Hall Of Fame

The Combat Control Hall of Fame

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATION
HALL OF FAME CITATION
ALICIDE SILVIO “BULL” BENINI

Chief Benini distinguished himself as CCT’s foundational architect and first operational leader.  In 1940, he entered military service and was immediately sent to the Philippines. Assigned to the 31st Infantry Regiment, he fought in three WWII campaigns before being captured; suffering through the Bataan death march and surviving 42 months in Japanese captivity.  In 1945, Benini was repatriated and in 1946 was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division Pathfinders.  In the early 1950s, Benini was aggressively recruited by the 18th Air Force Pathfinder project officer from nearby Donaldson AFB, SC.  After months of discussion and some diplomatic coercion, Benini accepted the USAF challenge and was sworn in as its first Combat Controller on January 10, 1953.  Over the next eighteen months, Benini toiled at Headquarters 18th Air Force, shaping the structural base for CCT.  In 1954, he led the advance party that established a CCT at RAF Burtonwood, England.  In 1957, he was sent to establish and lead teams at Wiesbaden, Germany and Evreux, France.  During that five year tour he deployed on four combat operations.  In 1963 he transferred to the McChord, WA team and in 1964 he was selected by HQ TAC to open a new team at Forbes AFB, KS.  In 1965, he was assigned to HQ TAC as the first CCT Career Field Manager.  In 1970 Benini retired from active duty with 30 years’ service.  Chief Benini’s singularly outstanding accomplishments and noteworthy contributions to the establishment of the CCT career field reflect great credit upon himself, the thriving Combat Control community and the U.S. Air Force.

CCA Member: LM-0074 * CCS Class: None * HOF: Class 2013

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATION
HALL OF FAME CITATION
JOHN T. CARNEY, JR.

Colonel (retired) John T. Carney, Jr. is hereby inducted into the Combat Control Association Hall of Fame in recognition of his exemplary and distinguished service to the Nation, the United States Air Force, and the United States Special Operations Command while serving as a Combat Control officer.  Colonel Carney had a legendary career in Combat Control and was singularly responsible for the career field’s meteoric rise in capability and acceptance in the US Air Force airlift and joint special operations communities.  He was directly involved in the planning and conduct of virtually every combat operation conducted by the United States from 1976 until his retirement in 1991. Known with respect and admiration within all circles of joint special operations as the “Coach,” Colonel Carney’s leadership, dogged determination and his passion for the business made him one of the most unforgettable members.  In retirement, Colonel Carney continued to help guide the follow-on generations of combat controllers.  He served for over 16 years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.  It should be no surprise that he led that organization to the pinnacle of success providing unmatched educational opportunities to the surviving children of fallen special operations members.  Colonel Carney’s many accomplishments and superior service are in the highest traditions of Combat Control and reflect great credit upon himself and the Combat Control Association.

 

CCA Member: LM-0114 * CCS Class: 76-1 * HOF Class: 2013

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATION
HALL OF FAME CITATION
JAMES A. HOWELL

Since the beginning, Chief Master Sergeant (retired) James A. Howell was a Combat Control leader.  He began championing Combat Control in 1952, when he attended the Army Pathfinder School.  This soon led to an assignment as a member of the first Combat Control Team at Donaldson AFB, SC.  Chief Howell’s accomplishments are legendary, beginning with the first live supersonic ejection using rocket-power in 1961; followed closely in 1963 with the World Record High-Altitude Low-Opening parachute jump from 43,500 feet.  These early exploits blazed a path for this fledgling career field that initially struggled to promote its specific skill-sets, gain recognition, and ultimately conduct key missions.  In 1967, Chief Howell served a Tour of Duty in Vietnam and later became the Chief of the CCT in the Philippines; a launching point for combat operations in South East Asia.  Chief Howell also deployed and led multiple combat missions to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  These missions spawned many of the tactics, techniques and procedures used today; including those used by joint terminal attack controllers and forward air controllers.  Chief Howell served several times as Chief Enlisted Manager at Hurlburt Field, along with assignments at McChord AFB, WA, England AFB, LA, Lockborne AFB, OH, Clark AB, RP and ”Brand X” (no location assigned).  His more than 30 years of exemplary service to the United States Air Force and Combat Control clearly illustrates his effectiveness as a devoted Air Force professional.  These actions, in turn, greatly enhanced the effectiveness of the United States Air Force and particularly Combat Control.

