Special Operations Weather Team (SOWTs) are special operators with advanced meteorological and oceanographic skill sets. They are Air Force Special Tactics members assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing, 320th Special Tactics Squadron, and 321st Special Tactics Squadron – all units under Air Force Special Operations Command.
Operating in all climates, day or night, special operations weathermen maintain the highest standards of physical fitness and proficiency in the use of light weapons.
Special operations weathermen are among the most highly trained personnel in the U.S. military. They maintain the same weather weapon system qualifications as all Air Force weathermen in addition to advanced special tactics skills. Their 61 weeks of training and unique mission skills earn them the right to wear the gray beret.
SOWTs can establish weather networks in austere combat locations, giving battlefield commanders real-time ground truth weather information that may impact deployment, movement and engagement decisions.
Special Operations Weather Team Airmen are Air Force meteorologists with unique training to operate in hostile or denied territory. They gather, assess, interpret environmental data and forecast operational impacts from forward deployed locations, working primarily with Air Force and Army Special Operations Forces. They collect critical weather, ocean, river, snow and terrain data, assist mission planning, generate accurate mission-tailored target and route forecasts in support of global special operations and train joint force members and coalition partners to take and communicate limited weather observations.
Additionally, Special Operations Weathermen conduct environmental special reconnaissance, collect upper air data, organize, establish and maintain weather data reporting networks, determine host nation meteorological capabilities and train foreign national forces. Every Special Operations Forces mission is planned using the analyses and coordination of special operations weathermen.
Special operations weathermen conduct the same technical training as all Air Force weathermen.