The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

3rd SOS wins AFSOC Squadron of Year


June 4, 2009

USAF photo: Staff Sgt. Luciano Vazquez Air Force Special Operations Command commander Lt. Gen Donald C. Wurster, right, presents the 2008 AFSOC Squadron of the Year trophy to Lt. Col. Bob W. Brock, 3rd Special Operations Squadron commander, during the AFSOC commander’s visit to Cannon.

The 3rd Special Operations Command has earned the 2008 Air Force Special Operations Command Squadron of the Year award.

The squadron’s accomplishments extend from its successful efforts to move from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., to Cannon with no degradation of its mission capability or 24/7 support to fighting Overseas Contingency Operations, to its people’s efforts in assisting and improving the communities they’ve lived in.

“Despite its operational workload exceeded manning, (the 3rd SOS) was heralded as the DoD’s model Unmanned Aerial System organization and has a persistent, tangible impact on the battlefield all day, every day,” AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. Donald C. Wurster wrote in a letter to the 27th Special Operations Wing commander. “The men and women of the squadron also demonstrated exceptional performance off duty, making significant contributions to their community and seeking self-improvement through higher education.”

Each month in 2008, the squadron’s “Dragons” flew more hours than the rest of AFSOC combined. The squadron is also going to set the example for the eventual creation of AFSOC’s first Reserve UAS squadron, named the 2nd Special Operations Squadron, the command’s first MQ-9 Reaper UAS squadron, named the 33rd Special Operations Squadron, and the first-ever Special Operations’ UAS Wing Operations Center.

“The airmen of the 3rd SOS amaze me every day,” said Lt. Col. Bob W. Brock, 3rd SOS commander. “I have never seen an organization where junior officers and junior enlisted members are given so much responsibility and asked to do so much. They succeed well beyond expectations every day."

The squadron’s actions have not gone unrecognized in 2008, leading to many individual and squadron awards. The 3rd SOS was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Unit Award and was named the Air Force Association Citation of Honor winner. Also, Dragons volunteered locally and globally, competed for and won prestigious awards, including 11 from the 27th SOW, and continued to raise the bar in AFSOC, the UAS community, the USAF, and the entire DoD.

At the AFSOC level, the 3rd SOS garnered the Lance P. Sijan Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, Weather NCO of the Year, Weather SNCO of the Year, and a Flight Safety Officer award. Additionally, a 3rd SOS Airman 1st Class won the Air Force Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Award Program’s Outstanding Airman ISR Contributor of the Year award.


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