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18th Weather Squadron adds "Combat" to name

  • Published
  • By Capt. Faith Brodkorb
  • 93d Air Ground Operations Wing Public Affairs

A new chapter began for two 93d Air Ground Operations Wing squadrons Sept. 18, 2020, when the 3d Weather Squadron and 18th Weather Squadron were redesignated to differentiate their distinct mission sets from other Air Force weather squadrons.

The 3d WS has been redesignated as the 3d Combat Weather Squadron in a ceremony at Fort Hood, Texas, and the 18th WS became the 18th Combat Weather Squadron in a ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“A simple name change may not seem like a big deal, but by adding these six letters to your name, you’ve gained a new combat identity,” said Col. Danielle Willis, 93d Air Ground Operations Wing commander, in a video message to the squadrons.

The change highlights how these Airmen train and deploy with the Army, which requires different training, skills, and resources. The two ceremonies, which coincided with the Air Force’s 73rd birthday, entailed furling the squadron guidon with the old designation and unfurling a new one in front of the unit’s Airmen.

“On this day in 1947, the National Security Act created the Air Force, and we changed our name tapes from U.S. Army to U.S. Air Force. But what we did not change was our promise to go anywhere, anytime with the Army in order to provide them the highest quality weather observations and forecasts,” said Lt. Col. Danele Richardson, 3d Combat Weather Squadron commander. “You deliver on those promises every single day.”

Each combat weather squadron forecasts weather to an Army corps and its subordinate units. This requires each combat weather squadron to be spread out across the country at 20 different Army installations.

Providing weather forecasting to the Army is only a small part of the larger Air Force weather career field. This specialized mission requires training other weather units do not undergo.

“This redesignation will now formalize a community of five squadrons within the Air Force focused on providing the best possible support to United States Army combat echelons,” said Col. Jonathan King, 18th Air Support Operations Group commander. “This mission drives a very different lifestyle for Combat Weather Airmen, comprised of field exercises, many lengthy deployments and qualifications to include Airborne, Air Assault and Pathfinder.”

This new distinction for the 3d CWS and 18th CWS will align them with their supported Army units, other combat weather squadrons, and the mission of the 93d AGOW.