• Published
  • By 1st Lt. Katie Tamesis
  • 93d Air Ground Operations Wing

Every year, Air Combat Command selects an Air Force Special Warfare Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) senior non-commissioned officer who exemplifies exceptional achievement for their craft in the year prior. This year, our very own U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. David Galindo, 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing parachute program and link unit manager, was selected for the prestigious award.


Galindo is from a small town in Texas and grew up fascinated by planes and jets. There was one particular memory that he recalls inspiring him to join the Air Force.


“My Dad knew an Air Force instructor pilot who was stationed at Lubbock, Texas,” Galindo said. “One year when I was a Cub Scout, the pilot flew to Midland airport to show my troop the trainer plane. I was so pumped! From then on I always knew I was going to join the Air Force.”


As he explored his options in the Air Force, he narrowed down his passion to becoming a Tactical Air Control Party specialist.


“I always wanted to have an operational job where it challenged me daily to be better. TACP appealed to me because it was different from normal Air Force jobs. TACP challenges you, sends you on adventures and demands leadership and ownership from day one.”


Galido’s career has been filled with many twists, turns and adventures, as he had hoped.


“I started off as an aerospace ground equipment Ranger and cross trained into TACP in 2005,” Galidso said. “Back then TACP was not popular but I took the challenge and graduated from Hurlburt Field, Florida. I was stationed at Ft. Hood; Hawaii; Germany; and Moody AFB as a TACP. I have deployed to OPERATIONS SOUTHERN WATCH, NORTHERN WATCH, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In my last assignment, I was the Operations Superintendent for 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) and 2nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron and developed and stood up the 4th EASOS in Poland. I am currently the Wing's first Personnel Parachute Program Manager and Link Unit Manager for the Wing.”


Now his favorite part of the job is paving the way for the new generation of TACP.


“They are stronger, better, faster, smarter, innovative, better trained, and more lethal than we were 15 years ago,” Galido said. “I love seeing that progression and drive among our future leaders. Honestly, it’s why I haven’t retired yet. I'll keep going to give them the very best they deserve.”


Along with having immense faith in the next generation of TACP Airmen, Galido has high hopes for the future of the TACP weapon system as a whole.


“Even though we are facing some deep manning cuts, I still see TACP as the tip of the spear as we support more aligned Air Force roles,” Galindo said. “Command and Control is what we do best by having our Precision Strike Teams on the X, providing actionable information back to the Combined Force Air Component Commander and our joint partners. Our young leaders have the ability to share data across multiple domains with limited resources and support. The backbone of TACP is you can always count on them to lead the way and complete the mission. TACP is the preponderance of Special Warfare Airman, we take the most risk, and are unfunded and undermanned yet we provide a capability to the Joint Force no one can. I see TACP as being the "go to guy" for any Combatant Commander and will always evolve to make sure the mission is completed.”


All of the invaluable contributions Galindo has brought to the TACP enterprise throughout the past few years, and his career as a whole, has brought credibility upon himself and the Air Force – culminating in earning the title of 2021 Air Force Special Warfare TACP Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.


“This award is a win for all my teammates who helped execute a huge workload in getting after the J.O.B.,” Galindo said. “I just want to say thank you to them, and I appreciate their hard work and dedication to improving the TACP mission.”


For all those who have aspirations of becoming a TACP, Galindo encourages to not give up and to earn it everyday.


“Death on CALL! The strong will stand, the weak will fall by the wayside!” Galindo said. “If you fall, the only thing that matters is what you do when you pick yourself back up.”