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15th SOS members clinch lessons learned award

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Christopher Callaway
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

A team from the 15th Special Operations Squadron earned the 2014 Gen. Kenney Award for lessons learned in the development of tactics.

The Aerial Delivery Mission Planning Team spent more than two years developing a plan that would improve the accuracy of dropping cargo to troops on the ground.

The award is presented on behalf of the Air Force A9 office which has a focus in analyses, assessments and lessons learned.

“I am proud to be included on the team that received this award,” said Maj. Jacob Duff, 15th SOS assistant director of operations. “However, I am even more proud of the more than 10 million pounds of vital war fighting equipment that has been safely and effectively airdropped to troops in combat.”

The team saw a need for this new plan when established drop zones proved too small to accept cargo utilizing the old techniques.

“Our crews and the members of our community immediately recognized that this was an issue,” Duff said. “We understood in order to accomplish the mission and fully support the ground users, a new technique would have to be employed.”

The original technique resulted in a string of airdrop bundles landing in the center and going toward the trailing edge of the drop zone, resulting in the first half of the drop zone not being utilized.

The team’s perseverance in determining the most safe and effective way to conduct airdrop operations to small drop zones has enabled aircrews to achieve vital mission success, while utilizing the entire drop zone.

“This award is a great reminder that significant change and improvement can be initiated from the squadron level,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Welch, 15th SOS commander. “No one needs to sit around suffering through a problem and hoping that a solution will float down from higher. Identify a problem, develop options, move forward with solutions that are within your control and fix it.”