New training course prepares Special Reconnaissance Airmen for combat

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Jeremy Huggins
  • Special Warfare Training Wing Public Affairs

352nd Special Warfare Training Squadron (SWTS) has implemented a Special Reconnaissance (SR) Apprentice Course for Airmen training to enter the SR career field at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina.

The course lasts 86 days and teaches students resiliency, communications, land navigation, tactics, surveillance techniques, long range target interdiction and weather observing, and mission planning, among other skills.

“The SR career field was created in 2019 as part of an effort to evolve the Air Force’s Special Warfare capabilities to better equip the nation to face the challenges posed by great power competition,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joseph, operations superintendent, 352nd SWTS. “Our goal with this new course, as with all the courses we run here at the 352nd SWTS, is to provide and administer the most realistic technical training and evaluation methods for our students to ensure they possess the knowledge and skills they need to successfully meet the demands of the career field.” 

The SR Apprentice Course was formed out of the Special Operations weather technician career field to expand the capabilities and lethality of Air Force Special Warfare. The SR Airmen are responsible for communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to allow for mission planning, special operations mission execution and application of airpower across the full spectrum of military operations, across all domains, and in all geographic and environmental conditions.

“A lot of what our SR students do prior to this course falls in line with other Special Warfare career fields, like pararescue or combat control. Students training to enter any of these career fields attend the Special Warfare Assessment and Selection Course, Open- and Closed-Circuit Dive Courses, the Army Basic Airborne Course,  Military Free Fall Course, etcetera,” said Senior Master Sgt. Elijah, squadron superintendent, Special Warfare Training Support Squadron. “However, our students obviously need training in areas unique to SR as well. This course gives us that capability and has evolved to better meet the current needs of the Air Force.”

The SR career field is under the Air Force Special Warfare (AFSPECWAR) umbrella. Members of AFSPECWAR are ground combat forces who specialize in airpower application in hostile, denied and politically sensitive environments. They are employed to provide global access, precision strike and personnel recovery capabilities across the spectrum of conflict and the multi-domain battlefield.

For more information on AFSPECWAR career fields visit: