History Made at Hurlburt

Lt. Col. Brenda Cartier assumed command of the 4th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., on Feb. 20, becoming Air Force Special Operations Command first female flying squadron commander. “It’s a historic moment for us in AFSOC,” said Col. Dennis Pannell, commander of Hurlburt’s 1st Special Operations Group, who officiated at the change-of-command ceremony. He added, “She’s well prepared and well trained to take on this task.” The 4th SOS, which operates AC-130U Spooky gunships, has been deployed to Southwest Asia since 9/11 in support of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, logging more than 1,800 accident-free combat sorties. Cartier said she was “very blessed” to lead a squadron with a rich history and relevant mission. She is a fire control officer on the gunship with more than 4,000 flying hours. She previously served as the squadron’s operations officer under Lt. Col. Jim Rodriguez whom she succeeds. (Hurlburt report by 1st Lt. Lauren Johnson) (For more, read Monday’s report from Panama City’s News Herald)