CCA Member: LM-0002 * CCS Class: None * HOF Class: 2013

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATION
HALL OF FAME CITATION
MICHAEL I. LAMPE

Chief Master Sergeant (retired) Michael I. Lampe distinguished himself in the service to the nation for 28 years; rising to the position of Command Chief, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Chief Lampe’s professional skills, leadership abilities and courage exhibited during combat operations in Laos and Vietnam in support of Project 404; the high-risk hostage rescue operation in the deserts of Iran (Eagle Claw); and contested airborne infiltrations into Grenada (Urgent Fury) and Panama (Just Cause) clearly demonstrated the talent of this quintessential Combat Control warrior.  In 1985, Chief Lampe again demonstrated a quick reaction and exceptional skills, while assigned to a joint special mission team during two terrorist hijackings rescue missions: the Achille Lauro cruise ship and TWA airliner Flight 847.  The operations contributed to his 1986 selection as one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Air Force.  He culminated his career as Command Chief, United States Special Operations Command, serving as the principal advisor on enlisted matters for three different U.S. Army commanders, General’s Carl Steiner, Wayne Downing and Hugh Shelton; an unprecedented fete for any Airman, to date. Through it all, Chief Lampe was the epitome of a warrior, leader, teammate and friend for all Air Commandos and Special Operations Forces.  Through it all, he was supported by an amazing wife, Theresa, who raised their three sons throughout his remarkable career.

 

CCA Member: LM-0182 * CCS Class: 72-1 * HOF Class: 2013

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATION
HALL OF FAME CITATION
WAYNE G. NORRAD

Chief Master Sergeant (retired) Wayne Norrad began his Air Force career in 1966 and retrained into Combat Control in 1971. From then on he participated in the planning and execution of some of our Nation’s most sensitive operations conducted in Cambodia, Panama, Kuwait, and Iraq, to include Just Cause, Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Chief Norrad injected special tactics capabilities into the formation of our Nation’s premier joint special operations team while developing High-Altitude High-Opening parachute tactics and integrating air/ground assets to safely and successfully employ joint operations forces onto the battlefield. Chief Norrad was chosen as the first Chief Enlisted Manager of the 720th Special Tactics Group. Later, he provided pivotal guidance during the transition of 23rd Air Force to the Air Force Special Operations Command. His savvy for practical application and leadership abilities enabled his selection in 1992 as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command. Chief Norrad’s sage insight led to multiple enduring processes in special tactics, such as the creation of special duty assignment pay, codifying battlefield lessons into procedures, enabling the “Valor” device for Air Force Commendation and Achievement medals, enhancing combat control and pararescue recruiting and initiating the title and developing the design of the Air Force Command Chief chevron putting Air Force senior enlisted leaders on the same executive level as their sister service contemporaries. Currently, as an Air Force civilian employee, he relies on his fortyfive+ years’ service to shape special operations and serve the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Air Commando Association and the Combat Control Association.

 

