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33 SOS named AFSOC Special Operations Squadron of the Year
The 33rd Special Operations Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., was named Air Force Special Operations Command’s Special Operations Squadron of the Year for 2012. Despite being the lowest manned Remote Piloted Aircraft squadron in the Department of Defense, the dedication of the Airmen led the 33 SOS to become the go-to squadron for find, fix and finish operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alexxis Pons Abascal)
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33 SOS named AFSOC Special Operations Squadron of the Year

Posted 4/24/2013   Updated 4/29/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Airman Whitney Tucker
27th Special Operations Public Affairs


4/24/2013 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- In 2012, the gryphons of the 33rd Special Operations Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., encountered challenges and struck them down with courage; they faced roadblocks and leveled them with innovation; they endured deficits and overcame them with growth.

Despite being the lowest manned Remote Piloted Aircraft squadron in the Department of Defense, the 33 SOS was named Air Force Special Operations Command's Special Operations Squadron of the Year.

The 33 SOS doubled their sustained Combat Air Patrols, allowing flyers to log 1,297 combat sorties in the calendar year. The unrivaled dedication, top-of-the-line equipment and advanced tactics led the 33 SOS to become the go-to squadron for find, fix and finish operations.

In addition to group superiority, members of the 33 SOS excelled on an individual basis. An astounding 39 members deployed during 2012, accumulating a total of 3,891 days downrange and facilitating thousands of hours of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance coverage. Ten additional squadron members deployed to fill roles such as Remotely Piloted Aircraft liaison officers, ISR battle captains, and group commanders. Their deployed contributions totaled 517 days.

Acknowledged as a game-changer by the squadron, the addition of high-definition, full-motion video to their repertoire set the tone for a year of unprecedented achievement. In the hands of razor sharp Airmen, the upgrade captured cleaner, more defined images than ever before and contributed to the safe recovery of two hostages and the elimination of their nine abductors.

Despite revamping combat practices, the squadron focused on efforts to improve the skill level of its aircrew through a new, more predictable schedule that created "space" for a robust training program. This program consisted of simulator training, local launch and recovery operations, and participation in six live and dry fire exercises - increasing training events by 5,700 percent and saving $50,000 in temporary duty costs.

To solidify 2012 as a year for the history books, the 33 SOS garnered a slew of squadron level nominations, to include the Verne Orr Award, and picked up a number of additional titles, both squadron and individual; bolstered its presence in the community through volunteer and outreach work; and saw many Airmen reach their educational goals in both military and civilian sectors.

In 2012, this collection of high-speed Airmen revolutionized air-to-ground warfare, stood at the helm of the most sophisticated ISR technology in existence, and took the fight to an enemy who feeds on the fear of the helpless, making them truly worthy of the title, AFSOC Special Operations Squadron of the Year.



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5/4/2013 8:37:04 AM ET
Way to go 33rd. CONGRATULATIONS Thanks for your hard work and dedication to getting it done.Thx for helping keep us safe here by taking it to them there.Thx also to your wives children and other family members for supporting you during your long deployments. They too are dedicated members of Team America.Uncle Ed
Ed Spruck, Oxford CT
 
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