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NEWS | Jan. 14, 2022

Special Warfare Training Wing hosts Aquatics Training Center Heritage Capsule Commemoration Ceremony

By 1st Lt. Xiaofan Liu Special Warfare Training Wing Public Affairs

The Special Warfare Training Wing hosts the Aquatics Training Center Heritage Capsule Commemoration Ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Chapman Training Annex Jan. 13, 2022.

The ceremony commemorates the construction of a new, modernized $66.6 million aquatics training facility that will accommodate training for more than 3,000 Air Force Special Warfare trainees annually by incorporating a full range of special operations training scenarios.

“It was an honor to host all of our distinguished guests and show them our vision of how integrated Human performance produces more lethal warfighters,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Mason Dula, SWTW commander. “The consequences of our business, which can be measured by the names and faces memorialized on the walls of our buildings, are never far from our minds, and guide our commitment to building training pipelines singularly designed to prepare warriors for combat.”

Distinguished visitors, including the command teams of Air Education and Training Command, Lt. Gen. Marshall “Brad” Webb and Command Chief Master Sgt. Erik Thompson, and Second Air Force, Maj. Gen. Michele C. Edmondson and Command Chief Master Sgt. Adam Vizi, were invited to place an item of personal significance inside an M-249 ammunition can, which would be encased in the foundation of the aquatics training center, becoming a part of Air Force Special Warfare history.

The construction of the SWTW aquatics training facility is a collaborative effort between the SWTW, the 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron, the Special Warfare Training Support Squadron, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center and the Fort Worth District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“As most of you know, I became a lifelong fan of this Air Force Special Warfare community on May 2, 1999, when I got a ride home from a pretty bad place,” said retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Dave Goldfein, the 21st Chief of Staff of the USAF and the SWTW Aquatics Training Center Heritage Capsule Commemoration Ceremony guest speaker. “So I thought about my contribution to the capsule and brought a couple of things that fit together…my name tag that I was wearing on the night I was shot down … and the four stars I wore as Chief, which is a reminder of the great potential of those who are saved by members of this community”.

The 76,000 square-foot aquatics training facility will consist of two enclosed, climate-controlled indoor swimming pools of varying depths geared to meet the training needs for the Air Force’s global combat operations and is scheduled for completion in late 2023.

“We [the AFSPECWAR community] do not build facilities…we build warriors,” Dula said. “We build warrior Airmen who are experts in the application of violence, and we have been doing it for decades...and if you would permit me a moment of unapologetic hubris, we’re very good at it”.

Members of the Special Warfare Training Wing provide initial training for all U.S. Air Force Special Warfare training AFSCs, including Combat Controllers, Pararescue, Special Reconnaissance and Tactical Air Control Party Airmen.

To learn more about SW Airmen or U.S. Air Force Special Warfare career opportunities, visit https://www.airforce.com/careers/in-demand-careers/special-warfare.