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CHS ’83 grad retires from Air Force

Posted: July 3, 2014 12:57 p.m.
Updated: July 4, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Air Force Col. Charles Houston Myers, son of Charles and Barbara Myers of Camden, recently retired from active military service with more than 26 years dedicated to the nation. Brig. Gen. Albert “Buck” Elton presided over Myers’ retirement ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Myers is a 1983 graduate of Camden High School and a 1987 graduate of The Citadel.

Upon graduation from The Citadel, Myers earned a commission to the U.S. Air Force and entered active service in January1988 before completing specialized undergraduate navigator training at Mather Air Force Base, near Sacramento, Calif. While at Mather AFB, he met his wife, Lisa, and the two married in March 1989 in Camden. Upon completion of navigator school and follow-on training in Oklahoma for duty in the C-141B Starlifter cargo aircraft, Myers stationed at Charleston AFB as part of the 20th Military Airlift Squadron. While there, Myers quickly progressed to be an instructor navigator and was involved in his first combat flying experience, Operation Just Cause, airdropping equipment into Tocumen Airfield to support the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.

In 1992, the Air Force selected Myers to represent the 437th Airlift Wing at the Air Mobility Command’s Airlift Rodeo, an international competition for precision low level and airdrop skills. Later, Myers participated in the Special Operations Low-Level program while a part of the 20th MAS and looked for an opportunity to be more involved in special operations during his service.

Myers requested an assignment to Air Force Special Operations Command, and he transferred to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, reporting in July 1993 to the 1st Special Operations Squadron flying the MC-130E and MC-130H Combat Talon aircraft. He held several jobs including chief of training, chief of plans and chief of the standardization and evaluation section in the squadron. In these capacities, he exercised contingency plans for the defense of South Korea and conducted joint and coalition training throughout the Pacific theater. Myers served at Kadena for nearly five years, and he and Lisa celebrated the birth of their two children, Hunter and Caitlin, while there.

He returned to the United States in May 1998 for assignment to the 15th SOS flying MC-130H aircraft at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Myers’ tour at Hurlburt lasted just one year as he was selected to attend the Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. the next summer.

Completing his studies and earning a Master’s Degree in Military Art and Science, Myers reported to the staff at U.S. Special Operations Command headquarters at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Fla., in July 2000. His work included program analyst duties for special operations fixed-wing programs; prioritizing requirements, determining various program funding needs and identifying capability gaps in concert with the National Security Strategy, the Joint Staff and the Secretary of Defense.   

After three years on staff, Myers returned to the 15th SOS in July 2003. He deployed twice in the next year to lead his unit and other 1st Special Operations Wing units in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Those missions supported infiltration, exfiltration and resupply along with close air support of Special Forces in combat.

In 2005, Myers relocated for a one-year assignment in Qatar as the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group deputy commander. The squadrons assigned to the group provided close air support and interdiction, aerial refueling, tactical airlift and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support to OIF and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Myers returned home and took a post at Air Force Special Operations Command headquarters to head up the programs and budgeting division. In this capacity, he led his team in developing future year defense budgets for USSOCOM and Air Force headquarters addressing the need to requisition new and extend legacy aircraft, providing command flying hour program justification, securing funding for battlefield airmen (combat controllers and pararescue jumpers), and requesting necessary military construction.

After three and a half years on staff, the Myers family moved to the western home of the Air Commandos, Cannon AFB, N.M., where Myers served as the deputy and acting commander of the 27th Special Operations Group. In his time there, the group doubled in size to nearly 1,600 people, grew from four to eight flying squadrons, and all of the group’s units deployed to combat theaters. Myers’ involvement included expanding and converting the Melrose Training Range to accommodate the AFSOC mission and their sister-service special operations forces.

The final transfer for Myers was back to Hurlburt Field in June 2012 to command the 623d Air and Space Operations Center. He was charged with providing command and control, global force management of the AFSOC’s people and equipment, and reachback support for logistics supporting worldwide operations. He led his unit through tremendous change as the unit realigned some of its capability to be closer to units while maintaining the core of command and control oversight and reachback support.

Myers is a master navigator with 4,091 flying hours, and nearly 300 combat hours. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leave clusters, Air Medal and Aerial Achievement Medal. He currently resides in Niceville, Fla.

(Story and photograph provided by the U.S. Air Force.)

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