CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Feb. 23 2018, the 27th Special Operations Wing, in coordination with the 58th Special Operations Wing (Kirtland AFB, NM), executed a short notice tasking to support U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Under Secretary for Management for the Department of Homeland Security Claire M. Grady, and Commander, United States Northern Command, Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy
The two special operations wings provided aircrews and CV-22 Osprey aircraft to facilitate the visit.
“From the maintenance perspective, this was classic Air Force Special Operations Command: any place, anytime, anywhere,” said Col. Stephen C. Grotjohn, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group commander.
27 SOW leadership were notified late on Feb. 22 that no other Department of Defense assets were available to execute the mission. Collaborating with 58 SOW counterparts, 27 SOW Operations Group and Maintenance Group personnel initiated immediate asset and resource coordination and mission planning efforts to confirm feasibility for execution. Following timely approval from COMAFSOC and 19 AF/CC (AETC), 27 SOW and 58 SOW teams accomplished full spectrum aircraft generation, aircrew assignment, and concept of operations development.
Under the leadership of Lt Col Charles Mauze, Commander, 20th Special Operations Squadron, who performed missions commander and formation flight lead responsibilities, the mission was flawlessly executed with all objectives achieved for the Department’s two highest ranking officials. Equally noteworthy is the tremendous partnership between the AFSOC and AETC as well as the peerless operational and maintenance acumen of the 27 SOW that enabled execution with only 17 hours from original tasking to aircraft launch.
“Fighting the weather and a fleet worn thin from the week’s flying, the Air Commando maintainers made it happen through safe, skillful and disciplined effort,” Grotjohn said. “Under pressure, the maintenance operations team at Cannon is cool as the underside of a pillow.”
The special operations forces’ unique ability to rapidly plan and execute the mission, coupled with the CV-22’s speed, range and performance, was vital to accomplishing a challenging mission on a short timeline.
“AFSOC’s CV-22 units execute to an exacting standard day-in and day-out, both stateside and deployed,” said Col. Michael Jackson, 27th Special Operations Group commander. “They maintain a high state of readiness across the spectrum.”
“Receiving this mission with short notice really just highlighted our members’ professionalism and unique capabilities,” Jackson said.