COMAFSOC visits 137th Citizen Air Commandos

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Brigette Waltermire
  • 137th Special Operations Wing

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Green, command chief of AFSOC, were introduced to the Air Commandos of the 137th Special Operations Wing during a visit Oct. 15, 2023.

The Citizen Air Commandos of the 137th SOW showcased how they bear the Oklahoma Standard and make an impact around the world. 

“We have to continue the phenomenal culture that I’ve seen today so that every single Air Commando can see a place on the team and grow to their maximum potential,” Bauernfeind said. “And, if well led, they will even grow beyond what they ever expected of themselves. That culture and that climate exist here at the 137th.”

The visit included both the multi-capable Air Commandos of the Mission Sustainment Team and the innovative warfighting solutions of the special operations group. 

“Inside of AFSOC there are really three pillars. It’s our warfighting heritage, it's our valor on the battlefield and it’s our innovation,” Bauernfeind said. “We take somebody else’s piece of equipment, give it to our Air Commandos, and they start bending iron, adding antennae, adding capabilities and making it better. That is the innovation that occurs in our force, and that is what I know the 137th does on a daily basis.”

The nature of Guardsmen means that they are particularly suited to multi-capable skillsets for multifunctional teams. For the Mission Sustainment Team, civilian careers may support mission sustainment capabilities while their military specialties support another area. Operations Air Commandos build custom training and operational equipment packages to include a first-of-its-kind mobile processing, exploitation and dissemination center, which was built to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in austere locations.

“Keep building people up and developing mission improvement with training,” said Green about tying the process of the MST and operations together for the lightest and leanest version of effective small teams that will operate in any environment around the world. “This is what right looks like. You share the Oklahoma Standard not only as a wing, but with everyone in your state. You have made that your identity.”

By training today for the fight tonight and pathfinding for tomorrow, 137th SOW Air Commandos are meeting the demands across the spectrum of conflict to be ready to meet the fight any place, any time, anywhere.

“The vision that we’re moving on is AFSOC is to remain a peerless and professional group of Air Commandos – that we are always ready to answer our nation’s call whenever it comes,” Bauernfeind said. “Running to the sound of the guns, the warfighting, the excellence and valor once we get there, and the innovation, is in the DNA of every single Air Commando. It is not a job. Being an Air Commando is a mindset.”