Air Commandos celebrate AF60 with old and new
By , Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs
/ Published November 17, 2006
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFSOC News Service) --
The first operational CV-22 Osprey stole the show during an air power demonstration at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Nov. 16, commemorating the Air Force's 60th anniversary.
As special operations forces simulated a behind-the-lines mission with Air Force Special Operations Command AC-130 gunships firing overhead and MH-53 Pave Low helicopters bringing in ground forces, the Osprey swooped in, banked and transformed from airplane to helicopter before a crowd of hundreds who had gathered to witness its arrival.
Once on the ground, Lt. Gen. Mike Wooley, AFSOC commander and pilot of the aircraft, turned over the "keys" to Lt. Col. Ed Corallo, commander of the 8th Special Operations Squadron, the first operational CV-22 squadron.
"That is the way to start a day, let me tell you. The CV-22 is an absolute dream to fly," he said, grinning. "You get a sense of the transformational capability that this airplane will bring to our SOF warriors in every branch of the service. It is a magnificent airplane."
Guests on hand to celebrate the arrival included Gen. Doug Brown, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command.
"We're excited about the CV-22 at SOCOM," he said. "The infill of 19 October 01, as we put special operations forces on the ground in Afghanistan, we would have done it quicker, we would have done it safer, we would have done it with less refuelings and we would have been able to put more teams on the ground in the same period of darkness if we had the CV-22."
AFSOC is scheduled to receive at total of 50 CV-22s between now and fiscal year 2017.
The arrival of the CV-22 was the first of the day's events commemorating the Air Force 60th Anniversary, themed "Heritage to Horizons."
While the Osprey arrival showed what is on the horizon for special operations Airmen, a ceremony later that day highlighted the command's heritage. There, Air Commandos past and present watched as Hurlburt's 16th Special Operations Wing regained its historic 1st SOW designation.
"It's a great day for the United States Air Force, United States Special Operations Command and AFSOC as we bring back the great heritage of the 1st Special Operations Wing," General Brown said at the reflagging ceremony.