SR vs Radio Reconnaissance

TYW27

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I was watching the Ones Ready YouTube channel today where Trent briefly describes the mission of SR and it sounds like the data collection skill set is very similar to Radio Recon Teams. Basically it seems like SR is everything Radio Recon wishes it could be. So if we did a side by side comparison, how close would the reconnaissance and data collection missions of SR compare to Radio Reconnaissance? Anyone know? I spent a lot of time in RRP and I understand their mission capabilities. I understand there’s a lot we cannot talk about here, but just wanted to see how similar the two mission sets are.
 

Ooh-Rah

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I understand there’s a lot we cannot talk about here, but just wanted to see how similar the two mission sets are.
In the spirit of caution, I'm going to lock this before there is public discussion. I'll leave it to another mod or Admin who may choose to unlock it if they have an understanding on what can/cannot be discussed and also want to take the time to monitor it.
 

amlove21

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I was watching the Ones Ready YouTube channel today where Trent briefly describes the mission of SR and it sounds like the data collection skill set is very similar to Radio Recon Teams. Basically it seems like SR is everything Radio Recon wishes it could be. So if we did a side by side comparison, how close would the reconnaissance and data collection missions of SR compare to Radio Reconnaissance? Anyone know? I spent a lot of time in RRP and I understand their mission capabilities. I understand there’s a lot we cannot talk about here, but just wanted to see how similar the two mission sets are.
I am in and we can talk it out! I will guide the conversation a bit, for obvious reasons.

The informational collection abilities of SR are (will be) on par with the premier data collection entities out there currently. While it may seem like they are similar, which they are, the way we collect and leverage that data will be leveraged to get after air-centric and on a much smaller scale. It was never the intent to make SR some sort of stand-alone force that will deploy on their own or even as enablers to other forces (yet). SR is meant to integrate with AF ST ground teams to action AF mission sets. That being said- when SR gets cooking and people in the SOCOM world start realizing they can request a man packable, gunfight capable, military freefall operator packing a shit ton of high-level tech to help them real time? I think we are going to start getting some requests. Time will tell there.

Instead of trying to shoehorn what you know into SR (I am not saying you are, just follow the thought experiment here), completely flip what you know about recon in regards to SR. "Everyone" DOES do recon- RRD, MARSOC, LRRP/LRRS, etc etc etc... except the AF, because everyone forgets we even have teams that go on the ground. SR can give unique support to Access, Strike, and Recovery mission sets like no other.

We (AF) built an operator capable to shoot, move, communicate, and lead on small teams or alone, in order to support the larger mission force. On that operator, we are going to give the best practices, abilities, technological solutions, and TTP's from the recon community et al. Because their skill sets may look similar, people assume incorrectly that the AF just wants in the recon game so they made weather dudes do recon stuff. That's not the case- the AF had a need for recon and the sister service forces weren't able to support (before the move we basically asked, "Hey would you guys give us recon dudes for missions the way we give you PJ's and Controllers for yours?" And then everyone laughed. So, basically, we had a need, and we fixed it ourselves.

People are having a very hard time "squaring the circle" about SR; common questions we are getting are "Everyone already does recon; the AF doesn't need their own recon; SR guys aren't going to replace MARSOC". Short answer- well, yeah, no shit. That was never the point.
 

TYW27

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Thanks @amlove21 for opening this up and engaging.

So for right now SR is strictly an AF asset?

I’m not coming to this discussion with the “Everyone does Recon. The AF doesn’t need their own Recon” mindset. I’m more interested in the combination of the reconnaissance and data collection skill set that SR brings to a team. Especially since I can see the AWESOME potential that SR can grow into. I’m really looking forward to see what SR is going to become in the near future.

I may have been trying to shoehorn RRP into SR to see what gaps SR fills. But it looks like SR has a much more diverse skillset on the data-side of the house than RRP does. This is where I don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole on what those skillsets are, unless you wish to guide that one.

Honestly I don't know much about air-centric operations when it comes to Special Tactics and how you guys do things, or what SR brings to the AF, so I will have to do some more research. It does seem like the same way the Marine Corps created the MAGTF is how the AF SR can be a tremendous asset to the AF and the Service as a whole.
 

amlove21

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Ok- here we go!

