This is how special operators respond so quickly when sh-t hits the fan

Special operators are often America’s 911 call, flying to the scene of emergencies and safeguarding American interests while outnumbered and sometimes outgunned. Years of training and military exercises hone them into deadly weapons.

But it takes a lot of logistics to get the premier warfighters from their home bases or staging areas and into the fight, ready to kill or be killed on America’s behalf. Here’s a glimpse of the process:

1. Step one of deploying special operators is preparing gear and recalling personnel.

Emerald Warrior 2017-special-operations-rapid-deployment

(Photo: U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Sean Carnes)

2. Operators and support personnel rush vehicles and other gear to loading areas. The exact makeup depends on the planned mission.

Emerald Warrior 2017-special-operations-rapid-deployment

This photo is from an exercise. Rumor is there are less smiles and jokes for actual combat missions. (Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Erin Piazza)

3. The vehicles are secured for transport. Often, this means the gear is going into planes. Gear that will roll off is secured to the plane itself while gear that will be airdropped is typically secured to a pallet.

Emerald Warrior 2017-special-operations-rapid-deployment

(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Erin Piazza)

4. Operators sometimes take part in securing their gear since it guarantees that it will come out as expected on the objective.

Emerald Warrior 2017-special-operations-rapid-deployment

(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Erin Piazza)

5. Once the gear is ready to go, the personnel have to get strapped in. While these guys are strapping on parachutes, some missions require they run off the ramp on the ground instead.

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(Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Battles)

6. Attention to detail is critical since any mistake on the objective can cost lives.

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(Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Battles)

7. While MC-130Js are one of the more famous planes for special operators, there are plenty of other aircraft that will do the job, such as this MC-12.

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(Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew B. Fredericks)

8. Or Black Hawks… Black Hawks are good.

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(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jasmonet Jackson)

9. Of course, operators on the ground like to have fire support, and they can’t be guaranteed artillery on the ground. So they’ll often fly in with extra firepower as well.

Emerald Warrior 16-special-operations-rapid-deployment

(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jordan Castelan)

10. The AC-130s can bring everything from 20mm miniguns to 105mm howitzers. The typical modern armament is 25-105mm cannons. Jets and helicopters can bring the boom when necessary.

Emerald Warrior-special-operations-rapid-deployment

(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jordan Castelan)

11. And then the operators get to work, grabbing bad guys, ending threats, and chewing bubble gum.

Emerald Warrior 16-special-operations-rapid-deployment

(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jasmonet Jackson)

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