An MQ-9 Reaper sits on the flight line at Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 3, 2014.The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Staff Sgt. John Bainter)


Memorial Day message from the commander

  • Published
  • By Col. Kevin Merrill
  • 919th Speical Operations Wing

Citizen Air Commandos,

As we prepare for the solemn remembrance of Memorial Day, tomorrow we also commemorate the 30th birthday of Air Force Special Operations Command – an organization born out of necessity, forged in training and cemented on the battlefield.

Special operations aviation dates back to World War II when Gen. Hap Arnold directed Lt. Cols. Phillip Cochran and John Allison, two fighter pilots, to build a self-reliant composite fighting force. This force supported British Brig. Gen. Orde Wingate and his special operations units known as Chindits in the battle against the Japanese Army. From these missions, the first Air Commando Group earned its motto “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere,” words that have become the hallmark of Air Force Special Operations.   

As our nation prepares to honor the service of previous generations, we recognize that the men and women serving in uniform today are as humble and selfless as any generation that has come before. 

I ask our Citizen Air Commandos to please remember these pioneers as well as your current teammates and family members this holiday in ways worthy of their sacrifice.

Be safe and know I am honored to serve with each of you.

Colonel Kevin Merrill