SECAF visits Hurlburt for AFSOC mission immersion

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson rides a CV-22 Osprey over the Emerald Coast during a familiarization flight on May 3, 2018, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Wilson visited Air Commandos, talked with senior leadership, engaged local community leaders and immersed herself in Air Force Special Operations Command mission capabilities during a visit to Hurlburt Field from May 2-4. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Conroy)

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson rides a CV-22 Osprey over the Emerald Coast during a familiarization flight on May 3, 2018, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Wilson visited Air Commandos, talked with senior leadership, engaged local community leaders and immersed herself in Air Force Special Operations Command mission capabilities during a visit to Hurlburt Field from May 2-4. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Conroy)

SECAF immersed in ST mission

A joint special operations force of Special Tactics operators from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron and U.S. Army Special Forces Soldiers from the 7th Special Forces Group run to board a CV-22 Osprey from the 8th Special Operations Squadron while performing a joint capabilities demonstration for Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson at Eglin Range Complex, Florida, May 3, 2018. While at the range, Wilson received a joint capabilities demonstration by Special Operations Forces assigned to the 23rd STS and 7th SFG. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Robertson/ Released)

SECAF immersed in ST mission

A Special Tactics operator speaks to Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson during a joint capabilities demonstration at Eglin Range Complex, Florida, May 3, 2018. Special Tactics operators are U.S. Special Operations Command’s tactical air and ground integration force and the Air Force’s special operations ground force to enable global access, precision strike and personnel recovery operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Robertson/ Released)

SECAF immersed in ST mission

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 40th Flight Test Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, performs a show of force during a capabilities demonstration for Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson at Eglin Range Complex, Florida, May 3, 2018. The F-16 was one of several aircraft in the demonstration, showcasing how Special Operations Forces can utilize different airframes for different scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Robertson/ Released)

SECAF immersed in ST mission

A U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II from the 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, performs a low pass show of force during a joint capabilities demonstration for Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson at Eglin Range Complex, Florida, May 3, 2018. The F-35 was one of several aircraft in the demonstration, showcasing how Special Operations Forces can utilize different airframes for different scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Robertson/ Released)

SECAF immersed in ST mission

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson fires an M240 machine gun during a capabilities demonstration from Special Tactics operators from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron at Eglin Range Complex, Florida, May 3, 2018. Special Tactics Airmen frequently train with the M240 to operate on the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Robertson/ Released)

SECAF immersed in ST mission

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson watches as Special Tactics operators from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron treat a simulated casualty during a capabilities demonstration at Eglin Range Complex, Florida, May 3, 2018. Special Tactics Airmen are the Air Force’s ground special operators and U.S. Special Operations Command’s premier tactical air-to-ground integration force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Robertson/ Released)

SECAF immersed in ST mission

A U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey from the 8th Special Operations Squadron lands to infill a joint Special Operations team of Special Tactics Airmen and U.S. Army Special Forces Soldiers during a capabilities demonstration for Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson at Eglin Range Complex, Florida, May 3, 2018. Special Tactics operators are U.S. Special Operations Command’s tactical air and ground integration force and the Air Force’s special operations ground force to enable global access, precision strike and personnel recovery operations (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Robertson/ Released)

SECAF immersed in ST mission

A U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey from the 8th Special Operations Squadron prepares to infill a joint special operations team of Air Force Special Tactics and U.S. Army Special Forces operators during a capabilities demonstration for Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson at Eglin Range Complex, Florida, May 3, 2018. Special Tactics operators are U.S. Special Operations Command’s tactical air and ground integration force and the Air Force’s special operations ground force to enable global access, precision strike and personnel recovery operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Robertson/ Released)

SECAF immersed in ST mission
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Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson fires an M4 carbine during a capabilities demonstration alongside Special Tactics Airmen at Eglin Range Complex, Florida, May 3, 2018. Special Tactics Airmen are the Air Force’s ground special operators and U.S. Special Operations Command’s premier tactical air-to-ground integration force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Robertson/ Released)

SECAF immersed in ST mission
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U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, fires an M240 machine gun during a capabilities demonstration from Special Tactics operators at Eglin Range Complex, Florida, May 3, 2018. Special Tactics operators are U.S. Special Operations Command’s tactical air and ground integration force and the Air Force’s special operations ground force to enable global access, precision strike and personnel recovery operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Robertson/ Released)

SECAF immersed in ST mission
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Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson greets members of a Special Operations Surgical Team at Hurlburt Field, Florida, May 3, 2018. A SOST is a mobile surgical team with advanced medical and tactics training that can deploy to austere or hostile areas to provide surgical support, often operating far-forward near the frontlines of conflict. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

