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Answering the Call: Special Tactics Airmen Conclude Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts

Saturday, September 18th, 2021

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla.– Special Tactics Airmen assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing concluded their response to augment humanitarian aid efforts in Haiti on Sept. 2, 2021 following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, which hit the country Aug. 14.

            The Special Tactics Airmen were alerted on the morning of Aug. 16 that they would augment Joint Task Force-Haiti relief efforts. With the help of  C-146A Wolfhound aircrews, assigned to the 492nd and 919th Special Operations Wings, the team touched down in Port Au Prince, Haiti within 36 hours.

            “We landed at Port Au Prince and were pretty removed from the epicenter of the earthquake, but once we got out to certain areas that had been cut off by the earthquake and seeing the MEDEVAC patients coming in at Port Au Prince that were suffering from crush injuries…it definitely hit home,” said the Special Tactics Officer and lead for the ST response team. “It peaked our awareness for the severity of the situation and need for assistance. It made us eager to get out to the landing zones for us to start doing our part and hopefully establish an airfield so we could bring out more supplies to those people.”

            The Special Tactics team, consisting of five combat controllers and one pararescueman, were primarily responsible for surveying Jeremie and Les Cayes airfields for suitability of landing fixed wing aircraft. The airfields were located in parts of the country that had been cut off by landslides and damaged roads from a storm following the earthquake. The operators quickly assessed the landing zones, conducted a proof of concept by successfully landing a C-146A at one of the airfields and made recommendations to JTF-Haiti. However, while performing this task, the Special Tactics team was strategically positioned and equipped to assist in an emergency scenario.

            “While we were conducting our survey at Les Cayes, some [non-government organization] members came up to us and mentioned there were some patients a 10 minute flight away in the mountains,” said the STO. “There were two children with crush injuries that needed to get medical attention immediately and we were able to dynamically task our forces at that survey site to coordinate with JTF-Haiti, the aircrew and work with the NGO to find the exact location of those patients and evacuate them to a higher level of care.”

            In addition to being positioned and ready for medical evacuations, the team worked to assist Haitian air traffic controllers providing advisory calls in different areas and assisted with deliveries of humanitarian aid supplies in more than 10 remote locations across the country.

            “You see the kids running up and obviously they’re excited to see you and to see the U.S. military because they know we’re going to help,” said the STO. “I’m super thankful for the opportunity and proud that my team was a part of it and that we were able to do a multitude of things to help get the aid and supplies needed to the people of Haiti.”

            The humanitarian mission also served as a training opportunity for the team in interoperability and how to collaborate with several organizations trying to achieve the same goal by maximizing everyone’s capabilities.

            “It was a very educational experience working alongside not only joint partners from the DOD, as well as USAID, the lead agency for the relief efforts,” said the STO. “We got to learn what they did and they got to learn what we do. The big takeaway for Special Tactics is our flexibility and the different capabilities we bring to a problem set like humanitarian aid disaster relief. We were there to conduct surveys and were prepared to establish airfields, receive aircraft, land them and deliver supplies in an expeditious manner. When circumstances changed, we were able to conduct a MEDEVAC as well as go out alongside other entities and help facilitate their mission using our tools and capabilities. We were able to be pretty dynamic.”

            In recent years, Special Tactics Airmen alongside other Air Force Special Operations Command units have responded to several natural disasters including Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Honduras, Hurricane Michael in Florida and Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.

             Special Tactics Airmen train constantly to execute global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations across the spectrum of conflict and crisis. As experts in air-ground integration, ST Airmen have the ability to assess, open, and control major airfields to clandestine dirt strips as well as lead complex rescue operations in any environment.

For more information on Air Force Special Tactics visit our website, www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil

By By Capt Alejandra Fontalvo, 24th SOW, PAO

38 RQS Trains to Support SpaceX, Boeing

Friday, September 3rd, 2021


Pararescuemen, aircrew flight equipment Airmen and maritime operations specialists assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, conducted rescue training in the Banana River and Atlantic Ocean near Patrick Space Force Base, Aug. 23-27.

The 38th RQS Blue Team performed free fall jumps and equipment drops into water to prepare for potential operations supporting the SpaceX human spaceflight program and Boeing’s spaceflight program as well as other immediate response-force operations.

