Next AFSOC command chief announced

Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Smith, a veteran Air Commando will return here in June as the new senior enlisted leader for Air Force Special Operations Command. He will take succeed Chief Master Sgt. Matt Caruso, who will transition to U.S. Transportation Command. (U.S. Air Force photos)

Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Smith, a veteran Air Commando will return here in June as the new senior enlisted leader for Air Force Special Operations Command. He will take succeed Chief Master Sgt. Matt Caruso, who will transition to U.S. Transportation Command. (U.S. Air Force photos)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- A veteran Air Commando will return to Hurlburt Field in June as the new senior enlisted leader for Air Force Special Operations Command.

Air Force officials announced March 18 that Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Smith will rejoin the command from a post as the command senior enlisted leader at NATO Special Operations Headquarters in Mons, Belgium.

Smith will step into the position following the departure of AFSOC’s current command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Matt Caruso, who is moving to Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, for an assignment as the command senior enlisted advisor of U.S. Transportation Command.

Caruso has served as AFSOC’s top enlisted since April 24, 2014. He will depart for Scott in May to take over for another AFSOC command chief alumnus, Chief Master Sgt. Bill Turner, who will be retiring from active-duty service.

Smith will become the ninth AFSOC command chief. He is an AC-130U gunner by trade and has flown primarily with Hurlburt Field’s 4th Special Operations Squadron. Smith previously served as the command’s aerial gunner functional manager from April 2008 to June 2010.

Since then, the in-coming chief has completed tours as the course director for the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy in Tampa, Florida; command chief of Air Education and Training Command’s 58th Special Operations Wing, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; and command senior enlisted leader to Special Operations Command Europe, based in Stuttgart-Vaihinger, Germany.

Smith has worn chief stripes since November 2010, tacking on the top enlisted stripe right around his 20-year anniversary in the Air Force. He has more than 3,500 flying hours, including more than 1,375 combat hours.