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First Special Warfare Airmen graduate initial apprentice course for special reconnaissance

A gray Beret is displayed for the first graduates of the Special Warfare Special Reconnaissance Course.

The 352nd Special Warfare Training Squadron graduates the first wave of students from the new Special Reconnaissance Apprentice Course June 17 at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina.

A gray Beret is displayed for the graduates of the first Special Warfare Training Wing, Special Reconnaissance Course at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina.

The 352nd Special Warfare Training Squadron graduates the first wave of students from the new Special Reconnaissance Apprentice Course June 17 at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina.

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-CHAPMAN TRAINING ANNEX, Texas –The 352nd Special Warfare Training Squadron graduates the first wave of students from the new Special Reconnaissance Apprentice Course, June 17 at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina.

Formerly branded as Special Operations Weather Teams (SOWTs), the SR career field recently underwent a major restructuring. While short term weather forecasting will remain in the SR’s skillset, it will no longer dominate SR’s training and mission focus.

“Today’s SR graduates are better equipped with unique training to conduct multi-domain reconnaissance and surveillance with an eye towards gaps identified in the Department of Defense’s long range reconnaissance and force projection capabilities,” said Maj. Spencer Reed, 352nd SWTS commander. “This ceremony not only celebrates the first organically trained SR Airmen in our wing, but in the U.S. Air Force. I’m incredibly proud.”

Special Reconnaissance Airmen are among the most highly trained personnel in the U.S. military. Airmen receive training in surveillance and reconnaissance, multi-domain electronic warfare, long-range precision engagement and target interdiction, small unmanned aircraft systems, preparation of the environment, personnel recovery, and advanced special tactics skills.

“The first SR Apprentice Course graduation signifies the first tangible step towards the Air Force building an increased capability,” said Senior Master Sgt.Trenton Seegmiller, Air Education and Training Command’s special reconnaissance functional manager. “It is one of many steps in a never-ending process to maintain our edge over near-peer competitors.”

The course curriculum includes collecting meteorological and environmental data- a holdover requirement from the SOWT career field, yet significantly reduced in scope. New skills added are demolition, communication and signaling, human intelligence gathering, operational preparation of the environment and tactical cyber applications.

“Previous iterations of training required multiple courses and training locations, totaling around 215 training days,” Reed said. “This new 86-day course provides an updated training syllabus with a 60% reduction in training time.”

SR Airmen train to provide global battlespace awareness and access by translating information into actionable intelligence. In the battlespace, SR Airmen are part of Special Tactics teams in sensitive, forward operating locations, focused on global strike, global access and recovery missions. 

Members of the Special Warfare Training Wing provide initial training for all U.S. Air Force Special Warfare training AFSCs, to include, Combat Controllers, Pararescue, Special Reconnaissance, and Tactical Air Control Party Airmen. 

To learn more about SR Airmen or other U.S. Air Force Special Warfare career opportunities, go to: https://www.airforce.com/careers/in-demand-careers/special-warfare.

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