Special thanks to Adam Heller, for all the photos and memories that made this gallery possible!       Send More Pictures!

Friday, Dec 20th 1968  The Airlift Response

Combat Control School Graduates 13 Airmen

The 2nd Aerial Port Squadron's TAC Combat Control School graduated its final class of 1968 on Dec. 13th at the Skyliner Service Club with Col. Wayne Matson, 839th Air Division commander, presiding as guest speaker and presenting awards to the honor graduates.

For the second time since the school's inception in April 1965, two honor graduate awards were presented.  Colonel Matson presented the awards to SMSgt Paul Fornarino, Argentina, and A1C Leonard E. Whitten Jr., Forbes AFB, KS.

The remaining 11 graduates receiving diplomas were Sgt Ronald S. Bernard, Sgt Ray Bobian Jr., and A1C James C. Dial all of England AFB, LA.; A1c Ernest M. Chizmar and A1C Robert F. Kurz Jr. from Pope AFB, NC.; and A1C Ernest Hall and A1C James L. Alvarez of Sewart.

The Argentinians graduated in the final class of 1968 were Lt Ernesto H. Paramo, TSgt Juan P. Uribe, SSgt Jose S. Arce and Sgt Ricardo Trujillo.

The ceremony was highlighted by the presentation of the "Blue Berets" to the graduates by Lt. Col. Adam S. Heller, school commandant.

Upon completion of the school the new Combat Controllers are now authorized to wear the famed berets worn by Combat Controllers world-wide.

Before entering the six-week Combat Control School the men either completed Air Traffic Control School or Ground Radio Maintenance School at Keesler AFB, MS., and Jump School at Ft Benning.

The 13 graduates will now return to their respective bases and enter into Phase III combat ready training.

Combat Control School, Class 69-3

School Staff

Lt Col Adam S. Heller, Commandant
2nd Lt Robert T. Booth, OIC
MSgt Arthur P. Arnold, NCOIC
MSgt William J. Polston
TSgt Timothy N. McCann
TSgt Charles N. Abee
SSgt Donald D. Andrews, Weather

Class Members

Capt. Dean, Mohammed                         Afghanistan Air Force                        Afghanistan
SMSgt Lagneaux, Charles M. Det 75, 5th Wx Wg England AFB, LA.
TSgt McRae, Beverly F. Hq Sq 1st SP Op Wg England AFB, LA.
TSgt Roberts, Carl A. Hq Sq 1st SP Op Wg England AFB, LA.
SSgt Donaldson, James P. 4th Aerial Port Sq Langley AFB, VA.
SSgt Wiemers, George F. Hq Sq 1st SP Op Wg England AFB, LA.
Sgt Coleman, Samuel Jr. 62nd Aerial Port Sq McChord AFB, WA.
A1C Gentry, James A. 3rd Aerial Port Sq Pope AFB, NC.
A1C Ledgerwood, Clyde S. Jr. 2nd Aerial Port Sq Sewart AFB, TN.
A1C Marvin, Carl E. Jr. 2nd Aerial Port Sq Sewart AFB, TN.
A1C Mustard, Roger T. 3rd Aerial Port Sq Pope AFB, NC.
A1C Palaian, Arthur 2nd Aerial Port Sq Sewart AFB, TN.
A1C Rust, Richard M. 436th Aerial Port Sq Dover AFB, DEL.
A1C Serafin, Michael G. 3rd Aerial Port Sq Pope AFB, NC.

Guest Speaker

Colonel William P. Thorington                                                                          Dp Dir of Trans, Hq USAF

Distinguished Guest

Colonel Wayne C. Matson                                          

Commander, 839th Air Division                            

Colonel Richard J. Gibney        Commander, 4442 CCTW
Colonel William F. Brown     Commander, 314th CSGp
Lt Colonel John A. Barrett   Commander, 839th TAC Hospital
Lt Colonel Mike Kasarda    

Dir of Opns, 4442 CCTW

Major Richard G. Sigman   Dir of Trans Office, Hq USAF
Major Donald R. Strobaugh CCT 63rd Aerial Port Sq, Norton
Chaplain Donald G. Phillips  314th CSGp, Sewart
Capt. Robert A. Farmer CCT 1st Special Ops Wg, England     
Capt. John Langley Staff Judge Advocate Office, Sewart
1st Lt Alan E Schmidt CCT 4th Aerial Port Sq, Langley
CMSgt Alcini Benini Hq 1st Aerial Port Gp, Langley
SMSgt George R. Jones CCT 1st Special Ops Wg, England
SMSgt James A. Howell CCT 1st Special Ops Wg, England
MSgt James Gary CCT 3rd Aerial Port Sq, Pope


The Nashville Banner, Thursday, Dec 11th, 1969

Air Force Leaders Meet

Chief Benini & Sgt Mac
CCA Reunion 2000

Brig. General Otis E. Winn, director of transportation, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, and Chief Master Sgt. Alcini Benini, non-commissioned officer in charge of all Combat Controllers in the Tactical Air Command, headed the list of officials at the 2nd Aerial Port Squadrons Dining-In and Combat Control School graduation at the non-commissioned officers club at Sewart AFB, Wednesday night.

