HURLBURT FIELD, Florida --
Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) wrapped up its 16th annual Emerald Warrior exercise May 6, 2023. The exercise provided realistic and relevant, high-end pre-deployment training, encompassing multiple joint operating areas to ensure preparedness of Special Operations Forces, Conventional Force enablers, Partner Forces and Interagency elements. This year’s exercise locations included Hurlburt Field, Homestead Air Reserve Base and Puerto Rico.
Five Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 28th Intelligence Squadron were key players in the event. The Airmen were critical to the success of the Intelligence (J2) Fusion Cell’s work. The Fusion Cell pushed out multiple “articles, tweets, and social media posts” regarding a massive earthquake destroying key infrastructure in Puerto Rico. This event became the first of many injects requiring the deployed Joint Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) and units to make decisive decisions on behalf of the nation and partner nations.
“Synchronizing Information Related Capabilities across Intelligence, Information Operations, Cyber, Space, and Public Affairs SMEs (subject matter experts) allowed us to further educate our SOTG and SOTU (Special Operations Task Unit) commanders on the capabilities they can provide when down range, said Maj Jessica Vogle, the 28 IS’s assistant director of operations, who served as the Emerald Warrior J2 and Fusion Cell lead.
Vogle went on to say, “Whether it be the utilization of cyber effects to create complex dilemmas for our adversaries, space capabilities to get a site picture of the operation area or using Information Operations and/or Public Affairs to get strategic messaging out into the public, fusion cells create operational effects in the information environment and strategic advantage for AFSOF, our allies and partners through unique access and placement.”
In Emerald Warrior 23, the Fusion Cell led and processed 90 Requests for Information, 498 Red Cell injects, 11 Publicly Available Information roll ups, four spot reports, seven tear lines and eight additional J2 products.
The 21st Special Tactics Squadron completed pre-deployment qualifications for Air Force Force Generation model readiness posture. Four missions were executed during the course of the event: Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief, Integrated Deterrence, Information Operations/Cyber.