Special Operations News

Exercise Demonstrates Special Ops Capabilities

DESTIN, Fla. (AFNS) — Air Force Special Operations Command officials are hosting a field exercise at Hurlburt Field Feb. 2 through 13 designed to train forces in combat scenarios.

Called Emerald Warrior, the exercise is taking place at training grounds on Hurlburt Field and nearby Eglin Air Force Base, and focuses on training Air Force, Army and allied units in missions directly related to lessons learned from operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Operating in the late afternoon and evening hours, participating units will train in the infiltration and exfiltration of personnel and equipment, personnel recovery operations, controlling close-air support, coordinating coalition support in operations and exercising command and control elements.

“This exercise basically brings everyone together and lets them perform missions they might face while in Iraq or Afghanistan,” said Lt. Col. Carlos Alvarado, an AC-130H Spectre pilot with the 1st Special Operations Group.

Several of these missions practiced include troop insertions using a CV-22 Osprey, air-ground support operations using A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and AC-130 gunships, and convoy active-defense scenarios.

“These exercises are important because they let us train like we may have to fight,” said Capt. Rob Campbell, a CV-22 pilot with the 8th Special Operations Squadron. “And there are a lot of moving parts involved in operations like these. We have guys on the ground and in the air and we all have to know how to work together to get the mission done. That’s what these exercises are designed to do. ”

AFSOC was established in May of 1990 to provide special operations forces for worldwide deployment and is composed of highly trained Airmen who perform missions ranging from precision application of firepower to infiltration and exfiltration of special operations elements.

The command’s key missions include battlefield air operations, agile combat support, information operations and specialized surveillance and reconnaissance.

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