HomeNewsArticle Display

3 at Duke earn Air Commando Association awards

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- Three Air Commando Association's Commander's Leadership Awards were recently awarded to Capt. John Andree and Tech. Sgt. William Register, 6th Special Operations Squadron, and 1st Lt. Michael Zecca, 711th Special Operations Squadron.

"Their outstanding accomplishments make them truly deserving of this prestigious recognition," said Sherri Hayes, Air Force Special Operations Command/ A1 Director of Manpower, Personnel, and Services stated in the announcement letter.

The timeline of the awards were June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014.

Zecca distinguished himself as a C-145 mission pilot. He was the first ever C-145 mission pilot from the 711th SOS to deploy to Joint Special Operations Air Component-South in direct support of a Joint Chiefs of Staff execute order. He planned and executed 36 missions and 83 sorties to austere landing zones while operating under the threat of small arms fire engagement in uncontrolled airspace. He also executed a real world hurricane evacuation of the C-145 fleet and a Joint Special Operations Forces pre-deployment military free fall training exercise.

"This award recognizes AFSOC's outstanding performers from any AFSC/career field who have made the most significant contributions to mission accomplishment," said Hayes.

Two of the Air Commando Association's Commander's Leadership Awards came from within the wing's new mission set of combat aviation advisors.

"Combat aviation advisors have a unique role within AFSOC and I believe our mission emphasizes the best of the air commando legacy and the future of AFSOC," said Andree.

Register distinguished himself as a combat aviation advisor, and U.S. Southern Command flight chief. He was the special mission aviator of choice to instruct partner nation militaries, his counterparts on active duty, and the Air Force reserves. He was a key member of the squadron's initial cadre of C-145A aircrew and successfully employed it in its first ever aviation foreign internal defense mission. During that mission, he facilitated and directly trained 57 partner nation forces on tactical operations.

Andree distinguished himself as a Spanish proficient combat aviation advisor and chief of weapons and tactics. His unique background in non-standard aviation and foreign internal defense allowed him to lead CAA tactics through a critical mission transition, simultaneously serving as subject matter expert in the C-145A. Because he authored a 166 page C-145A tactics, techniques, and procedures manual, he codified four years of aircraft techniques leading to major command wide improvements to airdrop, air-land, military free fall, and landing zone operations.

"I am humbled and honored to be included among the 2014 Air Commando Association Commander's Leadership Award winners and to be included among the legacy and achievements of former winners and the Air Commando Association," said Andree.