68th RQS provides insight to AFSPECWAR recruiters

  • Published
  • By Airman William Turnbull
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

The 68th Rescue Squadron hosted an Air Force Special Warfare recruiter immersion with the 330th Recruiting Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, April 20, 2020.

A total of 100 AFSPECWAR recruiters from all 50 states were in attendance for the 68th RQS to demonstrate how AFSPECWAR Airmen get the job done; from the pararescuemen jumping into action to the combat mission support Airmen making sure all of the equipment is ready for operational use.

“This pararescue immersion is part of our quarterly training since we recruit for AFSPECWAR to include pararescue,” said Zena Vandervort, 330th Recruiting Squadron marketing specialist. “We partner up with rescue squadrons and special tactics squadrons so that we can show our recruiters what we are recruiting for.”

After witnessing a demonstration from two pararescuemen cutting open a car, rescuing a patient, and moving that patient to the extraction helicopter, the recruiters were able to get hands-on experience with the equipment that the pararescuemen and CMS Airmen use during operations.

“These recruiters are new to AFSPECWAR recruiting for career fields that include combat control, pararescue, special reconnaissance, tactical air-control party specialist, explosive ordnance disposal and survival, evasion, resistance, and escape specialist,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Joshua Andrada, 68th RQS operations superintendent. "I told them my story as a pararescue team leader, as a pararescue indoctrination course cadre, and as an operator in AFSPECWAR; hopefully they took in some of the traditions of special warfare and internalized it.”

The purpose of the immersion was to show the recruiters what the mission set of an operator is so that they can take that knowledge and translate it to their recruits.

“We showed them a combat search and rescue demonstration as well as our capabilities with our combat mission support assets in our squadron,” Andrada said. “We gave these recruiters hands-on time with our equipment, after which we demonstrated and broke down our technical rescue capabilities and our maritime operations.”

A common trend among veteran AFSPECWAR operators is the lack of information presented to them about their chosen job provided by recruiters, the U.S. Air Force recognized this and has worked towards forming specialized recruiters distinctly for AFSPECWAR recruiting.

“Since a lot of our recruiters have not gone through any sort of special warfare pipeline it’s difficult for them to understand what exactly these jobs entail,” Vandervort said. “That’s why it’s important to have these immersions and get a first-hand look at different rescue squadrons and special tactics squadrons from across the country.”

The Airmen of the AFSPECWAR career fields serve at the “tip of the spear” for United States Special Operations Command and in order to meet the manning demands of these career fields these specialized recruiters serve as not only the gateway into the U.S. Air Force but as mentors and conditioning coaches for the challenges that will be faced in special warfare.