Air Force Special Operations Command has proposed establishing a wing to handle counter-insurgency operations, according to Flight International, which obtained an AFSOC White Paper spelling out the proposal. This sounds much like the position espoused by US Special Operations Command head Army Gen. Bryan Brown almost two years ago. Brown, who announced his retirement plans in May, declared that he needed more outfits like AFSOC’s 6th Special Operations—the sole unit tasked with advising and training foreign air forces for internal defense, i.e. counterinsurgency, and now also combating terrorism worldwide. As FI notes, Rand analysts last year advocated a broadening of USAF counterinsurgency expertise. The 2006 analysis led by Alan Vick suggested that “the single most effective means of expanding this expertise is through the creation of a wing-sized organization dedicated to aviation advising.” Has its time come
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.