Both the 1st and 27th Special Operations Wings at Hurlburt Field, Florida and Cannon AFB, New Mexico respectively have Opposing Forces elements. These small units of volunteers are provisional in nature and are taken from the Wing’s hide and situated within the Special Operations Support Squadrons. The makeup of these elements is constantly changing due to the various AFSCs represented at any given time.
In addition to providing OPFOR for in-house unit training of the Wing’s various Squadrons and for Combat Survival Continuation Training, they also provide role players for various other exercises such as isolated personnel for search and rescue. Additionally, they may be used as surrogates for troops conducting alternate insertion and extraction methods from aircraft.
In a recent AF.mil article, William Baird 27th Special Operations Support Squadron OPFOR chief explained, “No day is ever typical. Some days we are operating all-terrain vehicles and employing explosives, weapons, ammunition and threat simulators; other days we are skillfully maneuvering high-powered watercraft on the lake.”
(All photos A1C Maynelinne De La Cruz)