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Celebrating 10 years of AFSOC at Cannon

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

.— Cannon’s Air Commandos are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the base being part of Air Force Special Operations Command by hosting multiple events on base Sept. 28 – 30, 2017.

The four day event is highlighting the partnership between the base and the major command by welcoming community and command leadership.

According to Lt. Col. Shawn Young, 27th Special Operations Wing inspector general, the event carries a deeper meaning than just surface-level celebrations.

“This weekend, we celebrate not just our mission and our formidable combat capabilities, but more importantly, we celebrate all of the people who made this possible: military, civilian, local and dispersed across the world,” Young said.

The festivities began Thursday with the Air Commando Challenge, a mentally and physically challenging four mile race around base. It included seven obstacles that teams overcame, with one squadron and individual walking away with the 2017 Traveling Trophy.

On Sept. 29, the 27th SOW dedicated the entire day to professional development via panels held by senior base and MAJCOM alumni and their spouses. These leaders spoke to Airmen of all ranks to help develop leaders and describe the way forward for AFSOC, including Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, AFSOC commander, Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Leahy, 2nd Air Force commander, Chief Master Sgt. Gregory A. Smith, AFSOC command chief and Chief Master Sgt. Matthew M. Caruso, U.S. Transportation Command senior enlisted leader.

The day ended with the Cannon Ball, celebrating not only the 10 years of AFSOC’s presence at Cannon, but also the 70th anniversary of the Air Force being an independent service.

Saturday afternoon, local families and community members were invited on-base to be a part of the Cannon Open House. It provided insight for the public on the mission of the Air Commandos, how they transform their force and fleet to maintain relevance in the future and strengthened relationships between military and civilians.

Cannon ensures readiness in executing special operations around the world, but that’s not all that it’s about. Community plays a key role in functioning day-to-day, according to Young.

“We're a tight-knit family, not just on base, but off base as well,” Young said. “We've poured our capital, effort and manpower into this base and Melrose Air Force Range, and we encourage our Airmen to get involved in the world beyond the base walls to remember that the people who live around us are part of what makes us great.”

All of the events heavily relied on cooperation among all parties involved, and captured why Cannon invests in the resiliency of our force, family and relationships.

“If there's a theme beyond just the recognition of our 10th Anniversary here at Cannon, it's this: we didn't get here alone, and we don't make all this happen alone,” Young said. “There were years of senior leaders leaning into bringing us here, and now we have years of standing together with our local surrounding communities.  We're one family now, and we like it that way.”