Air Force Special Ops weathermen get new specialty code

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Air Force special operations weathermen now have a new specialty code they can call their own.

Recruiters can enlist trainees directly into the 1W0X2 special operations weathermen career field since the new Air Force specialty code is now in the enlisted classification directory.

Before this new AFSC, weather Airmen applied to become special operations weathermen after already being in the Air Force, They were sent to work and live on an Army post where they relied on the Army for equipment and training. There was no standardized training, according to Chief Master Sgt Andrew Hopwood, Air Force Special Operations Command weather functional manager.

“The new AFSC will provide special operations weathermen the right technical, physical and tactical training from day one. This will greatly enhance their battlefield observing, environmental reconnaissance and forecasting missions,” Chief Hopwood said.

Because of time between classes, Airmen previously spent four years training to become special operations weathermen. Under the new program, they will finish training in approximately two and half years. The first basic military training graduates will enter the new training pipeline in January 2009.

Trainees will attend the two-week Special Operations Weathermen Selection Course at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. This is a physical training assessment with progressive training to prepare candidates for the next phase.

After the selection course, students will attend their initial-skills course at Keesler AFB, Miss., for 30 weeks where they will go through the Air Force Weather Course and endure additional physical training elements.

Upon completion of their initial-skills course, they will earn their jump qualification from airborne school at Fort Benning, Ga and attend survival school at Fairchild AFB, Wash. They will then train side-by-side with combat controllers during the Special Operations Weather Apprentice Course at Pope AFB, N.C. before being assigned to the Special Tactics Training Squadron here. They will learn additional weather skills necessary to deploy and operate in stressful environments. Training also will include basic communication, navigation, employment techniques, weapons training and small unit tactics.

Special operations weathermen have 99 slots, but are currently only 65 percent manned. Once Airmen become special operations weathermen, they will be assigned to Hurlburt’s 10th Combat Weather Squadron and will be stationed at detachments across the United States.

Jeremy Webster

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