CCA Member: LM-0065 * CCS Class: 72-1 * HOF Class: 2013

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATION
HALL OF FAME CITATION
ALBERT EUGENE ADCOCK

Chief Master Sergeant (retired) Albert E. “Gene” Adcock distinguished himself through extraordinary contributions to United States Air Force, Special Tactics Combat Control
Teams over more than 50 years; in 1958, when first assigned to a CCT. During an active duty career that would span more than 22-years, his dedicated and exceptional service as a Combat Control Team leader had a tremendous influence on the Special Operations community and the United States Air Force. As a result of his tireless efforts during six combat tours in Southeast Asia, the unique role of the combat controller was greatly enhanced in supporting close air support missions of U.S. Air Force and allied air forces in Vietnam, Thailand and Laos, and was tasked with developing a Forward Air Guide training program for the Royal Lao Army. The Forward Air Guide training program was rated outstanding by the tasking agency at the American Embassy in Laos. After retirement from the Air Force in 1977, Chief Adcock continued his close association with Special Operations and Combat Control Teams. It was during his thirty-two year civil career that he had the greatest impact on DOD and SOF equipment – specifically in the covert night vision arena.  In 2002, he co-founded and co-operated the Combat Control School Heritage Foundation (CCSHF) at Pope Air Field, North Carolina. Today, after more than ten years in a leadership role, he continues to serve the CCSHF as its President. Of remarkable importance are his tireless efforts in raising thousands of dollars to support the operation of the CCSHF and Benini Heritage Museum. Chief Adcock has authored two CCT history books, documenting CCT historical exploits from their earliest beginning through the Global War on Terrorism. For time immemorial, his books will serve as written testimony to the proud heritage of our unique brand of special tactics airmen. Among his many service and combat awards are the Bronze Star Medal with 1 OLC, the Air Medal with 5 OLC, the Meritorious Service Medal with 2 OLC, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/Combat V and 6 OLC, Aircrew Wings (combat award) and the Master Parachutist Wings, with combat star. CMSgt Adcock’s outstanding and significant contributions reflect great credit upon himself, the Special Tactics Combat Control Community and the United States Air Force.

CCA Member: LM-0026 * CCS Class: None * HOF Class: 2014

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATIONCombat Control Association Hall of Fame
HALL OF FAME CITATION
CRAIG F. BROTCHIE

Colonel (retired) Craig F. Brotchie distinguished
himself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States during a long and exemplary career. Colonel Brotchie's accomplishments as a combat controller span more than twenty years, from the early beginnings as a Special Tactics Team leader through every command echelon of combat control and special tactics leadership. As he advanced through Detachment and Squadron commands he always left those units better organized trained and equipped to meet their operational requirements. He was consistently hand-picked for ground breaking leadership roles to ensure a top-notch combat control force was combat ready for world-wide deployment. His ability to conceptualize joint plans and tactics, as a Joint Special Operations Command planner, allowed him to successfully manage and coordinate complex and sensitive contingency operations.  His distinguished service in Grenada, the 1984 Summer Olympics and the Panama Invasion all served testimony to his reputable interoperability with Defense, Federal and Joint agencies. His envisioned leadership opened doors for expanded training opportunities with allied forces during combined service exercises. Colonel Brotchie's unparalleled motivational leadership style was accented by setting clear standards, displaying relentless dedication to duty, maintaining honor bound integrity and consistently making timely and accurate decisions. During Colonel Brotchie's tenure as the third Special Tactics Group Commander he brilliantly implemented CSAF direction to consolidate all combat control resources under AFSOC. Whether implementing peacekeeping measures in the Balkans or evacuating American citizens from threatened countries his Special Tactics Teams delivered essential air-ground interface. The USSOCOM Commander described Colonel Brotchie as a superb Combat Commander, proven in the Persian Gulf. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Colonel Brotchie over his 26 year career reflect great credit upon himself and the Combat Control Association.

CCA Member: LM-0086 * CCS Class: 80-1 * HOF Class: 2014

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATION
HALL OF FAME CITATION
NICHOLAS S. KIRALY

CMSGT (retired) Nicholas S. Kiraly distinguished himself throughout his challenging and demanding career in USAF and Joint assignments. His greatest accomplishment was bringing the USAF Combat Control (CCT) career field from the 1970s role of aircrew support, training, air traffic control, and mission support, to a vital, stand-alone wartime, direct action mission. He conceived, developed and organized the Special Operations Combat Control Team into the Special Tactics Squadron. He has been recognized by the highest ranking General Officers in the Joint Special Operations Command, Military Airlift Command, and Joint Chiefs of Staff for his role in that evolution. His sustained efforts throughout a 26 year USAF and CCT career have brought great credit to himself and to his profession, and have uniquely contributed to the betterment of the United States Special Operations Forces.


