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Expeditionary Combat Airmen Overview

In addition to Battlefield Airmen, other USAF officers and enlisted known as Expeditionary Combat Airmen are in the fight on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo)

In addition to Battlefield Airmen, other USAF officers and enlisted known as Expeditionary Combat Airmen are in the fight on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo)

OSI agent greeting local children while on a security visit in An Nasariyah, Iraq, in May 2003. (U.S. Air Force photo)

OSI agent greeting local children while on a security visit in An Nasariyah, Iraq, in May 2003. (U.S. Air Force photo)

KIRKUK REGIONAL AIR BASE, IRAQ -- Senior Airman Richard Rodriguez, 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, checks the perimeter for insurgents here Jan. 24 as coalition convoys return from a patrol. Airman Rodriguez is deployed here from the 5th Security Forces Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Bradley A. Lail)

KIRKUK REGIONAL AIR BASE, IRAQ -- Senior Airman Richard Rodriguez, 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, checks the perimeter for insurgents here Jan. 24 as coalition convoys return from a patrol. Airman Rodriguez is deployed here from the 5th Security Forces Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Bradley A. Lail)

Senior Airman Andrew Kief, 56th Security Forces Squadron, on a foot patrol in Charikar, Afghanistan in April 2008. Kief is a member of the Police Advisory Team, Provincial Reconstruction Team. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Senior Airman Andrew Kief, 56th Security Forces Squadron, on a foot patrol in Charikar, Afghanistan in April 2008. Kief is a member of the Police Advisory Team, Provincial Reconstruction Team. (U.S. Air Force photo)

View from an escort vehicle in an Air Force convoy mission to Mosul, Iraq, in September 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo)

View from an escort vehicle in an Air Force convoy mission to Mosul, Iraq, in September 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Air Force dog handler Senior Airman Daniel McClain, attached to the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division, searches for explosive devices during a raid in Iraq in December 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Air Force dog handler Senior Airman Daniel McClain, attached to the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division, searches for explosive devices during a raid in Iraq in December 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Tech. Sgt. Harvey Holt and his military working dog accompany Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division Feb. 6 during a patrol in Kahn Bani Sahd, Iraq.  Airmen continue to excel in nontraditional combat roles in support of combatant commanders' requirements where Airmen are deployed to assist Soldiers.  Sergeant Holt is assigned to the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall)

Tech. Sgt. Harvey Holt and his military working dog accompany Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division Feb. 6 during a patrol in Kahn Bani Sahd, Iraq. Airmen continue to excel in nontraditional combat roles in support of combatant commanders' requirements where Airmen are deployed to assist Soldiers. Sergeant Holt is assigned to the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall)

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM -- Capt. Danny Stout, an air liaison officer deployed with the Army's 2-505 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, takes a much-needed break during a classified mission in the mountains of Afghanistan.  Stout, a B-52 Stratofortress pilot serving a two-year tour with the Army, keeps his eyes in the skies for hours at a time to control coalition aircraft on close-air support missions.  (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Rebecca Garland)

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM -- Capt. Danny Stout, an air liaison officer deployed with the Army's 2-505 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, takes a much-needed break during a classified mission in the mountains of Afghanistan. Stout, a B-52 Stratofortress pilot serving a two-year tour with the Army, keeps his eyes in the skies for hours at a time to control coalition aircraft on close-air support missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Rebecca Garland)

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM -- Capt. Danny Stout, an air liaison officer deployed with the Army's 2-505 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, guides A-10 Thunderbolt IIs onto his location in the mountains of Afghanistan.  Stout, a B-52 Stratofortress pilot serving a two-year tour with the Army, was part of the initial air assault into the hostile area, where he immediately set up his radio and began talking with the fighter aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Rebecca Garland)

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM -- Capt. Danny Stout, an air liaison officer deployed with the Army's 2-505 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, guides A-10 Thunderbolt IIs onto his location in the mountains of Afghanistan. Stout, a B-52 Stratofortress pilot serving a two-year tour with the Army, was part of the initial air assault into the hostile area, where he immediately set up his radio and began talking with the fighter aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Rebecca Garland)

Convoy team members with body armor typically worn on missions.  In the background is one type of gun truck with a .50-cal machine gun position in the cab. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Convoy team members with body armor typically worn on missions. In the background is one type of gun truck with a .50-cal machine gun position in the cab. (U.S. Air Force photo)

USAF convoy escort commonly used a locally-made armored box that could be put on top of a flatbed like this one here.  The crew has added a bit of humor to theirs. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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USAF convoy escort commonly used a locally-made armored box that could be put on top of a flatbed like this one here. The crew has added a bit of humor to theirs. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Though an IED damaged this gun truck, the fragments did not penetrate the armored gun position on the bed. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Though an IED damaged this gun truck, the fragments did not penetrate the armored gun position on the bed. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Maj. Erik Rundquist (kneeling, second from right) and Col. Steve Weart (kneeling, third from right), 86th Contingency Group commander, with some of the Air Force team that jumped on Bashur airfield. Two-thirds of the team were Security Forces personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Maj. Erik Rundquist (kneeling, second from right) and Col. Steve Weart (kneeling, third from right), 86th Contingency Group commander, with some of the Air Force team that jumped on Bashur airfield. Two-thirds of the team were Security Forces personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lt. Col. Wayne Shaw on a Stryker vehicle patrol in Baghdad in September 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Lt. Col. Wayne Shaw on a Stryker vehicle patrol in Baghdad in September 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - The Warrior Airmen exhibit, highlighting Expeditionary Combat Airmen, in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - The Warrior Airmen exhibit, highlighting Expeditionary Combat Airmen, in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

In addition to Battlefield Airmen, other USAF officers and enlisted known as Expeditionary Combat Airmen are in the fight on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Air liaison officers (ALOs) are fighter or bomber aircrew who direct close air support strikes as members of tactical air control parties on the ground, and provide guidance to Army ground commanders at the front lines. Office of Special Investigations (OSI) agents conduct law enforcement, counter-terrorism, and security missions. USAF Security Forces defend air bases, provide convoy security, man checkpoints and perform counterinsurgency patrols in urban areas. Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians regularly deal with IEDs (improvised explosive devices). 

Thousands of USAF personnel from varied specialties perform dangerous Joint Expeditionary Taskings (JET) to assist the U.S. Army, Navy and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. They operate in many capacities, including armed convoy escorts, convoy drivers, prison guards and dog handlers.

Click here to return to the Warrior Airmen Overview.

 

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Office of Special Investigations
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