Reflecting on 2020, among the things of which I am most proud is the way AFSOC leaders at all echelons handled the turbulence of the year. Dealing with crises is, after all, what Air Commandos do. I found myself providing broad intent and watching commanders and senior enlisted leaders—from the wing to the flight—execute brilliantly. In this issue, Col Nate Scopac reflects on his own experience in crisis leadership during a year which also found him in combat command. *Yawn*…just another year in AFSOC.
This issue also features articles and a book review which illuminate various other strands of our shared history. For instance, we learn about Combat Controllers in early 1975, during the evacuation of Saigon. We also find an article describing an early Air Advising effort in China during the Second World War. Additionally, this issue contains a great rundown of the impressive 36 year history and significant contributions of the humanitarian arm of the Air Commando Association, the McCoskrie Threshold Foundation. Finally, the book review of COL (Ret) Joe Celeski’s chronicle of Air Commandos in Laos from 1964-1975 highlights a fascinating look at a shadowy chapter in our history, written by a retired Special Forces soldier, no less!
But of all the rich content contained in this issue of the ACJ, none is more important than the recognition of deserving Air Commandos past and present. The 2020 Air Commando Hall of Fame inductees represent a spectrum of leaders and operators whose fingerprints remain on those of us serving in 2021. Meanwhile, the individual and unit-level award winners among today’s Air Commandos remind us that no matter how turbulent the world becomes, Air Commandos will be ready to face it.
With sincere affection and respect,
James ‘Jim’ Slife, Lt General, USAF