CCA Member: LM-0408 * CCS Class: 73-3 * HOF Class: 2014

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATION
HALL OF FAME CITATION
BILLIE W. SLAYTON

Senior Master Sergeant (Retired) Billie W. Slayton distinguished himself by outstanding service to the United States Air Force and the Combat Control career field. During his stellar CCT career he held several key positions to include Element Leader in Vietnam, non-commissioned officer in charge of the Combat Control Team at RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom, Superintendent of Combat Control School, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas and Senior CCT Operations Inspector, Military Airlift Command, Inspector General Team, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. He served in Vietnam from February 1968 to January 1969, during the most intensive time of the entire conflict. In Vietnam on 16 March 1968, he performed heroically while supporting the United States Marine’s during the siege at Khe Sanh Marine Support Base where he earned the Bronze Star Medal with Valor and a Purple Heart for wounds he sustained there on 21 March 1968. On 24 September 1968 at Katum Special Forces Camp, he was cited for his courageous actions that included engaging the enemy at close range while manning a machine gun position. For his actions, he was awarded the Silver Star Medal. While serving as the Combat Control School superintendent he completely revised the curriculum and transformed the physical fitness program to a level comparable to other elite special operations forces. As the senior CCT IG inspector, he was noted for planning realistic missions that included tactical night jumps and long range overland movement that more closely mirrored a combat scenario. Because of his outstanding leadership and tactical skills, he was selected as an original member of the legendary Brand “X” team that went under intense training for the Iranian Hostage Rescue Mission. Sergeant Slayton was selected for Chief Master Sergeant, but was needed at home to support his newly widowed mother and retired with 20-years active duty service. After his military career ended, he continued to remain active in the Combat Control Association by attending reunions and serving on the Board of Directors. For nine years, he has planned and led a Mini-CCT Reunion in Franklin, Tennessee. The heroic actions and distinctive accomplishments of Senior Master Sergeant Slayton reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Air Force and Combat Control.

 

CCA Member: LM-0198 * CCS Class: 65-3 * HOF Class: 2016 CCA Member: LM-0198 * CCS

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATIONCombat Control Association - Hall of Fame
HALL OF FAME CITATION
JEFFERY BUCKMELTER

Colonel (retired) Jeffrey Buckmelter distinguished himself through sustained outstanding performance during a long and exemplary career. Colonel Buckmelter’s accomplishments as a Combat Controller spanned over thirty years from early beginnings as a Team Leader through every echelon of the Combat Control and Special Tactics hierarchy. Colonel Buckmelter proved critical through several highly visible and politically sensitive real-world contingency operations spanning the globe, as idealistic and violent zealots attempted to intimidate innocent victims. He was on the lead plane, parachuting at a dangerously low-altitude of 500 feet, seizing control of Point Salinas Airport and creating an opening for follow on forces to bring order to Grenada in Operation URGENT FURY. His leadership as the senior controller for the next 36 hours were vital to keeping the airfield open until relieved by combat controllers from the Military Airlift Command. As the Trans World Airlines Flight 847 crisis unfolded, Colonel Buckmelter was part of a response force that immediately deployed to attempt a rescue mission. He was again called upon when the cruise ship Achille Lauro was high jacked by terrorists, forward staging to attempt a rescue mission by his special operations team. Colonel Buckmelter’s expertise made him the natural choice for a six month Central Intelligence Agency detail working covert operations throughout the continent of Africa. During Operation JUST CAUSE and DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, Colonel Buckmelter represented the Commander of United States Special Operations Command as a special liaison officer to Central Command and Other Government Agencies brought together to free Kuwait from the oppressive regime of Iraq. Finally, Colonel Buckmelter’s proven leadership led to him commanding two premier Special Tactics Squadrons leading to him being selected as the fifth Special Tactics Group Commander, leading the Air Forces Premier ground combat force. A visionary, He spearheaded major changes to the Combat Control pipeline, solving critical manpower shortages and creating an Advanced Skills Training program for Special Tactics, consolidating mission readiness training under a single organization andincreasing both quality and quantity to meet the tremendous appetite supporting the Global War on Terrorism. The superior initiative, outstanding leadership, and personal endeavor displayed by Colonel Buckmelter reflect great credit upon himself and the Combat Control Community.

