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September 20th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Reporter's Notebook: Weather Warriors

By Rob Marciano, CNN Meteorologist

(CNN) – George Washington’s troops suffered through a brutal winter in 1776, crossing the Delaware for a turning point battle through ice, wind, and snow. That previous summer he used fog to his advantage in Brooklyn and Manhattan. One more reason to love the original GW and the boys in blue! Throughout history weather has played a huge role in warfare. Whether it's a covert operation or a D-Day type invasion, an accurate forecast is critical. During World War II the United States formed a unique fighting force – special ops warriors who are also weather experts. Rambo meets rocket scientist. Love it. Sorry Kid Rock, but in my mind these guys are the real All American Bad A**.

I’d heard about this unit over the years but never read or saw anything about them. That’s the idea. Most of the missions these weathermen perform are those you don’t read about in newspapers. Often classified and always dangerous, their mission is to go into “politically sensitive” or “hostile” areas. That’s where you’ll find the Air Force’s 10th Combat Weather Squadron and their Special Operations Weather Team (SOWT). There are fewer than 100 SOWTs in the Air Force. From World War II to Afghanistan, they’ve had one of the highest deployment ratios in the armed forces. Working with the likes of the Army Rangers, Navy Seals and other special forces, their weather calls and environmental recon are key to a mission's success.

I may be a meteorologist, but that's where our similarities end.

Filed under: AM Original • Military • Weather
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