Publisher: Norm Brozenick
Editor: Paul Harmon
Managing Editor: Rick Newton
Senior Editor: Scott McIntosh
Contributing Editor: Ron Dains
Contributing Editor: Matt Durham
Contributing Editor: Joel Higley
Contributing Editor: Mike Russell
Layout Editor/Graphics: Jeanette Elliott
Advertising: Melissa Gross
Happy New Year! I wish each of you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2022! WOW, what a year 2021 turned out be…COVID-19 did not relent, we departed Afghanistan after 20 years, and AFSOC Airmen continued to answer the nation’s call across the globe. I couldn’t be more proud of their amazing accomplishments and I’m delighted that this edition of the Air Commando Journal is filled with the Airmen of AFSOC doing what they do best, excelling!
Let me start by sharing personal thoughts about our 20 years of engagement in Afghanistan. On September 11, 2001, our world changed forever. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon drew America into conflict with violent extremists in Afghanistan. Over the last 20 years, the blood and treasure sacrificed in Afghanistan rings especially true for me because of multiple deployments and the pain of losing Airmen and sister service members who were personal friends. Not a day goes by where I don’t think of them, their families, and their sacrifices. Please take a moment of silence to honor all of those who served so remarkably and dedicated their lives to service…remember.
AFSOC Airmen certainly answered our nation’s call in Afghanistan. In this edition some of our greatest Air Force Special Operations Forces legends who also served in Afghanistan are highlighted and are being inducted into the ACA Hall of Fame: Col Timothy Hale, Lt Col Bill Schroeder, Maj Dan Turney, CMSgt William “Cal” Markham, and SMSgt James “JB” Lackey. Each of these Airmen provided countless contributions to AFSOC and their impact and legacy continues on today through the lives and careers of so many.
To continue the theme of greatness, service, and sacrifice we also have the special tribute to the compelling life and career of Lt Col Felix “Sam” Sambogna. Lt Col Sambogna had an illustrious career from flying as an attack pilot with two tours of duty in Southeast Asia. After 29 years of service he served again for another 17 years at the Oklahoma State University Office on Eglin AFB and continued his service as a volunteer for the Guardian ad Litem and as the ACA President from 2004-2008. What an impressive life and story and I think you will enjoy, as I did, learning so much more about this Air Commando. Well done Sir!
I’m so thankful for all of the heroes that came before us and their lineage permeates through the outstanding Air Commandos we have today. As I read through the 2021 AFSOC awards and each individual’s accomplishments, I’m extremely proud of each of them and as you will see; they continue on the proud legacy. MSgt Hannah Walters from the 352nd SOW is one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for the entire Air Force. I have the privilege of knowing Hannah and she is the epitome of what we want and desire in all of our Air Commandos…she is impressive!
Thank you for the opportunity to be surrounded by selfless All-Stars and as we begin 2022, I wish each of you and your families health and happiness and the profound hope that this year is even better than previous years. I know our Air Commando community will continue to thrive and ascend to even greater heights. I’m forever indebted to so many Air Commandos, and the exceptional joint force we work alongside, and couldn’t be more honored to be on this team. Happy New Year!