A first-of-its-kind special tactics memorial was unveiled at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 20. The seven-foot tall bronze statue of an airmen in operational gear is the nation’s first special tactics memorial, according to a 24th Special Operations Wing release. The names of the eight special tactics airmen who have received the Air Force Cross since the Battle of Mogadishu are etched into the base. The names of the 19 airmen who have been killed in action and eight who have died in training will be displayed on two pedestals flanking the statue. Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein presided over the ceremony. “In this community, uncommon valor is a common virtue,” Goldfein said, according to the release. “The price of admission to this community is higher than most are willing to pay—checks signed with blood and cashed in loved ones’ tears.” After the ceremony, Goldfein, Air Force Special Operations Commander Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, and CMSAF James Cody took part in a set of memorial push ups to honor fallen comrades, a special tactics tradition.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.