Colonel Anthony J. Giacobe (Tony) was a member of the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, The Flying Tigers, while stationed at England AFB Louisiana. His mission ready check ride in the A-10 signaled the first complete combat ready squadron during the wing’s conversion from the A-7 to the “Warthog” in 1981.
His specialty is close air support, and he has performed all aspects of this mission including forward air control, A-10 aircraft commander, command and control at the air support operations center, and air liaison officer at the battalion, brigade, division and "echelons above corps". He has served as division air liaison officer to the First Infantry Division while commanding its tactical air control party detachment. Additionally he has commanded the 604th Air Support Operations Center Squadron in the Republic of Korea, providing command and control of all close air support missions for the peninsula. He is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours in various aircraft including the T-37, O-2, AT-38 and A-10.
The Colonel was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He entered the Air Force in 1973 following graduation from the University of Illinois at Urbana, and was commissioned through Officers Training School. Following graduation from Undergraduate Pilot Training, he remained at Vance AFB as a T-37 primary jet instructor pilot. He often instructed some of the most challenging student pilots in each class, frequently those from our foreign military assistance programs including Iranian and Ethiopian pilots.
His following assignment into the O-2, the “Oscar Duck” at Bergstrom AFB, Texas provided an entry into the world of tactical flying. This would be the first of five assignments directly supporting US army forces. Again he upgraded quickly to instructor pilot status, and flew many close air support training missions in such exercises as REFOREGER, Red Flag, and many Operational Readiness Exercises and Inspections around the county.
In 1981, the Colonel was chosen to transition to the A-10, and excelled in close air support weapons delivery, frequently winning local competitions. During his first assignment to the Flying Tigers, he upgraded to instructor pilot, four ship flight lead, and Search and Rescue flight lead. Additionally he led flying missions during Red Flag exercises as well as during REFORGER while deployed to Turkey.
Colonel Giacobe’s assignment to Korea and the 25th Fighter Squadron brought with it challenges of working closely with the Korean Tactical Air Control System as well as with US and Korean ground controllers. The squadron was located at Suwon Air Base, a joint US-Korean airfield, providing close interaction with Korean Air Force pilots and support personnel. His participation in joint combined exercises such as Ulchi Focus Lens, and monthly combat exercises featured Highway Landing Strip events, live weapons delivery, and cross-service cooperative refueling missions at Korean Forward Operating Locations.
In 1985, he was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, in the Directorate of Training, as the FAC/A-10 formal flying training program manager. During this time he worked closely on several projects including the automation of flying training program flight hours, allocation of assets, and TAC’s physical training program. Subsequently he was selected to the operations briefing team, and conducted daily, weekly and monthly briefings to the DO and TAC Commander.
In 1988, the Colonel returned to the A-10 and the Flying Tigers, where he flew with the 75th Tactical Fighter Squadron, the “Sharks”. There he led his unit in training deployments such as Maple Flag and at the National Training Center. Next he was assigned as the operations officer for the 74th Tactical Fighter Squadron, teh "Tigers". In 1990 he deployed the squadron to King Fahd Air Base in Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield, and eventually led the Wing Operations Center for Night Operations.
In 1991, he was selected as the commander of Detachment 7, 507th Tactical Air Control Wing, at Fort Riley Kansas, where he led a 64-man command and control unit. Here he provided direct liaison and advice to the commanding general and staff of the 1st Infantry Division, Mechanical, the “Big Red One.” Frequent exercises and training opportunities were the norm, including the unit’s deployment to REFORGER and smaller deployments to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
The Colonel was then selected to return to Korea and command the 604th Air Support Operation Center Squadron, stationed at Camp Red Cloud, Ouijongbu, Korea. There he streamlined operations which supported both US and Korean allied flights in and around the Demilitarized Zone. His close work with his Korean Counterparts effectively integrated our allies into daily squadron operations. Sensing a need to be more self-sufficient, he created an in-house messing facility for his 150 personnel as well as hot showers during field deployments, culminating and a two-week autonomous deployment, in blizzard conditions, to a soccer field near the DMZ demonstrating their ability to support the Republic of Korea’s V Corps Headquarters for the Inspector General team.
