SecDef visits Hurlburt

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Melanie Holochwost
  • Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter embedded with Special Operations Forces (SOF) here Nov. 17.

During his visit, he met with Air Commandos, participated in a Close Air Support (CAS) demonstration, and observed a personnel recovery exercise.

“[Most] of the population doesn’t always understand what we are doing, but they support it, and they appreciate it,” Carter said. “I feel that, they tell me that, and you should know that.”

The secretary observed a Joint Assault Force with Special Tactics Airmen from the 24th Special Operations Wing and soldiers from the 7th Special Forces Group.

Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, flew with the secretary to the Eglin Range via CV-22 Osprey.

“It’s incredibly important our senior leaders see firsthand the strategic value AFSOC presents to the nation,” Webb said.

The SOF Airmen and soldiers demonstrated their Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, mobility and CAS capabilities to conduct a simulated personnel recovery and strike mission featuring an AC-130U Gunship and CV-22 Ospreys. In addition, F-35 Lightning IIs from the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base made an appearance as a show-of-force.

After the demonstration, Carter personally thanked each special operator who participated, even the “bad guys.”

“There is tremendous skill variety here,” he said to the operators. “It’s not just us in leadership that honor you, love you, appreciate you, but the country does as well.”

Carter said he enjoyed his visit.

“This was incredibly impressive,” he said.