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April is Month of the Military Child. This past weekend, the Hurlburt Field Airman and Family Readiness Center hosted its annual "K.U.D.O.S."...Kids Understanding Deployment Operations. Military kids are the most resilient humans I know. My oldest son will have attended 10 schools by the time he graduates. From the changing of schools, leaving old friends behind, making new friends, experiencing multiple parent deployments, there's no doubt they face tough challenges. But I would offer the Air Force experience also gives kids the tools to persevere...furnishing them with a family at each base that will always take care of them.
Tomorrow, the 77th annivesary of the Doolittle Raid, Lt Col Dick Cole will be memorialized at a ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph at 3 p.m.(CDT). You can watch it live at United States Air Force. Lt Col Cole...American Hero, Military Legend, Air Commando...you will never be forgotten.
It’s my distinct pleasure to recognize the following members of the 1st SOW team as the AFSOC Outstanding Airmen of the Year winners: SNCO Category: MSgt Christopher G. Ross, 1st SOSFS Cat III- Mr. John E. Berenics, 901st SOAMXS Cat IV- Mr. Michael L. Tuominen, 1st SOCES Honor Guard: SrA Jeremiah E. Peoples, 11th SOIS (no photo available) These awards showcase the hard work and dedication of the individual winners, but also their work centers. They will be celebrated at the AFSOC OAY ceremony on 16 May. It’s an honor to serve with each of you and thank you for everything you do.
Chief Adams and I are wrapping up a short trip to Washington, D.C., where we spent the last two days talking about the 1st SOW mission and our great Airmen with Congressional leaders. By far, the highlight of the trip was spending time with the 1st SOW’s 2018 Airman of the Year, A1C Giselle Guerrero. A1C Guerrero works as a technician in our pediatrics clinic and is working hard on becoming a physician’s assistant — she is a terrific Airman and an even better person. As part of this professional development opportunity, she got to spend the last 2 days learning about the relationships between the Department of Defense and Congress. She participated in meetings with Congressmen, Congresswomen and senior Air Force leaders...and tried out CMSAF Wright’s office chair...just in case that’s her office some day!
Early this morning, we lost a true American hero...Lt Col Richard E. (Dick) Cole passed away at the age of 103. His impact simply cannot be overstated -- and his integrity, courage, and commitment to duty are reflective of an entire generation. The 1st SOW was privileged to host Lt Col Cole just last month at Hurlburt Field, and I will never forget his humble and sincere nature. He will be remembered as a Doolittle Raider, an Air Commando, and a host of other things...but most importantly, we'll remember him as one of us. May his family find comfort in knowing that they will forever be a part of our AFSOC family. Rest in peace, sir...we now have the watch.
Tonight we honor our fallen brothers.... Nine years ago tonight in Afghanistan, Maj Randy Voas and SMSgt J.B. Lackey lost their lives in the defense of our nation. Air Commandos here at Hurlburt are familiar with these men, not only because of the memorial in their honor, but because of the lasting impact they made on this community, our mission, and those who knew them best. We also lost Army Ranger Cpl. Michael Jankiewicz and an Afghan partner in the crash. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families -- they will always be part of the Air Commando family. It's a harsh reality to face, and to many of us, the loss of our brothers feels like it was only yesterday. Let us continue to honor their legacy by striving to be the best we can be -- we owe it to them and their families.
1st SOW Spouses, I apologize for any inconvenience and/or disappointment caused by the cancellation of today’s spouse flights. Spouse flights are an incredible opportunity to highlight our mission to our families and we look forward to this day every year. However, the weather just wouldn’t cooperate with us today. Even with some occasional breaks in the clouds and some areas of increased visibility, the weather along the routes of flight remains poor. Rather than have our Airmen at work all day waiting for the weather to clear (and our spouses waiting for something that likely wouldn’t happen), and after discussing with our partners in the 492 SOW, I made the decision early this morning to give everyone in the 1st SOW their Saturday back. We’ll work to find an alternate date sometime in the fall. As always, the weather team was spot-on with their forecasts...thanks for the great work! A special thanks to Capt Adam Wolfe and his planning team for all the hard work that went into making this day possible...we’ll try again soon! Again, I’m sorry for any inconvenience this cancellation may have caused...we tried our best to make sure we had the best info we could get before cancelling and then tried to notify everyone as quickly as possible once the decision was made. If we failed to get the word out quickly enough, the blame rests with me alone.
