President’s Message Mar 2019

Dear Air Commando,
Hello everyone, hope your new year is going well. Last year was a banner year for the Air Commando Association (ACA) and Air Commando Foundation (ACF), and this year is shaping up to be another great year. The main purpose of this letter is to inform you of significant anniversary events that may be of interest. First, it’s the 75th Anniversary of Operation Thursday and second, it’s the 50th Anniversary of the ACA.

Seventy-five years ago, the 1st Air Commando Group (ACG) provided air support for the British Chindits into Burma in WWII during Operation Thursday in March 1944. The term “Air Commando” was born during this operation as was the motto “Any place, Any time, Any where.” A Chindit Memorial Service is being held on March 3, 2019 at New Scotland Yard. Hurlburt Field in Florida is also celebrating Operation Thursday on March 5, 2019 with special guests from the 1st ACG. Later, June 21-23, the Chindit Society is hosting “Chindit Operation Thursday 75th Anniversary Weekend and Reunion Dinner” which is being held at the Headquarters of 77th Brigade, Denison Barracks, Hermitage, Thatcham, Berkshire, United Kingdom. The Chindit Society has reached out to the ACA and invited any Air Commando(s) who would like to attend. POC Paul Shenton, Email: info@thechinditsociety.org.uk

ACA will highlight our 50th Anniversary throughout the year, especially during our Convention/Reunion, October 24-27, 2019. In 1969, (then) Col “Heinie” Aderholt with the help of BGen Robert Cardenas, among others, established the ACA. Over the years several changes have evolved: 1) ACA had a facility built and dedicated in 1998; 2) Founded the McCroskie Threshold Foundation, providing aid in the form of medical and food supplies to Central American countries; 3) In 2012, established the Air Commando Foundation, a 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization, to help meet unmet needs of Air Commandos and their families; 4) Implemented an annual awards program; 5) Presents several annual scholarships; 6) Funds a fulltime office staff of two and part time of another; 7) Publishes the Air Commando Journal, the acclaimed professional journal of Air Force special operations forces; among other things. You and our corporate partners help make all of these things possible. We wouldn’t be able to expand our service to ACA members or support Air Commandos, past, present, and future - without all of you.

Our ACA Chapters are important and we hope many of you will join a Chapter if there’s one in your area. I emailed a letter to each Chapter Leader last month hoping to generate new interest. A few have responded with plans to expand and support new initiatives. For example, the Tampa Chapter has scheduled meetings bi-monthly on the third Thursday of Feb/Apr/Jun, etc.) at the Bad Monkey Bar, Ybor City, 6:00PM for members. The Rocky Mountain Chapter is scheduling a meeting in late February early March, and the Washington D.C. Chapter is planning a Top Golf Fundraiser (15 min. North of Dulles Airport) on June 2, starting at 2:00PM. If you are interested in playing or volunteering to assist please contact Jim Piel at (850) 376-1061 or email: ACADCsec@gmail.com. The Hurlburt Field Chapter is assisting the 1 SOW in celebrating Operation Thursday on March 5. So, things are happening at some Chapters and we hope the rest will get inspired to spread the Air Commando comradery with their local brothers and sisters. We are looking forward to an eventful and productive year. Let ACA know if we can assist you -- or someone in need through the ACF. Let’s celebrate our 75/50 years of heritage throughout the year and support our Air Commandos and their families around the world, especially those in harm’s way.

Any Time – Any Place!

Wayne G. Norrad
CMSgt, USAF, Ret.
President/CEO Air Commando Association

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