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A Special Tactics Airman assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing conducts a military free fall over Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico on March 1, 2024. Supported by U.S. Special Operations Command, Emerald Warrior is a joint special operations exercise that prepares U.S. Special Operations Command forces, Conventional Enablers, Partner Forces, and Interagency Elements to respond to various threats across the spectrum of conflict. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Natalie Vandergriff)

Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. (March 29, 2024): In this photo by Senior Airman Natalie Vandergriff, a Special Tactics Airman assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing conducts a military free fall during Emerald Warrior. Exercise Emerald Warrior prepares Special Operations Command forces to respond to a variety of potential threats.

This year’s event featured operations in three extreme cold weather environments throughout the midwestern United States. Air commandos trained in chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear readiness, and a new decontamination system for the first time.

Training is conducted at multiple locations that mirror the geographical features our forces will most likely encounter when deployed. Participants took part in realistic training on multiple days at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico; Hurlburt Field, Florida, and both Camp McCain and Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

In its seventeenth year, Emerald Warrior today is focused less on direct action and more on cyberwarfare, intelligence gathering, space warfare, and information operations. Special Operators practiced airfield security, personnel recovery, and casualty evacuation. Space operations also played a prominent role including satellite communications, electronic warfare, and electronic surveillance.

Based at Hurlburt Field, Florida, the 24th Special Operations Wing is the only Special Tactics Wing in the Air Force. Its primary mission is to conduct global air, space, and cyber-enabled special operations in wartime.