ISOC class helps turn Airmen into Air Commandos

  • Published
  • By Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs
  • Public Affairs
They all come from different careers fields, but have one thing in common; they work in or with special operations. More than 1,200 students fill the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School auditoriums annually to participate in the Introduction to Special Operations course.

Students spend three days learning not only about the basics of special operations, but are also introduced to important topics such as irregular warfare and counterinsurgency.

The purpose of this class is to familiarize all the students that come in to Air Force Special Operations Command with the special operations mission, said 1st Lt. Barrett A. Darnell, ISOC director.

"Regardless of their Air Force Specialty Code, regardless of what Airmen do out in the wing, I want them to understand the big picture," Lieutenant Darnell said. "This way people have a good foundation to what special operations are and it gives them a way to relate their job to the mission."

For many, the special operations mission has become a very important asset to overseas contingency operations.

ISOC aims to make it easier for Airmen to interact with special operators from other services in the joint environment.

"Inevitably they will deploy, and they will be ambassadors of AFSOC when they work with their counterparts from other components," Lieutenant Darnell said.

The January ISOC class had a special guest giving the special operations senior perspective lesson, Lt. Gen. Donald C. Wurster, AFSOC commander.

General Wurster emphasized the role of education and training in special operations. He also mentioned the stand up of Air Force Special Operations Training Center as a lasting legacy.

"This is the starting point for how we take Airmen and turn them into Air Commandos," General Wurster said.

USAFSOS is AFSOC's focal point for education. The school fulfills Air Commando educational and professional development requirements through a spiraled educational spectrum. ISOC is a gateway to other classes that USAFSOS offers in residence, off-station, or through distance learning.

Lieutenant Darnell encourages all AFSOC Airmen to attend the ISOC class.

"This is an additional education opportunity and you can get CCAF credit for it," he said. "All personnel entering this command should take the ISOC course.

Information on ISOC and other USAFSOS classes can be found at