Air Force instructor team show off rappelling skills at San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

Team will repel Saturday at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO – Every year a group of highly trained and qualified instructors that form part of the US Air Force special warfare training wing take to the AT&T Center for the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.

The wing’s mission at the rodeo is to rappel 100 feet down with the American and Texas flags on full display. An experience TSgt. Eric said he is proud to be a part of.

“The flags are on the big screen where we’re bringing down the flag, and then as those flags come out of the darkness from the ceiling and people start to see them, and you hear them get all amped up. It really gets you going and amped up. America’s great,” Eric said.

The instructors form part of a rigorous and highly demanding elite group of airmen. Outside of rappelling at the rodeo, their duty is a much more serious mission.

There are four enlisted and three officer career fields, and all four of these fields will be represented at the rodeo on Saturday. Those career fields are pararescue, combat control, tactical air control party, and special reconnaissance.

Despite their mission experience, rappelling inside the AT&T Center does take some practice and coordination.

“We started initial training up here at the tower. You can see behind me it’s approximately 25 feet set up our ropes, got her knots tied all our basics for rappelling, and then moved on to a 40-foot tower over on the Chapman Training annex,” TSgt. Scott said.

Whether it’s rappelling from a helicopter over 100 feet in the air surrounded by America’s air power or inside an arena, fear is not in their vocabulary, and say serving their community in this capacity brings them a true sense of patriotism.

SWTW instructors will be at the rodeo on Saturday. You can catch them rapelling at 12 p.m. and at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center.

For more information on the special warfare programs, click here.

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About the Authors:

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He’s a bilingual award-winning news reporter and he joined KSAT in 2021. Before coming to San Antonio, Cotto was reporting along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas. He’s a veteran of the United States Navy.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.