6th SOS moves from Hurlburt to Duke FieldThe 6th SOS is relocating to Duke Field, Florida and transferring command to the Air Force Special Operations Training Center (AFSOTC)
US Air Force, October 01, 2012 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. by Airman 1st Class Michelle Vickers, 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs - Airmen of 6th Special Operations Squadron, including their Vietnam-era veterans and former counterparts, attended a transition ceremony for their unit at the Commando Hangar at Hurlburt Field Sept. 28.
After a long history and connection to the current 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, the 6th SOS is relocating to Duke Field, Fla., and transferring command to the Air Force Special Operations Training Center.
"Today is a day of transition," said Col. Jim Slife, commander of 1st SOW. "The 1st SOW is going to lose an important part of its legacy and history. Personally I grieve that, but Air Force Special Operations Command retains within AFSOTC a tremendous core of combat aviation advisers dedicated to one of our most historic and strategically important mission areas in all of Air Force special operations. I couldn't be any prouder of the unit's professionalism and focus during a time of great change and upheaval."
While the unit is being relocated to Duke Field, the squadron is receiving a whole new fleet of a single aircraft instead of moving its current assortment of rotary wing and turboprop aircraft. The new aircraft, the C-145A Skytruck, is a light-cargo and passenger plane.
"Today we acknowledge the formal end of the rotary wing portion of the 6th SOS mission," said Col. William Andersen, commander of AFSOTC. "We also have to acknowledge that the sole constant in the history of Air Force special operations is that of change."
The move to Duke Field is part of a long ranging plan to increase capabilities in irregular warfare.
"Perhaps nearest and dearest to this audience is the fact that the 6th SOS, its combat aviation advisers and its mission focus will become the centerpiece of a far larger irregular warfare effort for AFSOC than previously seen," Andersen said. "I predict we will be constrained in our efforts creating the new magic only by our ability and need to fly safely and by our imaginations."
After the presentation of the colors, event organizers highlighted the history of the squadron and led a moment of silence to observe the loss of two of the unit's Airmen. With the background of a display of current 6th SOS aircraft, the transfer of the squadron guidon marked the ceremonial transfer of the unit from the wing to AFSOTC.
"It will be a great ride, so strap in, roll up your sleeves and let's get on with it," Andersen said.
According to the squadron's factsheet, 6th SOS is a combat aviation advisory unit whose mission is to assess, train, advise and assist foreign aviation forces in airpower employment, sustainment and force integration.
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