Air Force Special Operations Command’s enlisted force inducted retired Gen. Norton Schwartz, former Chief of Staff, into the command’s Order of the Sword, recognizing his dedication to the command’s enlisted airmen. “Sir, this is the very least we could do for you, after all you’ve done for us,” said AFSOC Command Chief CMSgt. William Turner during the Feb. 1 induction ceremony in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., east of Hurlburt Field, AFSOC’s headquarters. “You are a leader among leaders, an airman’s airman and most surely worthy of the greatest honor the enlisted force can bestow,” added Turner. Recalling the failed 1980 Tehran hostage rescue, Schwartz accepted the honor on behalf of the airmen who ensured AFSOC never experienced the “crushing disappointment” of failing at a “mission of singular national importance” again, according to Hurlburt’s Feb. 4 release. He saluted the “generation of leadership that propelled special operations from the searing experience in Desert One to the exhilaration of Abbottabad” in taking down Osama bin Laden. Schwartz was nominated for induction into the order in November. It’s the highest honor that enlisted airmen can bestow upon a senior officer or civilian. (Hurlburt report by SrA. Desiree Moyé)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.