By Staff Sgt. Hailey Haux, Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs
/ Published June 03, 2021
Airmen of the 607th Combat Weather Squadron don new unit patches during a redesignation ceremony at Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea, Jun. 1, 2021. The redesignation to a combat squadron highlights how these Airmen train and deploy with the U.S. Army, requiring them to perform to new tactical and training standards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nicole Molignano)
An Airman from Detachment 2, 1st Combat Weather Squadron, Wheeler Army Airfield measuring the rotor wash wind speed of a CH-47 Chinook for future tactical operations. (Courtesy Photo)
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Odom, Detachment 2, 1st Combat Weather Squadron, delivers an environmental intelligence brief during a 30-day Joint Readiness Training Center rotation at Fort Polk, Louisiana. (Courtesy photo)
Capt. Lynsie Schwerer, Officer In Charge, Brigade Weather Operations, assigned to Detachment 3, 1st Combat Weather Squadron, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, performs a snow depth measurement during Arctic Survival Training. (Courtesy photo)
A Staff Weather Officer (SWO) assigned to Detachment 3, 1st Combat Weather Squadron, takes a manual weather observation using a Kestrel, a hand-held tactical instrument that measures temperature, humidity, pressure, and wind speed. (Courtesy photo)
The 607th Combat Weather Squadron poses for a photo during a redesignation ceremony at Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea, Jun. 1, 2021. During the ceremony, the 607th Weather Squadron guidon was furled and cased, as the new guidon was presented officially re-designating the unit as the 607th Combat Weather Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nicole Molignano)
U.S. Air Force Col. Billy Edmunds (left) 607th Air Support Operations Group commander, and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col Kevin Bourne, 607th Combat Weather Squadron commander unfurls a new unit guidon during a redesignation ceremony at Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea, Jun. 1, 2021. During the ceremony, the 607th Weather Squadron guidon was furled and cased, as the new guidon was presented officially redesignating the unit as the 607th Combat Weather Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nicole Molignano)
The 607th and 1st Weather Squadrons, who support the Indo-Pacific theater, have been redesignated as Combat Weather Squadrons (CWS).
The 607th CWS out of Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea, has a mission to provide accurate, timely, and relevant environmental intelligence, in direct support of U.S. Forces Korea, Eighth Army and subordinate commands’ missions.
“Our mission will not change in any way, shape or form,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kevin Bourne, 607th CSW commander. “The significance of the name change is to paint a clearer picture of what we do as Combat Weather Airmen and differentiate our mission with that of other weather squadrons across the Air Force.”
The 1st CWS out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington has 90 assigned personnel across six locations throughout the Indo-Pacific region in direct support of I Corps and all subordinate commands and units.
“The redesignation…is a bittersweet moment for this unit as it closes one chapter but begins another,” said Lt. Col. David Finlay, 1st CWS commander. “The mission of the squadron’s incredible Airmen is not changing, the unmatched environmental intelligence the squadron provides to the Army is not changing, and the expectation that squadron Airmen will be deployed alongside their aligned Army partners is also not changing with this redesignation. What is changing is that this squadron will be recognized, immediately by name, as a combat squadron providing critical environmental intelligence to the Army and enabling them to be as lethal and combat capable as possible.”
With the creation of the U.S. Air Force in 1947 came an agreement that the Air Force would continue environmental and weather support for Army aviation and resource protection, thus having Airmen on Army instillations providing accurate, timely and relevant environmental intelligence. Those units have always been in the locations needed, they just needed the name to go along with the mission.
“This helps our weather teams establish a working rapport with our supported units’ personnel and staffs and develop a bond of working trust necessary in our line of work,” Bourne said. “This full integration allows us to inject ourselves in every step of the Military Decision Making Process and fully exploit the environment during combat operations, highlighting operational impacts of both friend and foe.”
These new Combat Weather Airmen will be required to accomplish additional training and will learn Warrior Skills not usually required for Weather Airmen.
The Combat Weather Airmen Career Field Education and Training Plan states that Airmen will understand Army tactics, terminology, doctrine, organization and equipment; qualify annually on the M4 Carbine Assault Rifle and M9 Beretta Pistol; combat land navigation; complete an Army Weather Support Course; and the Evasion and Conduct After Capture Course, among many other additional requirements.
“A redesignated unit will still only be as good as the Airmen are at supporting that unit’s mission,” Finlay said. “The 1st Combat Weather Squadron, recognized by Headquarters Air Force Weather Operations as the only habitually aligned Army Weather Support squadron, will continue to set the standard for Army weather support as they have done repeatedly throughout the history of this great squadron.”
While the missions won’t change, the new Combat Weather Squadrons within the Indo-Pacific theater will remain committed to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific through their dedication to the mission, the Air Force, Army and their allies and partners.