Northport Native Assumes Command of Air Force Wing

A Northport native has taken command of the Air Force’s 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field in Florida.
Col. Allison Black assumed command last week in a change of command ceremony.
The change of command ceremony featured Col. Jocelyn Schermerhorn passing the guidon after serving as leader of the 1st SOW since June 2020. Lt. Gen. James Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, presided over the ceremony.
“I arrived here with the lofty goal of becoming an AC-130H Spectre Navigator,” Black said. “Never did I imagine that I would one day earn [this] privilege.”
“There’s not an officer on the planet who has been built to command the 1st SOW more fully than Col. Allison Black,” Slife said.
“Her assignment as the vice commander of the 24th Special Operations Wing with our special tactics airmen, and leading joint special operations forces as the Joint Task Force Indo-Pacific commander prepared her to lead this wing into the future.”
Black began her career as an enlisted Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist. In 1998, she completed Officer Training School and continued on to earn her wings through Joint Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training in January 2000.

A master navigator, Black has more than 3,400 flight hours in the AC-130H Spectre Gunship and the U-28A Draco.

“Deploying extensively in the years after 9/11, first in the Gunship and later in the U-28, Allison accumulated 3,400 hours of flight time with an astounding 2,000 of them in combat,” Slife noted. “In my generation, I was a pretty credible combat pilot. I have 283 hours of combat time. Allison has over 2,000 hours of combat flying time.”

Before assuming command of the 1st SOW, Black served as vice commander of the 24 SOW at Hurlburt Field.

Hometown Helpers: Bob Santo Grows American Legion Post 1244

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