Bittersweet day at Hurlburt Field and across AFSOC. March 14th marks the 25th anniversary of Jockey 14...an AC-130H assigned to the 16th SOS that went down off the coast of Kenya while supporting operations in Somalia. Tragically, it cost us 8 teammates. March 14th also marks the 2nd anniversary of Demise 25...a U-28A assigned to the 318th SOS at Cannon AFB that crashed during a training mission east of the base. Sadly, we lost 3 more teammates. Days like today remind us that freedom is never free...these men will never be forgotten.
The CV-22 Osprey is arguably one of the most requested weapon systems on the battlefield due to it's range, speed and vertical take-off capability. While the 1st SOW received our first aircraft in 2006, the tiltrotor concept had a long road to earning a permanent place in aviation.
It is our duty as Air Commandos to improve and hone our lethality, and a crucial piece of that process is through continuous innovation. This duty is not just for the operators either, it is up to Airmen at every level to innovate, improve processes, and eliminate redundencies. With your help, we can continue to provide tomorrow's tools to the warfighter today. Fostering a culture of innovation is so important to my team and I that we have our innovation cell right here in the command section. Air Commandos at all levels -- your input is needed. The innovation cell is your direct link to let us know how we can best support you. On the sharepoint homepage, there is a direct link to 1 SOW/CCI. Go in there and let us know how we can continue to improve. Lethality doesn't just happen. Keep up the hard work and always look for ways to improve ... we're listening.
If you weren't able to attend our 1st SOW Annual Awards Ceremony last Wednesday, check out the photo album for a quick re-cap. Congratulations to all of our winners! HG CATEGORY: SrA Jeremiah E. Peoples, 1 SOG (11 SOIS) AMN CATEGORY: A1C Giselle A. Guerrero; 1 SOMDG (1 SOMDOS) NCO CATEGORY: TSgt Richard N. Peterson; 1 SOMSG (1 SOCES) SNCO CATEGORY: MSgt Christopher G. Ross; 1 SOMSG (1 SOSFS) FIRST SERGEANT: MSgt Chad W. Goff; 1 SOG (1 SOSS) CGO CATEGORY: 1 Lt Kelly R. Davis 1 SOMSG (1 SOCONS) FGO CATEGORY: Maj Brennan J. Howell 1 SOMSG (1 SOCES) FLT CC CATEGORY: Capt Mark A. Lebedzinski 1 SOG (11 SOIS) CAT I CATEGORY: Teresa A. Farmer; 1 SOMDG (1 SOMDSS) CAT II CATEGORY: Mr. Gregg K. Jewell; 1 SOG (11 SOIS) CAT III CATEGORY: Mr. John E. Berenics; 1 SOMXG (901 SOAMXS) CAT IV CATEGORY: Mr. Michael L. Tuominen; 1 SOMSG (1 SOCES) UNIT KEY SPOUSE CATEGORY: Mrs. Molly Rose Speed; 1 SOG (34 SOS)
For those of you that missed it -- earlier today, we had the once in a lifetime opportunity to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Operation THURSDAY...with 3 of the men who participated in it. For those of you not in the know, take a few minutes to research the events that took place, and more importantly, the men who made it happen. Air Commandos today draw a direct lineage to these giants, and it is their ingenuity, character, and courageous actions that laid the foundation for modern day Air Commandos. Despite all that has changed over the last 75 years, it is apparent today more than ever that one thing hasn't ... the Air Commando spirit. #AnyTime #AnyPlace
75 years later, the Operation Thursday legacy lives on. Today we honor the first Air Commandos -- true American heroes. We have the privilege to celebrate their accomplishments with three of the originals themselves. You can celebrate the commemoration ceremony along with us here on FB live. Let us never pass up an opportunity to learn about our heritage!
Join us as we welcome 1st Air Commando Group veterans Lt Col Dick Cole, SMSgt Bill Cartwright and SSgt Patt Meara for a panel discussion about their experiences during Operation THURSDAY.
What an awe-inspring day. Earlier today, we welcomed the #STMemorialMarch as they finished the final leg of their journey -- 830 miles from where they started. We can sometimes forget why we do what we do, and events such as this provide the perfect opportunity for us to honor the fallen and reflect on what really matters. #ThatOthersMayLive
A big thank you to Southern Illinois University - Carbondale AFROTC for bringing their cadets to tour our installation. It was a pleasure to show them firsthand our mission, people, and installation. In doing so, we were able to show them what makes Air Commandos unique. These cadets will soon be serving beside us, and we're happy to see the future is in good hands. In addition to talking to Col. Mike Curry, our vice commander, the 8th Special Operations Squadron provided a CV-22 briefing and the 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron gave insight to the maintenance side of the house. We look forward to serving with these young men and women as they join our profession of arms.
