Happy New Year everyone! I trust those who made it to the annual Air Commando Association (ACA) 2019 Reunion/Convention had a great time. We appreciate your attendance and hope you’ll join us in 2020 where our theme is the 50th Anniversary of Operation Kingpin, better known as the Son Tay Raid.
Our Chairman, Maj Gen (Ret) Norm Brozenick, wrote the first “SITREP” in the last Air Commando Journal (ACJ) and mentioned that I would address our lines of operation (LOOs) in this edition. Our LOOs focus us on achieving our core mission of serving Air Commandos -- past, present, and future. Our LOOs are to educate, advocate, honor and serve.
Recently added leadership positions have given us a new dimension on how we carry out our LOOs. For example, 10 years ago we didn’t have a chairman, last year we added the chief operating officer (COO) position, and several civilian advisors. Previously, the President theoretically did the work of all three, the chairman, president/chief executive officer (CEO), and COO – glad I’m wasn’t the President then.
The chairman is the highest appointed position in the ACA. In conjunction with the Board, sets the strategic direction and is the senior executive committee member and senior director for all official Association proceedings. The duties include the Association’s business partnership initiatives, fundraising, and strategies for both the Association and the Air Commando Foundation (ACF). Chairman Brozenick initiates and maintains strategic communications at executive levels with US government and military officials, industry executives, and state and local community leaders.
As president/CEO, I oversee daily operations, set the agenda for Directors meetings, and preside over them. As CEO, I work directly with Col (Ret) Dennis Barnett, our COO, who runs daily operations while providing guidance and supervision to Melissa Gross, our executive assistant, and Jeanette Elliott, our media coordinator. Now, if you asked the ladies how it works, they’ll probably tell you that the chairman, president, and COO all give them work and it’s never ending! Our vice president (VP), CMSgt (Ret) Bill Turner, backs me up and fills in when I’m not available. Bill also has additional duties as chairman of the Nomination and Governance Committee. Col (Ret) Jim Connors, continues to serve (third term) as our treasurer and keeps our finances in good order – and Rachel Halvorson makes sure of it.
Going forward, we’ll enhance our pursuit of LOOs by putting more responsibility on the committees. The executives will continue to work on daily issues while the committees work on short- and long-term goals and plans. We’ve talked about having the committees meet once a month and hold Directors meetings quarterly where committees will brief their progress.
One of my goals is to build closer relationships with our chapters to better service all of you, regardless of where you live. Our LOOs with some of our chapters have been good, while others, not so much. We’re encouraging Kirtland, Mildenhall, and Kadena to get their chapters operational again. I’m traveling to San Antonio to make a pitch at starting a new chapter there and our Air Force Reserve members are talking about starting a chapter at Duke Field. There will be more to follow on our chapters -- especially after our website is upgraded giving each chapter their own page to post information including their calendar of events. That upgrade and an individual member “sign-in” option will give members the ability to update their contact information and opt to let other members see their information or keep it private.
Recently, the Special Tactics community had a tragic accident. SSgt Cole Condiff, a combat controller assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Hurlburt Field, experienced an unplanned parachute departure from a C-130 south of Hurlburt into the Gulf of Mexico. During recovery efforts, the ACA bought and delivered 75 pizzas and soft drinks to feed those involved in the search operations. Unfortunately, SSgt Condiff’s body was never recovered. Through the ACF, we purchased airline tickets for members of his family so they could attend his memorial service at Hurlburt Field. To the Condiff family, his teammates, and his friends, we send our most sincere condolences.
By virtue of the ANYTIME FLIGHT program we are now able to replace the roof on the ACA headquarters building. We can keep our LOOs going at 100 percent by using ANYTIME FLIGHT donations and not have to dip into our normal ACA operating funds. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
On notice is VP Bill Turner who will write the next SITREP. Have a great 2020!
CMSgt, USAF (Ret)