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    111th Air Support Operations Squadron rediscovers their heritage



    Courtesy Story

    Joint Forces Headquarters, Washington National Guard

    SEATTLE - "This organization is a family, It's got a pulse, it's got a rhythm, it has got lineage,” said Lt. Col. Brian O'Flynn, Commander, 111th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) as he thanked the former commanders of the 111th ASOS who attends the 111th’s recent open house for being the ones in laying the foundation of his unit. “"If a squadron is not well brought up it never seems to right itself, this organization was well brought up, It was well conceptualized back in the day."

    On Sept. 7, the 111th ASOS celebrated its 26 anniversary, which under the direction of Lt. Col. Jack S. Arnold, the ASOS began their rise to being one of the elite Air National Guard units in Washington. Referred to as a “Legend”, Lt. Col. Arnold received a resounding round of applause from the members of the 111th and the audience members in attendance as they welcomed the former commander on the anniversary of the 111th's activation.

    “This is just about a thank you, thank you for putting down those foundations, what we have today is because of those foundations,” said O’Flynn.

    The 111th ASOS originally began operations in 1988 and was activated Sept. 7, 1988, working primarily out of a single wide trailer on Camp Murray. Since these humble beginnings the unit has been gained by Air Combat Command through 12th Air Force and on 14th of April 1992, the 111th officially aligned with the US Army I Corps at Fort Lewis Army Base in Washington State. More recently in early 2013, the 111th was formally aligned with four Army National Guard Divisions, 34th ID, 35 ID, 36 ID, and the 40th ID, showing the diverse history of the 111th. They also have moved into a whole new building.

    “[Lt Col. Jack Arnold] is the man that set this whole place in motion," said Brig. Gen. John Tuohy, Adjutant General, Air National Guard.

    The 111th's mission is to plan and coordinate direct Close Air Support (CAS) for ground forces that have close contact with the enemy. The 111th over the last 26 years with its diverse mission compliment has retained a few heroes along the way.

    "I don't have many people that I say is one of my heroes but Jack Arnold is one of my heroes,” said Brig. Gen. Tuohy, “He brought me on board on July 15, 1989, and the journey began for me; he really has that unique leadership style that brings people in."

    It was the unique leadership style that helped build the 111th ASOS in to the family the unit knows today. Known as “The House that Jack built”, members of the 111th ASOS continue to believe in that culture that the guard and the unit is a family.

    Brig. Gen Tuohy, paid one last honor to his former commander, as he finished his speech about the 111th ASOS. "You've left a legacy my friend."



    Date Taken: 09.07.2014
    Date Posted: 10.01.2014 15:46
    Story ID: 143933
    Location: WA, US

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