by Senior Airman Eboni Reece
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
4/24/2014 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The
activation of the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, formerly Detachment 1
of the 720th Special Tactics Group, Hurlburt Field, Fla., was
commemorated by a ceremony at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., April 24.
As the first special tactics squadron to be affiliated with the base, no
ordinary squadron activation ceremony would suffice. In true special
tactics fashion, the arrival of the official party was preceded by
members of the squadron parachuting from an MC-130J Commando II onto the
base flightline. Spectators squinted and guarded their eyes from the
sun to watch each member parachute to a safe landing.
"The significance of today's events is to stand up a unit that is built
for worldwide combat - one that is comprised of members prepared to
fight and win our nation's wars," explained the presiding officer, Col.
Kurt Buller, 720 STG commander.
The squadron is comprised of four special tactics operator career fields
to include combat controllers, pararescue jumpers, tactical air control
party and special operations weather team specialists. To provide
technical expertise and mission critical assistance to special tactics
warriors, the unit also includes personnel from 18 combat mission
support Air Force Specialty Codes.
The 26 STS will organize, train and equip special tactics forces for worldwide deployment.
"The members of the 26 STS want to train with Cannon's aircraft and
personnel and then eventually deploy to complete special operations
missions together," stated Buller.
After expressing his confidence in Maj. Michael Jensen's ability to
effectively lead the squadron and his desire to increase the bond
between special tactics and Cannon assets, Buller activated the squadron
and placed Jensen in command.
Once officially activated, the squadron emblem was unveiled by the
unit's junior member, Senior Airman Thomas Jara, 26 STS client systems
technician. The emblem's significance was explained to the audience
before Jensen thanked his special tactics unit and addressed all others
"Activating this unit marks the beginning of what we set forth to
accomplish," said Jensen. "This squadron's mission is to build
indomitable, professional special operators and get them face-to-face
with our nation's enemies. God willing, the 26 STS will accomplish this
mission at any cost. Victory or death!"
After a deserving standing ovation, the ceremony concluded with Jensen
inviting those in attendance to join the 26 STS members in the
performance of ten memorial pushups honoring deployed members and fallen