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Air Commandos learn from Operation Anaconda

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Charles Dickens
  • 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, participated in a virtual staff ride July 12 and 13, 2017, at the 16th Special Operations Squadron auditorium.  The staff ride is a form of professional development that was adopted from the United States Army, and is useful in garnering a better understanding of military tactics and strategy based on past events.

The expedition that the Air Commandos were engaged in illustrated the historic events that took place in March 2002 during Operation Anaconda, the largest combat operation in Afghanistan.  This operation required integration of Joint forces, including troops from six other nations, which showed where weak points existed in the previously used Joint warfighting model.  Close air support was also put to the test, as many aircraft had to maintain coordination due to the small size of the area combined with the large number of allied troops on the ground.

Understanding the key events that occurred during this operation is crucial for those participating in Joint warfighter missions.  The struggles that materialized during this battle can help others get a better grasp on managing use of force and recognize Joint problems before they develop.  The staff rides also allow the Cannon AFB Air Commandos to maintain relevancy tomorrow.