There are many opportunities for the Air Force Weather Specialist. When dealing with the lives of military members, millions of dollars in equipment and technology, in harm's way, there are many things that can go wrong. Something as simple as the weather can be overlooked and be the sole causes of loss of property and even life. The Air Force Weather Specialist is responsible for keeping a constant eye on weather systems in operating and home base areas where our military operates. For the safety of the pilot, aircrew, and battlefield airmen, these weather experts utilize the latest technology to predict weather patterns, prepare forecasts and communicate weather information to commanders and pilots so that every mission goes as planned.
The Air Force Weather Specialist performs and manages the collection, analysis, and forecast of atmospheric and space weather conditions, and the tailoring and communication of weather information. Related DoD Occupational Subgroup: 420.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Air Force Weather Specialist observes, records, and disseminates weather data and information. Uses fixed and deployable meteorological sensors to measure and evaluate atmospheric and space weather conditions. They also use satellite and radar imagery, computer generated graphics, and weather communication equipment and instruments to analyze atmospheric and space data and information in order to forecast atmospheric and space weather conditions. Then, they will issues warnings and advisories to alert users to mission-critical weather if imminent or even possible. Also, understanding the weather analysis and data to enhance combat operations and training is part of the weather specialists skill set. The Air Force Weather Specialist tailors and communicates weather information to meet operational requirements and manages weather operations. They also adapt weather resources to meet mission requirements, ensuring standardization and quality weather products, operations, and activities.
Knowledge. Knowledge is mandatory of combat weather skills; characteristics and principles of atmospheric and space weather; observation, analysis, prediction, and dissemination of weather information; operation of fixed and deployable meteorological or space weather systems; weather communications systems; use of weather products; and operator maintenance of weather equipment and instruments.
Education. For entry into this specialty, completion of high school with courses in physics, chemistry, earth sciences, geography, computer sciences, and mathematics is desirable.
Training. Completion of the following training is mandatory as indicated:
For the award of AFSC 1W031, completion of a basic weather course.
For the award of suffix A at the 3- or 5-skill level, completion of an advanced weather course.
Experience. The following experience is mandatory for award of the AFSC indicated: (Note: See Explanation of Air Force Specialty Codes).
1W051. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1W031. Also, experience performing functions such as observing, analyzing, and disseminating atmospheric or space weather data and information; or performing meteorological watch.
1W051A. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1W031A. Also, experience performing functions such as observing, forecasting, analyzing, and disseminating atmospheric or space weather data and information; or performing meteorological watch.
1W071A. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1W051A. Also, experience performing functions such as forecasting or supervising space or atmospheric weather operations.
1W091. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1W071A. Also, experience performing functions such as directing or managing atmospheric or space weather operations.
Other. The following are mandatory as indicated:
For entry into this specialty:
1. Normal color vision as defined in AFI 48-123, Medical Examination and Standards .
2. Ability to speak distinctly.
For entry, award, and retention of these AFSCs:
Suffix Portion of AFS to Which Related
Note: Suffix A is applicable only to the 3-, 5-, and 7-skill levels. The 7-skill level AFSC is not authorized for use without suffix A.
Deployment Rate for this AFSC
Strength Req : H
Physical Profile: 231221
Required Appitude Score : G-64 and E-50 (Changes to G-66 and E-50, effective 1 Jul 04).
Course #: J3ABR1T131 003
Length: Approximately 8 months.
Location : K
Assignments for new weather troops are done a little differently than for most Air Force Jobs. Weather troops who graduate from the 8-month technical school at Keesler AFB, MS are assigned to one of eight major Air Force Weather "Hubs" (which are major regional weather forecasting stations) to undergo intensive on-the-job training for a period of 15 to 24 months. For Example, Barksdale AFB, LA, forecasts for the South Central United States, as well as the Atlantic Ocean. Shaw AFB in SC does Southeast US and the Middle East. The eight Air Force Weather "Hub" bases are Barksdale AFB, LA, Shaw AFB, SC, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, Scott AFB, IL, Sembach AB, Germany, Yakota AB, Japan, Hickam AFB, HI, and Elmendorff AFB, AK.
Following this OJT, they return to Keesler to attend the 3-month Weather Observer course and are usually then reassigned to an Air Force Weather Squadron or detachment (see possible assignment locations, below).