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Top “Dawg” flies with SOG

U.S. Air Force Maj. Robert Bingham, 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II evaluator pilot, performs a pre-flight inspection before a training sortie March 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Bingham‘s extensive pilot training enables him to safely conduct day and night sorties in support of joint and allied special operations forces as well as humanitarian disaster relief aid throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Robert Bingham, 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II evaluator pilot, performs a pre-flight inspection before a training sortie March 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Bingham‘s extensive pilot training enables him to safely conduct day and night sorties in support of joint and allied special operations forces as well as humanitarian disaster relief aid throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, orientates himself on the flight deck of a 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II before a training sortie March 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Cornish flew with the 17th SOS to experience first-hand the tactical capabilities of the MC-130J and its aircrew. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, orientates himself on the flight deck of a 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II before a training sortie March 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Cornish flew with the 17th SOS to experience first-hand the tactical capabilities of the MC-130J and its aircrew. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Capt. David Benes, 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II pilot, conducts low altitude flying during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Benes and other pilots of the 17th SOS train to maintain flying skills for combat maneuvers and clandestine missions in support of the Air Force Special Operations Command, the 18th Wing, and joint and coalition partners throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Capt. David Benes, 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II pilot, conducts low altitude flying during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Benes and other pilots of the 17th SOS train to maintain flying skills for combat maneuvers and clandestine missions in support of the Air Force Special Operations Command, the 18th Wing, and joint and coalition partners throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kade Bollinger, 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II instructor loadmaster, observes the horizon during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Bollinger conducted low altitude flight training with Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, to give him a first-hand insight into the capabilities of the 17th SOS and 353rd Special Operations Group. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kade Bollinger, 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II instructor loadmaster, observes the horizon during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Bollinger conducted low altitude flight training with Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, to give him a first-hand insight into the capabilities of the 17th SOS and 353rd Special Operations Group. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kade Bollinger, 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II instructor loadmaster, observes the water during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Bollinger conducted low altitude training with Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, so he could experience the combat flight capabilities of the MC-130J and its aircrew. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kade Bollinger, 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II instructor loadmaster, observes the water during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Bollinger conducted low altitude training with Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, so he could experience the combat flight capabilities of the MC-130J and its aircrew. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, observes the horizon from the cargo bay of a 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II cargo plane during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Cornish conducted low altitude flight training with the 17th SOS to experience first-hand the tactical capabilities of the MC-130J and to better understand the unit’s interoperability with the 18th Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, observes the horizon from the cargo bay of a 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II cargo plane during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Cornish conducted low altitude flight training with the 17th SOS to experience first-hand the tactical capabilities of the MC-130J and to better understand the unit’s interoperability with the 18th Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, and Tech. Sgt. Kade Bollinger, 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II instructor loadmaster, lay down on a cargo bay door for low altitude flight maneuvers during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Cornish flew with Bollinger and other 17th SOS Airmen to experience first-hand the combat capabilities of the MC-130J and its aircrew. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, and Tech. Sgt. Kade Bollinger, 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II instructor loadmaster, lay down on a cargo bay door for low altitude flight maneuvers during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Cornish flew with Bollinger and other 17th SOS Airmen to experience first-hand the combat capabilities of the MC-130J and its aircrew. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis)

18th Wing Shogun Airmen observe the horizon from the cargo bay door of a 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish flew with the 17th SOS to better understand combat capabilities of the MC-130J and aircrews. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

18th Wing Shogun Airmen observe the horizon from the cargo bay door of a 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish flew with the 17th SOS to better understand combat capabilities of the MC-130J and aircrews. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, conducts low altitude flight maneuvers in a 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa. Brig. Gen. Cornish flew with the 17th SOS to better understand the strategic and tactical capabilities of the MC-130J as well as the 353rd Special Operations Group interoperability with allied forces across the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft) (This photo has been manipulated by removing cockpit display information)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, conducts low altitude flight maneuvers in a 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa. Brig. Gen. Cornish flew with the 17th SOS to better understand the strategic and tactical capabilities of the MC-130J as well as the 353rd Special Operations Group interoperability with allied forces across the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft) (This photo has been manipulated by removing cockpit display information)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry “Dawg” Cornish, 18th Wing commander, conducts low altitude flight maneuvers in a 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. The 18th Wing and the tenant unit, 353rd Special Operations Group, collaborate training and mission assets as well as cooperate with joint and coalition forces to enhance and bolster peace and security throughout Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)
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U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry “Dawg” Cornish, 18th Wing commander, conducts low altitude flight maneuvers in a 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. The 18th Wing and the tenant unit, 353rd Special Operations Group, collaborate training and mission assets as well as cooperate with joint and coalition forces to enhance and bolster peace and security throughout Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

A 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II pilot conducts low altitude flight maneuvers during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. The 17th SOS, a unit of the 353rd Special Operations Group, conducts a variety of day and night missions in support of special operations forces and humanitarian and disaster relief throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft/Released)
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A 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando II pilot conducts low altitude flight maneuvers during a training sortie March 21, 2017, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. The 17th SOS, a unit of the 353rd Special Operations Group, conducts a variety of day and night missions in support of special operations forces and humanitarian and disaster relief throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft/Released)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The usual items on a 353rd Special Operations Group cargo and passenger manifest can list Humvees, rafts, ATVs, supply drop crates, special forces Army Soldiers, Air Force pararescuemen, a forward area refueling party, or a platoon of Marines armed to the teeth. However, the manifest listed only a single individual for this flight, the 18th Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Barry “Dawg” Cornish.

17th Special Operations Squadron aircrews met with Cornish March 21 to explain how the 353rd SOG contributes to the 18th Wing mission. They also gave him an insider’s look at the MC-130J Commando II’s low altitude flying maneuverability off the coast of Okinawa.

“The mission today is explaining to the general what it is we do and how the equipment contributes to the mission,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. David Benes, MC-130J17th SOS pilot. “When we take him into the air, we can show him how that equipment contributes to missions of the 18th Wing and Air Force Special Operations Command in the Pacific Theater.”

Cornish experienced first-hand the combat prowess of the MC-130J from the back of an open cargo bay and also at the controls of the high-tech cockpit.

“What a great trip it was to go out and see the new MC-130J Commando II aircraft. We got to sit in the back and watch the aircraft do low level flight and it was pretty maneuverable. This was the first time I was able get behind the controls airborne, and it was a real treat,” said Cornish. “It really gave me the chance to see the SOG mission and appreciate what they do, and to let them know how much the 18th Wing appreciates them and the synergy we have.”

The exchange of experience and operations knowledge during flight training enabled Cornish and 17th SOS aircrews to gain additional understanding for the interoperability between the 18th Wing and 353rd SOG.

“It will increase our readiness and our efficiency while giving a real world look for the 18th Wwing personnel flying with us to understand exactly what we do,” said Benes. “That can be further leveraged when it comes to contingency planning and they ask what the 353rd SOG has to offer.”

Team Kadena’s mission to provide peace and stability throughout the Pacific region revolves around counter-air, air refueling, combat search and rescue, strategic forward base command and control, and building partnerships across the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater.

Cornish stated that what the 353rd SOG does every day is no different than the 18th Wing’s mission. He appreciated how the tenant unit contributes assets to the overall mission capability of Kadena.

“Just to see today how the SOG operates was really cool because in any event that we get to train or exercise a bit with both conventional and unconventional forces in a multi-domain environment, it sharpens us and makes us better holistically as an Air Force,” said Cornish. “It lets folks know that, as the Air Force, we are prepared to do anything across any domain.”