Thanks @amlove21 for opening this up and engaging.

So for right now SR is strictly an AF asset?
So, the short answer is "yes", with nuance. We just published the career training plan for SR and stood up their Apprentice (like their finishing school) course. when students actually enter the pipeline after this next A&S is the first time people will be following the new plan, while the rest of the current force gets all the training they didn't have before (freefall, Ranger, Sniper, SUAS, etc etc).

So, with that being said, it will be a while until a fully qual'd no-shit SR dude is out there.

The nuance is this- a major misunderstanding people are having is imagining an entire team (even a small team) of SR dudes, out there doing their mission set- that's not the case. SR will complement Special Tactics Teams, comprised of PJ's, Controllers, TACP and Special Warfare Officers. They will provide air-centric data collection, exploitation, and real-time defeats of near-peer adversaries in contested/denied environments.

Now, as I said above- I can definitely see a time where the sister services get wise (and stop bagging on the initiative) and say to themselves, "Hold on- I can get a dude that specializes in Recon, can integrate air power and data collection into our formation, and is also an operator capable of holding their own in tactics on the X? AND I can request them for support along with a PJ and a Controller??" I think that is VERY attractive.

Think of it like this- everyone has JTACs- but people still want CCT's in the SOCOM world because of the unique air-centric skills they bring to the fight to aid their ground counterparts. Everyone has medics- but why do they want PJs? Air centric mindset, medical, technical rescue. I imagine SR falls into that same lane.
I may have been trying to shoehorn RRP into SR to see what gaps SR fills. But it looks like SR has a much more diverse skillset on the data-side of the house than RRP does. This is where I don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole on what those skillsets are, unless you wish to guide that one.
Do me a favor- hit me with a PM, and let's get on to one of the more secure messaging apps and tell me what skills you want to talk about. If they're kosher, we will do it in the open. So to speak.

Honestly I don't know much about air-centric operations when it comes to Special Tactics and how you guys do things, or what SR brings to the AF, so I will have to do some more research. It does seem like the same way the Marine Corps created the MAGTF is how the AF SR can be a tremendous asset to the AF and the Service as a whole.
So the major thing we always bring to the fight is the ability to dominate the vertical space in order to support violent and covert/surreptitious /clandestine ground operations for small teams. That can be leveraged in a million different ways- but just know, we like to say we build the mission from the air to the ground, and not the other way around.

I like to think of it like this- we think about everything the ground team isn't. PR. What CASEVAC looks like in a MASCAS. Stacks of AC ready to bring hate when needed. SR is going to get after- "What's over that next ridgeline? Is anyone talking about us on ICOM? How about counter drone (think about those explosive drone strikes in the Armenian conflict these last six months- counter-drone is a skill set in SR)."
 

Kheenbish

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Just listened to the podcast, it was awesome and a trove of information.

I'm glad SR found it's potential niche in SOF since SOWT always seemed to be struggling with an identity problem.

I had a question about the amount of training SR guys would be taking on. Are they expected to be fully qualified in all the various areas in their training? It seems difficult given the broad spectrum of recon capabilities they would have. One example would be any cybersecurity skillsets, that's a fulltime specialty in itself to keep ontop of and integrate into recon.
 

Brill

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@amlove21 how can I get to Elgin to do what I’m doing here for Rangers?

You had me at data collection!!!

SR is going to get after- "What's over that next ridgeline? Is anyone talking about us on ICOM? How about counter drone (think about those explosive drone strikes in the Armenian conflict these last six months- counter-drone is a skill set in SR)."

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

AWP

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Other than the fact that I can barely swim, have trash eyesight, and am in my late 40's, I'd be all over SR like a Clinton on an intern.

Seriously, a lot of you young guys and gals need to seriously think about SR. I can read between the lines and you're looking at a young career field that will evolve, where you learn skills that can take you in eleventy billion different directions post-mil.

You get to nerd out, jump, dive, shoot, and work on an AF base while being a part of what is nearly the ground floor of a totally new AFSC?

