*Updated 4/21/2023 with photos and information taken by AFSOC and posted to the AFSOC Commander's Facebook page.
April 14, 2023, the Air Force Special Tactics 24th Special Operations Wing (24 SOW) hosted the inaugural “Chapman Challenge” where competitions for Best Combat Mission Support Personnel, Best Operator, Best Shooter, and Best Overall Team. The winners were recognized at the week’s formal 24 SOW Ball.
Photo: At the Roland Field Leadership Training Complex – those that took part in the Chapman Challenge gathered for a photograph around the Captain Matthew D. Roland Memorial Plaque sponsored by the Combat Control Foundation.
Photo: This statue is the Special Tactics Operator monument that represents Combat Controllers, TACPs, Special Reconnaissance, and Pararescuemen.
Photo: Behind the statue is the wall that honors our Special Tactics Operators who have earned the Air Force Cross or the Medal of Honor.
Combat Control Foundation and Combat Control Association attended this special week by prior Combat Controllers (CCT); Bernie Oder, Geoff Hitchcock and Mike Lamonica. They talked to the competitors and staff personnel about both organization’s missions and offerings, to ensure they knew, both are proactively supporting AFSOC by providing avenues of support and ensuring there is always a team room environment, even after separating from the Air Force.
The Chapman Competition…honoring and remembering MSgt John A. Chapman, Medal of Honor recipient.
The 24th Special Operations Wing hosted Air Commandos, both Operator and Mission Support, from nine units across two wings. The three-day challenge tested our Air Commandos’ expertise, grit, and determination while performing a variety of SOF skills. Events included fitness challenges, water confidence events, and shoot, move, communicate skills such as marksmanship and land navigation. The Best Operator Team, Best Mission Support, and Top Shot from the competition were recognized at the 24 SOW Ball, where 240 attendees from across the Special Tactics enterprise came to honor our fallen and celebrate the history and accomplishments of the Wing. Ms. Valerie Nessel, MSgt Chapman’s widow, honored the competition and the ball with her presence, to include presenting the winners with their trophies.
The diligence and dedication of our Air Force Special Tactics Air Commandos to their craft made this inaugural competition that much better. CONGRATS to the winners and well done by the 24 SOW …this is what right looks like!