HURLBURT FIELD, FL – The four counties that are home to the Air Force Special Operation Command’s two stateside bases officially joined forces as sister counties during a proclamation ceremony at 1st Special Operations Wing headquarters Aug. 15.
Civic leaders from Okaloosa and Santa Rosa Counties in Florida and Curry and Roosevelt Counties near Cannon Air Force Base, N. M., said the intent of the new relationship is to open lines of communication on key issues that affect both AFSOC communities.
“We want to show the community support and spirit both from there in New Mexico and here in Florida,” said Robert Cole, a commissioner of Santa Rosa County. “We looked at the close relationship of the operations there and here and decided ‘why not take a look at becoming sister cities and staying better connected with each other?’ This gives us an opportunity to have a connection with their governmental bodies and share ideas.”
According to the proclamation, topics that could be enhanced among the sister counties included the preservation of ranges and means to help preserve the AFSOC mission.
The proclamation also pointed out how many special operations Airmen transition between the Sunshine State and the Land of Enchantment as consecutive or follow-on assignments or as temporary duty for training. Additionally, the resolution cited citizens from all the counties have expressed a desire to assist with issues related to any transition.
“The folks that live and work at Hurlburt are part of our community,” said Dave Parisot, a commissioner of Okaloosa County. “They provide a necessary and meaningful mission not only to our people here, but to the entire United States. The more support we can show whether they are at home or deployed to ease their mind so they can do their job better. It’s very worth it.”
Col. Jim Slife, commander of 1st SOW, accepted the proclamation on behalf of Hurlburt Field.
“This really speaks to the great support that our Airmen and their families get from the local community,” Slife said.