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58th Special Operations Wing keeps the mission going

Airmen work on an aircraft

U.S. Air Force Col. Justin Hoffman, 58th Special Operations Wing commander, observes Senior Airman Ryan Peirano, 58th Maintenance Squadron C-130 inspection section journeyman, as he inspects a MC-130J wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, March 27, 2020. According to Air Education and Training Command, the Air Force's basic military, technical, and flying training operations are mission essential due to their impact on combat capability and will continue along with mitigation efforts against COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

Airmen work on an aircraft

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian Sloan, 58th Maintenance Squadron C-130 inspection section craftsman, walks the length of MC-130J after an inspection at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, March 27, 2020. According to Air Education and Training Command, the Air Force's basic military, technical, and flying training operations are mission essential due to their impact on combat capability and will continue along with mitigation efforts against COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

Airmen work on aircraft

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Braden Gault, 58th Maintenance Squadron C-130 inspection section craftsman, reaches for a screwdriver at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, March 27, 2020. According to Air Education and Training Command, the Air Force's basic military, technical, and flying training operations are mission essential due to their impact on combat capability and will continue along with mitigation efforts against COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

U.S. Air Force Col. Justin Hoffman, 58th Special Operations Wing commander speaks

U.S. Air Force Col. Justin Hoffman, 58th Special Operations Wing commander, addresses his Airmen at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, March 27, 2020. According to Air Education and Training Command, the Air Force's basic military, technical, and flying training operations are mission essential due to their impact on combat capability and will continue along with mitigation efforts against COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

U.S. Air Force Col. Justin Hoffman, 58th Special Operations Wing commander speaks

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Weimer, 58th Special Operations Wing Command Chief, addresses 58 SOW Airmen at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, March 27, 2020. The 58 SOW produces more than 1,300 aircrew warfighters a year and has a training footprint at five different geographical locations within the Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

U.S. Air Force Col. Justin Hoffman, 58th Special Operations Wing commander speaks

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Ethan Marcum, 58th Maintenance Squadron C-130 inspection section journeyman, opens his technical orders laptop at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, March 27, 2020. According to Air Education and Training Command, the Air Force's basic military, technical, and flying training operations are mission essential due to their impact on combat capability and will continue along with mitigation efforts against COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

An Airmen works on an aircraft

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Ethan Marcum, 58th Maintenance Squadron C-130 inspection section journeyman, greases parts of a MC-130J at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, March 27, 2020. According to Air Education and Training Command, the Air Force's basic military, technical, and flying training operations are mission essential due to their impact on combat capability and will continue along with mitigation efforts against COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

An Airmen works on an aircraft

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Aulbri Runion, 58th Maintenance Squadron C-130 inspection section journeyman, tightens a screw on a MC-130J wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, March 27, 2020. According to Air Education and Training Command, the Air Force's basic military, technical, and flying training operations are mission essential due to their impact on combat capability and will continue along with mitigation efforts against COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

An Airmen works on an aircraft

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Aulbri Runion, 58th Maintenance Squadron C-130 inspection section journeyman, displays MC-130J components he replaced at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, March 27, 2020. According to Air Education and Training Command, the Air Force's basic military, technical, and flying training operations are mission essential due to their impact on combat capability and will continue along with mitigation efforts against COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

Airmen in social distance formation
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58th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airmen stand in formation while practicing physical distancing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, March 27, 2020. The 58 SOW produces more than 1,300 aircrew warfighters a year and has a training footprint at five different geographical locations within the Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE --

Leaders from the 58th Special Operations Wing (SOW) visited with Airmen Friday, March 27, 2020, (while maintaining physical distancing) to talk about staying safe and healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the need to keep the mission going with critical tasks.

The 58th SOW’s mission is to train mission-ready special operations, rescue, distinguished visitor airlift, advanced helicopter and A/H/MC-130J aircrew students – a training pipeline that must keep going in order to supply combat aircrew to missions around the world.

Keeping students moving through the training pipelines, from basic military training to graduate flying training programs, is essential to not only the Air Force but to national security at large.

Col. Justin Hoffman and Command Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Weimer ensured Airmen were using every appropriate measure to limit the spread of COVID-19. They also stated that the 58 SOW needed to keep mission essential personnel in the fight wherever possible.

"Our mission is too important to quit," Hoffman said. “It takes courage, commitment and dedication, and that’s what our Airmen exhibit every single day. We are in this together and we put appropriate precautions in place to minimize the risk to our Airmen and their families.”

The commander went on to discuss his wing's effort to combat the virus and keep training missions moving forward.

"The most important part of the mission is our Airmen. If we have sick Airmen or Airmen who can’t come to work, then the missions won’t get done," Hoffman said. “The precautions we have put into place are all about keeping our Airmen healthy and in a state where they can thrive and accomplish the mission, while taking care of their families.”

Weimer said the 58th is in step with the 377th Air Base Wing and Team Kirtland in protecting Airmen, their families, and the larger community while continuing operations.

"Where a lot of people may think we need to take a break on training, there are mission essential needs and national security interests that cause us to move forward," Weimer said. “We are taking these new protective measures and making sure we are doing what we can to keep everyone safe, while accomplishing the mission. Our adversaries won’t take a break, so we can ill afford to as well.”

The 58th SOW produces more than 1,300 aircrew warfighters a year and has a training footprint at five different geographical locations within the Air Education and Training Command.