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Archive for the ‘Air Force’ Category

Battlefield Airmen Incentive Pay to be Based on Skill Versus Duty

Friday, July 7th, 2017

Senior Airman Paul Cauge, a 274th Air Support Operations Squadron joint terminal attack controller, uses a laser rangefinder designator for a close air support training mission July 29, 2015, at Grayling Air Gunnery Range in Grayling, Mich., during Northern Strike 2015. The annual exercise involved hundreds of military personnel from 20 states, as well as Canada, Latvia, Poland and Australia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Scott Thompson)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Based on new authority from the Defense Department, the Air Force announced its intent to begin a pilot program providing battlefield Airmen skill incentive pay based on qualified skills versus performed duties.

The new incentive pay, which will replace hazardous duty incentive pays, are designed to incentivize Airmen to maintain qualifications for critical and essential skills such as jump, dive and demolition. Currently, Battlefield Airmen only receive these incentives when performing their duties, and limit monthly payments when an Airman is unable to perform these skills due to medical restrictions or career broadening opportunities.

“Our nation requires that we send our Battlefield Airmen into harm’s way and calls for them to operate in some of the most dangerous places on the planet,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “Their training is extensive and grueling, and they maintain the skills that our Air Force and joint force rely on.”

“The current pay structure was causing unnecessary financial burdens for these warriors when their incentive pay would stop during temporary medical restrictions or a career broadening assignment,” he said. “We now have the authority to pay these warriors based on their qualifications, and this is the right way to take care of Airmen from whom we ask so much.”

The change removes the financial disincentive currently associated with Battlefield Airmen seeking medical care or broadening assignments as instructors or members of headquarters staff under the hazardous duty pay program, for example.

This three-year pilot program ensures the new incentive pay will be equal to existing incentive pays battlefield Airmen already receive in the following Air Force specialty codes: combat control, pararescue, tactical air control party, special operations weather, combat rescue officer, special tactics officer and air liaison officer.

Implementation of battlefield Airmen skill incentive pay is set for this fall. For more information, Airmen are encouraged to contact their local support squadron office.

The Battlefield Airmen Skill Incentive Pay pilot program will replace other pays and offer up to $615 per momth.

Air Combat Command Selects Battlefield Airmen – Digital Air Strike Suite

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Air Combat Command (ACC) recently selected Battlefield Airmen – Digital Air Strike Suite (BA-DASS) as the near term Digitally Aided Close Air Support (DACAS) software solution for Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) warfighters. Following a formal evaluation and comparison of multiple DACAS systems, ACC concluded that BA-DASS was the best fit for the TACP community. ACC stated, “This software selection is to provide immediate force multiplier capability to TACP warfighters.”

Senior Airman Nathan Dupler, 113th Air Support Operations Squadron, Terre Haute, Ind., conducts a close air support training mission with an F-16 Fighting Falcon, July 29, 2015, at Grayling Air Gunnery Range, Grayling, Mich., during Northern Strike 15. NS 15 is an annual training exercise on CGJMTC that assesses joint air-to-ground capability and involves hundreds of military personnel from 20 different states as well as Canada, Latvia, Poland and Australia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Scott Thompson/released)

BA-DASS integrates with numerous sensors directly enhancing Battlefield Situational Awareness (SA). BA-DASS improves the performance of TACP, Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTACs), and Guardian Angel (GA) operators during target acquisition and terminal control, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), and personnel recovery operations. With its integrated troubleshooting and DACAS capabilities, BA-DASS reduces potential for errors, enhances the safety and security of friendly forces, increases SA, and ultimately reduces the risks of fratricide. Refer to the BADASS data sheet for a full list of system capabilities.

Download the full pdf here.

Let’s Help Out Maj Gebbie’s Fellow Unit Members

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

I’m sure SSD’s readers can come up with some excellent ways to let Maj Gebbie know the error of his ways. Based on the Major’s behavior, the more passive aggressive, the better.

Saturday Night at the Movies: “Friends and Neighbors-People You Know”

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Here’s a fantastic 1970 USAF educational documentary covering the mobilization, trainup, and deployment of USAF Air National Guard F-100 units. Narrated by the late Bob Crane of the television show Hogan’s Heroes, the film chronicles the mobilization of four F-100 equipped ANG squadrons in response to the Pueblo Crisis during 1968. One particular two-ship mission is covered from pre-flight briefing to post-flight celebration.

The Super Sabre, better known as “The Hun” was the USAF’s first supersonic fighter and formed the backbone of the USAF and many NATO and allied Air Forces prior to the arrival of the F-4 Phantom.  The last Huns were retired from the Taiwanese and Danish air forces in the early 1980s, following USAF ANG retirement in 1979.

The squadrons mobilized and highlighted in the film are:

  • 120thTactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) Bobcats of the Colorado ANG (tail VS)
  • 174th TFS Bats of the Iowa ANG (tail HA)
  • 188thTFS Tacos of the New Mexico ANG (tail  SK)
  • 136th TFS Rocky’s Raiders of the New York ANG (tail SG).

These four squadrons collectively logged more than 30,000 sorties during their deployments to Southeast Asia during 1968 and 1969, with some aircraft pulling up to five CAS sorties per day.

While the film may predate many of the SSD readership, many of our fathers and uncles likely owe their lives to “Weekend Warrior” CAS.


