AFSOC captain named top air liaison officer in Air Force

DA SWO

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This guy just doomed his career, too bad as we need more like him.

by Lt. Col. Scott Covode
Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs

1/14/2009 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla -- An Air Force Special Operations Command "Quiet Professional" was named the service's top air liaison officer for 2008.

Top honors go to Capt. Christopher Wilson of Wheeling, W.Va. He is assigned to the 17th Air Support Operations Squadron and is the tactical air control party flight commander for Operating Location Echo, 2/75 Ranger Battalion at Fort Lewis, Wash.

"The feedback I've received about Chris from our Army customers is nothing short of outstanding," said Lt. Col. Chris Cronk, commander 17th ASOS.

According to Colonel Cronk, Captain Wilson is recognized for his tactical expertise while deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom where he provided command and control of more than 150 direct-action missions resulting in the capture of 200 high-value targets and the destruction of more than 50 targets.

"While in Iraq, Chris worked some of the busiest air space in the world," Colonel Cronk said.

Captain Wilson is a 2001 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and an F-16 pilot. While assigned to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Captain Wilson deployed twice to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"During my deployments in the F-16, I directly supported special forces and I found I really enjoyed working with their operations. It led me to join the ALO program," he said.

The captain volunteered to join the tactical air control party program after his combat experience supporting special forces from the cockpit. He attended jump school and other specialized training and then joined the 2nd Ranger Battalion at Fort Lewis.

"He was an eager volunteer and has even offered to extend his tour in the program," said Colonel Cronk. "He's a great asset to the TACP community and the DoD combat forces he supports."

Captain Wilson feels honored to have been chosen for the award.

"I wouldn't have received it without the help of the rest of the TACPs in my shop and the Ranger battalion," he said. "They enabled me to succeed; I couldn't have done any of this without them."

While Captain Wilson normally works the "fires desk," in charge of controlling air power for the battle space, his first deployment to Iraq as an ALO put him in the field with the Rangers.

"When Chris first arrived in Iraq, the unit was temporarily short a joint terminal attack controller," said Colonel Cronk. "Since he was fully qualified, he joined the Rangers combat mission team in the field. This gives him great perspective on the air-to-ground battle. He's flown direct support missions for the ground guys and has also seen combat with the Rangers."

While his next assignment is unclear, it looks like he'll get more practical knowledge during his upcoming fifth deployment. Then it's likely he'll return to the cockpit.

"When I get back to flying, I'll be able to use all this knowledge to teach and train other operators," said Captain Wilson. "Sharing my working knowledge of the TACP mission will be invaluable for my fellow pilots."
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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I agree.

He'll never see O-6. If he's lucky his squadron command will be of an ASOS, a FS is almost out of the question.
 

car

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I once worked with some Peruvian counter-drug types. A commandante(equivalent major) and two of his captains, who knew they'd never advance, but were passionate about what they did. They had no qualms about the fact that they wouldn't be advanced. They felt/knew that the work they were doing might just make a difference. Very righteous dudeleros.

And I like seeing stories about successful, military West Virginians! :)
 
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