HomeNewsArticle Display

Special Warfare career fields update entry requirements

Dive training.

Special Warfare Training Wing trainees conduct dive training July 28, 2019, at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. Dive training is an integral part of training for many career fields in special warfare. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Jeremy Huggins)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-CHAPMAN TRAINING ANNEX, Texas (AFNS) --

Air Force Special Warfare has refined its rich history of Assessment and Selection for entry into the special tactics and Guardian Angel career fields.

A&S is a character-based process that is indexed off of physical performance and mental fortitude, but fuses the cognitive domain to build a unit of action--an agile and adaptive operator. A&S is a high performance system designed to prepare operators for uncertainty, to embrace pressure and improve their crisis management abilities.

“No inflection point, we’ve been doing this for 65 years so this isn’t new to us,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jamie Clark, Special Warfare Training Wing command chief. “Our A&S has always been about developing the operator, a problem solver, not a specialty. Let’s not mince words though, it starts and ends with grit. At the very core, our A&S is a talent management process designed to build an Air Force joint leader to project airpower in combat, humanitarian and gray zone operations.”

In January of 2019, the wing revised its previous A&S into a single, more comprehensive process designed to push and test the upper limits of a candidate’s physical, mental and cognitive abilities. The course is four weeks long and aspiring attendees consist of pararescue, combat control, special reconnaissance, combat rescue officer and special tactics officer candidates. Previously, candidates of these career fields attended different initial entry courses such as the Pararescue Indoctrination Course or Combat Control Selection Course.

“In the past, combat control and pararescue candidates went through the Indoctrination Course together,” said Senior Master Sgt. Lopaka Mounts, A&S superintendent. “Bringing combat control, pararescue and now special reconnaissance back into the same A&S ensures candidates are evaluated along the same guidelines for trainability, suitability and durability.”

This A&S is no different than other special operations career fields across the Department of Defense. Its task and purpose is to ensure candidates have the requisite attributes to operate in any environment under extreme conditions, either individually or in small teams with limited to no support infrastructure. Stress is levied on candidates to simulate and inoculate them to high-risk, reduced signature and politically sensitive situations they will face in their careers, so attrition is expected.

“There is always going to be stress put on candidates in this course because we need to ensure they are able to perform. Therefore, attrition is unavoidable,” Mounts said. “The physical and mental tests throughout A&S is purposeful, anchored to and meant to ensure our candidates meet mission requirements. Candidates should come to the course ready to crush the standards that are in place.”

The goal has always been readiness and lethality while increasing operational placement and access, as well as range and maneuverability to operate in contested and noncontested environments. In essence, it’s about preparing the environment, which is what the Air Force envisioned when it created GA and ST. A&S is the mechanism to achieve this goal.

“We’re extremely proud of our GA and ST lineage and history. A&S is vital to what we represent, why wouldn’t it be? It’s the benchmark experience of who we are and fight for,” Clark said. “Our goal has and continues to be to position the Air Force to be successful, to create an unfair fight so we win. This is no more evident than the ultimate sacrifice paid by some of our heroes like William Pitsenbarger, John Chapman, Jason Cunningham, Scott Duffman, Scott Sather, Andy and Sean Harvell and Bill Schroeder.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @173rdFW: "I may have lost everything, but thanks to the support we’ve found here, I’m going to be back on my feet inside of a few weeks…
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr & @cmsaf_official sat down and discussed how the Air Force will continue exempting Airmen from PT t… https://t.co/bWVig9fSOW
Twitter
SrA Mark Gonzalez describes how his job enables the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber to support the Bomber Task Force depl… https://t.co/sceKCtM3Pz
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Our Airmen come from all walks of life — and we are stronger for it. Staff Sgt. Kalinin, 56th Force Support Squadron ALS…
Twitter
“It's critical to have that diversity in the Air Force that we have today because it is truly through that diversit… https://t.co/RIDQDjdlCr
Twitter
F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron @EielsonAirForce takeoff in support of exercise Valia… https://t.co/cf0raGgEUD
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "This test, and others like it, can shape the future of the MQ-9, as we continue to increase its relevance in great power com…
Twitter
"We cannot rest on our laurels. It is all about the people, folks, and they will guarantee our readiness, and are f… https://t.co/BsNDUSw0wE
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: USAFCENT Airmen and coalition partners are executing missions of national, regional and global importance and Exercise Desert…
Twitter
In March 2019, @AFSpecOpsCmd received its first Block 30 AC-130J Ghostrider gunship. Referred to as “the ultimate b… https://t.co/V9FoDThYRQ
Twitter
As the Joint Force transitioned from a Continuous Bomber Presence posture in the Indo-Pacific theater to a Dynamic… https://t.co/u8JlA3GaeF
Twitter
As of August 2020, The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, aka Hurricane Hunters, has flown 64 missions into 12 s… https://t.co/CFtHJ8HDXG
Twitter
.@AFGlobalStrike tackled B-1B readiness issues head-on by readying the fleet with a roadmap to recovery over a 2-yr… https://t.co/dEfZemGKbb
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years of the U.S. Air Force, we remember the heroes we are proud to have served with. Today we… https://t.co/3pdHX3DvIn
Twitter
Flying, fighting and winning since 1947. #USAF73 https://t.co/qM28ykPZwt
Twitter
RT @AF_Academy: Proud to fly the @usairforce flag today and every day! Happy 73rd Birthday! #YourAcademy #FamilyWeek https://t.co/hOIs1ghq7M
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Today we honor the #heroes who knew the worst of war and the agony of captivity - those who fought for and lost their fre…
Twitter
RT @ArmyMateriel: Join us in wishing a Happy Birthday to our brothers and sisters in the United States Air Force! #DYK The Air Force was…
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
1,280,540
Follow Us