AFSOC leadership visits 353 SOG

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Kristine Dreyer
  • 353rd Special Operations Group Public Affairs
The Air Force Special Operations Command commander along with the AFSOC command chief visited here Sept. 6 to get a closer look at the special operations mission in the Pacific.

During their visit, Lt. Gen. Eric E. Fiel and Chief Master Sgt. William Turner took the time to tour each of the 353rd Special Operations Group facilities and meet with the 353rd SOG Airmen.

"This visit to Kadena marks the first for General Fiel," said Col. Brad Sullivan, 353rd Special Operations Group commander. "Our priority here at the SOG is mission execution, so being able to show AFSOC leadership in person how the 353 SOG functions on a daily basis was a great opportunity."

The general and chief began their day at Kadena by participating in a group formation run that is typically held once a month.

Keeping with 353rd SOG tradition the PT session closed with Capt. Jonathan Shamess, 320th Special Tactics Squadron, leading the group in memorial pushups in honor of a fallen Air Commando, Senior Airman Mark Forester, who was just recently posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions in Afghanistan. In addition to pushups, Capt. Shamess provided a biographical sketch of Airman Forester, a combat controller who was killed in action while aiding a fallen comrade.

"Honoring our fellow Air Commandos who have made the ultimate sacrifice is something that we strongly value in the special operations community," said Chief Master Sgt. Gregg E. Jones, 353rd SOG command chief. "Anytime we have the opportunity to do so, we ensure each warrior is continually remembered. Today was no different."

Before ending their day touring the 353rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, General Fiel and Chief Turner recognized annual award winners and answered questions from the field concerning manning, deployments and training during a Commander's Call held in the base theater.

"We wanted to know how we can better support the 353 and their mission," said General Fiel. "This visit gave Chief Turner and me an opportunity to not only get up close to see how they deliver specialized air power in the PACOM AOR, but also to find out what AFSOC can do for the 353rd SOG. If there are certain areas that we can provide them more support in, we need to know. We want to ensure they have what they need to continue executing their unique mission in the Pacific."