HomeNewsArticle Display

Policy changes allow Airmen to retrain into special ops

Special Tactics officer candidates pull a Zodiac boat to the shore during a selection at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 21, 2014. Special Tactics career field training pipelines are some of the most physically and psychologically challenging in the Air Force. To ensure the correct individuals are on the battlefield, a group of Special Tactics Airmen weed out the cross-training candidates who don’t meet the high standards, putting them through a week-long selection process to select only the best-qualified individuals. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Katrina Cheesman)

Special tactics officer candidates pull a Zodiac boat to the shore during a selection at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 21, 2014. Special tactics career field training pipelines are some of the most physically and psychologically challenging in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Katrina Cheesman)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFNS) -- In a move to meet the high demand for battlefield Airmen, the Air Force announced changes to retraining and cross-flow, outlined in a policy memorandum from April.

The changes allow Airmen to be released from their current jobs in the Air Force to cross-train into the special tactics career fields, should they be selected following an assessment of physical, mental and psychological attributes.

"This change in policy will allow potential candidates the opportunity to retrain that were not able to previously,” said Chief Master Sgt. Alan Yoshida, the battlefield Airmen training pipeline manager. “Battlefield Airmen career fields historically have high attrition in training. This policy change could benefit the Air Force by increasing the candidate pool to those previously not allowed to cross-train.”

The memo applies to all battlefield Airmen career fields, which includes both conventional and special tactics Airmen. The critically manned career fields for special tactics are special tactics officer (13CX), combat rescue officer (13DX), combat controller (1C2X1), pararescue (1T2X1), and special operations weather (1WOX2). The change also applies to both tactical air control party (1C4X1) and air liaison officer (13LX), but these conventional career fields must first serve as a conventional force before applying for special tactics selection.

Special tactics Airmen are the Air Force’s ground special operations force, integrating airpower in ground special operations missions. Specifically, special tactics Airmen enable global access, precision strike and personnel recovery operations.

Airmen who don’t pass further initial qualifications, such as the assessment and selection process or failure in the battlefield Airmen training pipeline, will be reinstated into their prior career field without any prejudice.

“Through this policy change, the Air Force has focused efforts to ensure qualified Airmen have an opportunity to pursue a career in special tactics,” said Chief Master Sgt. Marshall Farris, who works for Headquarter Air Force A3. “Due to the rigorous training and unique career field requirements, qualified personnel are always in high demand for these challenging and rewarding specialties.”

The Air Force does not anticipate significant impacts to any one career field, as the number of Airmen selected for special tactics are minimal. However, while only small numbers are anticipated, this new policy could greatly impact the special tactics manning and mission capabilities in the future.

“We need the right people who can meet or exceed very demanding standards. With this policy shift, there are some highly qualified individuals in the Air Force who can now apply for special tactics assessment and selection,” said Col. Michael Flatten, the vice commander of the 24th Special Operations Wing, the sole special tactics wing in the Air Force.

Airmen in combat control, special tactics officer and special operations weather are assessed and selected as special tactics Airmen for Air Force Special Operations Command. Other battlefield Airmen career fields, including TACP, CRO and pararescue, are often assigned to Air Combat Command. Regardless of background, all battlefield Airmen career fields are demanding and difficult, with an average attrition rate of 80 percent throughout initial selection and training.

“We are looking for Airmen with the willpower and mental fortitude to complete extraordinary tasks for a greater cause,” Yoshida said. “This is not for everyone, but the memorandum allows us to recruit a small audience that may have been unavailable to us before -- Airmen who want to challenge themselves in an extremely demanding occupation.”

