11th ASOS inactivates after 24 years
By Senior Airman Daniel Snider, 23d Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 28, 2018
FORT HOOD, Texas -- After 24 years of providing airpower to U.S. Army assets, the Air Force’s 11th Air Support Operations Squadron “Steel Eagles” assembled as a unit for the final time during an inactivation ceremony, June 21, 2018, at Fort Hood, Texas.
As a part of the 93d Air Ground Operations Wing from Moody Air Force Base, Ga., the 11th ASOS “Steel Eagles” mission will remain unchanged as they continue to support Ft. Hood as they absorb into the 9th ASOS.
The enhanced 9th ASOS will continue with the current mission of providing tactical air support to align with the “Brave Rifles” and any U.S. Army unit that needs air support for their scheme of maneuver.
“Serving the Brave Rifles of the 3rd Calvary Regiment has been our great honor and we look forward to continuing to support America’s armored corps following the proud banner of the 11th ASOS and transitioning that responsibly to the enhanced 9th ASOS,” said Col. Aaron Ullman, 3rd Air Support Operations Group commander.
“These amazing Airmen have crushed the enemies of America and [its allies] during our various wars on terror all while serving with honor and earning meritorious unit, outstanding unit and combat accolades,” Ullman added.
Despite the unit’s storied history over the past two decades, the squadron was deactivated in accordance to an Air Force directive on re-organizing the Tactical Air Control Party organization in the Air Force to ensure appropriate support and alignment with the Army.
According to former 11th ASOS commander Lt. Col. Frank Biancardi, strengthening the 9th ASOS will consolidate resources and provide increased opportunities for training and growth, which is key to maintaining this superiority.
“[Enlarging] the 9th ASOS increases our ability to provide highly proficient battlefield airmen to guarantee our national security,” said Biancardi, former 11th ASOS commander. “The integration helps alleviate the demand of additional duties that can detract from proficiencies.
“It will also increase the chance for experienced Airmen to share and develop skills learned [over the years],” Biancardi added.
Dating back to 1943, the 11th ASOS has developed a proud heritage of Air Liaison Officers, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and Combat Mission Support Teams that confidently administered airpower to ground forces. Although they are inactivating, Biancardi expects to uphold this standard.
“It may not seem like much to those who work here at Fort Hood each day, but the training, preparation, exercise and hard work demonstrated in this squadron will be missed, but it will not fade,” said Biancardi. “We must rest but for a moment…knowing in the morning, the men and women of this unit will carry on under a new [banner], but with the same underlying core that spans the spectrum of Air Force units large and small.”
Before officially taking command of the 9th ASOS on the following day, June 22, Biancardi says he mostly looks forward to continuing developing the best joint force air power integration experts to enhance the 93d AGOW mission.