I hate to sound like an old guy yelling at clouds, but you don't know how amazing you have it these days.
 

amlove21

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I had a question about the amount of training SR guys would be taking on. Are they expected to be fully qualified in all the various areas in their training? It seems difficult given the broad spectrum of recon capabilities they would have. One example would be any cybersecurity skillsets, that's a fulltime specialty in itself to keep ontop of and integrate into recon.
So, that would be impossible, right? Same with PJ's, and the same with Controllers, actually. When you look at everything Controllers *can* do (vice the JTAC cape that they have been doing), none of us can keep up on it.

Recon- especially some of those more niche skils- are perishable skills. It's a difference in training methodology that the AF does (successfully in my opinion) vs other SOF entities.

The AF would rather front-load all the basic level of all skills up front in the pipeline, which inherently makes the pipeline longer. Then, as you go on in your career, you add techniques and tactics to those basic skills and flesh that capability out. The other SOF teams out there did the opposite- essentially, "Just give me a basic 18B, I will get him freefall or dive or whatever else when he needs it." I think you can see some of the other services (NSW and SF have both frontloaded all pipeline training

SR will have to act just like the young PJs I supervise, in the future. The conversation goes like this-

"I know you got an intro to these skills earlier; we are going through a more focused train up coming soon. I know you haven't touched this skill (shooting, ATC, medicine, ropes, counter-drone, stalking, whatever) in a little bit- that's ok. You have the foundation lets train it up and take the skill to the next level."
 

Kheenbish

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So, that would be impossible, right? Same with PJ's, and the same with Controllers, actually. When you look at everything Controllers *can* do (vice the JTAC cape that they have been doing), none of us can keep up on it.

Recon- especially some of those more niche skils- are perishable skills. It's a difference in training methodology that the AF does (successfully in my opinion) vs other SOF entities.

The AF would rather front-load all the basic level of all skills up front in the pipeline, which inherently makes the pipeline longer. Then, as you go on in your career, you add techniques and tactics to those basic skills and flesh that capability out. The other SOF teams out there did the opposite- essentially, "Just give me a basic 18B, I will get him freefall or dive or whatever else when he needs it." I think you can see some of the other services (NSW and SF have both frontloaded all pipeline training

SR will have to act just like the young PJs I supervise, in the future. The conversation goes like this-

"I know you got an intro to these skills earlier; we are going through a more focused train up coming soon. I know you haven't touched this skill (shooting, ATC, medicine, ropes, counter-drone, stalking, whatever) in a little bit- that's ok. You have the foundation lets train it up and take the skill to the next level."
Roger, I appreciate the clarification.

Looks like a great field to be in that will compliment a lot of different organizations.
 

Brill

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Great podcast @amlove21 ! SR honestly sounds like SOT-A killer. After an ODA gets a taste of a dude with a TS and a bunch of "lightweight" boxes that do X for his team AND the dude WILL NOT QUIT, there's no asking for a SOT-A ever again. SOT-B? Sure all day, every day.

If you're a SOT-A and reading this...get the F off the damn computer and get to the gym...then the advanced technical courses AND foreign languages courses...then get your short tab. If you want to be an attachment, be VALUE ADDED...just like the SR guys are going to be.

EDIT: "Oh but SOT-As can do Title 50 stuff." Yeah, really? WHEN? WHEN the hell does any SOT-A execute a T50 mish without the help of their counterparts from Maryland? Prove to USASOC the SOT-A community can T10 without drama first. Maybe that's the key to future SOT-A vs SR? If a commander needs a T50 asset, call for an organic SOT-A. If he just wants to move from X to Y and kill anything that gets into his way, call SR.

Yep, I'm a visionary after JUST one "Ones Ready" podcast. Imagine what YOU could do if you listen to them all???? <--- free plug @amlove21 :thumbsup:
 
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amlove21

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Great podcast @amlove21 ! SR honestly sounds like SOT-A killer. After an ODA gets a taste of a dude with a TS and a bunch of "lightweight" boxes that do X for his team AND the dude WILL NOT QUIT, there's no asking for a SOT-A ever again. SOT-B? Sure all day, every day.

If you're a SOT-A and reading this...get the F off the damn computer and get to the gym...then the advanced technical courses AND foreign languages courses...then get your short tab. If you want to be an attachment, be VALUE ADDED...just like the SR guys are going to be.
This is 100% correct. And oh by the way- SR will get ASOT 3. 8-)
 
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