SECAF immersed in ST mission
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Maj. Regan Lyon, a Special Operations Surgical Team emergency medical physician with the 720th Operations Support Squadron, greets Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson at Hurlburt Field, Florida, May 3, 2018. SOSTs are lightweight, mobile and rapidly deployable medical elements designed to support a wide spectrum of U.S. Special Operations Command missions in varying threat environments, locations, light conditions and weather-forward and independent of established healthcare support systems or facilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

SECAF immersed in ST mission
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Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson is briefed on the capabilities of Special Operations Surgical Teams at Hurlburt Field, Florida, May 3, 2018. SOST is an extremely lightweight, mobile and rapidly deployable element that is medically and tactically trained to provide trauma resuscitation and life-saving surgical care on or near the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

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Col. Spencer Cocanour, vice commander of the 24th Special Operations Wing, briefs Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson on the 24th Special Operations Wing mission at the Special Tactics Training Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida, May 3, 2018. The 24th SOW is U.S. Special Operations Command's tactical air/ground integration force and the Air Force's special operations ground force to enable global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

SECAF immersed in ST mission
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Lt. Col. Joe Gross, commander of the Special Tactics Training Squadron, speaks with Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson at Hurlburt Field, Florida, May 3, 2018. Wilson learned about the arduous training Special Tactics operators go through while attending the STTS, where they become combat mission ready before being assigned to an operational unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

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Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson watches a Joint Terminal Attack Control simulator demonstration at the Special Tactics Training Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida, May 3, 2018. The JTAC simulator allows STTS students to train on realistic scenarios in a controlled environment, while earning their JTAC qualification through STTS’ Special Operations Terminal Attack Controller Course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

SECAF immersed in ST mission
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Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson watches a Joint Terminal Attack Control simulator demonstration at the Special Tactics Training Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida, May 3, 2018. The JTAC simulator allows STTS students to train on realistic scenarios in a controlled environment, while earning their JTAC qualification through STTS’ Special Operations Terminal Attack Controller Course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

SECAF immersed in ST mission
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Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson speaks with Maj. Gabe Brown, director of operations with the Special Tactics Training Squadron, at Hurlburt Field, Florida, May 3, 2018. Wilson spent part of the morning with Special Tactics operators learning about their mission of global access, precision strike, personnel recovery, and battlefield surgery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

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Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson speaks to a pararescueman at the Special Tactics Training Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida, May 3, 2018. Wilson learned what it takes for Special Tactics operators to become combat mission ready while attending the STTS before being assigned to an operational squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. --

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited Hurlburt Field May 2-4 for her Air Force Special Operations Command mission immersion.

Wilson met with Air Commandos, and toured facilities and assets to get a better understanding of the strategic value AFSOC delivers on the high and low end of the conflict spectrum.

The secretary flew with a Joint Assault Force of Special Tactics operators from the 24th Special Operations Wing and soldiers from the 7th Special Forces Group to the Eglin Range via CV-22 Osprey where she participated in a Close Air Support (CAS) demonstration, and observed a personnel recovery exercise.

“It was a great day, it was a fun day, but you also gave me an opportunity to reflect,” said Wilson. “What I saw was competence, at a level that few Americans can even understand.”

The SOF Airmen and soldiers demonstrated their Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, mobility and CAS capabilities and Wilson called in a strike mission featuring an AC-130U Gunship, F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 96th Test Wing and F-35 Lightning IIs from the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base.

Her immersion into the AFSOC culture allowed her to see what it truly means to be a quiet professional.

“I saw the kind of humility that usually only comes with exceptional competence,” said Wilson. “You don’t have anything to prove, because you are who you are. It was pretty remarkable to see.”

The visit highlighted the special skills and unique capabilities of Air Commandos with an emphasis on the command’s progress with innovation and the link with the new National Defense Strategy.

“You all expand the competitive space, and those words are from the National Defense Strategy,” said Wilson. “You give us capabilities by working with your joint team members that we have nowhere else in the nation. For the first time in our National Defense Strategy, we are called upon to deepen our alliances and partnerships.”

This is Wilson’s second visit to Hurlburt Field, the first coming when she presented Staff Sgt. Richard Hunter with the Air Force Cross Medal.

“There are good days and there are not so good days in this job,” she said. “I wanted to thank everyone of you for everything you do, and everything you did for me yesterday. In almost 365- days in this job, in the top 10 of days, two of them were at Hurlburt Field.”