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AIR COMMANDO ASSOCIATION


PAST - PRESENT - FUTURE The Air Commando Association was


Admiral Olson proudly sporting his memento from the ACA for his superb speech.


honored to have Admiral Eric Olson take time from his incredibly busy schedule as United States Special Operations Command Commander and serve as our guest of honor and speaker at the reunion banquet. His speech was insightful, hard-hitting and an inspiration to all. He was also gracious enough, along with Lt Gen Wurster, Air Force Special Operations Command Commander, to assist in presenting the ACA Commander’s Leadership Awards to a bunch of very grateful young Air Commandos. This was the inaugural year for these awards and is a significant step in our efforts at reaching out to today’s Air Commandos and show them how much we truly appreciate what they are


NOVEMBER 2010 Admiral Olson Addresses Record Crowd


doing day in and day out to carry forward the Air Commando ethos of Any Time Any Place that was established in WWII. The banquet was our largest in history as we had over 450 in attendance. It was also significant that there were more “bluesuiters” there than we have ever had. Once again we had fantastic entertainment provided by Opus One from Niceville High School. In addition, this year’s event saw the induction of ten great warriors in to the Air Commando Hall of Fame. (Read more on that on page 10.) All in all, the banquet was the culmination of a great reunion and gives us a great foundation to build upon for an even greater event next year!


Growing a Stronger Organization for the Future


By Dennis Barnett ACA Vice President This organization was founded


during the Viet Nam era when most of the members were still on active duty. That started a great and proud heritage. General Aderholt’s charisma and leadership led to a great organization. He personally led the raising of a huge sum of money. Because of that we now are one of the few organization’s of our type that have the luxury of owning a fine building in a prime real estate area outright. We are also very sound fiscally. However, the tyranny of time takes its toll and is endangering the survival of


the association as the vast majority of our over 2700 members were fighting in the jungles of Viet Nam—between 40 & 50 years ago. This article outlines a plan to ensure the preservation of the great heritage that the Air Commando Association represents. In order to preserve the past, we must embrace the present and future Air Commandos. Today’s Air Commandos are


building on the great and proud heritage of the original organization. After Viet Nam, special operations forces were allowed to atrophy and when the nation needed a SOF force to rescue the 53 American hostages


we found ourselves ill-prepared. The Air Commando ethos came through in spite of that and resolved to attempt the mission with the forces available. We are all painfully aware of the result of that attempt as eight brave Americans made the supreme sacrifice in that bold but tragic effort. That led to the modern day force that is now equipped, manned and ready to accomplish the mission Any Time, Any Place. The fruits of that have been proven time and time again in places like Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and a host of others that remain classified. As President George W.


Bush stated, “The very nature of special operations means that not everyone knows what you do….. but I do.” We in ACA need to entice these new Commando heroes to join this organization to help us ensure this heritage is not relegated to some dark and musty historian’s shelves.


Generals Wurster and


Secord recognized this need and together we sponsored 25 ACA Commander’s Leadership Awards from across AFSOC. We recognized those winners at our recent reunion banquet. The result was the largest turnout of active See FUTURE pg 6


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