Friday, January 29, 2010

Deployed Airmen dedicate flagpole to fallen comrade

Commentary by Master Sgt. Robert Payne
1st Expeditionary Special Operations Maintenance Squadron

On March 22, 2008, Tech. Sgt. William Jefferson Jr., a combat controller with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C., made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

While reflecting on the loss of Sergeant Jefferson, two aircraft maintenance technicians from Hurlburt Field deployed to the 1st Expeditionary Special Operations Maintenance Squadron decided to memorialize their fallen Airman.

After reading Sergeant Jefferson's biography, Staff Sgt. William Miller and Staff Sgt. Derek Spencer felt compelled to commemorate his memory by constructing a flagpole in his honor at Camp Jefferson in Afghanistan.

Link to article:

Good Spec Ops Haiti Article

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

4th Annual NW Loop

Hey Guys,
Looks like we have the date set in concrete for one of the best rides of the year. We are going to change the route a little this year with the hope of getting a few more riders. We are starting at the Firehouse Pub in Lake Oswego, OR on the 22nd of July at 1300 for a scenic ride around Mt. Hood on our to The Dalles, OR for the first night. We do not have any details yet as far as hotels or local entertainment but I can promise a good time will be had by all. We will be travelling north the next day to Leavenworth, WA for our second night of festivities. The final night will probably be in Puyallup, WA but that is still up in the air. The dates are the 22nd-24th of July, 2010.

Make sure you put it into your calendar and plan to make the whole ride or meet us somewhere on the route. Ask anyone who has been on it to get an unbiased opionion, but I will guarantee some awesome riding and great times. Hope to see you there, feel free to pass on this information to all that you deem worthy, and we will have more information in the near future.


Robert "Pitt" Pittman

Friday, January 22, 2010

Discovery Channel Daily Planet Footage

This morning's Fox News segment is also at:
d-moving.htm (although I don't think we can run at work).

Thank you. bjn

Commander, 23 STS

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Short Documentary Tonight on CCT Role in Haiti

Not sure what channel is will be on, but tonight at 6:00PM Central Time on Discovery Channel Daily Planet-Canada will be a taped interview of Lt Col Brett Nelson, 23 STS/CC. Information follows:

Daily Planet host Ziya Tong interviewed Lt Col Brett Nelson today on airfield operations in Haiti. Five-minute, recorded piece will address initial arrival of the airfield control team and their man-portable radios to establish a hub for all relief efforts in the capital. He touched on ops tempo in terms of number of aircraft today (300) versus days prior, as well as during normal air operations prior to disaster (2-3). Lt Col Nelson also discussed what we're doing today with air drops and the role of CCTs to ensure drop zones are safe and suitable. Positive coverage expected.

Air date/time: Thursday, 21 Jan/6PM LOCAL

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Website for Jack and Melynn Fanning

MSgt Rob Bartleson passed on the following information to connect to Jack and Melynn and read their daily Journal. You can also sign in to their Guest book and leave a message. It's fairly easy to do... since I was able to it.

Go to:
Go to the blue banner on the right side of the page that says "Visit a Web Site: In the block to the left of it type in: JackandMelynnFanning, then click on the blue banner. You're now in the web site to read Melynn's Journal which is most informative. You can also sign in and leave your thoughts, prayers and comments. I've already written something on behalf of the CCA. Please pass this information on to the CCA Blog; Mac also to your SgtMacsBar email listing at your discretion. Thanks guys.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

U.S. Team Directs Traffic in Crowded Skies

I thought you would want to see this article in the Wall Street Journal soonest; it details the work of AFSOC Combat Controllers in directing air traffic in Haiti. CMSgt Ty Foster from my office is deployed to Haiti and facilitated the story. Mr Phillips is planning other stories about our deployed team in the days ahead.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti—A Federal Express 727 and a giant U.S. Air Force cargo jet from Washington state were at an impasse on the taxiway, one trying to reach a parking spot while the other headed for the runway. U.S. Navy and Canadian rescue helicopters swarmed overhead. A Bolivian DC-10 had just landed, as had former President Bill Clinton in a red-white-and-blue Boeing 757.

But U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Don Travo's immediate problem on Monday afternoon was finding a place for a C-130 on final approach. "I can't get him in," Sgt. Travo shouted, before ordering the plane to swerve from its flight path and turn tight circles over Port-au-Prince until told otherwise.

Link should take you to article:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

24 STS Parachuting Injury

Dear CCA Members,

Combat Controller, TSgt Jack Fanning, was seriously injured upon landing on a night freefall parachute jump in NM on Monday night. Jack was previously stationed at 23 STS, spent time as a Combat Control School Instructor and is presently assigned to Green Team at 24 STS. Jack's injury was initially life threatening, but with immediate medical care, Life Flight evacuation and later surgery, he is still with us... thank God for that! It does appear that his injury may be life altering, so please pray for the best for Jack and his family as he continues to deal with his injuries.

