Defense

June 13, 2012

Air Force launches first special tactics wing

Tags:
by Rachel Arroyo
Hurlburt Field, Fla.

U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command stood up the 24th Special Operations Wing in a ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla., June 12 to meet the growing demand for the unique capabilities special tactics Air Commandos provide.

AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel said creation of this new brand of wing better prepares the special tactics community to meet the swiftly evolving requirements of a global special operations forces partnership.

“While the pace of global special operations has been demanding throughout this past decade, we cannot expect to slow down over the next,” he said.

It is this pace that makes the activation of the 24 SOW so monumental.

America has been at war running operations for more than a decade with a volunteer force, Fiel said. The special tactics Airmen who have been a constant presence in these operations comprise less than half of a single percent of the population.

In assuming command of the 24 SOW, Col. Robert Armfield recognized the magnitude of what is being asked of his airmen and what they are accomplishing under a highly demanding operational tempo.

Since Sept. 11, special tactics Airmen have been awarded five Air Force Crosses, 29 Silver Stars, 217 Bronze Stars with Valor and 96 Purple Hearts.

The special tactics career field is among the most decorated career field in the Air Force, Fiel said. But more notable is the fact that almost every month, one special tactics airmen is critically wounded or killed.

We’ve got to be able to look the fathers and the mothers, the wives and the husbands, and the kids straight in the eye and tell them we have done everything possible to make them successful in battle and bring them back,” Armfield said. “That’s what this new wing is all about.”

The 24th SOW will be successful, he added.

“Our challenge now is to take this investment that you’ve made in resources and turn it into combat capability for the AFSOC portfolio, and we’re going to do it,” Armfield said.

The mission of the 24th SOW is to provide special tactics forces for rapid global employment to enable airpower success.

“Establishment of the 24th Special Operations Wing allows a single commander to lead the recruiting, training and development of our special tactics warriors and ultimately provide combatant commanders with world-class Airmen to accomplish their mission,” Fiel said.

By creating the 24th SOW, not only is a single special tactics commander enabled to lead, but pressure is alleviated by removing the responsibility of logistical planning from the groups so they can concentrate on the operational mission.

Capabilities of the Wing include airfield reconnaissance, assessment and control. Special tactics airmen also engage in joint terminal attack control, personnel recovery, weather and environmental reconnaissance.

The 24th SOW, activated June 1, will comprise the 720th Special Tactics Group and the Special Tactics Training Squadron based at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The 724th Special Tactics Group, Pope Field, N.C. and 16 recruiting locations will also fall under the wing.

The 24th SOW will be the third wing under AFSOC alongside the 1st Special Operations Wing located here and the 27 Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.

With Armfield’s promotion to commander of the 24th SOW, Col. Kurt Buller assumed command of the 720th STG.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>