War on Terrorism

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ISOG offers inside look into special operations

by Tech. Sgt. Stacia Zachary
352nd Special Operations Group Public Affairs

8/14/2014 - RAF MILDENHALL, England -- Airmen and family members new to special operations got an in-depth look into being part of the 352nd Special Operations Group and the "tip of the spear" Aug. 7, 2014, at RAF Mildenhall, England.

"We look a lot like Big Blue most days. But when the nation comes calling, we tend to move fast," said Col. William Holt, Joint Special Operations Air Component - Europe commander. "Our equipment is a little different - no one else is flying a CV-22 or the unmanned (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) crafts quite the way we do. Those platforms are part of what make us unique; our mentality does, too. The (special operations forces) mentality doesn't say no. If it's humanly possible to say yes, we do. Even if the cost is great in either risk or otherwise, we find a way to say yes. That's what we're going to ask of you."

Each year, new additions to the 352nd SOG family are invited to an Introduction to Special Operations Group day where they have an opportunity to see what goes on daily as well as an introduction on how special operations began and how it's grown over the years with emerging technology and mission sets.

"Essentially, (ISOG) is training for those new to the 352nd SOG − both active duty and spouses," said Master Sgt. Raymond Beasley, ISOG coordinator and 67th Special Operations Squadron member. "We get reps from all the SOG players and give a briefing as to how we came to be, how we all fit together and what our mission(s) are."

Individual units that comprise special operations briefed more than 100 people in Hangar 539. The units included: 352nd SOG, 321st Special Tactics Squadron, 7th Special Operations Squadron, 67th Special Operations Squadron, 352nd Special Operations Maintenance, 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron, JSOAC-E and 25th Intelligence Squadron Detachment 2.

Chaplain (Capt.) James Pitts, 352nd SOG chaplain from the Preservation of the Force and Family program, also briefed attendees about the different specialties the people of POTFF offer ranging from a clinical social worker to a psychologist. The POTFF program is designed to mitigate and minimize the physical and emotional effects of a decade-long war in which SOF personnel experienced continuous high operational tempo, according to U.S. Special Operations Command.

To round out the day, those in attendance had the opportunity see the MC-130J Commando II, the MC-130H Combat Talon II and the CV-22B Osprey as well as members and equipment from the 321st STS.

"I got to learn exactly what my husband does and in great detail," said. Staff Sgt. Tandalaya Hunter, 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron. "I didn't really know what special operations was before today. Now, I have a better understanding of what my husband does and how important his mission is."

With the constant high mission tempo that exists within the special operations world, it's important that everyone - from active-duty military and civilians to their family members - understand their role in making the mission run successfully.

"Special operations is a small team; it's a family," said Lt. Col. John Peak, 67th SOS commander. "It's a lifestyle that takes commitment, so be ready. Be proud of what you do."

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