USAF Standing Up MFF Parachutist Course For Battlefield Airmen

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

(USAF photo by Capt Jessica Tait)

Despite a couple of delays, the US Air Force is closing in on standing up a Military Free Fall Parachutist qualification course for its Battlefield Airmen. Like the US Navy’s course, it will be run by contractors, and the curriculum will be certified by USSOCOM and USASOC as well as AETC. Unlike the USN course, students will not earn their Static Line parachutist qualification, but will already be graduates of the Ft Benning course upon attendence of the AF MFF course. Students will meet all of the standards of the Army MFF course, but it will be conducted at a contractor facility, utilizing contract aircraft.

MFF training is an initial skills course that provides academic, ground, vertical wind tunnel/simulation, and military freefall training to first time jumpers that meets United States Special Operations Command/United States Army Special Operations Command (USSOCOM/USASOC) curriculum requirements.

Sister service parachute training has been stood up due to limited availability of course quotas for the Army MFF course. The Navy has been using a contractor run course for over a decade and added S/L training to their parachutist course because the Ft Benning curriculum lasts three weeks. While NSW primarily conducts MFF parachute ops, they certify their students in S/L procedures within the first few days of their training course.

Final contractor proposals are due on 2 May, 2017. Hopefully, we’ll see a pilot course before the end of the fiscal year.

USAF Special Tactics Form SOTF During Exercise Emerald Warrior

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

This is a very big deal. It means Special Tactics have come a long way from when I was an LT, 20 years ago at the 720th STG and we had just created the Special Tactics Operations Center UTC to provide C2 for deployed ST forces. We didn’t even have enough manpower billets to conduct 24 hour operations in all specialties. ST has not only matured into a Wing with two Groups, but its organic support infrastructure has grown to the point where operators can concentrate on their mission rather than providing support functions.

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — Emerald Warrior is an annual air-centric irregular warfare exercise directed by U.S. Special Operations Command, but this year, something different happened: the Air Force’s ground special operations force specifically trained joint leaders how to win across multiple domains.

For the first time during EW17, Air Force Special Tactics executed command and control of all ground special operations forces during the two-week irregular warfare exercise, which ended March 10.

“This was the first time that Special Tactics has fielded a SOTF headquarters — everything from leadership to sustainment, planning of operations to execution,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Magruder, commander of the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron.

For Special Tactics Airmen, EW17 was a proof of concept for the Air Force’s role in future joint operations: employing Airmen in leadership positions against an enemy-centric problem.

“EW 17 provided us a great opportunity to further refine and train toward the responsibility to lead at the O-5/E-9 joint special operation forces task force level,” said Col. Michael E. Martin, commander of the 24th Special Operations Wing. “Lt. Col. Magruder and Chief Innis surpassed our expectations and the joint standards to lead and employ as Special Operations Task Force command team.”


The ground component of EW17 was led by an ST Airman, Magruder, who acted as the exercise’s SOTF commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Scott Innis, who acted as the senior enlisted leader.

Magruder and his staff led EW17’s entire ground component special operations force, including 300 operators from France, the Netherlands, the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group and Air Force Special Tactics teams.


The SOTF planned and executed 21 full mission profiles in compressed timeline of 10 days. Primarily, special operations teams performed an array of congressionally-mandated missions spanning global access, direct action and personnel recovery.

“From our perspective, this was about developing joint leaders in the Air Force,” said Magruder. “This is a great venue in terms of developing some experience in the ground scheme of maneuver and translating that into something that Airmen understand in terms of what higher headquarters is expecting to achieve from a joint-force perspective.”

Special Tactics Airmen were the preponderance of ground special operations force, and integrated the air component, to include fighter and global strike bomber aircraft into their missions, instead of visa versa. As with many firsts in a complex operating environment, the Air Force-led SOTF faced and overcame a multitude of challenges.

According to Magruder, it was challenging to effectively manage information and synchronize resources while meeting training objectives and executing safe operations on such a large scale– another reason Special Tactics dedicates itself to training like they will fight.

“Special Tactics is all about looking at ways to solve hard problems and contribute to the win,” said Martin. “The 22 STS successfully deployed and led a SOTF at Weapons School Integration phase on Dec. 16, and then to EW 17. I have all the confidence in them to lead during crisis and combat.”

All photos from US Air Force.

See TYR Tactical At I-WEPTAC

Monday, April 10th, 2017

TYR Tactical® is proud to announce its participation in the I-WEPTAC at Lackland Air Force Base. Attendees will have the opportunity checkout the Innovate or Die® Tour and Mobile Showroom on April 11th. Get hands-on with the latest TYR Tactical®, Huron™ and Revere K9™ designs. Following our mantra, Innovate or Die®, these products continue our mission of pushing the standards of today’s tactical equipment, defining modularity and scalability and are custom made for you, The Next Generation Warrior®.

Stop Details:
· Learn how TYR Tactical® integrates DuPont™ Kevlar Brand into not only soft armor but almost every piece of tactical nylon kit.
· Speak one-on-one with our Team Specialist
· Get hands-on with the latest TYR Tactical®, Huron™ and Revere K9™ designs in the TYR Tactical® Mobile Showroom
· Pick up a FREE Innovate or Die® Tour T-Shirt

Have a question or want to setup a meeting? Contact Our Airforce Sales Coordinator, Chris Warn. or call us at 623-240-1400

There’s So Much To Love Here

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017