The 350th Training Squadron, a new training unit, has been created to enhance the selection and training of elite battlefield airmen such as Pararescuemen, Special Operations Weather Team Specialists, and Combat Controllers. According to the U.S. Air Force the new unit will change the way battlefield airmen navigate through their training,

For the first time in its history, the Air Force on June 2 activated a unit solely dedicated to train the service’s ground component at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

“Our mission at the Battlefield Airmen Training Group is to select, train and mentor Airmen for global combat operations,” said Col. Ronald Stenger, the group’s inaugural commander and special tactics officer. “We will breed quiet professionals, infused with a warrior ethos and fueled by scholarship and innovation.”

Members of the group will consolidate and streamline training for the Air Force‘s conventional and special operations ground forces. These ground forces include combat controllers, pararescuemen, special operations weathermen and tactical air control party Airmen.

The group’s leadership aims to improve processes and programs across five pillars: recruiting; manpower and leadership; equipment; infrastructure; and curriculum. The effort starts with successful leadership forging and developing Airmen for the battlefield, Stenger said.

“Much like when the Air Force separated from the Army in 1947 to have Airmen lead airpower, this allows battlefield Airmen leaders to lead battlefield Airmen training across the entire enterprise,” Stenger said about the group’s activation.

The group, a subordinate unit of the 37th Training Wing, replaces the 342nd Training Squadron and will lead five new BA training squadrons set to be activated later this summer. The squadrons consolidate and organize already existing training courses under BA leadership. The units include three pipeline squadrons dedicated to each career field; one instructor qualification and prep course squadron including advanced employment training such as military free fall; and a support squadron.

Some initial concerns have been raised within the PJ community about how this will change their indoctrination process. I contacted the 37th Training Wing about the concerns of the new unit altering or lowering the standards for the PJ indoctrination course. The 37th Training Wing responded with by saying that the standards will remain the same and will not negatively effect the PJ indoctrination process, only enhance it.