24th SOW welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo
  • 24th Special Operations Wing

The 24th Special Operations Wing welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony here, March 8.

Col. Claude K. Tudor, Jr. took command of the wing from Col. Michael Martin during the ceremony, which was officiated by Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command.

“Lisa and I are excited to be home in AFSOC with all of the Air Commandos,” said Tudor. “To the men and women of the Special Tactics global enterprise, we will continue driving our organizational velocity . . . as part of the greater Air Force and special operations team to solve complex air and ground problems across the full spectrum of conflict and crisis.”

Tudor, the fourth person to hold the position of 24th SOW commander, leads the Air Force’s only Special Tactics wing. As U.S. Special Operations Command’s tactical air to ground integration force and the Air Force’s special operations ground force, the wing conducts global access missions, precision strike, personnel recovery operations, and battlefield surgery.

“Special Tactics Air Commandos, you are the vanguard of our security to the nation,” said Webb. “I know you will stand ready when the nation calls upon you to defend her in new ways, just as you do today.”

In the near-two years Martin commanded the wing, 24th SOW personnel conducted almost 2,900 combat missions, more than 180 airfield surveys with 10,000 aircraft controlled, in addition to more than 10,000 enemy KIA. Throughout his tenure, Special Tactics Airmen received an Air Force Cross, five Silver Stars, 22 Bronze Stars, four with Valor, 10 Purple Hearts, and dozens of awards at the AFSOC and Headquarters Air Force level.

“The nation may once again be called upon to fight and defeat the enemy in a way other than counter terrorism,” said Webb. “No war is easy, and potentially the next war won’t be as well. However, there is a way to victory, and Special Tactics will find it.”

Prior to assuming command of the 24th SOW, Tudor was the (Acting) Director Clandestine Operations, Global Access & Mission Integration, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Technical Collection & Special Programs in Washington, D.C. His wealth of distinguished experience draws distinct expectations from Webb.

“My charge to you is simple: use your unique experience and expertise to sharpen the point of the knife,” said Webb. “Your leadership is essential to leading the 24th SOW to new heights in readiness, relevance, and resiliency programs.”

Tudor, a career Special Tactics Officer, has spent the preponderance of his military time in special operations ground combat assignments and has deployed extensively in support of Joint and Coalition special operations supporting combat, humanitarian assistance, and peacekeeping/peace-enforcement operations globally.