Air Force Special Warfare: 2nd to None

Every branch of our military has its Special Operations units, and all are trained to do what no one else can do. This video is about the training of men and women who want to be United States Air Force Special Warfare Operators. By watching this video, you will get a good sense of how difficult it is to be a member of such an elite unit. It is intense!

The U.S. Air Force Special Warfare unit is unique in that the men and women who become members of this unit are often embedded with the Special Operators of their sister services, i.e., with Navy SEALs or with the Army’s Green Berets, Army Night Stalkers, or Army Rangers, or with Marine MARSOC or Marine Recon units. Because of this, they also must be trained in those sister services’ techniques to do missions with them. The reason for this embedding is simple; they are the ones who know everything there is to know about tactical air support and battlefield management, which in modern warfare is one of the most important and necessary assets to be able to bring to bear in support of these small special warfare units’ unusual and dangerous missions.

Photo: YouTube/U.S. Air Force Recruiting

These Air Force Special Warfare Operators have four jobs or specialties. They include; Combat Control (CCT), Pararescue (PJ), Tactical Air Control Party (TACP), and Special Reconnaissance (SR). Each element brings a particular expertise to the missions that special warfare operations can require, including answering intelligence and information needs, providing ground support for downed aircraft and other situations, and special tactical operations that have the ability to change an entire battle theater.

The men and women who become Air Force Special Warfare Operators possess all kinds of personalities, but what brings them together as teams is that they have the same motivation to train and to compete in this very difficult and rigorously demanding warfare specialty. It is hard, as you will see, and not all make it. Those who do are the 1% that develop the mental and physical toughness to do this very demanding, always dangerous, and difficult kind of warfare.

Photo: YouTube/U.S. Air Force Recruiting

The Air Force Special Warfare training program takes 730 days to complete. It includes all of the classroom work and all of the physically and mentally demanding training that makes Air Force Special Warfare warriors one of the most elite units in the military. They train five days a week from 0600 to 1600, strengthening their bodies in every conceivable way. Even more importantly, they are steeling themselves over those 730 days of training, developing the intellectual expertise required to fulfill the very intricate and demanding multi-faceted detail of their specialties and to meet the challenging mental realities that naturally come with special operations missions.

Photo: YouTube/U.S. Air Force Recruiting

In other words, they are training their bodies and their minds to do what very few others will ever be able to do. They have a saying about the purpose of this training: “Exceeding the standard is the standard.” Those who make it as Air Force Special Warfare Operators are rightfully proud of their ability to “endure the suck.”

Their motto: “Ready today, relevant tomorrow, resilient always.” We honor the Air Force Special Warfare Operators and are glad that some men and women are willing and able to do what they do.

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