RAF MILDENHALL, UNITED KINGDOM — U.S. Air Force special tactics operators assigned to the 321st Special Tactics Squadron, 352d Special Operations Wing, conducted an airborne operation focused on land-air readiness in England, March 25-April 3.
During the training, air commandos conducted military free-fall airborne operations from the MC130J Commando II and CV-22B Osprey aircraft.
The aircraft and pilots practiced infiltration and exfiltration procedures with the 321 special tactics operators. This training enables units to rapidly deploy personnel and equipment into contested or austere environments.
“The 352d SOW is always on call to respond to global threats, so this training is critical to maintaining our readiness as a component of the wing,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jesse Wilson, commander of 321 STS. “We may need to get to the objective by means of airborne infiltration, so we must remain ready for it at all times.”
The 352d SOW is U.S. Special Operation Command Europe’s aviation component and the only U.S. Air Force special operations unit in the European theatre. Forward presence through SOCEUR enables collective efforts with NATO allies and partners to execute specialized airpower and air-ground integration.
“The 321 STS recently returned from Romania where they trained alongside and strengthened combined allied capabilities,” said Wilson. “As one of the experts in special operations air-land integration, we have been eager to continue to conduct missions centered on rapid employment of air-land tactics and rescue capabilities for any personnel in a contested environment.”
The 321 STS provides a rapidly-deployable force capable of establishing and providing positive control of air-to-ground interface during special operations or conventional missions. Through routine training with special tactics operators, the units can hone their airborne operations together in a controlled environment while maintaining readiness to deploy, train and fight as one force.
“I’m very proud of the 321st squadron and their consistent professionalism,” said Wilson. “But this is an overall 352d SOW victory. We’re very fortunate to have group and wing leaders who are always confident in our squadron’s abilities and always trust in us to get the job done.”