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 AFSOC command historian to speak on Jan. 31
 Herbert A. Mason Jr. will discuss the evolution of USAF Special Operations Forces
 Doors open at 6:30 p.m., lecture begins at 7:30 p.m.
 
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Wings & Things Guest Lecture
Mr. Herbert A. Mason Jr. will present "Contributions USAF Special Operations Forces Have Made to the Development of Air and Space Power, 1942 to 2012" at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2013. (Photo provided)
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Lecture to focus on contributions of U.S. Air Force Special Operations Forces

Posted 1/15/2013   Updated 1/10/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Sarah Swan
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force


1/15/2013 - DAYTON, Ohio -- For many, the words "special ops" immediately evoke thoughts of elite military personnel serving courageously throughout history, but until the 21st century, Special Operations was not considered a core mission for the U.S. Air Force. Herbert A. Mason Jr. will discuss the evolution of these forces when he presents "Contributions USAF Special Operations Forces Have Made to the Development of Air and Space Power, 1942 to 2012" at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Despite their wartime accomplishments and between-the-war usefulness, Special Operation Forces were severely cut back and almost eliminated entirely after the second Indochina War. The failed attempt to rescue American hostages out of Iran in April 1980 triggered a revitalization for rebuilding and reequipping USAF Special Operation Forces, a task that ultimately led to the activation of a new unified command in 1987, the United States Special Operations Command. This was followed in 1990 with the USAF activating a new major command, Air Force Special Operations Command, as the air component to the united command. This effort led by Congress ensured the U.S. had the special operations forces it needed to meet the emerging low-intensity conflict threat we faced after 9/11.

As the command historian for the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Mason is responsible for establishing policy and overseeing AFSOC's History and Museum Program. He has held several history-related positions within the Air Force, both as an enlisted historian and a civilian historian in six major commands. He has published more than 60 U.S. Air Force histories, numerous studies and monographs, and currently serves as an adjunct instructor at the Joint Special Operations University.

For more information or handicapped seating arrangements during the lecture, contact the museum's Special Events Division at (937) 255-1670. Filming or videotaping the lecture is prohibited.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free. For more information about the museum, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.


NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-1670.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Swan at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1283.



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