Air Force Combat Controllers might soon skip dive school during their training pipeline, according to a memo by Air Force Special Operations Commander Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind. The requested change would impact three Air Force jobs and make dive school a “post initial-qualification training.” Dive training has been a core part of Air Force special operations for over four decades. Trainees will continue the current pipeline, including dive training, while the impact of the change is reviewed.
- Potential Removal of Dive Training: A memo from Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind requested the removal of Combat Dive from the training pipeline for Combat Control candidates, Special Tactics Officers, and Special Reconnaissance troops, potentially shifting the requirement.
- Historical Significance: Dive training has been a central aspect of Air Force special operations training for at least 40 years and is considered one of the toughest training programs in the military.
- Continuing Analysis: The Air Force is still in the analysis phase and has not made a final decision on the removal of dive school from the training pipeline. The process of officially changing the training pipeline usually requires a consensus of senior training officials.
- Current Trainees Unaffected: While the potential change is under review, trainees will continue in the current pipeline, which includes dive training.
- Wider Impact: The potential change to the Combat Control pipeline follows a series of major modifications to the training of Air Force’s special operations troops in the last decade, adapting to the demands of conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.