Air Commando Journal Vol 9/Issue 3
Happy New Year from the Air Commando Association and Air Commando Journal staff! 2020 was a challenge, and as you know by now, the annual ACA Convention and many other events were cancelled because of Covid-19. Rest assured, your Air Commando Association is working hard to adapt and overcome the circumstances while continuing to work for America’s Air Commandos.
First, as a manner of a short introduction, Dennis Barnett asked me to take over editor-in-chief duties for your journal as he again moves up to become the president of our ACA. For those of you who do not know me, I retired in 2010 after a 30-year career with my early flying assignments in rescue units before moving over to special operations with the 20th SOS in 1988. Over those 22 years in special operations, I was afforded multiple opportunities to meet, work with, and learn from the tremendous professionals in the other AFSOC “tribes” in operations, maintenance, medical, and support. I’ve been working with the Air Commando Journal staff since 2013, at first writing a couple of articles and later serving as the Research Editor assisting Jeanette, our talented graphic-designer, to help bring the articles alive. As the editor-in-chief, my goal is to build on the first nine years of the Air Commando Journal’s success and keep it interesting, relevant, and accurate reading for our members and the wider special operations community.
This is always a special issue of the Air Commando Journal because we highlight the newest Hall of Fame inductees and Commander’s Leadership Awards recipients. This year we included the active-duty award recipients who normally would have been recognized during the Heritage Seminar at the convention. Because of that, it is most appropriate that the Air Force Special Operations Command commander, Lt Gen Jim Slife, graciously agreed to write the foreword for this issue. Thank you, sir!
This year the 2020 Hall of Fame inductions were conducted virtually. We held five separate ceremonies online and each inductee invited a number of guests to participate virtually to make the occasion special. It was an ACA team effort to make it all come together with special thanks to Jeanette Elliott and Melissa Gross for working through multiple technical issues and assisting many guests to get online and attend the events from the comfort of their homes.
2020’s Commando Cash drawing was held in December and the big winners were notified. Congratulations to all! For those who are not aware, the Commando Cash Drawing net proceeds go to support the ACA’s overhead costs, which among other things enables the Air Commando Foundation to put 100 percent of its donations to help past, present, and future Air Commandos in times of need. With everything going on in this crazy year a big THANK YOU goes out to all the members who participated in this year’s drawing making it the best response in eight years!
General Slife’s words in the foreword set the stage for this issue and I want to thank the active duty contributors assigned to Hurlburt Field for taking the time to write articles, we genuinely appreciate your help. In the spring issue of the Air Commando Journal, we will feature articles focused on Air Commandos during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations around the world. The summer issue will offer our readers insights into the special operations joint terminal attack controllers and precision strike mission. Also in 2021, the ACA plans to mark the 30th anniversary of Operation DESERT STORM, as well as commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11.…more to follow.
Finally, we ask you to mark your calendars—the ACA’s annual convention will be held 14 - 17 October 2021. Details are being worked, but it will be a great opportunity for old and new friends to get together again after missing in 2020 and we promise it will be a lot of fun. Hope to see you there.
Paul Harmon, Col, USAF (Retired)
Air Commando Journal