Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Air Force’ Category

Hurlburt Field Unveils Special Tactics Memorial

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Last week, AFSOC added a statue of a Special Tactics Operator to the memorial park at Hurlburt Field, Florida. Considering the 24th SOW is a major portion of AFSOC’s combat power, and Special Tactics Airmen have been instrumental in the joint fight, its about time their contributions are recognized.

Special Tactics, the Air Force’s ground special operations force, has been engaged in every major conflict since 9/11, continuously deployed for more than 5,000 days to more than 73 locations. As a result of their actions in combat, the Special Tactics community has earned the highest number of valorous medals in the Air Force since the Vietnam War.

In the last 40 years, only ten Airmen have received the Air Force Cross, the service’s highest medal it can bestow for valor in combat. Eight of those recipients were Special Tactics Airmen.

Beside the statue are two plaques which include the names of those Airmen who have earned the Air Cross Cross as well as the 8 ST operators who have fallen in training and the 19 who perished in action.

In true Special Tactics fashion, the dedication ceremony ended with memorial pushups.

Photos courtesy of North American Rescue.

SureFire Scout Lights Now Authorized for USAF Use

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

We just found out from Quantico Tactical that the SureFire Scout Light is now authorized for use with USAF weapons. For years, the only authorized weapon light for rifles and carbines was the Insight M3X. These SureFire Scout Light Kits are authorized for use on ALL M4/M4A1s throughout the Air Force, not just Security Forces and are a unit purchase. I’m told told pricing is very competitive for the SureFire light and a unit can get the aluminum light and remote switch for less than the incumbent light. This is big news for Airmen, regardless of command. I know EOY is right around the corner, but this is something worth looking at. 

The most recent USAF Small Arms and Light Weapons (SA/LW) Accessories List (Dated 15 April 2016) authorizes the below two configurations of the battle-proven Surefire Scout Light for use on all M4/M4A1s throughout the entire US Air Force.

M600 KIT 01 Consists of a Surefire M600V Scout Light coupled with a DS-SR07D-IT tailcap/remote switch. This combination gives you 350 Lumens of Visible Light and 120mW of IR illumination in a 7.2 ounce rugged hardcoat anodized package. The tailcap/tapeswitch controls both your Scout Light and PEQ-15. Additional feature include momentary or constant on via the rail-grabber waterproof switch, clock on/off on the tailcap and a system disable feature. Mounts directly to a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny Rail and uses two CR123A batteries.

M600 KIT 02 consists of a Surefire M600U coupled with a UE07 tape switch. For those whose mission requires only visible light, this combination gives you 600 lumens of visible, focused light, a 7” remote tape switch and Surefire’s rugged durability. Mounts directly to a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny Rail and uses two CR123A batteries.

Both configurations are available on Quantico Tactical’s GSA schedule, or for those who wish to use MILSTRIP/MIPRs via Quantico’s Defense Logstics Agency TLS Contract for Special Operational Equipment.

Quantico is running an introductory special GSA price of $399.25 for KIT 01 (Visible and IR) and $250.26 for KIT 01 (Visible).

For more information, download the flyer or e-mail GovtOps@QuanticoTactical.com


When USAF Tigerstripes Were Cool

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

COL Mike Martin Assumes Command Of 24th SOW

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

I’m very pleased to share that Col Mike Martin has assumed command of the 24th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida. I had the pleasure of serving with Col Martin at the 21st STS at Pope, back when when it was still an Air Force Base, and he was a brand new Special Tactics Officer. He was a Team Leader and I was the Squadron Intel officer and we had a rather challenging commander. I think we both learned a lot working for that guy and that’s why I’m proud to say, he has always been a very smart guy and an even headed leader. There are a lot of great men in that careerfield, so I know it’s quite an honor for him to get that command. Congratulations!

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — For the third time since its activation in 2012, the 24th Special Operations Wing welcomed a new commander during an assumption of command ceremony here July 14.

