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Adding More Guns: USAF Creates 24th Special Operations Wing

Written by on Thursday, June 14th, 2012

The military tends to be fairly stable. Budget approvals take months to approve and military aircraft can take years to build, so sometimes it feels like the military progresses like the turtle — slow and steady — rather than zipping through phases like a hare. It’s really quite rare that you see trends in the military. It’s common to see season-long trends in things like celebrity fashion or popular diet options, but the Department of Defense has managed to distance itself from fads and anything even remotely resembling pop culture.

That being said, the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is hot right now. Really hot. If SOCOM could sing, it’d be a much more lethal version of Justin Beiber. Don’t take it from me; even top congressional aids agree, “Right now, anything Socom wants they pretty much get — they’re hot.” It’s hard to determine exactly why special ops are growing so much right now, but it may have something to do with the military placing such a heavy focus on small but specialized counter-terrorism groups, such as the one that killed Osama bin Laden.

So, it really shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that the USAF is also getting in on the special ops action. The US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) has just launched a new special tactics wing, the 24th Special Operations Wing (24 SOW). AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel said that this new wing is greatly needed: “While the pace of global cheap cialis tadalafil 20 mg special operations has been demanding throughout this past decade, we cannot expect to slow down over the next.”

While this was an important day for both the USAF and SOCOM, it was a life-changing moment for the servicemen and servicewomen who will be operating under 24 SOW. On average, a special tactics Airman is critically wounded or killed every month. Special tactics Airmen have been awarded 96 Purple Heart since the Sept. 11 attacks, not to mention all of the other honorary awards. As grim as their new role will be, it is necessary. Col. Robert Armfield said, “We’ve got to be able to look the fathers and the mothers, the wives and the husbands, and the kids straight in the eye and tell them we have done everything possible to make them successful in battle and bring them back. That’s what this new wing is all about.”

The 24 SOW will be slated with the task of reconnaissance, assessment, control, joint terminal attack control, and personnel recovery. They will act as the Marines of the the Air Force, going on the most dangerous and critical missions to ensure that they are perfectly executed. These servicemen and servicewomen will serve on one of the most elite teams of what is often considered the most specialized, the best equipped, and the most powerful branch of the Department of Defense. To put it bluntly, this isn’t a group of people you want to mess with.

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