Following Colonel Giacobe’s assignment to the CINC’s Intitatives Group at Yongsan AB, he was transferred back to the CONUS and into Air University’s Civil Air Patrol-USAF liaison team, with duty location at McGuire AFB NJ. As the CAP-USAF’s Northeast Liaison Region Commander, he effective led over 90 active duty and USAF Reserve personnel in their role of advice and leadership of the Civil Air Patrol’s nine wings from New Jersey to Maine. His flying duties included frequent flights as instructor and evaluator in single and multiple engine civilian aircraft, Pipers and Cessnas.
In 1998, Colonel Giacobe was assigned as the U.S. Central Command Air Forces (USCENTAF) liaison to the U.S. Army Forces Central Command (USARCENT) at Fort McPherson Georgia. As such, he was the direct linkage between COMUSCENTAF and COMUSARCENT and provided the connectivity to successfully integrate air and ground forces to meet the Commander-in-Chief’s campaign objectives. He deployed with General Tommy Franks several times to Kuwait in support of Operation Desert Fox as well as others, and provided liaison advice to the battle staff of the ARCENT (forward) headquarters in the role of “Echelons Above Corps.”
Colonel Giacobe retired June 1, 1999. Colonel Giacobe and his wife, Marti, have two sons: Nicklaus and Andrew.
1972 Bachelor of Arts, Geography, University of Illinois
1979 Squadron Officers School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1981 Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence Program
1983 Master of Arts, Business Management, Webster University
1987 Air War College Seminar Program, Langley AFB Va.
1. June 1973 - July 1974, student, pilot training, 25th Flying Training Wing, Vance Air Force Base, Okla.
2. December 1974 - September 1977, T-37 instructor pilot, 8th Flying Training Squadron, Vance Air Force Base, Okla.
3. February 1978 - June 1980, O-2 pilot and forward air controller, 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas
4. January 1981 - June 1983, A-10 pilot, 74th Tactical Fighter Squadron; later, wing scheduler, 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, England Air Force Base, La.
5. July 1983 - June 1985, A-10 pilot and instructor pilot, 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron; later, chief of inspections, Suwon Air Base, Republic of Korea
6. July 1985 - July 1988, staff officer; later, operations briefer, Headquarters, Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
7. August 1988 - February 1991, A-10 instructor pilot and chief of inspections, 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing; later, operations officer, 74th Tactical Fighter Squadron, England Air Force Base, La.
8. February 1991 - July 1993, air liaison officer to the First Infantry Division and commander, Detachment 7, 507th Tactical Air Control Wing, Fort Riley, Kan.
9. August 1993 - December 1994, commander, 604th Air Support Operations Center Squadron, Camp Red Cloud, Republic of Korea.
10. December 1994 - June 1995, staff officer and air operations analyst for the Commander in Chief’s (CINC’s) Initiatives Group, Combined Forces Command, Yongsan Army Garrison, Republic of Korea.
11. August 1995 – May 1998, commander, Civil Air Patrol-USAF Northeast Liaison Region, McGuire Air Force Base, N. J.
12. May 1998 – May 1999, U.S. Central Command Air Forces liaison to U.S. Army Forces Central Command, Fort McPherson, Ga.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 3,000
Aircraft Flown: A-10, O-2, T-37, T-38, UH-1, OH-58, CES-182/172
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Southwest Asia Service Medal with one device
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
Second Lieutenant May 10, 1973
First Lieutenant May 10, 1975
Captain May 10, 1977
Major Oct 10, 1984
Lieutenant Colonel Aug 1, 1989
Colonel June 1, 1995
Retired effective 1 June 1999
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