Orlando, February 18, 2010—Air Force Special Operations Command is increasing its capability to train foreign air forces in counterinsurgency techniques, but it takes time to train more air commandos in needed language, foreign equipment, and cultural skills, AFSOC boss Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster said during a panel discussion at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium. Wurster noted that the work done by the 6th Special Operations Squadron is “essential” to helping shape many smaller allied air forces into effective counterinsurgent tools in their respective countries. The 6th SOS currently has about 200 airmen working in “places you’ve read about in the paper, certainly in the last couple of weeks,” Wurster said. He said the goal is to leverage and influence partner nations, tribes, and groups to help root out bad guys, whether in North Africa’s Maghreb region, the Arabian Peninsula, or other areas.
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.