SIG Sauer Academy

Archive for the ‘Air Force’ Category

820th Base Defense Group

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

Main videographer, stylized motion graphics, and editing by Tech. Sgt. Jacqueline Marshall.

Second videographer Staff Sgt. Jon Alderman.

Airborne b-roll courtesy of Senior Airman Kyle Saunders via DVIDS.

34 Vendors To Exhibit at WEPTAC Industry Nights 2020

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

Come join us January 15-16 at Nellis AFB, NV for WEPTAC Industry nights and the AF Special Warfare tents. This year we’re hosting 34 manufacturers of kit specifically for the AFSW community. We also will have three distributors to answer questions: Quantico Tactical, TSSI, and Darley Defense.

Air Force to Solicit 75th Birthday Theme Ideas

Saturday, January 11th, 2020


In preparation for its 75th anniversary, Sept. 18, 2022, the Air Force is soliciting birthday theme ideas from Total Force Airmen and civilians. Every year in September, the Department of the Air Force dedicates a theme to celebrate the Air Force’s birthday.

Some of the past themes include, “Frontiers of Blue… This is 72!”, ”Focusing on heritage, warfighting capability and innovation,” “American Airman… Wingman, Leader, Warrior,” and “Breaking Barriers!”

Concepts for the 75th birthday theme should consider inclusiveness of multi-domain operations, capture Airmen’s innovation and reflect the Air Force’s heritage over the last 75 years. Considered themes should be short, concise, catchy and memorable (e.g. the 70th anniversary theme was “Breaking Barriers”). Submissions must also be in good taste.

All submissions and voting will take place through the IdeaScale website.

The submission and voting timeline is as follows:

– The competition submission period will be from Jan. 6-31, 2020.

– The voting window will be from Feb. 24 – March 6, 2020.

The best qualified submissions will be considered and sent to the chief of staff of the Air Force, the vice chief of staff of the Air Force, the Air Force director of staff and the chief master sergeant of the Air Force for the final decision.

The winner will be announced around April 1, 2020.

The winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference in September 2022, to attend the 75th Air Force birthday celebration and meet the CSAF and CMSAF.

Airmen and civilians with ideas should submit them online at, when the submission window opens.

Air Force Security Center Introduces the M18 Modular Handgun System

Monday, December 30th, 2019

The Air Force has been fielding the M18 variant of the 9mm Modular Handgun System for several months now. Manufactured by SIG SAUER and based on the P320 pistol, it is replacing the M9 Beretta used since the 1980s.

Air Force Names Newest Helicopter ‘Grey Wolf’

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019


Air Force Global Strike Command named the MH-139A helicopter “Grey Wolf” during a naming ceremony at Duke Field, Dec. 19.

Gen. Timothy Ray, AFGSC commander, made the announcement, comparing it to the wild animal that bears the same name.

The Grey Wolf is the command’s first major acquisition in its 10-year history. The name Grey Wolf is derived from the wild species that roams the northern tier of North America, which also encompasses the intercontinental ballistic missile bases in AFGSC.

“It strikes fear in the hearts of many,” Ray said. “Its range is absolutely inherent to the ICBM fields we have.”

“As they hunt as a pack, they attack as one, they bring the force of many,” he continued. “That’s exactly how you need to approach the nuclear security mission.”

The helicopters will provide security and support for the nation’s ICBM fields which span Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska. The new helicopter closes the capability gaps of the UH-1N Huey in the areas of speed, range, endurance, payload and survivability in support of the command’s ICBM missions. Other mission capabilities include civil search and rescue, airlift support, National Capital Region missions, as well as survival school and test support.

The roll out of the new helicopter demonstrates an asset providing ICBM security in support of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear deterrence operations aligned with the National Defense Strategy. The acquisition was contracted through Boeing during a full and open competition at a cost of $2.38 billion for up to 84 aircraft — $1.7 billion under budget. It is the command’s first commercial “off-the-shelf” purchase, adding military-unique modifications.

The Air Force will procure up to 84 MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters, training devices and associated support equipment from Boeing.

“When I think about the issue in front of us, about moving forward in nuclear deterrence, when I stare down a wave of acquisition for essentially everything we do, I hope this particular program is a harbinger of very successful stories to follow not just for our command but for the good of the nation and for the good of our allies and partners,” Ray said.