As a side note, Jack is a big supporter of the Combat Control Association (CCA) and was our CCA representative at the CCT School during part of his tour there. He is CCA Life Member 1056. He's also a very good friend and I am very deeply saddened by this tragic accident. Following are messages from 720 STG/CC and 24 STS/DO

Wayne Norrad
President, CCA

I am saddened to report two injuries during a parachute operation in NM two nights ago. One very serious. Details found below. Please keep both members, especially TSgt Fanning and his family in your thoughts and prayers.


The following is a (modified) report from Maj Mason Dula (24 STS/DO) to Col Thompson:

Subject: 24 STS Parachuting Injury

Training operations in New Mexico last (Monday) night resulted in the injury of two of our operators. SSgt Adam Fachan, one of our PJs, has a broken bone in his leg which medical experts assure us will heal fully, and allow him to quickly return to duty.

One of our CCT, TSgt Jack Fanning, was evacuated to an Army Medical Center in El Paso Texas, and remains in serious condition. No one else was injured during the training, and our own STS medical personnel were present at the site of injury to render immediate first aid. The emergency response plan was activated, leveraging Life Flight (rotary wing) lift to the point of injury, and rapidly delivering Fanning (FG) to higher care, accompanied by one of our Physician Assistants--we have unit members at FG's bedside now, as he recovers from a significant surgery performed by top-notch specialists.

Early reports are that the surgery went well--but it is too early to speculate on either the results of the surgery, or the enduring nature of FG's injuries.

His family and he will have a tough road ahead, and can definitely use the career field's love and prayers. For FG's brothers-in-arms across the community, I'd ask for some tactical patience as FG battles these injuries--MSgt Robert Bartleson (919) 478-4097) is our Family Liaison Officer, and is managing the outpouring of concern for FG and his family, and allowing them to focus on the near-term way ahead. All offers of support and condolence should route through MSgt Bartleson for the next several days.

It's been exceptional watching the 24 STS rally around a brother sir--know there are warriors lined up across the community to do the same. Hooyah to all.


Maj Mason Dula

"End of report"

Friday, January 8, 2010

Deployed Airmen dedicate flagpole to fallen comrade

Commentary by Master Sgt. Robert Payne
1st Expeditionary Special Operations Maintenance Squadron

1/7/2010 - AFGHANISTAN -- Being deployed this past September was a stark reminder of why we are fighting for the freedoms that we hold dear. The memories from the early morning hours of Sept. 11, 2001, often remind many Airmen why they joined the fight in the first place.

More than eight years have passed since that tragic day, and many people have commemorated each anniversary by going to a ceremony in remembrance of those who have fallen. It has also become a day to show our appreciation for the sacrifices that our military heroes have made in combat.

On March 22, 2008, Tech. Sgt. William Jefferson Jr., a combat controller with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C., made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

Article located at:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

January 2010 CCA Newsletter

The January 2010 CCA Newsletter has been distributed, if you didn’t get your copy let me know.

Ron C.

The Ward Foundation

I am in the process of forming, under the incorporation laws of California, The Ward Foundation named in honor of Capt Derek M Angel who, along with three other CCT were KIA Memorial Day 2005.The Mother, Mrs Debbie Argel has agreed to help and in addition I have many (over 250) supporters downline and I understand over 23,000 on Facebook. Our mission is to try and convince people to write letters of support for various Special Ops personnel of all services, who, while accomplishing the mission, fall in front of the Military Justice system and are overwhelmed. We will, when we get ramped up, provide other services to the accused, which will include a pleading for military members based on a comparison of current litigation with Terrorists.

We are prominent in the defense of RANGER LT Behenna, presently 1 to 25 at Fort Leavenworth who is facing his mitigation hearing this date, and 3 of the 5 SEALS who face Courts Martial 19 Jan 2019. I earnestly request your support in spreading the word that this Foundation exists and it is designed to help SPECOPS people, mostly in legal trouble. As time goes by and if I can find some financing, we will expand the service to care for other areas. In line with this, I am trying to contact a POC in each one of the SPECOPS organizations again to get the word out.

If you know who our counterparts are, please forward......

Thanks Phil Ward

Monday, January 4, 2010

Info on the passing of Dewitt Neal Jr.

Dewitt Neal Jr., age 69, a 20 year resident of Albuquerque, passed away Thursday, December 31, 2009. He was a native of Oklahoma City, graduating from Douglas High School in 1958. He received a bachelor and master's degrees from University of Oklahoma and was a founding member of O.U. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Dewitt served his country in the US Air Force. After his service, he worked with the Veterans Administration as a Rating Specialist. He is survived by Myrna, his wife of 35 years; mother, Stenola G. Neal; sister, Brenda Neal; sons, Chris and Michael Neal; grandsons, William and Morgan Neal; step-sons, Earl, Emelio, Eduardo Bennett; numerous other family members.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, January 6, at 10:00 AM, at French Westside Chapel, 9300 Golf Course Rd NW Albuquerque, NM 87114, (505) 897-0300.

Interment will follow at Santa Fe National Cemetery at 1:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.

Please visit the online guest book for Dewitt at

Dewitt was CCA LM-664