21st Operational Weather Squadron
Published February 08, 2010
Operational Weather Squadrons provide weather support covering a specified region of the world. Professional meteorologists and weather technicians operate the squadrons around the clock ensuring continuous monitoring of any terrestrial and space weather activity.
These regional weather 'hubs' are responsible for base or post forecasting, developing weather products, briefing transient aircrews, and weather warnings for all of their geographical units. Using automatic observing systems located at all military installations and communicating with their combat weather flights, the squadron is able to 'watch' the weather in their entire area of responsibility from one central location.
The Operational Weather Squadron is the first place a newly schooled weather apprentice will report. At the squadron, working alongside a seasoned weather professional, the forecaster is trained in all aspects of Air Force meteorology, from pilot briefing to tactical forecasting.
The hubs work closely with the weather flights and detachments they support to ensure a flawless exchange of weather information.
The 21st Operational Weather Squadron provides highly accurate, timely and relevant environmental situational awareness to Air Force, Navy, and Army Commanders operating in US Africa Command and US European Command in partnership with NATO. The 21st OWS is responsible for producing and disseminating mission planning and execution weather analyses, terminal aerodrome forecasts, and briefings for Air Force, Army, SHAPE, EUCOM, USAFE, USAREUR, SOCEUR, and NAVEUR forces operating at 491 DoD installations/sites encompassing 104 countries and 23-million square miles across the Atlantic and within Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East. Additionally, the squadron maintains a Mark IVB ground station which ingests all METSAT data over the Southwest Asia theater of operations. Moreover, the 21st OWS is responsible for inserting weather data for Southwest Asia produced by other Operational Weather Squadrons into the NATO Automated Meteorological Information System data stream for use by NATO forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.