Established in 1993, the Operations Support occupational badge
was originally awarded to enlisted personnel in Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC) 1SXXX and 1TXXX comprising four specialties—Safety, Survival Training, Life Aircrew Support, and Pararescue—and officers in AFSC 16, Operations Support. It was also awarded to officers with a “S” prefix before their AFSC, indicating specialization in any of six fields: Flight Safety, Ground Safety, Human Factors, Safety Engineering, Space Operations, and Weapons Safety.
The specialty codes associated with the Operations Support badge were realigned in recent years. Today, Safety officers and enlisted Airmen in the 1S Safety Career Field have their own badge
. Enlisted personnel in two Career Fields, Aircrew Flight Equipment (1P) and Aircrew Protection (IT) are awarded the Operations Support badge, but the two specialties in Aircrew Protection—AFSC 1T0X1 Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) and 1T2X1 Pararescue—are also awarded operations insignias or flashes for wear on their berets.
Aircrew Flight Equipment (AFE) specialists are responsible not only for the management, inspection, issuance, and maintenance of the aircrew equipment, but also for training aircrew in the purposes and uses of the various types of equipment. These include but are not limited to oxygen masks, flight helmets, survival kits, flotation devices, anti-G suits, respiratory and ocular protection equipment, and clothing systems for protection against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) hazards. Aircrew side arms also fall under the purview of AFE specialists; they control the issuance of side arms and ammunition, and consequently must maintain applicable weapons qualifications.
At higher ranks, AFE specialists oversee and staff AFE programs; organize, plan, direct, and evaluate various aspects of Aircrew Flight Equipment operations (equipment tracking, personnel reliability, etc.); design lesson plans and checklists for aircrews; and help prepare wartime and emergency contingency plans to ensure prompt, effective decontamination responses in case of a CBRN event.
You can read about the AFSC 1T0X1 SERE
and 1T2X1 Pararescue
specialties on our pages devoted to their operations insignias.