Enhance the joint warfighter team by providing combat-ready Airmen who advise, integrate and control effects from the air, space and electromagnetic spectrum.
A Squadron built on trust and united in purpose
- Bold Leaders
- Always Learning
- Ready Professionals Gunslinger Standard!
Lt. Col. Craig J. Cude, Squadron Commander
Lt. Col. Craig J. Cude is commander of the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Carson, Colorado. His squadron’s mission is to provide combat-ready Special Warfare Airmen who advise, integrate and control effects from the air, space and electromagnetic spectrums for the Joint Force commander alongside 4th Infantry Division or any supported land force commander.
Prior to this assignment, Cude was the director of operations, 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron in Vilseck, Germany. There, he ensured the combat readiness of 67 Special Warfare Airmen in U.S. European Command joint fires integration and rapid response for contingency operations. Before arriving to Vilseck, he was the deputy chief, Rated Operations Airmen Management Branch, at the Air Force’s Personnel Center. While there, Cude was responsible for assignments and personnel policy for more than 18,000 rated officers and enlisted aircrew and led the development and implementation of the Air Force’s new assignment system, Talent Marketplace. During his career he has served in a variety of other roles as the chief of Air Force Fighter Assignments, foreign area officer, chief of Wing Operations Training, assistant director of operations, mission commander and wing electronic combat pilot.
Cude received his commission as a distinguished graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Arizona. He is a graduate of the Indonesian Air Command and Staff College; a senior pilot with more than 1,250 hours in the T-37, T-38 and F-16C/D; and a certified forward air controller, air liaison officer and joint terminal attack controller. He has flown combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom, deployed to the Republic of South Korea for a flying theater support package, and deployed to Afghanistan as an air liaison officer and joint terminal attack controller in support of the 2nd Striker Calvary Regiment in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Chief Master Sgt. Thomas E. Case
Chief Master Sgt. Thomas E. Case serves as the chief enlisted manager (CEM), 13th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Carson, Colorado. He manages the daily administration and operations of three brigades and division staff of Airmen aligned with the 4th Infantry Division. Case is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and enlisted in the Air Force in May of 1997. Upon completion of Basic Training and Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Technical School and pipeline, Case reported to his first assignment at Fort Carson, Colorado, with the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) where he served as a joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) supporting 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
In 2001, he was selected for duty as a Special Operations TACP, where he was then assigned to the 17th Special Tactics Squadron (STS), Fort Benning, Georgia. While assigned to the 17th STS, Case supported the 75th Ranger Regiment, Navy SEAL teams, federal government agencies and other Army and Navy Special Mission Units. He deployed over a dozen times in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, as well as other unspecified operational locations. Next, Case was the Fire Support NCO in charge, Aviation Tactics Evaluation Group, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Then, he served as operations superintendent, 18th Air Support Operations Group; 604th ASOS operations superintendent; 25th ASOS operations superintendent; and the 25th ASOS senior enlisted manager.
Case’s awards and decorations include the Air Force Combat Action Medal, Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor device, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and Bronze Star Medal with Valor device with two oak leaf clusters. Case has also been awarded the Silver Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster, becoming only one of three Airmen in U.S. Air Force history to receive the nation’s third highest award twice for valor and gallantry in combat.
The birth of Air Combat Command June 1, 1992, took place amidst momentous changes within the Air Force and the Department of Defense. A brief ceremony at Langley Air Force Base marked the inactivation of Tactical Air Command and the activation of ACC. The ceremony at Langley signaled the birth of a new major command with a new mission, not just a successor of the former TAC and Strategic Air Command.
The Air Combat Command was responsible for providing combat-ready forces for deterrence and air combat operations. Upon activation, ACC assumed control of all fighter resources based in the continental United States, all bombers, reconnaissance platforms, battle management resources, and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
Furthermore, ACC had some tankers and C-130s in its composite, reconnaissance, and certain other combat wings. One of the most significant changes for ACC resulted from an overhaul of flying training responsibilities. Following its activation, ACC was responsible for aircraft-specific aircrew training, including initial weapon system and continuation training. Since its activation in June 1992, Air Combat Command has found itself in an almost constant state of flux. While on the one hand losing its ICBMs, nearly all its tankers, and a part of its training mission, ACC has gained the combat rescue and theater airlift missions.
At the same time, sweeping changes in our nation's military policy have imposed on ACC not only force structure reductions but a requirement for much greater flexibility than ever before. ACC's forces remain “on call” to perform a variety of missions including support to international peace-keeping operations, to humanitarian needs at home and abroad, and protection of our nation's interests around the globe.
Despite its brief history, ACC has already established a tradition of providing combat-ready forces capable of responding to the challenges of a changing world.