“When astronauts are doing their launches, we cover down in the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Galindo, 38th RQS pararescueman and Blue Team section chief. “That way, if they have an emergency and they need a bailout, we’re the rescue team on-site who would recover them from their capsule.”

In the event of a malfunction during launch, the capsule will detach itself from the rocket and jettison away from potential explosions or other hazards. The goal is for the capsule to land in an ocean where pararescue jumpers can go in and extract anyone on board.

In order to execute this type of rescue operation, the team needs to be proficient in several areas. For starters, they need to know how to safely land in the ocean with their water gear. Additionally, there are two different boat packages they need to be familiar with: a Rigging Alternate Method Boat, or RAMB, which is a deflated Combat Rubber Raiding Craft that can be dropped by parachute into the water and then inflated upon landing; and a hard duck, which is an inflated CRRC fixed to a wooden base and dropped by parachute as well.

Using these packages, Galindo said their team can load the boats with medical supplies, paddles, boat engines and anything else they would need for their rescue operations. Then, the team can drop them from cargo aircraft and jump into the drop zone immediately after to conduct their rescue mission.

“In October, we’re actually doing two weeks of additional training at Cape Canaveral to learn how to access the SpaceX and Boeing capsules … and then make sure we can get access to the astronauts,” said Capt. Trent Vonich, 38th RQS Blue Team flight commander.

Conducting these training exercises on a routine basis ensures the teams are ready to go at a moment’s notice. This level of proficiency offers a layer of comfort for the astronauts conducting launches off the coast.

“It reassures them that if they do have an emergency, they know there’s a team who is highly trained in these types of rescues,” Galindo said. “It’s important for us to constantly keep current on this type of jump because there’s a lot that goes into it.”

While this training was specifically tailored to support the human spaceflight programs, it doubles as preparation for potential rescue operations in contingency locations.

“The top two locations in which that would occur would be the Arabian Gulf and the South China Sea,” Vonich said. “Adversaries have a number of capabilities that could potentially put one of our aircraft in the water, and we would have to go jump into the gulf or sea and do exactly what we did in today’s training.”

Whether rescuing downed pilots off foreign coasts or supporting rocket launches in the U.S., the 38th RQS could not execute their mission without trusted teamwork.

“It’s a lot of work being a pararescueman,” Galindo said. “I’m surrounded by a bunch of great people who are constantly challenging me. We have those who are always trying to improve themselves, whether mentally or physically, and it just drives me to be a better person and reach my potential.”

SpaceX plans to launch a crew of three Oct. 31, and the team will be prepared to respond if needed.

“Heaven forbid anything goes wrong, we’ll be ready if it does,” Vonich said.

Story and photos by SSgt Devin Boyer, 23rd Wing Public Affairs

Additional photos by SSgt Melanie A. Bulow-Gonterman

Air Force Declares TACP Mobile Communications System ‘Combat Ready’

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. – The U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command recently declared the initial operational capability for the tactical air control party mobile communications system block 2 system ‘combat ready’ at the recommendation of the 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida.

In the spring of 2020, the 605th TES TACP Element, in conjunction with the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron, Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, conducted the operational utility evaluation, or OUE, of the MCS block 2 on M-1165 armored high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles.

As Air Combat Command’s independent, sole, command and control operational test unit, the 605th TES, tested the system under realistic conditions, using new and experienced Airmen, who will be operating and maintaining the system once fielded.

The OUE validated the operational effectiveness and suitability of MCS block 2, cybersecurity and resiliency, and its impact on TACP and air support operations center tactics, techniques, and procedures. 

M1165 HMMWVs, better known as humvees, are integrated with multi-channel communications equipment through the MCS block 2 system which provides voice, data, and video capabilities to TACP Joint Terminal Attack Controllers while “on-the-move” and “at-the-halt”.

“This new system gives TACPs greater mission flexibility by incorporating additional data link, full motion video, and high frequency radio capabilities while out in the field,” said Master Sgt. Jesus Torres, 605th TES senior enlisted leader and TACP.

JTACS will use MCS Block 2 to perform their close air support and command and control missions.

