Special Operations Command - Joint Capabilities (SOC-JC)
Special Operations Command - Joint Forces Command (SOCJFCOM)
Special Operations Command, Atlantic (SOCLANT)
Special Operations Command - Joint Capabilities (SOC-JC) has the mission of acting as the Department of Defense's primary joint special operations forces trainer and integrator. The organization provides the same support the warfighter that it had previously as Special Operations Command - Joint Forces Command (SOCJFCOM).
SOCJFCOM supported both the training of conventional joint commanders and staffs in the employment of special operations forces, and the training of prospective commanders and staffs of joint special operations task forces (JSOTFs). SOCJFCOM subsequently reorganized to form a Special Operations Forces Joint Training Team (SOF JTT) to support these training activities.
Initially located in Norfolk, Virginia, near the USJFCOM Joint Warfighting Center (JWFC), which supports the training of commander in chief staffs and joint task force commanders and staffs, SOCJFCOM was well-situated to integrate special operations forces operations into the training of potential joint-force commanders and staffs. SOCJFCOM could also support the training of JSOTFs and other joint special operations forces headquarters, and it could collect and share lessons learned in tactics, techniques and procedures from joint special operations forces operations worldwide.
Joint task forces were normally established by a geographic commander in chief for the conduct of major operations, such as offensive and defensive operations, air interdiction, and theater missile defense. The joint force commander's concept of operations arranged these major operations either sequentially or simultaneously. Special operations forces might be a key player (or possibly the main player) during the early phases of such an operation. However, SOF JTT training focuses more on the ways that special operations forces could support the joint force commander's concept of operations than on unilateral special operations forces missions. In discussing what special operations forces could do to complement the joint force commander's major operations, the SOF JTT emphasized feasibility, the principle of not allowing enthusiasm to over-ride a realistic appreciation of what special operations forces could do within their capabilities.
The mission of the Joint Reserve Unit (JRU) was to provide the Commander, SOCJFCOM with trained, highly skilled individuals that could fully integrate into the active component staff to support the special operations command's mission as trainer and integrator of Special Operations forces in a joint, multinational, and interagency environment. Members of the JRU would augment the JSOTF staff, focused primarily on Joint Operations Center (JOC)/Joint Intelligence Support Element (JISE) operations and when directed would function as part of the JECG for exercise support. The JRU would be capable of fully assuming these duties, thereby permitting the special operatinos command to focus limited resources on other areas. The concept was to continuously improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the JRU in the JOC, JISE, and JECG to support the SOCJFCOM mission. When necessary, the unit would provide short notice support to SOCJFCOM in the form of trained and deployable individuals and staff elements to meet operational requirements.
Special Operations Command - Joint Capabilities was originally formed as the Special Operations Command, Atlantic (SOCLANT), the component command for US Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM, later USACOM). On 1 October 1999, the Unified Command Plan 99 (UCP 99) redesignated USACOM as the US Joint Force Command (USJFCOM), fully asserting its mission as the joint force provider, trainer, and integrator. UCP 99 depicted the evolution from USACOM, a geographic commander in chief with some functional roles, toward a functional unified command performing joint force training, integrating, and force-providing functions while retaining some geographic unified command responsibilities. SOCLANT was subsequently redesignated as Special Operations Command - Joint Forces Command (SOCJFCOM).
In concert with UCP 99, Commander in Chief, USJFCOM's (CINCJFCOM) strategic vision was to lead the transformation of US armed forces to the capabilities envisioned in Joint Vision 2010. CINCUSJFCOM would maximize America's existing and future military capabilities through joint training, total force integration, and the provision of ready CONUS-based conventional forces to support other CINCs, the Atlantic theater, and domestic requirements. Toward this end, USJFCOM was established as the center of excellence for training, training support, and integration of US forces and allies in preparing to conduct the full spectrum of joint, multinational, and interagency operations in order to protect and defend national interests.
The change to USJFCOM significantly changed the focus of what became SOCJFCOM. SOCJFCOM was a sub-unified command of USJFCOM, located in Norfolk, Virginia. SOCJFCOM further enhanced USJFCOM's center of excellence by providing the capability to fully integrate special operations forces operations in its joint, multinational, and interagency training and integration program. SOCJFCOM also assisted in CINCSOC's joint special operations forces training responsibilities through its JSOTF, Joint Psychological Operations Task Force (JPOTF), and Joint Civil-Military Operations Task Force (JCMOTF) training charter.
As part of the activation of USJFCOM, in September 1999, CINCUSJFCOM had approved a new SOCJFCOM mission statement to underscore this changing role. As per the new mission statement, SOCJFCOM would conduct worldwide joint special operations forces training and facilitate joint integration to enhance the effectiveness and interoperability of special operations forces in joint, multinational, and interagency environments. Additionally, as a theater special operations command, SOCJFCOM would conduct special operations as directed by CINCUSJFCOM.
From this mission statement, SOCJFCOM derived 4 mission essential tasks:
- Conduct worldwide joint SOF training to enhance SOF effectiveness within the joint, multinational, and interagency environment in support of USJFCOM's training program; focus training on CINC staffs and JTF commanders and staffs (the mission employers of SOF), and the identified training needs of the JSOTF, JPOTF, JCMOTF commanders and staffs (the doers);
- Improve JTF to JSOTF and JSOTF to JTF component interoperability through participation in the USJFCOM Joint Exercise Program;
- Facilitate joint integration, to include concept development and experimentation, to enhance SOF effectiveness within the joint, multinational, and interagency environment; and
- Conduct special operations in support of USJFCOM, which encompasses: being prepared to form a JSOTF to conduct special operations in support of USJFCOM; conducting regional surveys; and being prepared to deploy a Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team within 24 hours of notification.
As USJFCOM continued to spearhead the improvement of the joint combat capability of US military forces worldwide, SOCJFCOM would facilitate this evolution by its focus on joint special operations forces training and integration that enhances the effectiveness and interoperability of special operations forces in joint, multinational, and interagency operations.
In August 2010, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced his recommendation that Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) be closed. On 29 April 2011, SOCJFCOM was redesignated as Special Operations Command - Joint Capabilities (SOC-JC) and reassigned US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) as part of the process of closing up USJFCOM.