Col. Norm Brozenick thanks Team Hurlburt

  • Published
  • By Capt. Joseph Coslett
  • 1st SOW Public Affairs
"General (Michael) Wooley, thank you for entrusting me with command of the 1st Special Operations Wing, 30 squadrons strong and installation leadership for the 38 partner unit members of Team Hurlburt. It was an honor and privilege I'll never forget," said Col. Norm Brozenick, former 1st SOW commander, during the wing change of command Tuesday in Freedom Hangar. 

Colonel Brozenick reviewed the road traveled by Team Hurlburt during his 726 days of command. He evaluated and matched successes to a roadmap laid out in the beginning of his command, the 1st SOW Aimpoints. 

He started with Aimpoint one, fight and win. 

"We fought and won alongside our Army Special Forces, Ranger, Navy Seal, Special Tactics and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment teammates," he said. "The Airmen standing before you performed brilliantly while sustaining their fifth and sixth consecutive years of combat operations." 

Looking through the 20/20 hindsight glasses, Colonel Brozenick recounted other fight and win successes. 

The 1st SOW Airmen responded to contingencies in more than 15 geographic locations across the globe; responded during Hurricanes Dennis and Katrina; flight doctors and medical technicians assisted the Philippine government in establishing health care service in remotes areas; foreign internal defense advisors helped the Niger government return its C-130 aircraft into service; civil engineers helped rebuild Baghdad's Green Zone; transporters drove gun trucks and protected military convoys; communication Airmen wired and maintained joint operations centers' communication systems; logisticians deployed Hurlburt out of town but also welcomed the Airmen back home. 

Not only did Team Hurlburt fight and win but the force truly shined with the pledge to uphold Aimpoint two, take best care of our wingmen, families and resources. 

"Thanks to Operation Homecoming, returning combat veterans were embraced as the heroes they truly are by family members, friends, teammates, and community leaders," he said. 

Also, the families of deployed Airmen enjoyed dinner courtesy of the chaplains, while first sergeants, supervisors and community friends took care of personal needs from mowing lawns to helping sons and daughters with school work. 

Without naming every success the former commander highlighted different units and their successes to Aimpoint two. 

He thanked the medical group for managing more than 14,000 TRICARE accounts, breezing through a health service inspection, and becoming the number one dental clinic, military treatment facility and preventative health team in the Air Force. 

In addition, he thanked the mission support Airmen for revitalizing the Air Park, claiming numerous environmental awards and honors as installation excellence finalists. 

"I'm especially proud of the mission support group getting our Air Commandos promoted and recognized for outstanding achievement," Colonel Brozenick said. "I also want to thank services, the Air Commando Association, the Air Force Association, the Honorary Commanders, the Chief's Group, the Top 3, the Company Grade Officers Council, Focus 56, the Red Cross, and community and political leaders for taking best care of Airmen and families." 

The maintenance side of the house achieved honors for tackling the aircraft availability shortfalls. 

According to him, they developed innovative enroute support packages and streamlined training to give back 330 days of aircraft availability each year. 

"Together wing planners and squadron Airmen stoop up and bed down three new squadrons and maintenance units that now operate the MQ-1 Predator, the MC-130W Combat Spear and the U-28A Utility Aircraft," he continued. "Although we have become bigger we have not sacrificed quality." 

Other unsung heroes include public affairs, protocol and battlestaff who are ready to go 24-hours a day, Colonel Brozenick said. 

Additionally, none of the successes would be complete without executive officers and secretaries throughout the ranks, and finally, the wing staff agencies are the glue making this wing run. 

For Aimpoint three, develop the next generation of Air Force and Air Commando leaders, Team Hurlburt stepped up to the challenge through our professional military education experts helping nearly 1,000 first term airmen off to the right start, he said. 

"Also, more than 600 staff sergeants select graduated Airmen Leadership School, 255 of our Airmen earned Community College of the Air Force degrees in 2006, and leaders like Generals Comer and Newton shared their hearts and minds with us via the 'Through the Eyes of the Commando' history program." 

Colonel Brozenick emphasized all of these accomplishments were attributed to the total force of Team Hurlburt. 

"It is much more than people in uniform - it is Guard, Reservist, civilians and contractors here at home and deployed locations who we rely on to execute the 1st SOW mission." 

To end the evaluation portion, when asked did the 1st SOW meet his expectations he responded, "Overall the 1st SOW consistently performed above and beyond expectations of senior leaders and general officers at home and in deployed locations. Well done Air Commandos....well done."