To achieve IOC, the MCS Block 2 system demonstrated the necessary combat capability for voice and video communications and had sufficient required fielding and logistics support.

“Through early involvement and by building relationships across the acquisition process the 605th TES was instrumental in providing early user feedback,” said Torres.  “During early DoD [Department of Defense] COVID Guidance, the 605th TES TACPs developed risk mitigation measures enabling regression testing to continue during the pandemic which allowed this vital capability be delivered to the warfighter five months ahead of schedule.”

“As our service takes positive steps to mature Agile Combat Employment concepts, through years of being disaggregated and embracing Mission Command, the TACP community is best positioned to inform the larger enterprise on what technology could be beneficial, said Col. Adam Shelton, 505th Test and Training Group commander.  “This IOC declaration will assist in furthering our integration efforts with joint partners in venues such as the Army’s Project Convergence or in tier 1 exercises such as Northern Edge.” 

As of August 2021, the 605th TES continues to accelerate change by conducting operational testing on the MCS Block 3, installed on the U.S. Army’s next-generation Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle as a replacement for the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier family of vehicles.

505th Command and Control Wing (ACC) Public Affairs

Special Tactics Airmen augment Haiti earthquake humanitarian relief efforts

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla.– Special Tactics Airmen assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing are currently responding to a request to augment humanitarian aid efforts in Haiti following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Aug. 14.

            The Special Tactics Airmen responding to the relief efforts will be working with Joint Task Force-Haiti under Rear Admiral Keith Davids, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command South. While in country, the ST Airmen will be responsible for conducting various airfield surveys to determine suitability for bringing in humanitarian aid via airlift. Special Tactics teams are also postured and ready to establish airfield operations and conduct air traffic control if necessary.

                            “Our Special Tactics Airmen are trained and ready for a number of humanitarian missions that we may be called upon to accomplish,” said Col. Jason Daniels, 24th Special Operations Wing commander. “Our teams are looking forward to providing assistance to the people of Haiti while working alongside our joint teammates in U.S. Southern Command in support of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.” 

            In recent years, Special Tactics Airmen have responded to several natural disasters including Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Honduras, Hurricane Michael in Florida and Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.

            Special Tactics Airmen fall under Air Force Special Operations Command and U.S. Special Operations Command and are trained to execute global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations across the spectrum of conflict. Special Tactics operators are experts in air-ground integration and have the ability to assess, open, and control major airfields to clandestine dirt strips in any environment.

            More information will be released as it becomes available.

For more information on Air Force Special Tactics visit our website, www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil

Preparation in the Face of the Unexpected – How USAF SERE Educates Military Members

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021


In efforts to prepare and protect the Air Force’s most valuable resource of all — Airmen — survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists undergo extensive training to make certain aircrew members are up to date with the latest on survival and evasion tactics. The tactics taught give Airmen skills to aid in their survival in worst-case scenarios.

The SERE specialists have to be experts in their profession in order to teach tactics and procedures effectively. To accomplish this they must complete rigorous training at technical school and pass the certification phase that follows.

The process for becoming a SERE specialist begins with a three-week-selection course, followed by a six-month technical school, which includes a three-week survival crash course that pilots and aircrew take to become operational, explained Tech. Sgt. Casey Carter, 18th Operations Support Squadron NCO in charge of SERE training. Once they successfully complete their technical school, they then go through a 6-12 month certification phase.

“When you’re certifying for those 6-12 months, you’re actually teaching aircrew and pilots that are coming through the schoolhouse and you have a trainer that’s evaluating you as an instructor,” Carter said. “Once certified, you’re on your own, and you get your own class of aircrew and pilots to take into the woods and instruct.”

Both Tech. Sgt. Kenji Scouton, 18th OSS NCO in charge of SERE operations, and Carter now lead the refresher courses on Kadena, recertifying pilots and aircrew members on the fundamentals of survival.

“It’s been interesting, I’ve seen some students I taught at the schoolhouse at Fairchild come through and get stationed out here,” Scouton said. “So I’ve had some guys be my students multiple times, whether it be in the initial course or the refresher courses.”

The refresher courses taught by SERE specialists include many classes such as combat survival training, conduct after capture training, water survival training and emergency parachute training. The training sessions typically begin with a few hours of lecture, followed by real-life application of the newly obtained knowledge.

