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Air Force Combat Weather

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Special Operations Weather, commonly referred to in the Air Force as Combat Weather, used to be a special duty assignment available only to trained and certified Air Force Weathermen (AFSC 1W0X1). In January 2009, the Air Force decided to make this duty a separate AFSC (1W0X2). Before this new AFSC, weather Airmen applied to become special operations weathermen after already being in the Air Force. Now, 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.

They gather and interpret weather data and provide intelligence from deployed locations while serving as members of Air Force Special Tactics teams with US Army Special Operations Forces.

Combat Weathermen collect data, assist mission planning, generate accurate and mission-tailored target and route forecasts in support of global special operations, conduct special weather reconnaissance, and train foreign national forces.

They are specifically located to provide meteorological and oceanographic support to various components of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

Combat Weathermen employ various infiltration/ex filtration methods to include: static line and military free-fall parachute, small boat or amphibious means, over land - mounted or dismounted, air land via fixed or rotary-wing aircraft, and airmobile procedures to include rappel, fast-rope, and rope ladder.

Once in the objective area, they provide climatological/oceanographic data, solar/lunar data, and weather forecasts/observations to support pre-deployment, deployment, mission planning, execution, redeployment and special weather reconnaissance.

Other Combat Weather capabilities include: training members of U.S. Army Special Operations Command to take and communicate limited weather observations,collect upper air data, organize, establish and maintain weather data reporting networks, and determine host nation meteorological (observing and forecasting) capabilities.

Qualifications:

    (1) Be a volunteer for parachute duty.

    (2) Have a 5-skill level in AFSC 1X0X1 (That means graduating technical school and upgrade OJT training at one of the Air Force Weather "hubs.")

    (3) Pass the Army Physical Readiness Test(APRP), with at least a 60 in each category of the 17-21 year age group.

    Note: The APRP reflects the MINIMUM level of fitness to be accepted. The training course imposes much stricter physical requirements. Males who cannot complete 50 pushups, 65 sit ups, and 7 pull ups, and females who cannot complete 63 sit ups, 25 pushups, and 4 pull ups upon arrival at the course will have problems. Additionally everyone (male & female) are required to run 4 miles, in formation, at a 9 minute-per-mile pace.

    (4) Pass a Flight Class III Flying Physical.

    (5) Be recommended by your commander.

    (6) Be less than 36 years old as of the date of application (Age waiver available for E-5s and above).

Special Note: Females may serve as Combat Weathermen, however, they can only serve in Air Combat Command Combat Weather units. The DOD combat exclusion policy prohibits females from serving in positions that forward deploy with Army ground combat units, which account for all of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) Combat Weather positions.

Combat Weathermen Today

Assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Combat Weathermen join forces with Combat Controllers and Pararescuemen to form highly trained Special Tactics teams.

A Special Tactics team frequently operates with Navy Seals, Army Rangers, and Special Forces in "direct action" (DA), airfield seizure, foreign internal defense (FID) and unconventional warfare, and personnel recovery missions in hostile territory.

Operating in all climates, day or night, Combat Weathermen maintain the highest standards of physical fitness and proficiency in the use of light weapons.

They endure some of the toughest training offered in the U.S. military. Their training, as well as their unique mission, earns them the right to wear the gray beret.

Combat Weathermen are assigned under the 720th Special Tactics Group, an AFSOC unit headquartered at Hurlburt Field, FL. Within the 720th STG they are assigned to the 10th Combat Weather Squadron, the only Combat weather squadron in the U.S. Air Force, and the 320th, 321st, and 24th Special Tactics Squadrons.

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