The Grey Wolf will replace the UH-1N, which entered the operational Air Force in 1970.

The MH-139A Grey Wolf will provide vertical airlift and support the requirements of five Air Force major commands and operating agencies: AFGSC, Air Force District of Washington, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Materiel Command and Pacific Air Forces. AFGSC is the lead command and operational capability requirements sponsor.

By TSgt Mike Meares, Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

TacJobs – Join The US Space Force

Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

Concurrent with signing the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act into law, a sixth military service, the US Space Force has been created.

From: SECAF <>

Sent: Friday, December 20, 2019 20:25

Subject: Space Force

To the Men and Women of the United States Air Force and United States Space Force:

Today, the President signed the National Defense Authorization Act, and with the bipartisan support of Congress, established a sixth branch of the armed forces – the United States Space Force. The U.S. Space Force, an independent service singularly focused on protecting our interests and security in space, launches the nation into a new era. Combined with the standup of U.S. Space Command in August 2019, our nation is now well postured to preserve and protect space.

Forging a new service is an historic opportunity to deliver world-class capabilities to the American people. As of today, the law re-designates Air Force Space Command as the U.S. Space Force. Space professionals will soon have the opportunity to permanently transfer into the new service, while U.S. Air Force Airmen will continue to support the space mission. More information is available at

Together with our joint teammates and our spacefaring allies and partners, we will establish a service that meets the highest standards of excellence, built on a foundation of integrity and service. We’re proud to serve with you!

Barbara Barrett
Secretary of the Air Force

David L. Goldfein
General, U.S. Air Force
Chief of Staff

John W. Raymond
General, U.S. Space Force
Chief of Space Operations

Security Forces Squadron of the Future: Creating More Effective Defenders

Friday, December 20th, 2019

RAF CROUGHTON, United Kingdom (AFNS) —

RAF Croughton is at the forefront of innovation, helping create the most effective defenders in the Air Force.

The 422nd Security Forces Squadron has been selected to undergo a six-month trial in a complete revitalization of the squadron.

“Security forces senior leaders recognized the need to overhaul security forces squadrons,” said Senior Master Sgt. Nicholas Whitney, 422nd SFS Defense Force Sustainment Flight superintendent. “We needed to capitalize on utilization of our resources and support operational function. Basically, aligning the forces for optimal performance.”

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein commissioned this idea under the Year of the Defender initiative to focus on training readiness, modernizing the force enterprise-wide and improving quality of life with eight-hour shifts. Squadron of the Future began at RAF Croughton Sept. 1, concentrating on providing defenders with more training opportunities, protected time off, and reorganizing the unit structure into a leaner, more efficient system.

“The biggest takeaway for me is the decentralized command relationship for the master sergeants, … the (noncommissioned officer) tier and down,” said Capt. Alexander Parsons, 422nd SFS operations officer. “It is really empowering those in junior-leadership levels to make decisions at the tactical level. Whereas in a traditional chain-of-command hierarchy, the decisions are elevated and made at a higher level. That is not the focus here. I want my Airmen and my NCOs to be empowered to make those decisions even at the lowest level possible. That frees up the senior leadership within the squadron to focus more on the strategic, operational and longer-term objectives.”

For 18 years, Air Force security forces squadrons followed the U.S. Army doctrine of separating the squadron into sections, S1 through S5: Commander Support Staff (S1), Intelligence Flight (S2), Operations and Training Flight (S3), Logistics and Resources Flight (S4), and Installation Security, Plans and Programs (S5). The new test program has removed these classifications and restructured the squadron to be more effective with streamlined communication transitioning to a three-system operations flight, a sustainment flight and command support staff.

With the implementation of Squadron of the Future, the biggest quality-of-life improvement is that off-duty time is secured.

“We started this back in September and we have not once brought anyone in from protected time off,” Whitney said. “When the flight is on their protected time off, no one in the unit is allowed to bring someone in unless the commander approves it. It is equivalent to crew rest.”

Defenders at RAF Croughton also increased their monthly training days from four to six. Likewise, trainers work alongside defenders to assist in training needs.

“Previously when we had to go to training, people generally drag their feet,” said Tech. Sgt. Corey Southard, 422nd SFS noncommissioned officer in charge of training. “Now you have a trainer embedded amongst your flight. People are more receptive to it. They have someone with them who’s their trainer. It’s twofold – the quicker they train you, the quicker you get out or go off to bigger and better things.”

