UPDATE: Air Force Stryker unit headed to the sandbox

A reader forwards me this pic from AF.mil of the 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron’s Tactical Air Control Party boarding the plane for Iraq:

See the AF.mil story for a high-res version.

The unit will send one group to Iraq for six months, then they will be replaced by a second group.

Notice that not only do the Air Force personnel get the new ACU but that many of them have actually been issued weapons. (Commenters on my earlier post were worried about this.) And there are a few women in the group.

Many thanks to the reader who tipped me off.


  1. The chair force is getting actual guns, rather than planning on raining destruction on the enemy from a safe and sanitary distance? How macho of them. Heh. You know it’s kind of funny – despite the Air Force’s reputation – that in many respects the AF is the most forward looking of the services. The Navy is unable to decide what it wants to be, the Marines are too small to do the real technological development they’d like (and are probably very capable of doing) and the Army is limited by restrictions on use of a lot of the best gear. (fixed wing aircraft, rockets, etc.) The AF was the first service to really embrace jointness, and have benefitted from it. Nevertheless, I think it was a mistake to spin off the Air Corps from the Army. There was a real, and useful logic to having a Navy department and a War department. The Navy and Marines were the tool of contingent deployment, on executive whim. The Army (and Air Corps) was for large scale war. I know that the realities of politics and history make the course we did take almost unavoidable, and we can’t go back. And the whole joint operations thing is really working well. But as far as national policy goes, I think it would be still be useful to have some separation between small wars/police actions/interventions and the big game. Since we can’t go back to two services, and are moving toward having, effectively, one service; I think we might as well form a space force and a special operations force, with independent command structures and budgets. That way, we might be more likely to have the stuff we need, without having the special forces guys subject to the whims of army or navy brass with different objectives, or space concerns subordinated to fighter jocks.

  2. That word will probably set off a firestorm of commentary on this post… And I finally linked to your Book Thing list about two months after the fact…Sorry.

  3. Yes Sir, We do carry and use guns. Our job is closed to women. For Air Force you may volunteer in boot camp, for other services, like myself, (Navy), it may be right on to Hurlburt Field for tech school. We are stationed at Army forts, so we can train and integrate with our manuever units. We have men with all manuever units, including SOF and Ranger. We have a more in depth web site, romad.com. –You aren’t necessarily stupid, just uneducated.