OKLAHOMA CITY – The 137th Special Operations Wing certified its Special Operations Task Group during a training exercise in Oklahoma and Georgia Dec. 1-9.
The exercise tested the operational and tactical integration between air and ground forces. Eleven members of the 137th SOW SOTG completed their learning objectives and validated developed tactics, techniques and procedures.
“The SOTG is a deployed group-level command,” said Maj. Jean Fuselier, commander for the 137th SOW SOTG. “We are the first Air National Guard SOTG within AFSOC, so working with other wings to learn and understand their capabilities is critical to our readiness to execute command and control in a new era of mission command.”
The SOTG integrates multi-domain special operations forces’ air power into the joint operational environment. The SOTG commands special operations task units, or SOTUs, tailored to the missions of their areas of responsibility.
Participants in the exercise included the 137th SOW, 919th SOW and 75th Ranger Regiment. The SOTG was conducted in Oklahoma, while the SOTU operated out of Georgia to mimic the environment in which the SOTG will execute seven joint warfighting functions: intelligence, movement and maneuver, fires, information, protection, sustainment, and command and control.
“We faced challenges performing command and control while dislocated from our SOTUs during the exercise,” said Fuselier. “This trial run was crucial to learn what we may have to deal with while at Theater Special Operations Command on a deployment. You don’t know what you don’t know until you get out there and do it.”
Designing forces deliberately for unique missions will help with readiness under the force generation cycle — a four-phase training model — to compete with and deter adversaries strategically.
“To deliver the Air Force Special Operations Command we need in today’s increasingly complex and uncertain environments, we must decentralize and empower Special Operations Task Units and Special Operations Task Groups with mission command,” said Lt. Gen. James Slife, who was AFSOC commander during a November Mission Command Summit.