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Col. Jason Rudd - Commander, Detachment 2, HQ FLANG

Year in Review - 2019

The mission of Headquarters Florida Air National Guard (FLANG) Headquarters’ (HQ), Detachment 2 (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 anytime, anyplace. Det-2 is the only Total Force Classic Association in Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).

Det-2 has pursued excellence since its official activation on December 24, 2015 and is currently manned with 26 personnel. Although small in number, each member is selected based on their demonstrated ability and experience in CV-22 operations and maintenance. Det-2 members have become the backbone of the supported active duty squadrons as members continue to fill traditional active duty leadership roles. While still working towards full operational capability, Det-2 personnel continue to seamlessly integrate into the active duty squadrons, making their mark on the Special Operations community daily. This seamless integration was recently lauded in a July National Guard Bureau Total Force Integration visit where Det-2 was praised as “best seen to date” and for “setting the example for total force integration.”

Furthermore, two members of Det-2 won the HQ FLANG Senior Non-Commissioned officers (NCOs) and NCO of the year category awards and are now competing at the state level. Additionally, Det-2 Guardsman were integral in the 801st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron winning the General Welch One Force Award at the AFSOC level and are now competing at the Air Force level. This award is presented annually to the organization that best achieves mission success by a team comprised of two or more Total Force components. Lastly, a member of Det-2 was awarded the AFSOC Dr. Christian J. Lambertsen Award for Operational Innovation for developing a new tool and procedures to repair CV-22 proprotors that will save the Air Force over $600,000 a year.

Together, operations and maintenance have assisted their associated units with numerous tours of duty, exercises, and deployments around the globe. Det-2 members have enabled or executed over 3,700 flight hours performing Deck Landing Qualifications, military free fall training, as well as various local and tour of duty joint full mission profiles (which included large scale multilateral exercises comprised of hundreds of Special Operations Forces (SOF) personnel and billions of dollars in assets). Det-2 participated in multiple named operations including more than 750 combat flight hours in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in the Central Command area of operation. Additionally, 2019 marked the first year Det-2 deployed two Drill Status Guardsman in addition to seven Active Guard Reservists supporting AFSOC’s mission overseas. The efforts of Det-2 resulted in enemy combatants killed in action, high value targets captured, multiple SOF personnel medically evacuated out of harm’s way, SOF lives saved, and more than 100,000 pounds of critical cargo delivered to forward locations. These extraordinary efforts of our Guardsman have reshaped the battlespace and further enabled the U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS.

The experience of Det-2’s personnel have been essential in AFSOC’s ability to send CV-22 aircraft and personnel to Japan two years ahead of the Secretary of Defense’s original timeline to establish AFSOC’s fourth CV-22 Squadron in July of 2019. From initial planning, to standing up the Squadron, to now enabling the first-ever CV-22 operations in Southeast Asia, Florida Guardsmen from Det-2 have been integral every step of the way. AFSOC relied heavily upon the subject matter experts from Det-2 for two joint force exercises in South Korea and Thailand supporting more than 300 personnel with multiple partner nations conducting full mission profiles perfecting joint and multinational tactics.

The professionalism, quality, and Det-2’s willingness to set the example for the rest of AFSOC demonstrates the FLANG/1 SOW team’s ability to live up to AFSOC’s motto of, “Any Time, Any Place.”