The real-life applications vary for each lesson so preparation and execution can take hours. One of the more involved exercises, combat survival training, starts at sunset and goes until students are rescued, which can sometimes be as late as midnight.

“We put students through an invasion and navigation scenario that culminates in their successful recovery at the end of it,” Scouton said. “With a two-man shop, we have to play many parts. We go from teaching the class to kicking off the survival scenario, then from trying to catch them to trying to recover them. We try to provide them with what could look like real-world information so if the real event does happen, so they would at least be familiar with the steps it would take to be successfully recovered.”

Many factors make Kadena’s SERE team’s courses unique. Not only do they have to take into account the island life environment, but they also have to contend with the variety of aircraft and missions based out of here. This means the local SERE specialists have to be well versed in the specific gear that accompanies each aircraft.

“With each one of the refresher training courses, we have to tailor training to particular aircraft and the equipment they have,” Scouton said. “Being that we have fighter ejection seat aircraft, heavy aircraft and rotary-wing aircraft, we have to carry a multitude of different equipment to make sure we are meeting the needs of each person.”

During deployments, the main mission for SERE is personnel recovery. This entails working with PR assets directly, getting in contact with isolated personnel, guiding them to recovery and finally reintegrating the recovered personnel into their regular day-to-day life.

“Reintegration takes place in three phases. Everyone goes through phase one. If they are psychologically and medically cleared, then they are fit to fight again.” Carter said. “Phase two and three go deeper, and require more rehabilitation and frequent visits with medical and psychological professionals.”

Although their schedules are usually packed with training and refresher courses, the SERE specialists find enjoyment with their roles on island.

“Some may perceive it as a difficulty, but since we have so many different types of aircraft and missions on Kadena, it gives us a good opportunity to actually teach all the available refresher trainings,” Scouton said. “It’s really provided us with a lot of opportunities that you wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.”

By A1C Cesar J. Navarro, 18th Wing Public Affairs

Air Force Special Warfare Training Wing’s Human Performance Squadron Reaches Milestone

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-CHAPMAN TRAINING ANNEX, Texas—The Special Warfare Human Performance Squadron, SWHPS, recently marked its second anniversary.

The SWHPS is the first squadron of its kind in the Department of Defense, and its sole purpose is to provide Special Warfare Airmen and cadre embedded/holistic Human Performance, HP support.

“We reached our two-year milestone as a squadron and I cannot tell you how immensely proud I am of the team,” said Lt. Col. Shawnee A. Williams, SWHPS, commander. “With all of the hard work done to stand up the SWHPS, I am excited to see this capability propel forward every day!”

The SWHPS mission statement is to optimize the performance, durability, and sustainability of the Special Warfare human weapon system by taking an interdisciplinary approach toward the advancement of science and technology throughout the SW operator’s lifespan.

The organizational structure is made up of five geographically separated units, GSU, across the United States coast-to-coast. Within this construct are nine human performance flights supporting 80 Special Warfare cadre, 500 support staff, and 1,100 Special Warfare students annually.

“Our team sets the foundation for building physically superior, mentally sharper, and spiritually stronger warriors who will go into harm’s way to tackle our nation’s most dangerous and difficult tasks,” said Col. George Buse, Special Warfare Human Performance Support Group, commander. “To this end, SWHPS focuses on being brilliant at instilling HP principles in SW Airmen. We also leverage technological advances, research capabilities, and a holistic approach for the sake of further integrating and professionalizing the SW training enterprise,” said Buse. 

Some key accomplishments of the SWHPS include standing up the first SW Human Performance purpose-built facility and hence named the Airman 1st Class Baker Combat Conditioning Center at the Panama City Dive School, Panama City, Florida. This facility occupies 13K square feet, $1.3 million in performance equipment, and serves a joint population of cadre and students with over 700K annual course hours.

At GSU location Yuma, Arizona, the first-ever embedded physical therapist for Army and Air Force personnel position has been established to increase access to care for evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and injury prevention services for trainees and support staff members at Military Free Fall Courses.