Lt. Gen. Brad Heithold, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, presided over the ceremony, where Col. Michael Martin assumed command of the sole Special Tactics wing in the Air Force.

Heithold challenged Martin to lead the Airmen in his command toward continued success.

“Continue to focus on providing combat-ready forces…we win, we don’t settle for second place in anything we do,” said Lt. Gen. Brad Heithold. “You provide the kind of forces that scare our enemy…there’s a dose of deterrent factor in your Airmen. Knowing you exist, scares them. Provide an environment for your Airmen to thrive… don’t accept any form of toxicity in your formation. Continue to modernize and sustain the force…these are my challenges to you, and I know you’re up for it.”

The 24th SOW, previously commanded by Col. Matthew “Wolfe” Davidson, boasts a unique ground operations mission set and approximately 1,500 of the 2,500 Special Tactics members in the Air Force.

The primary mission of the 24th SOW is providing Special Tactics forces for rapid global employment to enable airpower success. It is U.S. Special Operation Command’s tactical air and ground integration force, and the Air Force’s special operations ground force to enable global access, precision strike, and personnel recovery operations.

Since 9/11, Air Force Special Tactics has been involved in almost every major operation and has seen a significant amount of combat. Under Davidson’s command, the 24th SOW performed 3,076 combat missions, controlled 6,000 aircraft, conducted 209 airfield surveys and eliminated countless enemies from the battlefield, according to Heithold.

“You guys are crushing it on the battlefield,” said Heithold. “There’s nobody out there like you having the impact you have … and our teammates recognize that.”

The Airmen of the 24th SOW have been the most highly decorated since the Vietnam War. Since 9/11, Special Tactics Airmen have earned seven Air Force Crosses, 35 Silver Stars, more than 100 Purple Hearts, nearly a thousand Bronze Stars and hundreds of Bronze Stars with valor.

“Somebody told me the other day that we have ordinary citizens that are doing extraordinary things and I’m not sure about that,” said Heithold. “In this community of Airmen I don’t see an ordinary thing about any of you, I think you’re extraordinary citizens doing extraordinary things … you’re extraordinary to begin with.”

Before his arrival here, Martin served as the deputy commander for Special Operations Command-Africa in Stuttgart, Germany.

No stranger to Special Tactics, Martin served as the commander of the 21st Special Tactics Squadron and 724th Special Tactics Group and led Special Tactics and joint forces through eight deployments in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM/NEW DAWN.

“Wolfe and Vannessa [Davidson’s wife] paved the way for our future success,” said Martin. “I am honored to take command of such a tremendous group of Air Commandos. Special Tactics permits the ground special operations component to enable precise and lethal airpower effects and we intend to provide the best to the combatant commanders.”

‘Legendary Action’ by Gene Adcock

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

I’ve known Gene Adcock for many years. He’s a retired Combat Controller CMSgt from the Air Force and has been working tirelessly on improving the Combat Control School’s Heritage Museum at Pope Field in North Carolina. In that capacity, he’s also served as a historian for the careerfield and put together the book ‘Legendary Action’ which chronicles many of their exploits over the past two decades.

If you have an interest in military history, or are just curious about CCT, this hardcover book is a steal, and Gene uses the proceeds to improve the museum. Get yours at www.amazon.com/Legendary-Action-Gene-Adcock.

Yankee Air Pirates

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

The Misty Experiment

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

During the Viet Nam War, the US Air Force was quite creative in adapting the systems it had, to fight the war it found itself in. One example of this is the Misty Fast Forward Air Control experiment that used F100 Super Sabers in the Airborne FAC role to mark targets along the Ho Chi Minh Trail for interdiction by other aircraft. Commencing in 1967, the experiment was classified, but you may have heard the name of the overall operation, ‘Commando Sabre’.

‘The Misty Experiment’ is a documentary, created for public television. Learn more at www.themistyexperiment.com.

This Is From An Actual Official USAF Email

Thursday, July 14th, 2016