“Downright Awesome” Airmen

Lt. Gen. Michael Wooley, head of Air Force Special Operations Command, told a Capitol Hill seminar Tuesday that AFSOC is adapting quickly to “extraordinary changes.” He asserted, “The AFSOC you will see a year from today will be much different than it is at this present moment.” One key example of these dramatic special operations changes is that of the operational paradigm for battlefield airmen, which Wooley said is changing almost every deployment not just year by year. Wooley went on to praise the “downright awesome” battlefield airmen for significantly decreasing the time it takes to get airpower to a target. At the opening of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 in Afghanistan, it took about 28 minutes to prosecute a close air support mission. Now, said Wooley, by using new technology, battlefield airmen have whittled that time down to an average of three minutes.