Educationally, SWHPS has established a location at the U.S. Air Force Academy and took on their USAF Physical Therapy Fellowship Program for the Air Force Medical Service, and propelled it forward (was not under the old Battle Field Airmen Model). The Fellowship program has since graduated eight fellows with three more due to graduate in 2021 and has secured national accreditation.

Additionally, SWHPS has established a human performance footprint, across the training pipeline that employs integrated wearable technology, along with HP technician support. This footprint enables SWHPS to track parasympathetic/sympathetic system output, sleep, musculoskeletal health, velocity-based training, and water-based event metrics to include heart rate and physiological data points.

“Another first of its kind is the HP portfolio integration with the Learning Management System/database. The integration will soon provide continuity between training and operational units,” Williams said. “This allows for a human performance portfolio to travel with each member throughout their Special Warfare career.”

The Squadron’s Nutrition SMEs created the first stand-alone performance dining facility and now oversee all menus in support of the Special Warfare Preparatory Program. “It provides a much-needed ‘learning lab for trainees when they first enter Special Warfare,” said Maj. Miriam Seville, the lead dietitian for the Special Warfare Training Wing. “The trainees get to practice the sports nutrition principles that they learn in class and experiment with a wide variety of healthful foods and beverages that fuel and sustain optimal performance.

“This dining facility introduces trainees to what fueling the Human Weapon System can and should look like, and enables them to build habits here that will support them throughout their training and into operational status,” she said.

In November of 2020, the SWHPS graduated the first Air Force Institute of Technology Performance Nutrition Fellow, who now brings world-class nutrition capability, guidance, and knowledge to Special Warfare programming.

Williams added a final thought on the accomplishments of the program, “Over the past two years, SWHPS has set the foundation for an integrated approach to building and maintaining a human weapon system. We have taken a purposeful and tailored approach to embedded HP and coupled it with real-time physiological feedback to the trainees and are also expanding care to the cadre,” she said.

“The future of this organization will be to shape not only Air Force, but DOD policy to enable a lifecycle platform for the SW operator. The SW Airmen will not just experience high-level/holistic HP support in the training pipeline, but rather, they will see it woven into their career field education and training plans, and expanded services offered in their operational units,” she said. “This then lends itself to the creation or standup of a human weapon system program office just like we have for our hardware.

“We are truly on the cusp of a cohesive training environment where physiological, cognitive, and resiliency elements are assessed weekly, if not daily, to propel the individual to their highest potential versus a binary reactive environment,” Williams concluded.

Members of the Special Warfare Training Wing provide initial training for all U.S. Air Force Special Warfare training AFSCs, to include, Combat Controllers, Pararescue, Special Reconnaissance, and Tactical Air Control Party Airmen.

To learn more about SR Airmen or other U.S. Air Force Special Warfare career opportunities, go to: www.airforce.com/careers/in-demand-careers/special-warfare.

By Andrew C. Patterson, Special Warfare Training Wing/ Public Affairs

First Special Warfare Airmen Graduate Initial Apprentice Course for Special Reconnaissance

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-CHAPMAN TRAINING ANNEX, Texas –The 352nd Special Warfare Training Squadron graduates the first wave of students from the new Special Reconnaissance Apprentice Course, June 17, 2021 at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina.

Formerly branded as Special Operations Weather Teams (SOWTs), the SR career field recently underwent a major restructuring. While short term weather forecasting will remain in the SR’s skillset, it will no longer dominate SR’s training and mission focus.

“Today’s SR graduates are better equipped with unique training to conduct multi-domain reconnaissance and surveillance with an eye towards gaps identified in the Department of Defense’s long range reconnaissance and force projection capabilities,” said Maj. Spencer Reed, 352nd SWTS commander. “This ceremony not only celebrates the first organically trained SR Airmen in our wing, but in the U.S. Air Force. I’m incredibly proud.”

Special Reconnaissance Airmen are among the most highly trained personnel in the U.S. military. Airmen receive training in surveillance and reconnaissance, multi-domain electronic warfare, long-range precision engagement and target interdiction, small unmanned aircraft systems, preparation of the environment, personnel recovery, and advanced special tactics skills.