The Squadron of the Future concept is being tested at 14 different security forces squadrons across the Air Force, at least one in each major command. Monthly conference calls with senior leaders bring Airmen together to talk about the progress and give feedback.

“Our senior leaders at the headquarters level are really taking care of the defenders out on the ground,” Whitney said. “In 18 years, this is a whole new change, but it’s a change for the right reasons. It is making us a more lethal career field by giving us more time to do training. That’s a lot of time not only to take care of our annual training plan requirements, but it also allows us to focus on the things that may be specific to RAF Croughton. It’s making us more lethal defenders, because you never know when the next threat’s going to come.”

RAF Croughton is the only test base in U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa.

By Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima, 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs

Air Force Improves Efficiencies for Special Warfare Airmen

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019


The Air Force recently consolidated and moved enlisted members of Air Force Special Warfare to new Air Force specialty codes to encompass AFSPECWAR operator, enabler and support specialties.

“The Air Force is invested in ensuring ready and lethal special warfare Airmen who operate primarily from the land domain to achieve air, space and cyberspace dominance for the joint force,” said Under Secretary of the Air Force Matthew P. Donovan. “These Airmen will provide the connective tissue to conduct multi-domain operations, even in the most difficult scenarios.”

As of Oct. 31, 2019, the new special warfare career field (1Z) includes the following AFSCs: pararescue (1Z1X1), combat control (1Z2X1), tactical air control party (1Z3X1) and special reconnaissance (1Z4X1). The special warfare enabler career field (1T) includes Airmen who train, integrate with and accompany operators and teams to enable additional capabilities, such as survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialist (1T0X1). In addition, a special warfare mission support reporting identifier (9ZXX1) was created for Airmen in specific positions that provide consultative leadership on all special warfare mission support enlisted matters.

The Air Force special warfare enterprise includes special tactics officers, combat rescue officers, TACP officers. It also includes enlisted combat controllers, pararescuemen, TACP, special reconnaissance, SERE specialists and combat mission support Airmen.

Changes for special warfare officer AFSCs are expected to go into effect in April 2020.

“The Airmen who choose these specialties are ordinary Americans with extraordinary grit and determination. Through incredible hard work and unparalleled discipline, they’ve forged themselves into teams of exceptional physical and mental strength. They are trained for the toughest missions in the most unforgiving environments,” said Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson. “Their skills are more in demand today than ever. This movement to new AFSCs is just one of the ways that AFSPECWAR is responding to the evolving mix of threats that the Air Force confronts today and will in the future.”

In addition to the AFSC changes, Headquarters Air Force stood up an Air Force Special Warfare Directorate on Oct. 3. This new directorate is the focal point on the air staff that will provide senior-level integration and management to better organize, train, equip and employ special warfare Airmen on the battlefield through resourcing requirements and providing overarching career field guidance and direction. Previously, special tactics, Guardian Angel and TACP Airmen were spread out across seven major commands with different sources of funding, training and operational requirements.

“These communities have a long record of success on and off the battlefield. AFSPECWAR will continue to build on that legacy while aligning with the National Defense Strategy and evolving for future threats,” said Col. Thomas Palenske, director of the new Air Force Special Warfare directorate at the Pentagon. “Special warfare Airmen need to focus on acting as sensors, communicators and human weapons systems, enabling enhanced multi-domain command and control and air superiority from the ground in anti-access area denial environments. They will be better able to do that with the help of this new directorate as we develop and streamline career field management processes, policy and guidance to make their jobs easier.”

Within the last year, special warfare initiatives included the activation of the Special Warfare Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, and the 330th Recruiting Squadron at JB San Antonio-Randolph. The 330th RCS focuses solely on recruiting Air Force special warfare operators and enablers while the SWTW centralizes training to meet the demands of the future battlefield.

“AFSPECWAR delivers ground-based access and placement to conduct preparation of the battlefield operations to the advantage of the Air Force to counter (anti-access/area denial) threats. Our Airmen’s unique capabilities enable air, space and cyber dominance from the ground,” Palenske said. “To be successful, the Air Force must leverage special warfare to execute its mission on an increasingly complex and contested battlefield.”

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs