DeSchane concludes 28 years of service as Air Force Special Operator

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Joshua Horton
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
After 28 years of service to the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard, Chief Master Sgt. Thomas D. DeSchane was officially retired in a ceremony here Dec. 5.

As the chief enlisted manager for the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, DeSchane served as the principle advisor to the squadron commander on all issues and concerns affecting enlisted special tactics members and their families.

"He was always the right guy at the right place at the right time," said Lt. Col Sean McLane, commander of the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron. "He's a planner. He always had a plan for everything he does.

"He was an outstanding team leader, he was an outstanding training NCO, and he was an outstanding operations superintendent," McLane continued. "When he became the chief, he really hit his stride and started making those programmatic changes that got us the equipment and funding and facilities that we need for you guys to go out and do your job."

DeSchane enlisted in the active-duty Air Force in 1987. His first assignment was McChord Air Force Base, Washington, where he participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Upon completion of his active-duty tour, he joined the Kentucky Air National Guard and participated in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. DeSchane also deployed to New Orleans to evacuate stranded residents following Hurricane Katrina.

During his career, DeSchane planned and executed combat and humanitarian operations and exercises in Oman, the United Arab of Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Afghanistan.

His background includes joint planning, application of air power in support of special operations, and command and control of tactical operations. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as the superintendent of operations at the 123d Special Tactics Squadron.

As the ceremony came to a close, McLane addressed his final remarks to the members of the squadron gathered in the audience. 

"I think if you asked Tom what he was the most proud of, he would say it's you," McLane said. "It's what the 123rd STS has become in the 20 years that he's been in it."