U.S. military forces [Air Force special forces?]

for those who serve(d) in the U.S. armed forces, does the air force have a special forces branch? The media has shown the Army Rangers or Green Berets, the Marine Force Reconnaissance, and the Navy SEALS. I have never seen any special forces related to the Air force. so what, if any, forces are there and what do they do?

Air Foce JTACS can be attached to special forces of all branches. It isn’t uncommon for an Air Force JTAC to deploy with and patrol with a Green Beret unit, for example.
Back in 2003, it was an Air Force JTAC who called in a bomb run on their own position and killed several Green Berets in the process. He was changing the batteries in his DAGR and didn’t realize that after it rebooted, the position shown on the screen would be HIS location and not the last location he was viewing… deadly mistake and a lesson learned!!

But really whenever someone thinks of Air Force special forces, they usually speak of Air Force PJs! PJs are highly trained medical personnel who jump in to rescue downed pilots. In addition to Airborne, HALO, and job specific training, they also attend Special Forces Combat Medic training at Fort Bragg. This course is attended by all special force medics: Ranger medics, Marine Force Recon Corpsman (who are actually Navy personnel), Green Beret medics, Navy Seal Corpsmen and PJs.
Of course, after 6 months of SOCM, most medics call that “graduation”. But Green Beret medics are only at their half-way point. They go on to complete another 6 months of medical training to learn amputations, animal husbandry, dentistry, OBGYN, and much more!

The Air Force has a Special Operations Command which oversees such units as the PJs (Pararescue) and Tactical Air Control, among others.

USAF special operations units tend to be highly technical operators with very specific skills rather than pure combat badasses (but they are plenty badass, too.)

thanks for the info. forgive me for my ignorance, but what does PJ stand for?

Pararescue Jumper.

Pedros? Couple of stories-there’s more.



In addition, Air Force Special Operations Command has pilots that fly the AC-130 gunship, the CV-22 Osprey, and their own Predator drones.

Also, the Marines established their own Special Operations force in 2005. Although Force Recon are some badass folks, they were not part of the “official” special operations community. You can read more here.

USAF Combat Control Teams (CCT) are also generally considered to be SF although they, like JTACS / TACPs, are not part of Special Operations Command.

And as **friedo **noted, USAF SF tends to be more about sneaking around amongst or near the bad guys trying like hell to stay hidden while wielding the big stick from the sky rather than knifing the enemy’s sentries up close and personal.

Think more like a sniper; not like a Rambo.

There is also the “Special Operations Group” (I believe 160th SOG, but could be misremembering), who fly the Helos that deliver Army, Navy, and Marines behind enemy lines. All kinds of sophisticated gear and techniques for flying in darkness and bad weather without enemy forces being able to track them.

The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) is the Army’s SF helo pilots.

The Air Force has several Special Operations Wings that fly a variety of aircraft.

Addition to my previous, because I missed the edit window:

They ARE part of “Special Operations Command”. They (ideally) don’t engage in combat, just delivery and extraction of the other services’ guys, and so are not technically (nor trained as) “combat badasses”, just REALLY badass low-level “trim-the-trees”, “mow-the-grass” “landscaping-contractor” pilots.

ETA: Once I added my addendum, I read the next poster, who beat me to it. He’s right, 160th is US ARMY. So I can’t remember the Air Force Wing’s number, but they have one, and the Army and Air Force Helo guys do the same “landscaping”. I just can’t remember the Air Force’s unit.

There are also Combat Weathermen.

I have edited the title to better indicate the subject.

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