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Blue Skies Ahead: The Air Force has created a new specialty code, designated 1W0X2, for special operations weathermen that will provide standardized training for enlisted recruits that enter this field and shorten the time that it takes to train them from four years to approximately 2.5 years. The new code will provide these airmen “the right technical, physical, and tactical training from day one,” said CMSgt Andrew Hopwood, Air Force Special Operations Command weather functional manager. He continued, “This will greatly enhance their battlefield observing, environmental reconnaissance, and forecasting missions.” In the past, airmen already in the weather field applied to become special operations weathermen and received their training primarily from the Army unit to which they were attached. The first basic military training graduates to enter the combat weatherman pipeline will start in January, first with a physical training selection course and then the basic 30-week weather initial skills course, followed by jump qualification and survival school before they attend special ops weather apprentice training. Outside jump training, all courses are conducted by the Air Force. (Hurlburt report by Jeremy Webster)