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Archive for the ‘Forces Focus’ Category

Army Sniper Instructors Assist With Air Force’s Nuclear Advanced Designated Marksman Course

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

This past month in Guernsey Wyoming, two senior instructors from the United States Army Sniper Course from Fort Benning, Georgia, took part in assisting the United States Air Force in enhancing their lethality with overseeing the Nuclear Advanced Designated Marksman Course. Over the course of four weeks, the NADM and USASC cadre put 21 students to the test on advanced field craft and rigorous shooting qualifications to ensure that our most casualty producing weapon stays in the right hands. The United States Army Sniper Course is the premier sniper school in the U.S. military and is the forerunner on building interoperability with sister services and allied nations.

Here’s To The Maintainers

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

It seems rather fitting to me that on this Labor Day I should share an Air Force heritage video on its maintainers.

Here’s to my Father, Father-in-law, Mother-in-law and Son, along with all of those other AF Maintainers past and present who kept our planes flying so this noner could jump out of them.

US Air Force’s 18th Weather Squadron Transitions to Fight Future Wars

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

An organizational vision provides direction and unites a team by illustrating the future of that team. For the “Mighty” 18th Weather Squadron our new vision is, “Integrating Environmental Supremacy to Win Our Nation’s Wars.” To accomplish that vision, guided by Squadron Commander Lt. Col. James C. Caldwell, the men and women of the 18th WS, who have been fighting in the War on Terror for nearly two decades, now look to the future.

Stationed all along the eastern seaboard of the United States in nine geographically separated units, the Total Force Airmen of the Mighty 1-8 support the conventional Army units of the XVIII Airborne Corps and subordinate divisions, both in-garrison and across the globe. Headquartered at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, the 18th WS produces some of the world’s most elite Army Weather Support forecasters, also known as Staff Weather Officers.

While a vision provides the team’s direction, a mission statement provides the “how.” The 18th WS mission statement is to “Train and Equip Courageous, Credible, and Combat-Ready Army Weather Support Airmen.” The most critical component of that mission statement is training. Before 18th WS SWOs are ready for deployment, they must attend a number of different formal training courses, such as the Army Weather Support Course and Evasion and Conduct After Capture. Additionally, SWOs must also complete Airfield Qualification Training and M4 Carbine and M9 Pistol qualification, and provide weather support in both Army and Air Force training and certification exercises.

Some of the more robust exercises in which SWOs participate are at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana and the National Training Center in California, but SWOs also support live-fire exercises and aircraft gunnery exercises. These exercises prepare the Army, and our embedded SWOs, for current and future warfare. In addition, each geographically separated unit conducts local exercises with supported Army units, including Unmanned Aerial System weather support, but the training does not stop there.

At the 18th WS, SWOs may also have the opportunity to become a paratrooper by attending the Army Basic Airborne Course, or train on aircraft orientation, sling-load operations, and rappelling and fast-rope techniques at Air Assault School. If motivated enough, a SWO may also earn the Pathfinder badge by learning dismounted navigation, and establishing and operating helicopter landing zones and parachute drop zones. To fully embed with our Army units, SWOs require these extra skills when the call comes for accurate environmental predictions.

As a capstone to their training, SWOs must complete an annual, unilateral combat mission readiness evaluation called the Expeditionary Field Evaluation Exercise (EFEX). During the EFEX, SWOs are evaluated on all AWS training items, including land navigation, tactical visibility charts, field condition manual observations, convoy procedures, evaluating and transporting a casualty, Tactical Meteorological Observing System operations, AWS mission weather briefs, and many other tasks. Upon successful completion of the EFEX, SWOs are then certified to execute the mission downrange.

While the basis of effective weather support is accurate, timely and relevant weather products, SWOs go far beyond this. SWOs must tailor products to best support command and control, identifying potential environmental impacts to friendly and enemy forces, while providing means to mitigate or exploit conditions to the advantage of friendly forces or disadvantage of enemy forces. Being able to equip decision-makers with decision-grade intelligence to accomplish mission objectives is what truly separates a SWO from a weather forecaster.

Despite the grinding deployment schedule over the last 20 years, our mission is now changing. The Airmen and families of the Mighty 1-8, guided by the renewed vision and mission statements mentioned above, must accept the current state of global affairs. No longer do we have to solely prepare for counterinsurgency operations, rather, following in the footsteps of the Army, we’re bending our focus each day more towards the high-end fight. State-on-state warfare, as outlined in the National Defense Strategy and the Air Force Weather Functional Concept of Operations, requires a deeper look at our ability to shoot, move and communicate on the battlefield.

Our culture is shifting away from traditional thinking to answer non-traditional requirements that encompass the entire scope of the environment, from the bottom of the ocean to the reaches of space. There’s no doubt that the victor in the next big war will require every advantage, especially those found in Mother Nature. We take this obligation seriously and know full well that the Mighty 1-8 is required for victory. We must be ready! – “All The Way!”

By SMSgt Patrick Brennan and Miguel Rosado, 18th Weather Squadron, 93d Air Ground Operations Wing Public Affairs

Tactical Air Control Party

Monday, August 12th, 2019

Feel like overcoming a tremendous challenge? Do you want to work with the Army, but be in the Air Force? Would you like to designate targets and guide aircraft in, to destroy our nation’s enemies? Then TACP is for you.

Visit www.airforce.com for more info.

1st SFAB Names Themselves “Spearhead” Brigade

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

Announcing the name “The Spearhead Brigade” the 1st SFAB explained that they chose that name because “as the “First” SFAB we helped pave the way for our fellow combat advisors and the SFAB concept. Additionally, our patch features a spearhead which symbolizes the leadership and direction advisors provide.”

It seems like I’ve heard that name before…oh yeah.

24th SOW Mission Video

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

Comprising the Special Tactics Force, Air Force Special Operations Command’s 24th Special Operations Wing is dedicated to tactical air-to-ground integration force and is the Air Force’s special operations ground force, leading global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations.

FirstSpear Friday Focus – Three Color Desert Sherpa

Friday, July 19th, 2019

We saw a few teasers earlier this week and we now have the first look at an awesome new Sherpa in three color desert now available only in the FirstSpear web store. 1000D construction, moveable interior dividers, removable padded pistol inserts, built with premium hardware and made the FirstSpear way right here in the USA. Grab one while you can!

www.first-spear.com/sherpa-7446

This Will Blow Some Minds

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

A US Marine with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, fires downrange amid an immediate action drill during exercise Platinum Ren at Fort Trondennes, Harstad, Norway, May 13, 2019.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Tayler P. Schwamb)

A note from Eric:

If I would’ve just posted this pic, without the caption, many would’ve exclaimed that this was an airsofter. We would have seen comments that all sorts of things were wrong and that “they don’t do it that way.”

Here’s another photo from that same event. Chew on this one. But remember, as long as it’s in the context of a joint range session with Norwegian troops, it makes perfect sense.