Airmen of the active duty 8th Special Operations Squadron, which for the last six years has operated as an active-associate unit to Air Force Reserve Command’s 919th Special Operations Wing at Duke Field, Fla., have returned to Hurlburt AFB, Fla., where they will form AFSOC’s first operational CV-22 unit. The 8th SOS airmen repeated the original transfer ceremony by taking turns running the 26 miles from Duke to Hurlburt, carrying the squadron flag. The Eglin Eagle reports that the 8th SOS was USAF’s first active-associate unit, reversing the familiar process in which Reservists flew active aircraft. The 8th SOS airmen just returned from their last deployment flying the MC-130E Combat Talon I in combat.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.