POPE ARMY AIRFIELD, NC (SFC Thaddius S. Dawkins II) – After 47 years of continued service, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) Flight Company (UFC) said farewell to their most seasoned aviator, David C. Beishline, a retired Chief Warrant Officer 5, during his Department of the Army civilian retirement ceremony at the company’s hangar Dec. 17, 2014.
“This is a bittersweet occasion for us,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Curtis P. Adams, the UFC’s company commander. “Everyone here is very happy and pleased to join him and celebrate his career and retirement from government service, but those of us who have been honored to work with Dave are sad to see him go.”
The UFC’s executive officer, Chief Warrant Officer 5 James A. Lindsay, echoed Adams’ sentiments while discussing Beishline’s impact on the UFC.
“Dave has provided outstanding support to USASOC and USASOAC for 19 years,” he said. “As the UFC operations officer, he has faithfully served USASOC from the early years of the USASOC Flight Detachment (UFD) at Simmons Army Airfield, to a larger UFD as it moved to an upgraded hangar and facility at Simmons, to the robust UFC now at Pope Army Airfield. Over a two-decade period, he has been key to the unit’s success in managing aviation operations at three different facilities through growth and changes, and the upgrade and acquisition of 14 additional aircraft, ensuring the unit provided world-class professional service to all the Special Operations Forces (SOF) at Fort Bragg.”
Prior to his time at the UFC, Beishline flew both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft all over the world and his dedication to the mission was a constant example to everyone around him.
“The character of Dave’s military service has been exemplary – from a Huey pilot in Vietnam, to a Black Hawk pilot in Operation Desert Storm, to a fixed-wing pilot in multiple units at Fort Bragg. His active duty career culminated after 28 years with his retirement from the Army as a CW5 Master Aviator,” Adams said. “After taking all of one month off, Dave started a new career as a Department of the Army civilian and for the last 19 years he’s been a cornerstone of the success in this unit.”
During his time with the UFC, Beishline totaled more than 7,300 hours of flight time as the pilot-in-command on both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft without any incidents or accidents, and supported over 175,000 static line and high altitude low opening airborne operations.
Although those numbers are extremely impressive, Lindsay said it’s everything else Beishline did while at the UFC that will make the void even harder to fill.
“Dave’s contribution to the unit’s success is much greater than his performance as a pilot-in-command,” Lindsay explained. “He has supervised and managed the overall operation of more than 40,000 flying hours and over a half million static line and HALO jumps. His unique capacity to balance the robust demands as both a unit aviator and the flight operations officer has been spectacular. He’s been a mentor and positive role model to dozens of pilots and operations personnel and established a legacy of outstanding, professional, safety-first and highly responsive support for all of USASOC’s aviation operations.”