The Air Force’s new Special Operations career field is about to launch. After years of planning and much deliberation, the long-awaited Special Warfare (SW) career field opens up on October 31.
The Special Warfare (1Z) career field will now encompass four Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSCs), which is the nomenclature that the Air Forces utilizes for its various jobs. The four AFSCs will be the following: Pararescue (1Z1); Combat Control (1Z2); Tactical Air Control Party (1Z3); and Special Reconnaissance (1Z4). These four AFSCs were previously independent career fields (Special Reconnaissance recently changed from the previous Special Operations Weather Technician career field).
According to the Air Force’s description, “the specialties included in the Special Warfare Career Field form the Air Force’s premier ground maneuver element. The Airmen of Special Warfare are employed across the spectrum of conflict to extend Air Force air power and enhance its lethality. They operate within the Joint and Combined Force to build partnerships, develop asymmetric advantages and engage the enemy inside its own region. They provide the connective tissue required to bind multiple domains; focusing the integration of air, space, cyber and land issues through the lens of airpower from the ground up and delivering distinctive capability and expertise in any operating environment with unequaled lethality, accuracy, responsiveness, flexibility and persistence. This career field includes the functions and activities of global access, precision strike and personnel recovery.”
Additionally, there is another enabler career field. Titled Special Warfare Enabler (1T), the career field pools together all the direct support career fields into one. The vision for Special Warfare enablers is to accompany Special Warfare operators and provide critical direct and indirect combat support.