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“Certainly we benefit from our aerial platforms out there, but in some cases we will not be able to operate aerial platforms because the host nation will not allow us to do that. So we’ve got to continue to look at long-range, high-fidelity tactical sensors that allow us to see and understand what is happening,” he said.

Operating in areas outside of declared theaters of armed conflict also means that special operations forces must minimize their visibility, or “footprint,” he said.

“Signature reduction — things that can reduce the individual vehicle or vessel’s signature or profiles — will always be very, very important to us,” the general said.

Special operators are always looking for nonlethal means to stop vessels or vehicles, he said.

Nonlethal weapons “give us great options on how to solve problems, get control of the situation. So we always want to look at areas like that and how we can do that better,” Gen. Votel said.