CCA Member: LM-0336 * CCS Class: 73-5 * HOF Class: 2015
 

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATION
HALL OF FAME CITATION
RICHARD W. CRUTCHFIELD

Chief Master Sergeant (retired) Richard W. Crutchfield distinguished himself by exemplary leadership and performance throughout twenty-nine years of outstanding service. Chief Crutchfield’s accomplishments are extremely extensive, covering vast leadership roles and assignments. Through his military career and as an Air Force retiree he has made an everlasting impact on the Air Force, Special Operations, Special Tactics, and Combat Control.  As a trailblazer, Chief Crutchfield rocketed through the enlisted ranks. During his unprecedented twenty years as a senior noncommissioned officer he led his men on countless overt and covert combat and humanitarian missions throughout Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Cambodia, Okinawan, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines.  As the Godfather to modern day Special Tactics, Chief Crutchfield’s foresight led him to create the Combat Control Initial Familiarization training program, which evolved into to the creation of today’s Special Tactics Training Squadron. A former 720 Special Tactics Group, Chief Enlisted Manager, the Chief was directly responsible for worldwide organization, training, and equipping Combat Control and Pararescue forces which were the primary funnel for augmentation and permanent manning for the Joint Special Operations Command. Even in retirement, Chief Crutchfield volunteers with the Combat Control Association and the Air Commando Association, as well as a leading influence in the Hurlburt Chief’s group, ensuring the continual growth of today’s Air Commandos and Battlefield Airmen. The superior initiative, outstanding leadership, and personal endeavor displayed by Chief Crutchfield reflect great credit upon himself and the Combat Control Community.

 

CCA Member: LM-0030 * CCS Class: None * HOF Class: 2015

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATION
HALL OF FAME CITATION
JAMES A. LYONS

CMSgt James A. Lyons (retired) distinguished himself through sustained extraordinary service. Enlisting in 1978, his first assignment was as an ARRS C-130 crew chief at Eglin. In 1982 he retrained and ST/CCT was his career for the next quarter-century. As an operator, he proved professional skills during several highly visible and politically sensitive combat operations. His early missions included spearhead assaults in Operations JUST CAUSE and ENDURING FREEEDOM.  As a Special Tactics Operations Superintendent, he developed war plans for joint staffs prosecuting Operations UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, ALLIED FORCE and ENDURING FREEDOM. During the same period, he deployed to conduct security evaluations at American Embassies. There, he tailored protocols for emergency evacuation of American citizens. Early in his assignment as CCS Commandant, Lyons introduced a CCT museum as a teaching tool. Funded by an interested General Officer, Lyons first commissioned the Silver Star exhibit. During the museum’s early days, he fought criticism from Command staffers who relentlessly voiced the criticism, “It is not Command policy to endorse ‘hero worship.’” However, he persisted and over the ensuing years the museum flourished; becoming a center of CCT historical excellence. In 2004, Lyons was assigned Senior Enlisted Leader of the 21st STS. In the early days of the GWOT, he was immersed in the logistics of deploying combat controllers into the fight of the century. Soon, combat controllers from the 21st were recognized and decorated for legendary actions. Some years later, AFSOC recognized the 21st as “the most highly decorated squadron in Air Force since the Vietnam War”. Lyons retired from the USAF in 2008 and became equally successful as a business owner and CEO. The superior initiative, outstanding leadership, and personal endeavor displayed by Chief Lyons reflect great credit upon himself and the Combat Control community.

CCA Member: LM-0273 * CCS Class: 83-3 * HOF Class: 2016

COMBAT CONTROL ASSOCIATION
HALL OF FAME CITATION
JOHN A. KOREN

Major (Retired) John A. Koren is hereby inducted into the Combat Control Association Hall of Fame in recognition of his exemplary and distinguished service to the Nation, the United States Air Force and the United States Special Operations Command while serving as a Combat Controller. Major Koren served with distinction for 11 years as an enlisted Combat Controller and after being commissioned returned to the career field and rose to serve as a squadron commander during great turmoil in the European and African continents. Major Koren served in Southeast Asia in classified operations during the Viet Nam War, was an original Brand X member and was deployed to Desert One during Operation Eagle Claw, served as a Special Tactics Mission Commander in Just Cause while making a combat static line jump at 500 feet and provided dynamic and competent leadership during multiple contingency operations around the world. Major Koren was a vital leader, participant and witness to the dramatic evolution of combat control and special tactics to its preeminent place in today’s special operations forces. Major Koren's many accomplishments and superior service are in the highest traditions of Combat Control and reflect great credit on himself and our Association.

CCA Member: LM-0093 * CCS Class: 70-2 * HOF Class: 2016