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AFSOC Civilians visit Air Commandos' Western Home

  • Published
  • By Capt. Brandon Baccam
  • 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Civilian leaders from Hurlburt Field, Fla., visited Cannon Feb. 27 through March 2 for an immersion course into western Air Commando life as part of the Civilian Leadership Development Program.

The visiting group of seven arrived by MC-130H Talon II from Hurlburt Field, some experiencing a military flight for the first time.

“When we first got there, it was immediate to us how busy the base was,” said Danny White, Air Force Special Operations Command Education Operations Branch chief. “We got the impression of a ‘very tight-knit’ group working together, and it was easy for us to see how Airmen are fully engaged in their mission.”

White and the other guests said that over the week, they grew to appreciate the unique ‘family’ environment that Cannon embraces, which is exactly what the course was tailored to show them. In between briefings and office discussion, the CLDP group visited the new senior NCO housing neighborhood, got an up-close look at an MQ-9 and experienced a hostile drive through the Gotham City portion of Melrose Air Force Range.

“We went through an invigorating experience driving through Gotham,” White said. “They had [all of the] sounds, explosions, and things popping off everywhere throughout the ride. A lot of us had never experienced anything like that before.”

The CLDP program is comprised of competitively-selected GS-11 to GS-13 civilians from AFSOC Headquarters. It gives members the opportunity to garner a plethora of information with visits to various directorates; industry tours with Hyundai, Boeing and Lockheed Martin; Office of Personnel Management workshops; Air Force Special Operations intercultural competencies basic course, and much more.

“Their visit to Cannon Air Force Base is just one of their many stops to various organizations,” said Rick Masters, 27th Special Operations Wing Director of Staff. “This course was designed to give them a perspective of our organization and life in the western home of America’s Air Commandos.”

The CLDP was established to broaden civilian participants' knowledge of the AFSOC mission, structure, culture, and business activities of key organizations and to further develop their management and leadership skills.

When asked about his final thoughts on the visit, White encompassed his experience in three words:

“Overall, just impressive.”