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U.S. Air Force Col. Johnny Roscoe presents U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jesse Strickland with a retirement certificate at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., May 27, 2010. Colonel Strickland retired after more than 22 years of dedicated service. Colonel Roscoe is chief of international affairs for U.S. Africa Command, Division Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, and Colonel Strickland most recently served as chief of Aircrew Standardization and Evaluation for the 437th Operations Group. (U.S. Air Force photo by James M. Bowman/Released)
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Joint Base Charleston cries 'Uncle,' we'll miss you

Posted 6/2/2010   Updated 6/9/2010 Email story   Print story


by Rose Alexander
Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

6/2/2010 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Team Charleston said farewell to Lt. Col. Jesse L. "Uncle" Strickland after 22 years of faithful service to the Air Force during a retirement ceremony here at the Charleston Club May 27, officiated by Col. Johnny Roscoe, 305th Operations Group commander, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

Colonel Strickland's many accomplishments during his career made him well-known throughout the Air Force and Air Mobility Command.

He was part of the elite initial cadre of five pilots chosen to stand up the C-17A Weapons Instructor Course at the United States Air Force Mobility Weapons School, Fort Dix, N.J., where he served as the Director of Course Management and later Deputy Commandant in charge of Academics for the Mobility Weapons School.

Based on his elite skill set, he was hand-picked to develop the courseware for all mobility Air Force aircraft. The courseware has been used by every C-17 weapons school graduate for the last seven years. He also helped develop courseware for C-130 and C-135 Weapons Instructor Courses, impacting training of hundreds of tactical pilots in their weapons systems throughout the Air Force.

Colonel Roscoe, also a member of the initial cadre of pilots, said Colonel Strickland was an instructor to the end, always ready to serve his country and to deploy or go on a mission at moment's notice.

Colonel Strickland's most recent assignment was Chief, Aircrew Standardization and Evaluation Division, 437th Operations Group, where he was responsible for the qualification, combat readiness and operational activities of more than 850 C-17 aircrew members and 52 aircraft conducting airlift, airdrop and aerial evacuation missions worldwide. Colonel Strickland is a command pilot with more than 6,600 hours in the T-37B, T-38A, C 141B and C-17A aircraft.

Prior to his current duty position, he served as the Assistant Director of Operations in the 16th Airlift Squadron, overseeing the global airlift activities of 165 crewmembers conducting combat operations in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Horn of Africa.

Most recently, Colonel Strickland was chosen by the 18th Air Force Commander to deploy to Haiti and oversee the disaster relief airdrop of food and water following the earthquake as part of the Joint Staff of Operation Unified Response.

"It has been an honor and pleasure serving with Colonel Strickland," said Col. Robert Holba, 437th Operations Group commander. "He was a humble mentor who always put the organization and its people before himself ... yep; he is one of the very best C-17 instructor pilots."

Having spent almost 15 of his 22 years at Charleston AFB, Colonel Strickland has left his mark and he will always be a part of Team Charleston.

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