The 13 ASOS falls under Air Combat Command. Our wing is the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing which is currently at Moody AFB, Georgia, and our group is the 3rd Air Support Operations Group which is at Fort Hood, Texas. The 3rd ASOG organizes, trains, equips and administers an Air Support Operations Center (ASOC), Tactical Air Control Parties (TACPs)/Battlefield Weather Teams and Staff Weather Operations in support of US Army's III Armored Corps (III Corps). The 3rd ASOG advises the Army three-star Commanding General and senior staff on U.S. and Allied air capabilities and coordinates attack/airlift/reconnaissance air assets in support of the joint battle plan.
The 3 ASOG Unit Mission: Train, deploy and focus the world’s best combat airpower and integrated weather operations for the joint force commander alongside III Corps or a supported land force commander, anytime, anywhere.
The 13th Air Support Operations Squadron was initially constituted as the 13th Air Support Communications Squadron Jan. 11, 1943.
It was re-designated as the 13th Tactical Air Communications Squadron Feb. 29, 1944, but disbanded shortly thereafter April 15, 1944.
The squadron was later reactivated in its current state as the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Carson, Colorado, July 1, 1994.
More information about Fort Carson, Peterson AFB & the USAF Academy can be located through your local Airman Family Readiness Center. There, you should be able to get access to Standard Installation Topic Exchange Service (SITES) booklets, installation brochures & videos. SITES can also be found on the Internet at http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/sites/.
We have enclosed some information in your sponsor package to help you become acquainted with the local area. If you need any additional information, please contact your sponsor and he/she will be glad to obtain it for you.
Keep in touch with your sponsor. Coordinate your arrival date and time with them & let them assist you in making lodging arrangements.
Lodging Lodging can be very tight during certain periods, so be sure to make your reservations as soon as possible. You will be forwarded a sheet with very good information on local hotels & motels in the area. In addition to your sponsor, use the resources available at your current location to make your move easier. Be sure to contact your local Relocation Assistance Manager & your Airman Family Readiness Center. Both can greatly help you ease the pain and confusion of a PCS move.
Getting Here Fort Carson is located 60 miles south of Denver on Interstate 25, exit 135, or Nevada Avenue (State Highway 115), Exit 140A.
The Colorado Springs Airport is currently served by over 10 airlines & is located about 10 miles from Fort Carson. The USO booth, located near baggage claim area #4, is available for assistance.
Climate & Altitude The Colorado Springs area has a mild year-round climate. Temperatures in January, the coldest month, average a high of 43 degrees and a low of 23 degrees, with a mean of 33 degrees. August, the warmest month, has an average high of 84 degrees and a low of 61 degrees, with a mean of 73 degrees. The area averages 42.4 inches of snow annually. Some patterns to be aware of are: during the summer, thunderstorms can develop every afternoon with the possibility of severe storms, but usually produce a few showers and move on. Winter storms can develop quickly and make driving very hazardous. If you will be arriving from Nov – Mar, be prepared for inclement weather. Fort Carson’s elevation is above 6,000 feet and the U.S. Air Force Academy is at an elevation of above 7,000 feet. Some newcomers experience slight fatigue at first & this will take a while to get used to.
Housing Information You are eligible to live on the USAF Academy. The benefits of Academy housing are the conveniences of living on base, pleasant surroundings, Academy District 20 schools & convenient childcare. A drawback includes the distance required to drive to work. It is a 25-mile one-way trip from the Academy to Ft Carson & takes approximately 30 minutes. Driving times vary with the amount of traffic and weather conditions.
To get on the waiting list, call the housing office at DSN 259-2100. The waiting list can range from a short delay to one of approximately 10 months. We are not eligible to get housing on Peterson AFB, except for dormitory space for E-5 and below, on a case-by-case basis.
We are eligible for Fort Carson housing, but the waiting list is 12 – 36 months. Contact their housing at DSN 691-4715 to get on the waiting list.
Included in your sponsor package are several links to websites dealing with Colorado Springs housing. Colorado Springs is a high cost living area, and your BAH will normally not cover all your living expenses. The Academy & Fort Carson housing offices will help you with getting off-base housing. Be sure to use their expertise & advice.
Colorado Springs School Information http://www.schoolsk-12.com/Colorado/Colorado-Springs/index.html
Vehicle Registration Fort Carson does require you to register your vehicles on post or the Academy to obtain base access. Military personnel are exempt from the requirement to have Colorado license plates within 30 days of arrival if they have valid plates from their home of record state.
To obtain Colorado plates, you must have verification of your vehicle’s identification number (VIN), the title or current registration, proof of insurance & a copy of your military orders.13th Air Support Operations Squadron Welcome Packet