ORI 2006: Exercise Commando Action, fought and won

  • Published
  • By Col. Norman Brozenick Jr.
  • 16th SOW commander
Air Commandos, I’m incredibly proud of each and every one of you. Your capability, credibility and faithfulness delivered an awesome operational readiness inspection 2006 performance.

It all started last summer. Though engaged in lengthy combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, I asked our no-fail people to improve the wing's no fail-mission at home – rapid deployment in support of a global special operations tasking. You dedicated enormous amounts of time and effort to improve our mobilization processes and procedures. And through an extensive exercise series, you validated our capability to quickly and quietly deploy anywhere on the face of the earth.

As we fine tuned our get out of town skill set, I asked our no-fail people, to improve the wing's no fail mission overseas – infiltration, exfiltration, resupply, refueling, close air support, non traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and command and control – in a chemically-threatened environment. With persistence and patience, you walked, jogged and then ran through numerous drills testing efficiency, effectiveness and precision. And while donning chemical protective over garments and mask, you validated our capability to mass aircraft overhead a single objective to achieve assigned tasks under the cover of darkness.

On the eve of the ORI, I asked you to maintain vigilance over Memorial Day weekend to ensure no-fail responsiveness. I could’ve never guessed the number of ways we would respond together throughout the month of June.

Just after the ORI's initial response kicked off, the wing was tasked to deploy in support of a joint readiness exercise in the western United States. Several hundred aircrew, maintenance, medical and mission support personnel answered the call and delivered an outstanding performance while supporting joint special operations forces teammates.

Well done Air Commandos.

While deploying west, the Wing was tasked with a short-notice air and ground exercise in support of U.S. Southern Command. More than one hundred and fifty 16th Special Operations Wing and 720th Special Tactics Group Airmen pivoted on a dime, packed out, deployed to Colombia and executed a world class exercise. Well done Air Commandos.

Upon our return in mid June, we were greatly saddened to learn one of our own 16th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters was lost while fishing in Gator Lakes.

Once again, the 16th SOW and 720th STG pivoted, and along with our community partners, recovered our missing Airman and took best care of his family and friends. Well done Air Commandos.

During a brief pause, you built our permanent exercise area into an awesome "combat zone," enabling us to power into the inspector general's final exercise set. While defeating numerous terrorist threats, you clearly demonstrated our ability to survive and operate prowess with precision command and control.

Yes, you planned and executed numerous AC/MC-130 and MH-53 missions supporting 720th STG objectives in an outstanding manner. Well done Air Commandos.

The keys to your amazing success were individually simple yet profound in combination - attitude, awareness, communication, and knowledge.

You focused on one objective - fight and win. You took best care of your wingmen. And through it all, you quietly developed the next generation of Air Force and Air Commando leaders.

It is an honor to serve alongside you. I thank you and your families for their sacrifices making this organization the most capable, credible and faithful wing in the USAF. No fail.