Seven years ago this week, the 1st SOW suffered a devastating blow. To the parents, families, friends, and all fellow Air Commandos, the loss of Ratchet 33 feels as if it happened just yesterday. In such a small, close-knit community, its effects are felt at all levels, and continue to be felt to this day. The impact that Capt Hall, Capt Whitlock, Lt Wilkens, and SrA Scholten had on the U-28 community, and their legacy therein, will remain for generations. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Safety is a top priority for the 1st SOW and Team Hurlburt...our Explosive Ordnance Disposal Airmen are at the forefront. EOD Airmen ensure that explosive threats are detected, disarmed, detonated, and disposed of properly -- no small feat. The initial and continuous training for EOD techs is some of the most difficult in the DoD, but in a world where millimeters matter, excellence is the standard.
The 1st SOW prioritizes safety in everything we do. Check out this new app created by the Air Force Safety Center that enables members in the field to report safety issues on the spot directly to our safety experts.
In the early hours of January 31st, 1991, an AC-130H "Spectre" gunship, callsign Spirit 03, was returning to base following a successful mission. Upon hearing that Marines on the ground were in need of further help, they made the decision to turn back, despite the fact the rising sun would make them vulnerable. Minutes later, they were struck by a surface-to-air missile, making Spirit 03 the single largest Air Force loss in Operation Desert Storm. The crew of Spirit 03 represent the very best of what we stand for. Everyday Americans who were called upon to pack their belongings, kiss their loved ones goodbye, and head to a foreign land, not knowing if they would return. They put their lives on the line in order to save others. In a small, close-knit community like ours, every loss is felt throughout the entire community. While they will never be replaced, we can do them justice by honoring their selfless service and sacrifice. Their legacy lives on in the young men and women carrying the torch today.

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Game. Set. Match. Members of the Air Force Warrior Games Team are honing their skills here at Hurlburt Field, preparing for the upcoming Warrior Games. From the battlefield to the tennis court, our service members are the definition of resilient.
Lights, camera, action. Quiet professionals aren't known for their love of cameras ... but we have to admit, a lethal and ready force is always a real showstopper. #CV22uesday
This April marks the 39th Anniversary of Operation Eagle Claw. During the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Air Commandos from the 8th SOS were called upon to take part in the joint rescue. While en route to Tehran, 8 service members lost their lives during a fatal mishap. Their legacy lives on through AFSOC, as Eagle Claw sparked the beginning of modern day special operations. Their sacrifice represents the spirit of our force, a force "with the guts to try."
We have lost one of our own. Lt. Col. Dick Cole passed away this morning at the age of 103. Lt. Col. Cole and others like him serve as a beacon for patriots of all generations, demonstrating that anything is possible with character and a little ingenuity. We have come a long way in the years following WWII, and it is because of heroes like Lt. Col. Cole. It is our distinct privilege to carry on his legacy.
What happens once an airdrop lands? Somebody has to go get it! We religiously conduct Aerial Delivery Recovery missions to keep pilots and aircrew ready to complete special operations across the globe
#DYK that April is the Month of the Military Child? Col. Conley recently signed a proclamation, officially declaring April as Month of the Military Child here at Hurlburt Field. Not only are we home to the world's greatest Air Commandos, we're home to some of the world's greatest kids!
Air Commando travels the world, trains special missions aviators
We may be part of a small community, but Air Commandos have a huge impact on the modern battlefield. Hurlburt Field is proud to be part of the AFSOC team 💯😎 Air Force Special Operations Command
Conventional isn't a word that's said around here very often ... The CV-22 is a perfect example of the innovative spirit of Air Commandos, bringing a versatile, revolutionary asset to austere locations around the globe #CV22uesday
#WomensHistoryMonth may be over, but our female Air Commandos continue to bring the fight to the enemy every day. All women, all men, mix of both ... doesn't matter because we've got the best in the biz.
Air Commandos who served in Vietnam paved the way for the future of our service and our nation. They carried the torch for their generation with courage and commitment. We can only aspire to be half as great as these heroes. This #VietnamVeteransDay, honor those who came before.
"How high up do you think we are?" "I can't tell" "You can tell me, I'm a doctor." __________________________________ At AFSOC, we take OPSEC very seriously. Happy #C130Thursday everyone.
Nighttime? Perfect 💯 The enemy may lurk in the night ... but we own the night. #ISR #SOF Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Commando pursues dream of flying on AFSOC airframes
Women's history month ... in 360! Flyin' aircraft, turnin' wrenches, and everything in between, female Air Commandos enhance our readiness every day.
Thirsty? While we continually upgrade the technology in our fleet, the need for fuel never changes. From the MH-53 to the CV-22, our capabilities have always been enhanced by aerial refueling. Good thing we have the MC-130H to keep us going strong.