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By Tech. Sgt. Brigette Waltermire
137th Special Operations Wing
The 137th Special Operations Wing (SOW) certified its Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) during a training exercise conducted in Oklahoma and Georgia Dec. 1-9, 2022.
The exercise tested the operational and tactical integration between air and ground forces. A total of 11 members with the 137th SOW SOTG completed desired learning objectives and also validated their developed tactics, techniques and procedures.
“The SOTG is a deployed group-level command,” Maj. Jean Fuselier, commander for the 137th SOW SOTG. “We are the first Air National Guard SOTG within AFSOC, so working with other wings to learn and understand their capabilities is critical to our readiness to execute command and control in a new era of mission command.”
The focus of the SOTG is to integrate multi-domain special operations forces air power into the joint operational environment. The SOTG commands special operations task units, or SOTUs, which are uniquely tailored to the missions of their assigned areas of responsibility.
Participants in the exercise included the 137th SOW, 919th SOW and 75th Ranger Regiment. The SOTG was based in various locations in Oklahoma, while the SOTU operated out of Georgia to realistically mimic the environment in which the SOTG will execute seven Joint Warfighting Functions: intelligence, movement and maneuver, fires, information, protection, sustainment, and command and control.
“We faced challenges performing command and control while dislocated from our SOTUs during the exercise,” said Fuselier. “This trial run was crucial to learn what we may have to deal with while at Theater Special Operations Command on a deployment. You don’t know what you don’t know until you get out there and do it.”
Designing forces deliberately for unique missions will help with readiness under the force generation cycle — a four-phase training model — to strategically compete with and deter adversaries.
“To deliver the Air Force Special Operations Command we need in today’s increasingly complex and uncertain environments, we must decentralize and empower Special Operations Task Units (SOTU) and Special Operations Task Groups (SOTG) with mission command,” said then-AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. James Slife during a Mission Command Summit in November.