by Michael Golembesky
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
7/16/2013 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Bagpipes
played in the background July 5 as two Airmen slowly lifted the white
cloth covering a marble block with a single word etched on top, TACP. It
was the first opportunity for the family members of the fallen Airmen
to see their loved ones' names engraved in stone on a new memorial in
Colorado Springs' Memorial Park.
The six names listed on the front of the marble block represent the
lives and sacrifices of those air controllers and support members who
selflessly gave their all during the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. The
Tactical Air Control Party Memorial is co-located with the Forward Air
Controllers Memorial, which also received an additional name during the
The names that are remembered on the new TACP Memorial include:
Maj. Gregory Stone, 124th Air Support Operations Squadron (OIF)
Staff Sgt. Jacob Frazier, 169th Air Support Operations Squadron (OEF)
Airman 1st Class Raymond Losano, 14th Air Support Operations Squadron (OEF)
Master Sgt. Steven Auchman, 5th Air Support Operations Squadron (OIF)
Senior Airman Bradley Smith, 10th Air Support Operations Squadron (OEF)
Maj. David Gray, 13th Air Support Operations Squadron (OEF)
The name of Lt. Col. Andrew Matyas, 22nd Tactical Air Support Squadron (Vietnam), was added to the FAC Memorial.
Guest speaker Col. Samuel Milam, 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing
commander, Moody AFB, Ga., talked to the audience about the heavy burden
of responsibility that these men willingly accepted.
"They do the same things that Army and Marines do on the ground, hauling
70 pound rucks, sometimes jumping out of the back of airplanes and then
they have to fuse in the Air Force piece of controlling aircraft to put
bombs precisely on to a target," said Milam.
"We have been able to build a very tight relationship with the Army that
was not necessarily there before 9/11. We have gained that trust and
integrated very well with our ground counterparts," said Milam when
speaking about the unique relationship that the Army and Air Force share
on today's battlefield.
The TACP community only accepts the absolute best, both physically and
mentally, into their ranks. With an attrition rate of nearly 50 percent,
the graduates of the TACP School located at Hurlburt Field, Fla., go on
to become the "face of the Air Force" to many supported units
throughout the Army.
"It's difficult, but it is that way for a reason. These guys have to
carry all of the things that infantrymen have to. Plus radios, batteries
and all of the other gear that goes a long with doing their job every
day," said Lt. Col. Cory Jeffers, 13th Air Support Operations Squadron
commander located at Fort Carson, Colo.
"They go out and get the job done. Some of these men get selected to be
part of Special Operations and will go along with the unit as the soul
Air Force guy. It is incredible; these are super high caliber
individuals," said Jeffers.
The fallen Airmen being honored at the memorial are the first to have
their names placed alongside their Vietnam War era predecessors.
"The controller mission has evolved, they represent the next generation of controllers," Jeffers said.