The Air Commando Association was founded in 1969 by then Colonel Harry 'Heinie' Aderholt as an organization for retired and active duty Special Operations Forces personnel. BGen Robert Cardenas was the commander of AFSOF at the time and greatly supported this effort.
After several fund drives, enough money was available to build an ACA building located 3.9 miles west of the Hurlburt Field main gate. The ACA headquarters building was dedicated in 1998. It contains offices, a library, the commando store, and a large conference room. Throughout the building memorabilia highlighting commando/special operations accomplishment, photos, and projects are on display. The history covers over 50 years of commando operations starting with the first air commando unit established in 1943 and commanded by Colonel Phil Cochran immortalized by Milton Caniff in his comic strip Terry and The Pirates as Steve Canyon from 1944-1988. The history continues to the present day operations.
Goals and Objectives
To honor personnel of all ranks, rated and non-rated, who have helped make this nation great by their achievements in special operations.
To perpetuate the memory of such persons and record their achievements and contributions by suitable memorials.
To establish and maintain an Air Commando Museum. Preserving for posterity the history of the air commando/special operations mission and to identify those organizations and individuals deserving recognition, including those individual elected to the Air Commando Hall of Fame.
To foster, promote, and encourage a better sense of appreciation of the origins and growth of the air commando/special operations units the part they have played in economic, political, humanitarian, and military operation on a worldwide basis.
- To keep alive the air commando spirit.
- To rekindle wartime relationships.
- To share experience and lessons learned with members of today’s Air Force.
- To promote nation building through humanitarian efforts.