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.”