Former Hurlburt Airman to Make TV Debut
An airman formerly stationed with the 10th Combat Weather Squadron at Hurlburt Field will make his debut in the Big Apple on August 21.
Master Sgt. Dusty Lee, an Air Force special operations weatherman, will be on The Weather Channel's "Wake Up with Al" at 9 a.m. to discuss Special Operations Weather Teams (SOWT).
Lee, who has been in the Air Force for nearly 20 years, has spent most of his time in Special Ops weather. He is operations superintendent for the Special Operations Recruiting Liaison under the 24th Special Operations Wing.
He has never met Al Roker and has never been on a nationally televised show.
"It's exciting," he said last week during a phone interview facilitated by Capt. Kristen Duncan with Hurlburt's Air Force Special Operations Command. "I never considered myself being on national TV."
He said Roker is expected to ask about the type of training required for his profession.
"I'll try to explain to him and the rest of the public what it is that Special Operations Weather does for the Air Force and how it engages in both combat and military missions for the United States," he said.
Roker has been the weather and feature anchor on NBC News' "TODAY" since 1996. He started co-hosting The Weather Channel's morning show three years ago, according to the show's website.
Lee's appearance coincides with Air Force Week, which started last week and runs through this week.
Lee said his job differs from that of a traditional meteorologist in that airmen also have combat skills needed to get to a battlefield and survive there.
"You have to be able to get to work by any means by which the unit you're attached to gets to work," he said.
While in the field, SOWT members do everything from collecting data on temperature, clouds and wind speeds to performing environmental reconnaissance on rivers, mountains and other types of terrain.
They also tailor weather forecasts to the needs of the mission commander.
The two-year training program includes courses in everything from vehicle operation and advanced weapons training to small boat operations and rappelling.
Duncan said there are only about 100 Special Operations Weather Team members. Each one is assigned to different teams.