Dining-In, Graduation Held At Sewart AFB

Seward AFB -- Ten graduates and 107 officers and enlisted men gather here from all parts of the country Wednesday night to attend the 2nd Aerial Port Squadrons Dining-In and Combat Control School graduation.

Among the guest of honor was CMSgt Alcini Benini, non-commissioned officer in charge of all Combat Controllers in the Tactical Air Command and the Air Force's first Combat Controller.

Brig. General Otis E. Winn, director of transportation, Headquarters U.S. Air Force made the graduation speech and presented the graduates with their diplomas.

Lt. Col. Adam S. Heller, squadron commander presided over the function and gave the new Combat Controllers their blue berets, symbol of the elite Combat Control Team.

CMSgt Benini was in the 82nd Pathfinders, 10th Special Forces Group of the U.S. Army just before he joined the Air Force in 1953.  Applying his army experience, he became the first Blue Beret and helped to establish the Blue Beret's "First In - Last Out" reputation.

The Chief, who suffered through the Bataan Death March, will retire in July with more than 30 years total military service.  He is presently a member of the 1st Aerial Port Group, Langley AFB, VA.

The graduating class included SSgt Frank W. West, Hurlburt Field, FL., Sgt's John L. Kuntz, Dover AFB, Del., and Richard E. Vasser, Lockbourne AFB, OH.; and A1C Carl J. Baumgarter, Hurlburt Field, FL., David W. Engles, Forbes AFB, KS., Denise L. King, Travis AFB, CA., Jack E. Moyer, Pope AFB, NC., Thomas J. Omalley, Pope AFB, NC., Gordon M. Roberts, Hurlburt Field, FL., and William Vosseler, Dyess AFB, TX.

The Combat Control School Staff 1968

Adam Heller, Robert Booth, Kim Johnson, Will Tuttle, Arthur "Skip" Arnold, William Polston, Charles Abee, and Donald Andrews

Note; Kim Johnson was a student assigned to the Sewart Team  and Andrews was the Weather Inst. 


Will Tuttle Inspects The CCS Students


In the largest post-war Air Force - Army joint maneuver, the officers and men of the 18th Air Force have again demonstrated that co-ordinated precision air transportation is the ultimate in combined military operations.

During 1131 C-119 sorties -- totaling 2043 hours in the air -- the 18th Air Force added to its already outstanding record a spectacular achievement in careful planning and execution.  Into postage stamp drop zones, 7049 men and 826 tons of equipment were landed ... by  combat - proven C-119 Flying Boxcars.

The perfect coordination of this maneuver in which 3500 take-offs and landings were made without incident -- deserves a proud salute to TACAIR 54-7.  This military training exercise can indeed be called "Operation -- Cooperation".

CCT Jump Manifest, TACAIR 54-7, May 1954

Capt. Adam S. Heller
MSgt Harry C. Lawson
TSgt Alvin L. Wood
SSgt Bob Combs
SSgt Martin M Shapiro
A1C Paul H. Roberts
A1C Alfred Hansen
A1C James Harper
A1C Robert F. Foley
A2C William E. Ramseur
A2C Donald R. Smith
A2C Robert G. Talmeal
A3C John R. Caldwell
A3C Kenneth C. McCarthy

1954 Donaldson AFB, SC.

There was no official Combat Control School or "Blue Beret's" back in 1954

Twenty Two CCTer's of the 1st Aerial Port Sq. receive jump wings!

Twenty-two men of the 1st Aerial Port Operations Squadron received their jump wings upon completing a course at the Fort Benning, GA., Infantry Parachute School last week.  Pictured presenting the wings to the men is Captain Adam Heller, Assistant Combat Control Operations Officer.

From Left To Right

Capt. Richard Baker, CCT Team Leader

LtCol. Bo Sanders, 1st APS Gp. Cmdr.

Capt. Adam S. Heller, Asst. Team Leader
and Operations Officer

Thank You again for the Great Pictures and Memories!

Adam also sent this more recent event.  I heard from a few Combat Controllers that attended the luncheon and passed on that Jim Hotaling did us proud, thanks Jim!

TSgt Jim Hotaling, Combat Controller, USAF Reserve

Guest Speaker for the Seattle Air Force Association Chapter Luncheon, February 3, 2003

Hotaling is a Washington State Trooper who six months before September 11, 2001 was asked to be part of the Air Force Reserve individual mobilization program (IMA) for Combat Controllers.  By accepting the job, Hotaling became the first and only Combat Controller in the IMA program.

What started as a weekend job, became all too real after Sept. 11.  Hotaling was activated days after the terrorist attacks.  He was assigned to the 22 Special Tactics Squadron at McChord Air Force Base, where he received eight weeks of training.  Shortly thereafter he found himself climbing a near vertical 2300 - foot cliff in Afghanistan with a 140 - pound pack on his back while avoiding detection by enemy forces.

Hotaling will share his five - month experience in the hostile mountains of Afghanistan coordinating air strikes and tracking down Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Q/A will follow.

Adam writes that Jim Hotaling did a superior job on his briefing.  SSgt Brown, who received a Silver Star for his performance in Operation Anaconda was also there.  Adam comments. "Made me proud to be a CCT Alum."