U.S. Special Operations Command North hosts international partners


U.S. Special Operations Command North (SOCNORTH) welcomed representatives of special operations forces (SOF) from almost a dozen partner nations February 9, 2022, at its Colorado headquarters.

SOCNORTH hosted U.S. Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) J3 International Interoperability Branch (J3I) whose participants included SOF from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia.

The mission of J3I is to provide a headquarters component for SOF personnel seeking to coordinate or collaborate with partner nations on operations, capability development or other multinational issues, according to USSOCOM.

SOCNORTH is the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) component of USSOCOM, with headquarters at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Army Brig. Gen. Shawn M. Satterfield, the SOCNORTH commander, and Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Clint Grizzell, the command’s senior enlisted leader, briefed participants on SOCNORTH’s mission and operations as well as fielded questions. There were discussions on tactics, techniques and homeland defense.

(Pictured: Brig. Gen. Shawn Satterfield, head of table, and Chief Master Sgt. Clint Grizzell, right, hold a discussion with international SOF personnel.)

The event showcased the partnerships and collaboration between SOCNORTH and its SOF allies.

“From a military perspective, our alliances are strong and critical to U.S. and North American security,” Satterfield said during a 2021 online military forum where he emphasized that SOF enhance their already formidable capabilities by participating in joint operations.

Of such training and education, Satterfield likes to cite a maxim in special operations: “Competent SOF,” he said, “cannot be created after emergencies occur.”

The J3I participants also visited 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Colorado’s Fort Carson to learn about its support of SOCNORTH’s objectives.

In addition to hosting J3I, the past few months have been notable for SOCNORTH, which was established December 11, 2012, and was activated less than a year later.

Officials broke ground on its new headquarters building at Peterson Space Force Base on Nov. 8, 2021. The U.S. $43.78 million project is scheduled for completion in 2023. SOCNORTH also broke new ground — in the social-media realm — February 1, 2022, when it announced accounts on Facebook and Twitter.