Col Steve Connelly, USAF, Ret., Director
Col Steve Connelly served on active duty in the Air Force from 1966 to 2000. He served in 23rd AF and AFSOC from inception and commanded at 3 levels. Steve was a helicopter pilot from the start, but went through fixed wing qualification at Webb AFB, Texas in 1975. After fixed wing qualification he completed the helicopter test pilot syllabus at the US Navy Test Pilot School in Maryland. After Test Pilot School he conducted developmental, operational and production acceptance tests on the Pave Low 3 helicopter out of Pensacola NAS, FL, Kirtland AFB, NM and Hurlburt Field, FL. During that test period he conducted the first successful pilot recovery from under night/adverse weather conditions. Steve also led flight test of the J model Pave Low testing and was Operational, Testing and Evaluation director for the H-60 Night Hawk helicopter program. He commanded the first operational Pave Low squadron in USAFE under AFSOC at RAF Woodbridge, United Kingdom and conducted the smooth transition of the traditional rescue mission to Special Operations which would be employed shortly after his departure. As 352nd Special Operations Group commander he oversaw the unit’s move from RAF Alconbury to RAF Mildenhall while providing uninterrupted theater demands for support of operations in Bosnia. Col Connelly finished his career at HQ AFSOC. He attended Jump School and Underwater Swimmers School as well as completing Squadron Officers School, AIr Command Staff College (ACSC), Marine ACSC, Air War College, and NSMS. After retiring he spent 18 years supporting the AFSOC V-22 requirements office and U-28 Air Crew Training School. He remains an engaged supporter of the Air Commando Association, the John Grove School in Honduras and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.