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Leadership

Col. David Silva - Commander, Detachment 2, HQ FLANG

Year in Review - 2016

The mission of Headquarters, Florida Air National Guard (HQ FLANG), Det-2 is to provide highly experienced CV-22 Osprey operators and maintainers to support the 1st Special Operations Wing’s (1st SOW) mission to rapidly plan, execute and sustain specialized air power to achieve national security objectives any time, any place. This mission is executed hand-in-hand with active duty and is the only Total Force Association in the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).

In less than one year, Det-2 transitioned from concept to reality. In September 2015, the director of the Air National Guard and the AFSOC commander agreed to create an Associate Unit of CV-22s at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The intent was to provide the Air National Guard (ANG) with an Operational Equity in the Osprey and to capture critical experience and expertise leaving the active component to help normalize AFSOC’s newest and most complex weapons system. The FLANG immediately identified and moved the commander in place and began coordination to create the association. Within a month, a draft manning document was created and the detachment officially activated on Dec. 24, 2015.

In the following months, Det-2 began the staffing process associated with creating and funding a new organization while simultaneously beginning the execution phase – an unprecedented timeline in both the Air Force and ANG. By the one-year anniversary of the Det-2 activation, more than two-thirds of the full-time force was onboard and the focus turned to hiring traditional forces. A significant accomplishment during this hurried process is that the unit has maintained 100 percent adherence to the goal of hiring only experienced CV-22 operators and maintainers!

The HQ FLANG Det-2 and the 1st SOW condensed what is normally a multi-year process into less than one year. The resourcefulness, creativity and drive of the Total Force team brought one-of-a-kind specialized combat capability not only to the Air Force but to all the services under the U.S. Special Operations Command. The FLANG continues its legacy of leading the Air Force in Total Force Integration by successfully merging the Air Commando and Militia cultures into a truly unique combat force in the CV-22 Osprey.

While the accelerated timeline created numerous hurdles, the immediate success of the program demonstrated the FLANG/1st SOW team’s ability to live up to the motto, “Any Time, Any Place.”