“The first SR Apprentice Course graduation signifies the first tangible step towards the Air Force building an increased capability,” said Senior Master Sgt.Trenton Seegmiller, Air Education and Training Command’s special reconnaissance functional manager. “It is one of many steps in a never-ending process to maintain our edge over near-peer competitors.”

The course curriculum includes collecting meteorological and environmental data- a holdover requirement from the SOWT career field, yet significantly reduced in scope. New skills added are demolition, communication and signaling, human intelligence gathering, operational preparation of the environment and tactical cyber applications.

“Previous iterations of training required multiple courses and training locations, totaling around 215 training days,” Reed said. “This new 86-day course provides an updated training syllabus with a 60% reduction in training time.”

SR Airmen train to provide global battlespace awareness and access by translating information into actionable intelligence. In the battlespace, SR Airmen are part of Special Tactics teams in sensitive, forward operating locations, focused on global strike, global access and recovery missions.

Members of the Special Warfare Training Wing provide initial training for all U.S. Air Force Special Warfare training AFSCs, to include, Combat Controllers, Pararescue, Special Reconnaissance, and Tactical Air Control Party Airmen.

To learn more about SR Airmen or other U.S. Air Force Special Warfare career opportunities, go to: www.airforce.com/careers/in-demand-careers/special-warfare.

Story by Nicholas J. De La Pena, Special Warfare Training Wing

Special Tactics Community Welcomes New Wing Commander

Monday, June 7th, 2021

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. – Families, friends and members of the Hurlburt Field and Special Tactics community gathered to welcome the new commander of the 24th Special Operations Wing during a change of command ceremony June 4, 2021 at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, recognized outgoing commander, Col. Matt Allen and introduced Col. Jason Daniels as the newest and sixth wing commander of the sole Special Tactics wing in the Air Force.

Before relinquishing command, Allen was presented the Legion of Merit for his time as the wing commander. During his tenure Special Tactics Airmen conducted 2,200 combat missions, surveyed 22 airfields, controlled over a thousand aircraft and eliminated thousands of enemy personnel from the battlefield resulting in the wing being accredited with several valor awards, Air Force and AFSOC level recognitions, all with the backdrop of a global pandemic.

“No wing in our [major command], in fact in our entire United States Air Force for that matter, has either required or produced better tactical and operational leaders for the last two decades than the 24th SOW,” said Slife. “No community has better exemplified the finest of AFSOC or born a greater burden than our Special Tactics community.”

As the new commander of the 24th SOW and roughly 2,500 Airmen, Daniels is responsible for preparing Special Tactics forces to conduct global air, space, and cyber-enabled special operations across the spectrum of conflict to prepare for, fight, and win our nation’s wars.

“No leadership team is better prepared to propel the 24th SOW into the very different yet very exciting future which lies ahead than Jason and [his wife],” said Slife. “A career Special Tactics Officer with broad leadership experience, deep intellect and unflinching moral courage, Col. Daniels is the perfect officer to take the guidon from Col. Allen.”

Prior to assuming command of the 24th SOW, Daniels was assigned to AFSOC Headquarters and previously served as the wing’s vice commander.

Daniels, a Wilson, North Carolina native and 1998 U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, has served in five Special Tactics Squadrons as a Flight Commander, Director of Operations, and Commander. Daniels led joint forces in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM-Philippines, ENDURING FREEDOM-Trans Sahara, INHERENT RESOLVE, IRAQI FREEDOM and more, earning him two Bronze Star Medals with Valor and several additional military honors.

“To the Airmen of the 24th SOW, I’m both humbled and honored to serve with you again,” said Daniels. “We’ll continue to take the fight to violent extremists and other adversaries that threaten our nation’s interests.”

Air Force Special Tactics is AFSOC and U.S. Special Operations Command’s air-ground integration force, delivering global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery capabilities to the joint force. Special Tactics is the most highly decorated community in the Air Force since the end of the Vietnam War and has received one Medal of Honor, 12 Air Force Crosses, 50 Silver Stars, roughly 650 Bronze Star medals.

“Thanks for the blood, sweat and tears you’ve given for our country and the foundation you set for AFSOC’s Special Tactics force that exists today,” said Daniels. “It is my goal, intent and desire to honor those sacrifices and efforts as we continue to transform to meet the security challenges of tomorrow.”

By 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs