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Special Warfare Training Wing members collaborate with Colombian Special Air Commands delegation

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Xiaofan Liu
  • Special Warfare Training Wing

A delegation of Colombian Special Air Commands leaders visited the SWTW for an immersion into the various Air Force Special Warfare pipelines, July 25, 2022. 

As the Colombian Air Force works to broaden its special operations forces capabilities by bridging institutional and operational requirements, the delegation visited the SWTW to learn more about how the Air Force builds its ground combat operators specializing in airpower application.

“The purpose of visiting the Special Warfare Training Wing was to learn more about how the United States Air Force trains its warriors who carry out special operations,” said Brig. Gen. Pedro Sanchez, deputy commander and chief of staff of Colombian Joint Special Operations Command. “This collaboration is vital for Colombian Special Forces to further strengthen their capabilities in order to carry out their duty of protecting the population from different threats.”

The visit was also symbolic of a partnership that has not only withstood the test of time, but is even more important today for both organizations.

 “Partnerships with our international allies are critical for the Special Warfare Training Wing’s diversity of thought”, said Col. Nathan Colunga, SWTW commander. “We have an imperative to understand our partners so we can interoperate seamlessly with one another in the age of strategic competition.”

For the delegation, the visit represented a step in finding solutions to any who threatens the peace and security of the Colombian nation.

“Contemporary threats do not care about the borders between countries,” said Sanchez. “This means that building partnerships between nations is the only way to neutralize them, denying them the use of gray areas where they can survive and grow stronger…to protect our democracy and freedom, we must continue to strengthen cooperative security, because together we are invincible.”

Members of the delegation learned about each of the AFSPECWAR pipelines overseen by the SWTW, which includes the tactical air control party (six-month pipeline), special tactics (12-20 month pipeline) and guardian angel (12-20 month pipeline) tracks.

“We are impressed with the Special Warfare Training Wing’s focus on building the resilience of their Airmen,” said Sanchez. “Considering how dangerous and demanding special operations are, it is very logical, but also revolutionary, to focus on the mind of the warrior, because in the end, the mind dominates the body. It is clear that that this is what has allowed this wing to create the most decorated Airmen in the U.S. Air Force.”

The delegation also gained an insight into how the SWTW builds AFSPECWAR Airmen inherent to the United States Special Operations Command’s “Special Operations Forces Truths” that state: humans are more important than hardware, quality is better than quantity, SOF cannot be mass produced, competent SOF cannot be created after emergencies occur, and most SOF require non-SOF support.

“Building a single AFSPECWAR ground combat operator is not easy”, said Colunga. “The amount of work, time, and resources placed into each Airman by SWTW cadre, instructors, human performance and medical professionals, and mission support personnel is remarkable.”

At the end of the visit, all parties left with a strengthened partnership and knowledge that will go on to affect the future battlefield.

“We are very impressed with the professionalism and vision that the Special Warfare Training Wing embodies, which enables them to develop extraordinary SOF warriors with specialized skills,” said Sanchez. “Without a doubt, what we have learned will save lives and strengthen security, positively affecting the peace and prosperity of our country.”

Members of SWTW provide initial training for all U.S. Air Force Special Warfare training specialties, to include combat controllers, pararescue, special reconnaissance and tactical air control party Airmen.

To learn more about SW 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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