US Air Force 10th COMBAT WEATHER SQUADRON ( 10 CWS )
The squadron made use of small weather teams that were inserted deep into enemy territory to provide weather observations. In August of 1944 Gen. Curtis Lemay authorized the unit to begin training Chinese guerillas in basic weather observation skills. By VJ Day the 10 WS was the largest weather squadron in USAF history, with over 2000 personnel on its roster.
On the 16th of June 1966 the 10 WS was reactivated at Udorn Airfield, Thailand and tasked with conducting combat operations in Southeast Asia. The squadron was also tasked with providing support to US special operations units operating in the same theater. They accomplished this by establishing clandestine weather observations stations, and providing weather observation training to indigenous personnel. 10 WS special operations weather teams also provided critical weather support to US special operations forces involved in Operation Ivory Coast, the raid on the Son Tay POW camp. On June 30th 1972 the squadron relocated to Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base (RTAFB), and continued to conduct operations until its inactivation on September 30 1975.
On October 1 1996 the squadron was reactivated as the 10th Combat Weather Squadron (10 CWS) and assigned to the 720th Special Tactics Group (720 STG) of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).
B. With the global Special Operations mission, personnel are capable of observing and forecasting using tactical meteorological (TACMET) equipment and a variety of communication systems ranging from high frequency (HF) radios to satellite communications (SATCOM).
C. The squadron is comprised of five detachments and one Operating Location (OL) that are co-located with their customer(s). A Statement of Requirements (SOR) defines what support is required by USASOC.
D. Customers supported include Special Forces Groups (SFG), Ranger Regiments (RGR), Special Operations Aviation Regiments (SOAR), Psychological Operations Groups (POG), Special Warfare Training Groups (SWTG), Civil Affairs (CA) units, and Special Operations Support Battalions. .
B. The 10th CWS develops and implements doctrine, policies, and standards. Monitoring each detachment's performance, addressing current and future weather support requirements, acquiring and providing training that ensures inter operability of equipment and integration of forces, and acting as the focal point of budget and personnel issues also ensures the squadron maintains a high state of readiness in each of its detachments.
C. In-garrison weather support consists of weather forecasts for local training, upcoming deployments, and resource protection. Each detachment targets it's in-garrison training to the supporting customer's Area Of Responsibility (AOR) to maintain cultural awareness, AOR weather familiarity, and determine the host nation's meteorological capabilities.
D. Support for all deployments starts with acquiring climatological products, solar/lunar data, and forecasts required for pre-deployment, mission planning, and execution documents. Unit personnel provide tailored briefings for deployments. Briefings incorporate operational elements of all meteorological and oceanographic products and forecasts. Operational elements at forward locations are provided weather information for the mission's duration, to include, forecasts for the target, infiltration and exfiltration, hide site areas. Participation in post-debriefs is mandatory to acquire feedback and identify any weather sensitive areas in the area of operation for future study.
E. Additional requirements exist when supporting deployed aviation units which include weather observations and Meteorological Watch (METWATCH) support for the forward deployed location and Forward Arming And Refueling Points. (FAARPs).
F. The detachments maintain the capability to function independently as a tactical forecast unit for the supported unit for any area of operations and provide the following:
(1) Personnel are capable of special reconnaissance by accompany selected units as required. This capability provides unit commanders with current, detailed weather data from an "eyes in target" perspective and/or at a location en route to an objective that has been identified as weather sensitive.
(2) Organizing, establishing, and maintaining weather data reporting networks provides forecasters with weather data from "data denied" areas. Unit personnel are strategically deployed in the theater of operations as a network to provide detailed and accurate weather observations, limited forecasts, and upper air soundings. The importance of this capability is readily apparent; most third world nations have little or no indigenous weather services, and hostile countries cease transmission of weather data when conflicts arise.
(3) Detachment personnel teach Army SOF units how to take limited weather observations. A simple format is used to encode the limited weather observations. Army SOF units pass the encoded observations to forecasters located at Forward Operating Bases (FOB). Army personnel can then be used to enhance weather data reporting networks area covered or they can be used alone.
(4) Remote environmental sensing is in its infancy. Small weather sensor packages are being developed that have a stand alone capability. When strategically placed in forward areas, and these sensors will send back limited weather observations to forecasters at programmed times.
H. Upper air soundings, including Mean Effective Wind (MEW) and Pilot Balloon (PIBAL) observations, support personnel and equipment parachute operations. Specific detachments have the capability to launch instrument packages (SONDEs) attached to a balloon to sample the atmosphere up to and above 40,000 ft. SONDEs relay crucial atmospheric data that is incorporated into mission forecasts. The data also relayed back to national weather assets for use in other products.
I. Electro-Optics Tactical Decision Aid (EOTDA) support is a mission specific service provided to the customer. The EOTDA program gives the customer a forecast of how to optimize the use of weapons platforms and tactical equipment for a specific mission based on environmental conditions and intelligence inputs. EOTDA forecasts are briefed in conjunction with other weather products required for mission planning and execution.
B. Each customer supported is unique and the team size is tailored to the specific requirements of the mission. When detachment personnel deploy as small teams, they are sometimes called Special Operations Weather Teams (SOWTs) or Combat Weather Teams (CWTs).
C. In order to provide the highest level of support, units require reliable dial-up access capabilities to transmit and receive weather data and products from field units as well as national weather assets.
D. Detachment personnel are equipped to operate at FOBs for thirty days without resupply. Personnel deploying forward of the FOB maintain the same resupply requirements as the unit they are attached to.
SPECIFIC MISSION TASKS
HQ 10th Combat Weather Squadron Hulbert Field, FL