A special operations weatherman with the 125th Special Tactics Squadron takes various readings during training at Fort Carson, Colo., April 21, 2012. Air Force photo by TSgt. John Hughel.
Air Force Special Operations Command recently overhauled its special operations weather career field to reflect the changing nature of its mission, renaming it Special Reconnaissance.
The change, effective April 30, will include a revamped training course to move away from “long-term regional forecasting to short-term, small-scale, team-specific environmental reconnaissance with an emphasis on special recon as a whole,” said MSgt. Thomas Howser, a career assistant functional manager for Special Reconnaissance, in a May 13 release.
The new selection course for the special operations career field will add combat dive and military free-fall qualifications and recon-specific training to the curriculum, as well as:
- Initial Skills
- US Army Airborne School
- US Air Force Basic Survival School
- US Air Force Water Survival School
- US Air Force Underwater Egress Training
- Special Operations Weather Course
- Advanced Skills Training
- Special Tactics Training
“The evolution of Air Force Special Tactics on today’s battlefield has called for SOWT to transition their singular focus to a more holistic approach—the highly demanded special reconnaissance,” CMSgt. Jeff Guilmain, the command chief of the 24th Special Operations Wing, said in the release.
Special Operations Weather, Air Force Specialty Code 1W0X2, has historically been a stressed career field. The Air Force recently reactivated the 330th Recruiting Squadron to try to reduce attrition and increase the input of these airmen, along with the five other special operations career fields.
The renamed career field, SR for short, also will honor an important figure in the history of the community. SR is the operator-initials of Lt. Col. William Schroeder, a SOWT officer and former commander of the 342nd Training Squadron, who was killed during a struggle with a gunman at JBSA-Lackland, Texas, in April 2016.