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Archive for the ‘Air Force’ Category

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.”

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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.

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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. warn@tyrtactical.com or call us at 623-240-1400

There’s So Much To Love Here

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

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Which One Were You?

Monday, March 27th, 2017

This Day In AFSOC History

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

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On this Day in 1991: The AC-130A Spectre “Azrael” was sent to the Al Jahra highway between Kuwait City and Basrah, Iraq, to intercept the convoys of tanks, trucks, buses and cars fleeing the battle. Facing numerous enemy batteries of SA-6 and SA-8 surface-to-air missiles, and 37mm and 57mm radar-guided anti-aircraft artillery, the crew attacked the enemy skillfully, inflicting significant damage on the convoys. Learn more here thanks to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Combat Control Team History Lesson

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

CMSgt Alcide “Bull” Benini portrait, reproduced from Gathering of Eagles drawing (with permission).


This graphic hangs in the Combat Control School Heritage Foundation Museum at Pope Field, NC. Benini was designated the first Combat Controlled in 1953 and the Museum is named in his honor.

Gathering of Eagles Foundation

AFSOC Takes Delivery of Christini All-Wheel Drive Motorcycles

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

This photo if from recent New Equipment training by Fayetteville, NC-based Tactical Mobility Training for Air Force Special Operations Command’s recent purchase of Christini All-Wheel Drive motorcycles. 

SSD Saturday Night At The Movies Presents Classix: Die Luftwaffe der Bundeswehr 

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Thulsa Doom turned me on to this cool Cold War-era (1968), German documentary, entitied “Classix: Die Luftwaffe der Bundeswehr zeigt ihr Können während der Übung „schneller Pfeil“ which showcases their aerial delivery and Close Air Support capabilities during exercise Fast Arrow. Watching an F104 deliver CAS is priceless.

58th Rescue Squadron Resiliency Weekend

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a Resiliency Training offsite with the 58th Rescue Squadron, stationed at Nellis AFB, Nevada. Led by Lt Col Stephen C, the 58th is made up of Combat Rescue Officers, Pararescuemen (PJs), SERE Specialists and support personnel from 14 different careerfields.

Squadron members and their families made the short trip from Las Vegas, to nearby Saint George, Utah, to learn about how to better deal with the stresses of combat operations, and military life in general. Pioneered by USSOCOM, resiliency training is officially known as Preservation of Force and Family. More recently, Air Combat Command, as the responsible USAF command for the Guardian Angel Weapon System, instituted a similar program for their Battlefield Airmen. Last weekend’s event is a result of this initiative.

In addition to advances in nutrition and physical training, one of the goals of the program is to provide training to recognize stress and reduce the stigma of getting help for mental issues. Stress inoculation is key in training, but preparation and awareness of what one should expect, are also crucial. Those last bits were the focus of the weekend’s agenda.

As families accompanied them, the location was a perfect way for everyone to get away from Las Vegas for a few days. Saint George offers some great opportunities for outdoor recreation and bonding. The Squadron’s various elements also had ample time to accomplish mid and long-term goals, including planning on how to make them a reality.

The first day, Operational Psychologist Maj Richard S, 432nd Wing Operational Psychologist discussed adjusting to life after deployment and how to turn the switch off from operational life when you get back home. The next day, Lt Col Richard B is the lead SERE Psychologist at Fairchild. Having served in AFSOC at Cannon AFB, NM, Lt Col B concentrated on warrior mindset.

That evening, the 58th Rescue Squadron Booster Club presented a banquet for the unit and its families. While the active duty members were TDY, the families’ meals were made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Air Rescue Concepts and Soldier Systems Daily.

The next morning, Steve Tarani presented an interactive seminar for the Squadron members and their spouses. The topic was perfect for the weekend’s focus; Resiliency training, mental toughness and preparedness.


He has been teaching for over 30 years, concentrating on protection, of people, assets and facilities. These days he usually concentrates on train-the-trainer but he also offers seminars like this to improve the safety and security for high risk audiences.

Steve is a very engaging speaker. The talk was excellent and applicable, to the military participants just as much as their families. Mindset, awareness and threat mitigation were key points of his talk. Steve tied recent real world events into the training, including last week’s vehicle and knife attack in Ohio. The talk was especially important for family members, who often find themselves alone while their spouse is deployed because Steve discussed situational awareness and how to become a hard target.

After a team lunch, Maj John T gave an engaging talk about Fatigue Management and Performance. Rather than putting all of us to sleep after lunch, he offered fatigue countermeasures and the important of understanding circadian rhythms and adjunct medications. I also now understand the difference between snuggling and cuddling. Last but not least, Lt Col Stefanie S wrapped up the day with a discussion on the importance of nutrition for Special Operations Forces.

Patrick Van Horn author of ‘Left of Bang’ wrapped up the presentations on Sunday afternoon. Patrick is the author of, “Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life” and the CEO of The CP Journal, a behavioral analysis training company.  His presentation centered around Combat Profiling, which is a method of proactively identifying threats based on normal behavior and other cues from one’s surroundings.  Patrick explained how the foundation of combat profiling is that there are universal similarities in humans, despite cultural differences. The idea is to take a proactive approach to combat profiling by establishing baselines, identifying anomalies from that baseline and then acting on them.

All of the presentations were excellent and discussions with the members of the Guardian Angel community indicated they agreed.

The good news in all of this is that the military has become much better at recognizing and treating physical, emotional and mental stressors. Programs like this help to inoculate military personnel and their families toward these conditions, in order to help mitigate their effects. What is most important, is that personnel understand that these organizations continue to invest in their well being. Their units are there to help, and the stigma of seeking assistance is no longer there. The goal is to keep these warriors in the fight.

I want to thank the Airmen of the 58th Rescue Squadron for their hospitality. It was a joy to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and speak with Airmen and their families.