With genuine anticipation, I am privileged to contribute to this inaugural issue of Air Commando Journal. Given the examples of courageous leadership, gritty determination, bold innovation, unparalleled competence, and quiet professionalism, the heritage of air commandos has long deserved a dedicated publication to chronicle the many substantial contributions of special operations Airmen.
That time has arrived. With operational accounts and thoughtful analyses that both inform our many ongoing operations and inspire us toward future success, this journal represents the intersection between operations and plans, and will serve well as a platform for debate and discovery—where theory meets practice, and where we can capitalize on the many valuable lessons from our experiences. Our operations in the past decade alone offer enough material for a lifetime of study; and, now that the voices of many of the founding fathers of Air Force special operations—including the likes of Air Commando One Heinie Aderholt and the legendary John Alison—have gone silent, it is incumbent on us to recount and remember the teachings of the past as we explore today’s lessons learned.
Air Force special operations has never been more prominent in our overall national security effort than it is now; and, as special operations professionals, we must pursue continual improvement. I therefore call on the entire Air Force special operations community to maintain and advance our professionalism through thoughtful and candid debate in this forum. This means that both celebrating our successes and reflecting on our missteps are in order. In doing so, I anticipate that future editions of Air Commando Journal will contain, from time to time, much of our trademark candor. Reflection and self-criticism have always served us well, and indeed, they will propel us forward, with common cause and a shared vision of operational excellence. With this effort, we will hold true to our proud tradition in helping to provide for our Nation’s security—through unique and often game-changing contributions, but with little fanfare. Such is the hallmark of the United States Air Force’s Quiet Professionals.
-- NORTON A. SCHWARTZ
Chief of Staff