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Operation Homecoming, STEP promotion surprise
U.S. Staff Sgt. Robert O'Bannon, 16th Special Operations Squadron, walks with his wife toward family and friends during Operation Homecoming at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Dec. 9, 2012. Operation Homecoming is a monthly event held to welcome Air Commandos back from worldwide deployments and reunite them with their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eboni Reece)
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Operation Homecoming, STEP promotion surprise

Posted 12/10/2012   Updated 12/10/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman 1st Class Eboni Reece
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs


12/10/2012 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Despite the cold weather, Air Commandos received a warm welcome from 27th Special Operations Wing leadership, family and friends during Operation Homecoming at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Dec. 10.

Operation Homecoming is a monthly event held to welcome Air Commandos back from worldwide deployments and reunite them with their loved ones.

For one exemplary Air Commando however, being reunited with his family was not the only surprise he would receive.

After enlisting the cooperation of the wife of Staff Sgt. Robert O'Bannon, 16th Special Operations Squadron, Cannon leadership led her out to the aircraft before the Air Commandos could depart. With O'Bannon's wife hidden just out of view, the aircraft doors opened, Col. Buck Elton, 27 SOW commander, stepped onto the aircraft and announced that O'Bannon was receiving an unanticipated Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotion to the rank of technical sergeant.

Immediately after the promotion, his wife emerged from behind the crowd to give him his new rank insignia for his uniform.

Air Force STEP promotions within Air Force Special Operations Command are reserved for the most elite Air Commandos. This year, AFSOC was allotted five promotions for technical sergeant.

"Tech. Sgt. O'Bannon was promoted due to his consistent record of exceptional performance and service," explained Chief Master Sgt. Paul Henderson, 27 SOW command chief. "He has been recognized as a distinguished graduate in Airman Leadership School, initial skills training and mission qualification training and also as a professional performer while deployed and in garrison. We are proud of his accomplishments and honored that we were able to recognize him in in front of his family and peers right on the aircraft returning from deployment."

Members of the 16 SOS raved about O'Bannon's admirable performance and expressed their delight for his STEP promotion.

"O'Bannon is most deserving of this STEP promotion," stated Master Sgt. Jodie Lopez, 16 SOS. "He is extremely professional, helps others when needed and excels at everything he involves himself in!"



tabComments
12/11/2012 9:04:08 AM ET
Congrats well deserved. Any high pitched yells on this deployment
Trip, Maxwell AFB
 
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