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 August 18, 2014

News: U.S. mission in Iraq could expand, Pentagon official says - The mission for U.S. troops in Iraq to help Kurdish and Iraqi security forces in their fight against Islamic militants remains limited for now, but may expand after Iraqi leaders form a new government, a Pentagon spokesman said Aug. 19.   Business: Fuel deals top...
 
 

News Briefs August 20, 2014

Trials complete on fourth Coast Guard cutter Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., has completed acceptance sea trials for the company’s fourth U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter, Hamilton. Jim French, Ingalls’ NSC program manager, tells The Mississippi Press) the Hamilton is scheduled to be delivered next month and commissioned on Dec. 6 in Charleston, South...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval

Air Force, Army Aviation come together to complete vital mission in Egypt

Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval Soldiers and airmen load a UH-60 Black Hawk into an Air Force C17 Globemaster III Aug. 19, 2104, at an old Israeli airstrip in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. The airstrip is now used by the M...
 

 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden

Joint effort validates ability to move Stryker vehicles via air

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden An Army Stryker combat vehicle is guided into a C-17 Globemaster III during a 25th Infantry Division training exercise Aug. 13, 2014, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The Str...
 
 
NASA image

Ozone-depleting compound persists, NASA research shows

NASA image Satellites observed the largest ozone hole over Antarctica in 2006. Purple and blue represent areas of low ozone concentrations in the atmosphere; yellow and red are areas of higher concentrations. NASA research show...
 
 

F-16V completes major capability milestone

The newest configuration of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-16V, has reached a major capability milestone with the integration of a new Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. Completing this milestone on schedule demonstrates our ability to meet program commitments, said Roderick McLean, vice president and general manager of the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed...
 




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>