuwaiti land forces, with ensuring the CSTs' combat readiness, and with making prudent distribution of CSTs to appropriate battalions of the Kuwaiti land forces.
SOCCE-KU was formed on 15 September 1997, when the commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) approved a proposal to establish permanent special-operations command-and-control elements in Kuwait and Bahrain. The primary impetus for maintaining a continuous special operations forces presence in Kuwait was the need to conduct Exercise Iris Gold. Iris Gold was part of post-Operation Desert Storm support to Kuwait, first known as Operation Instrinsic Action and then as Operation Desert Spring. Before SOCCE-KU was established, special operations forces utilized Advanced Operating Bases (AOB), which, when deployed to Kuwait, were required to work within Camp Doha's complex logistics structure without the benefit of any institutional knowledge of the systems or any familiarity with key Camp Doha personnel. The establishment of SOCCE-KU created a permanent SOF presence in Kuwait that would take the burden of logistical and administrative coordination from rotating units.
In March 2003, during the initial phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom, SOCCE-KU served as the foundation of a wartime liaison cell that communicated information between SOCCENT and CENTCOM's Combined Force Land Component Command (CFLCC). This expanded liaison cell included sub-cells that represented each of the key subordinate components of SOCCENT. Each sub-cell was led by an Army Special Forces colonel or a Navy special-warfare commander. Each sub-cell also had 3-5 additional special operations forces personnel so that it could provide 24-hour liaison support. A senior Army Special Forces colonel, SOCCENT's senior liaison with the CFLCC, synchronized the efforts of the liaison sub-cells. SOCCE-KU's CSTs also provided 2-way connectivity between the Kuwaiti battalions and the CFLCC during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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