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CAA JTAC awarded NDIA/SOLIC Superior Achievement Award

  • Published
  • By Ciara Travis
  • 492nd Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Capt. Cole D. Geldernick, a Combat Aviation Advisor Air Liaison Officer assigned to the 6th Special Operations Squadron, was awarded the 2018 National Defense Industrial Association Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict Superior Achievement Award February 5.

Geldernick currently serves as the Officer in Charge of ground training where he deploys to assess, train, advise and assist partner nations Special Operations Forces in principles of airspace planning and Close Air Support.

He is also the first deploying CAA Joint Terminal Attack Controller in support of Special Operations Command Central’s number two priority engagement, Lebanon.

“Cole has been absolutely instrumental in establishing (along with Capt. Nathan Maxton) our fires shop from scratch in our squadron – meeting this challenge head on,” said Lt. Col. Walter "Rocky" Harvey, 6 SOS commander. “As the first two JTACs assigned to the unit, they have built our program, but continue to build Air to Ground Integration programs in both the PACOM and CENTCOM theaters.”

According to the award narrative, he organized several first ever Cessna 208 CAS integrations where he trained personnel from the 7th Special Forces Group and the 23 Special Tactics Squadron on effective employment of the Cessna 208 as a CAS asset.

“Cole is a true quiet professional,” said Harvey. “He epitomizes the foundational attribute of our culture which is a servant leader with humble confidence.”

Geldernick was commissioned through the United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Core in May 2010 and completed the Tactical Air Control Party Schoolhouse at Hurlburt Field, Florida, in September 2011. He began his career at the 5th Air Support Operations Squadron where he deployed in support of combat ground operations for Operation Enduring Freedom.

In 2013, he was selected to attend the Joint Terminal Attack Controller Qualification Course where he graduated with Distinguished Graduate honors. In 2014, Geldernick transferred to the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron where he deployed in support of ground combat operations for Operation Inherent Resolve. Prior to his current position Capt Geldernick served as Flight Commander, 14th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.