HomeNewsArticle Display

Special Tactics Airmen support vital training, maintain readiness through COVID-19

rotary aircraft sit on a landing zone with airmen walking out onto a beach

Special Tactics operators infiltrate a simulated target from CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotator aircraft during operability training with the 14th Weapons Squadron at Eglin Range, Fla., April 22, 2020. The training helped improve readiness and interoperability between special operations assets. Special Tactics is U.S. Special Operations Command’s tactical air and ground integration force, and the Air Force’s special operations ground force; leading global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rose Gudex)

An Air Force Special Tactics operator carries a patient on a stretcher to evacuate during an operability training scenario at Eglin Range, Florida

A Special Tactics operator carries a patient on a stretcher to evacuate during an operability training scenario at Eglin Range, Fla., April 22, 2020. Special Tactics teams conduct personnel recovery missions, from rapid mission planning to technical rescue, treatment and exfiltration. With in-depth medical and rescue expertise, along with their deployment capabilities, Special Tactics Airmen are able to perform missions in the world’s most remote areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rose Gudex)

operators under a blue and red light giving care to a patient

Special Tactics operators roll a patient to check for simulated bullet exit wounds during operability training at Eglin Range, Fla., April 22, 2020. Special Tactics is U.S. Special Operations Command’s tactical air and ground integration force, and the Air Force’s special operations ground force; leading global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rose Gudex)

operators hike up a mountain

Special Tactics operators spread out on a berm to provide security at the landing zone and observe their target during operability training at Eglin Range, Fla., April 22, 2020. The training helped improve readiness and interoperability between special operations assets. Special Tactics combines the core skills of Special Operations Forces with the tactical integration of air power to find unique solutions for ground problems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rose Gudex)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFNS) --

Special Tactics Airmen from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron conducted interoperability training with the 14th Weapons Squadron assigned to the U.S. Air Force Weapons School detachment at Hurlburt Field for a special operations force exercise, April 22.

“The recent training event was done in conjunction with the 14th Weapons Squadron as part of their curriculum to produce weapons officers from various aircraft in (Air Force Special Operations Command),” said Maj. Blake Jones, director of operations for the 23rd STS. “Their scenarios and full mission profiles necessitate the role of ground force as they train to conduct and support airfield seizures, noncombatant evacuations, hostage rescues and counter weapons of mass destruction operations. The 23rd STS picked up this great training opportunity after COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented other units from participating as planned.”

The exercise is a part of the 14th WPS’s demanding five and a half month syllabus, exposing students to a wide range of joint special operations and combat air force capabilities. Being able to move forward with the training allowed the iteration of Weapons School students to stay on track with their training timeline.

“Our students require close interaction with skilled ground forces throughout their training to graduate them as the recognized experts in (special operations forces) and (combat air forces) integration,” said. Lt. Col. Jacob Duff, 14th WPS director of operations. “Our planned training partners, a different Special Tactics squadron and multiple Army special forces units, were unable to travel to Hurlburt (AFB) and the 23rd STS immediately stepped in to fill that gap. Without them, it would have been significantly more difficult to meet our training objectives and graduate the newest class of SOF weapons officers and enlisted advanced instructors.”

The SOFEX also provided a unique opportunity for local Special Tactics Airmen to conduct multifaceted training with a volume of aviation assets otherwise not easily replicated outside of a larger exercise.

“Our recent participation allowed us to evaluate individual personnel and conduct training in mission planning, tilt-rotor assault, airfield seizure, landing zone establishment and control, terminal attack control, close quarters combat, personnel recovery and battlefield trauma care,” Jones said. “This was important because it gave many junior enlisted and junior officer (Special Tactics) personnel a crucial repetition mission planning with some of the best aviators in AFSOC as well as the opportunity to execute, work through contingencies and lead in a high-fidelity scenario.”

The units not only trained on the necessary skill sets needed to conduct a wide-range of special operations missions, increase lethality and maintain joint warfighting capabilities, but they were also tested on their ability to plan complex missions amid COVID-19 preventive measures.

“The combat capabilities we are tasked to provide are not changing, but the constraints are different now, so we must adapt,” Jones said. “We are adapting how we train, but also adapting how we resource and plan that training over teleconferences and web-based planning applications.”

In addition to reducing in-person mission planning, Special Tactics squadrons have implemented several techniques to maintain readiness while keeping health of operators at the forefront, including sanitizing equipment, using face coverings when needed, conducting internal evaluations on prioritization of missions, staffing smaller training groups and taking advantage of local training opportunities.

“Stopping all training is not a feasible course of action because the second and third order effects months down the line are far too costly in terms of readiness,” Jones said. “Our squadron commits and deploys personnel operationally year-round, so we focused on ensuring we are still on track to field combat ready forces on time.”

Special Tactics is U.S. Special Operations Command’s tactical air and ground integration force, and the Air Force’s special operations ground force; leading global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations.

Engage

Twitter
Industry and government operators, engineers, and test professionals assessed the ability to do medical evacuation,… https://t.co/GosqQbx3Ac
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: As part of the @UTNationalGuard's state partnership with Morocco, @UtahAirGuard Airmen are taking part in African Lion 21…
Twitter
“This office is the first organization that will stand-up from an enterprise-wide perspective to address digital ne… https://t.co/94P7CNFxGj
Twitter
"Multi-capable #Airmen is a series of training events designed to engage Airmen in developing a combat skillset out… https://t.co/7b4VFMb9cm
Twitter
"I'm probably not the first to be qualified, but the first to have the opportunity." @GenCQBrownJr sat down with… https://t.co/vh14QdB6sp
Twitter
#CitizenAirmen from the 30th Aerial Port Squadron & @AFRC_433, loaded supplies onto a C-5 Galaxy, to deliver suppli… https://t.co/MDSVEtQbZm
Twitter
.@59_MDW medics assisted a hospital in #Honduras during Exercise Resolute Sentinel 21, where they performed life-ch… https://t.co/DRGyg4NOhL
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A/SecAF Roth at today's SAC-D hearing: "Our nation’s competitive strategic advantage relies on air and space superiority…
Twitter
To maintain open lines of communication with #AirForce allies and African partners, CMSgt Brion Blais, @HQUSAFEAFAFhttps://t.co/4nGOtWJnLp
Twitter
“I can help [#Airmen] and prepare them for the challenges they’ll face as NCO’s; everything I’ve encountered has pr… https://t.co/YT3x1UjGFU
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A/SecAF Roth is speaking now on the future capabilities the Department requires to protect the Nation--including the Gro…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Defense is asking A/SecAF Roth about investments to modernize the @USAirForce
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subc…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subc…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subc…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subc…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subc…
Twitter
RT @Travis60AMW: An honor to host Ambassador Islam and show our aerial port in real time as #TeamTravis palletized and loaded critical supp…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,346,627
Follow Us