AFSOC commander visits the 353rd SOG

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jessica Tait, 353rd Special Operations Group Public Affairs
  • 353rd Special Operations Group
Command leadership flew half-way around the globe this week to see how Pacific-based Air Commandos provide specialized aviation for our nation’s no-fail mission.

As a part of their first tour to the Pacific since taking command, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), and AFSOC Command Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Smith visited special operations forces in Japan, Korea and Hawaii to share the new AFSOC vision, mission and priorities.

During an Airmen all-call Nov. 7, Webb described readiness, relevance and resiliency as the “three Rs” of the AFSOC priorities and expressed the success of the 353rd SOG in all three areas.

“Sitting at strategic crossroads, the 353rd SOG continues to develop those critical relationships with our partners in the Pacific through Joint Special Operations Air Component-Pacific (JSOAC-P) operations,” said Webb. “The U.S. military cannot always do it all, everywhere, so partnership building capacity is essential in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.”

AFSOC leadership praised the Air Commandos who enable SOF operations across the entire Pacific.

“This group, while it has a couple MC-130 squadrons, Special Tactics and the support that goes with it, you are more than that,” said Webb. “You have a JSOAC that is flexing out and have the ability to reach into specialized airpower that comes from the very low end to the very high end. As the center of that specialized airpower you have what you need to address the threats that come across the spectrum of conflict.”

The group’s forward positioning and partnerships dramatically increase AFSOC’s readiness to respond to world events. Along with that, the general and command chief recognized Airmen’s innovations to keep special operations on the relevant end of the military spectrum.

“The mentality of innovation is a fundamental aspect of relevance,” said Webb. “We have what we have today, but how are we going to be relevant in the future? The 353rd has the ‘Cutting Edge’ program which acknowledges innovation and directly aligns with the SOCOM commander’s priority of keeping SOF on the cutting edge of innovation.”

Webb and Smith described the importance of resiliency and recognized the strategic value of the Pacific Air Commandos and their families.

“It cannot be understated that humans are more valuable than hardware, which is the first SOF truth,” said Smith. “Through the Preservation of the Force & Family (POTFF) program, we are looking to marshal the service member back to the team, back to crew, back to squadron and not marshaling them towards the exit and medical evaluation board.”

The duo wrapped up the all-call by summarizing the new priorities.

“If you want the bumper sticker, it’s ‘Ready today, Relevant tomorrow, Resilient Always,” added Webb.

Following the all-call, Webb and Smith received mission briefings, visited work spaces, enjoyed a luncheon with Airmen and received an island tour on an MC-130J Commando II.