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176th SFS commander earns statewide honors

176th SFS commander earns statewide honors

Col. John Oberst, director of staff for the Alaska Air National Guard, presents the Alaska Air Guard award for 2019 Field Grade Officer of the Year to Lt. Col. James Truesdell, the commander of the 176th Security Forces Squadron for his leadership accomplishments in 2019 at the 176th Wing Headquarters on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Sept. 15, 2020. Truesdell is also a retired Alaska State Trooper. He played a pivotal role in the success of his unit’s deployment to Afghanistan in 2019 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Seth LaCount/Released)


Alaska Air National Guardsman and retired Alaska State Trooper, Lt. Col. James Truesdell, commander of the 176th Security Forces Squadron, was awarded the 2019 Field Grade Officer of the Year award Sept. 15 for his accomplishments last year.

“Lieutenant Colonel Truesdell has demonstrated a level of excellence that distinguished him from his peers,” said Col. John Oberst, the Alaska Air National Guard’s Director of Staff. “For this I thank him. I also want to thank his supervisor for caring enough to recognize his efforts by taking the time to submit him. This recognition matters and it will benefit Lt. Col. Truesdell as he navigates his future in the military.”

Truesdell trained and equipped 23 Airmen from the 176th SFS prior to the unit deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan last year. He also enhanced his unit’s readiness beyond the deployment by designing and implementing rigorous training courses and scenarios, crafting a combatives program that enabled three Airmen to become instructors, and immersing his Airmen in a litany of simulated, operational environments.

In 2019, Truesdell bolstered hands-on training for 125 Security Forces Airmen from four different Air National Guard units around the country, fostering multi-state cooperation during 2019 annual training events. He coordinated joint training with both Air National Guard and active duty Airmen from the ANG’s 168th Wing and Regular Air Force’s 673rd Wing here, involving more than 5,000 man-hours and 85 Airmen.

Truesdell’s higher leadership and subordinates alike have described him as a constant, innovative thinker. This is evidenced by his force management planning and his ability to create lasting relationships with the people he works with. The lasting impact of Truesdell’s command will be highlighted by the strides the unit has made in the personal development of its Airmen.

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