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ACJ Vol 11/3


  • Publisher: Norm Brozenick 

  • Editor: Paul Harmon

  • Managing Editor: Rick Newton

  • Senior Editor: Scott McIntosh

  • Contributing Editor: Ron Dains

  • Contributing Editor: Joel Higley

  • Contributing Editor: Mike Russell

  • Layout Editor/Graphics: Jeanette Elliott

  • Advertising: Melissa Gross

Major General Eugene Haase, USAF (Retired) Former 55th SOS Director of Operations and MH-60G Pave Hawk Evaluator Pilot

Welcome to the annual Air Commando Journal Hall of Fame issue. As in past years, we showcase the Air Commando Hall of Fame inductees for 2022, as well as all the winners of the Commander’s Leadership Awards, and the annual AFSOC level awards all of which were introduced and recognized during the Air Commando Convention this past October—all outstanding and so deserving of these accolades.

Additionally, this issue continues with Part 2 of the tribute to the 55th Special Operations Squadron and the MH-60G Pave Hawk with firsthand accounts of the standup of the formal schoolhouse at Kirtland AFB, support of Operation Uphold Democracy, the extensive weapons development and testing that took place just prior to Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the heroic rescue of Hammer 34 in Serbia during Operation Allied Force, and finally honors the memory of the men lost during a joint training exercise on 29 October 1992.

I think at this point, after back-to-back issues of the journal, it becomes crystal clear the important role the 55th SOS “Nighthawks” played across the board in every contingency operation AFSOC was involved with from 1989 until the unit closed in late 1999. Moreover, over the past two years the Air Commando Association welcomed two former members of the 55th SOS into the Air Commando Hall of Fame – Maj (ret) Dan Turney and CMSgt (ret) Roger Maginel.

This past April, we had the incredible honor of dedicating MH-60G tail number 87-26009 into the Hurlburt Field Air Park. It has been a special time to say the least. I had the very good fortune to be a member of the 55th the day we were redesignated as a special operations squadron and the day the 55th was deactivated upon our return from Italy after the unit’s two daring rescues during Operation Allied Force. From start to finish, the 55th was the total package – talented leadership, top notch training, unmatched aircrew members, support personnel and a great aircraft – all of which led to a unit that was an integral part of what Air Force Special Operations brought to the fight.

As a fitting closure to the 55th SOS’s chapter in AFSOC and Air Commando history, you’ll read comments from Dawn Goldfein as she recounts the night her husband (General Dave Goldfein, CSAF #21) was shot down, really putting into perspective what our military spouses deal with day in and day out while they soldier on wondering what happens if we do not come home from the mission. The spouses are so critical to the team and we could not do what we do, as well as we do it, without this unwavering support on the home front. A big thank you to all the spouses across the force that make us better every day.

In closing, I want to personally thank everyone who had a part in making this two-edition tribute to the 55the SOS and Pave Hawk possible starting with Paul Harmon. The editor-in-chief determines content and this was Paul’s idea from the start – from all of us to you THANKS! To all the people who wrote and contributed – thanks for the Herculean efforts in putting on your “way back” caps and sharing insights and details I am fairly certain have not been captured anywhere else on paper to date. Some of these events happened 30+ years ago. I hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as we enjoyed putting them together. I think I speak for the entire MH-60G community in saying that it was an honor and privilege to be a part of the AFSOC team…anytime, anyplace.

Interactive PDF Available Here

We have improved the readability of our ACJ Online, open the PDF and scroll to page 3 (Table of Contents) and click on any headline and it will take you directly to that article in the PDF. Look for more interactive features in the next online issue of the Journal.

Air Commando Association Press