Delivering Airborne US Special Operations Assets Worldwide


(A question & Answer session w/Gen. Cichowski)


Delivering Airborne Special Operations Assets Worldwide

By: Major General Kurt A. Cichowski
Vice Commander
Air Force Special Operations Command

Q: AFSOC has seen some organizational changes over the past two years, for example the stand-up out at Cannon AFB. Could you give me an overview of the command organization and some of the changes that have taken place recently? Do you foresee any further adjustments?

A: As the air component to the United States Special Operations Command, we organize, train and equip air commandos from the United States Air Force to provide for our nation’s specialized airpower capability. Our command is comprised of 16,000 active, Reserve, Guard, and civilian personnel organized into a numbered Air Force, four special operations wings and a special tactics group. Additionally, we provide two overseas special operations groups who work for their respective operational theater special operations component commanders in the U.S. European Command and the U.S. Pacific Command.

As to the recent changes, the addition of the 27th SOW at Cannon AFB, N.M., in October 2007, is one of the most significant. It allows us to expand our mobility air fleet; our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability; and gives us an additional live-fire range to conduct joint SOF training. Overall, this new base is in great condition, and with the on-going military construction projects, we’ll have the infrastructure in place to accommodate AFSOC’s planned upgrade and growth of aircraft and personnel.

Another significant item of interest results from the very positive decisions and investments to recapitalize and modernize our aging inventory. This year, the Air Force programmed funding to buy the first seven MC-130Js, as well as to accelerate funding for five CV-22s. Both systems will provide key mobility and resupply of special operations forces since battlefield mobility is our number-one requirement. These kinds of efforts are a great start.

To ensure we have qualified personnel to match the growth in aircraft, we have transformed our flying and ground training activities by consolidating five different units under a single training center which is scheduled to stand up at Hurlburt in October 2008. This initiative relieves much of the training burden on our operational units.

Finally, we’re growing our Battlefield Airmen numbers to begin to meet operational demands, and we soon plan on further expansions through successful execution of recruiting and training initiatives. We’ve also begun to double our aviation foreign internal defense forces to meet combatant commanders’ requirements in this vital area as well.

Cont. @ Link:



New Posts

Latest Threads