Cross-training is a force management program used primarily to balance the officer and enlisted career force inventories across all career fields, ensuring sustainability of career fields in support of Air Force mission priorities.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
DYK: Aircraft have lifespans! Like humans, they require check-ups in the form of maintenance inspections to prolong their ability to fly. These "checks" prevent in-flight system failures which ultimately protects aircrew and passengers. Learn more from the 86th Maintenance Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on what it takes to correct issues so aircraft can stay airborne.
WATCH: United States Air Force pilots talk about the importance of Exercise Saber Strike 18 as they refuel over the Baltic Sea on June 18, 2018. Saber Strike 18 is a long-standing training exercise designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and our allies. The training focused on improving land and air operational capabilities between the U.S. and our NATO allies. (U.S. Air National Guard video by: Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)
Check out some shots from yesterday's All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game in Washington, D.C. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals U.S. Army
Air Force and U.S. Army coed softball teams render military honors during the playing of the National Anthem during the All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game, Washington, D.C., July 13, 2018. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals
Great way to lead by example!
The United States Air Force is facing a pilot shortage. To help solve the challenge, the Aircrew Crisis Task Force was recently created to provide strategic direction and actionable recommendations to senior leaders on how to solve the aircrew manning crisis. FULL STORY: https://go.usa.gov/xUb3z
Your United States Air Force news: ✓ A B-52 crew assists in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Guam ✓ An Afghan pilot class graduates in the Czech Republic ✓ The Air Force is using innovative approaches to training pilots to make the process faster and more efficient
Now that’s how weathermen work! Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters fly weather reconnaissance missions into Tropical Storm Chris and Tropical Storm Beryl. http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1569944/hurricane-hunters-fly-tropical-storms-beryl-chris/
The F-22 Raptor's combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. Maintaining these aircraft can involve a bit of a learning curve. Airmen at KadenaAirBase use past technology to help learn how to work with the undefeated Raptor. FULL STORY: http://www.kadena.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1567295/hard-to-raptor-head-around/
Help us out! Can you caption this photo?
The B-52 Stratofortress has sniper pods that provide improved long-range target detection/identification and continuous stabilize surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces. Air Force Global Strike Command crew members on a B-52 were able to spot a historic Pacific Island style canoe so that the U.S. Coast Guard could rescue the six passengers!
For the past 60 years, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has continually helped us maintain a technological edge against our advarsaries. Together with the Air Force Research Laboratory - AFRL, a fusion of ideas is leading to newly highlighted innovations.
SOUND ON! Celebrate freedom with the sound of freedom! Happy Independence Day!
These supply #Airmen work 24/7 to ensure there is no break in the mission @RAFMildenhall because #NKAWTGhttps://t.co/biE2BPXVe1
Every #Airman has their reason for serving. Read on as these #Airmen explain what putting on the uniform everyday m… https://t.co/ubeDmY1liq
For the first time in the 63-year history of Operation Deep Freeze, #Airmen from the 304th Expeditionary Airlift Sq… https://t.co/CdeyI4HjHT
#DYK, the #MedalofHonor is the highest award for bravery that can be awarded to members of the United States Armed… https://t.co/qei2LbbD1I
.@388fw’s 4th Fighter Squadron became the first operational unit to fire the F-35A’s the #aircraft’s 25mm cannon on… https://t.co/J7hbXrCSCv
#DYK: The @22ARW is the host unit of McConnell AFB! Its mission is to conduct air refueling & airlift operations su… https://t.co/12bR9cwIuG
RT @71FTW: An aircraft crash has occurred approximately 50 miles west of Vance AFB. Pilot is conscious and with emergency responders. Follo…
.@HQUSAFEPA #Airmen & seven African partner nations strengthened relationships through the African Partnership Flig… https://t.co/FsvAK4n3i3
.@20FighterWing #Airmen learned how to be resilient by taking a leap of faith. https://t.co/WCgebfzEmj https://t.co/5JHPF7P1Px
RT @USAFHealth: A new transition cell was recently stood-up to coordinate and support ongoing transition efforts related to the NDAA and tr…
.@Travis60AMW #Airmen helped the Advanced Extremely High Frequency-4 program complete a major milestone by ensuring… https://t.co/yut12HK3M5
The School of Air Evacuation honored the history, present and future of aeromedical evacuation during their 75th an… https://t.co/5uYoyUwy9z
.@PANationalGuard #Airmen have new and improved parachutes. Read more about the lifesaving equipment:… https://t.co/QC1BGX8Fbl
At the @20FighterWing, munitions #Airmen train and work as a team to load 'em up & move 'em out.… https://t.co/9leaqRS8vI
Imagine trying to use a stethoscope on a plane. The noise makes the tool essentially useless. A new #technology aim… https://t.co/AYMf42Q0Wf
Read about this #Airman's experiences as he serves with the @Aus_AirForce through the Military Personnel Exchange P… https://t.co/6Td7p8u3ZO
RT @HQUSAFEPA: We. Are. NATO. U.S. Air Force F-22s and Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35s conducted training ops over Norwegian airspace toget…
Tune into this edition of Around the #AirForce https://t.co/SFdrh7AIIY
#DYK: Our #militaryworkingdogs are seen at veterinary treatment facilities, ensuring the #K9s are healthy and able… https://t.co/MZE22dcoZ1