Adm. WIlliam McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, made waves with recent comments that the number of the most elite members of the U.S. fighting force should be drawn back so that these individuals are reserved for a more specialized role. By focusing on missions of smaller scales and not functioning as accessories to larger fighting forces, McRaven believed that Special Forces could ultimately operate as a more effective unit.

After a recent order concerning the Special Forces, McRaven's strategic comments seem to not have fallen on deaf ears. According to The Washington Post, 150 soldiers from the Air Force Special Operations units and a contingent of supporting airmen will be deployed to central Africa to aid in the search for Joseph Kony, the warlord at the head of the notorious Lord's Resistance Army. The Special Operations forces will bring several CV-22 Osprey multi-purpose aircraft to aid in their operations that are expected to take place throughout the dense jungles of several countries in the heart of the African continent.

Renewed efforts
By order of President Barack Obama under the War Powers Act, the contingent of Special Operations forces and at least four of the Air Force's versatile CV-22 Osprey aircrafts have been deployed to U.S. military bases in Uganda, The Washington Post reported. Though Kony's whereabouts remain unknown, the new troop strength is expected to search an area that comprises regions of Uganda, the largely lawless Central African Republic, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

With the arrival of this contingent of soldiers, the approximate number of U.S. forces stationed in Uganda is expected to reach 300.

While soldiers dispatched in 2011 have disrupted LRA operations, they have not yet located Kony himself.

The Air Force outlined several key operational features of the CV-22 Osprey aircrafts the troops will be bringing with them, most notably its movable rotor design that allows both vertical landings and takeoffs, as well as high speeds at fixed-wing flight. This functionality will allow Special Operations soldiers to move more effectively through the dense jungles of central Africa where it is believed that Kony has evaded U.S. and Ugandan forces for years.

Standing orders
While U.S. troop numbers in central Africa will rise sharply as a result of this deployment, The New York Times reported that American soldiers do not have authorization to engage members of the LRA on sight. The objective of their mission is to aid Ugandan and other soldiers from central African nations in their search for the warlord, but they do have orders to fight back in self defense.