GODFATHER OF SPECIAL TACTICS|COMBAT CONTROLLER|VETERAN’s ADVOCATE
CMSgt (ret) Wayne Norrad was born and raised in Saco, Maine. He joined the United States Air Force in 1966 as a weapons mechanic [bomb loader] on the B-52 Stratofortress, deploying to Thailand in 1968. After his initial five-year commitment concluded, he moved back to Maine where he held various jobs, but missed the adventure of military life. He re-enlisted in 1972. While waiting for security clearances, he met a group of combat controllers that changed the course of his life. In 1975, he deployed to Cambodia on a classified mission as a combat controller in support Project SCOOT-CE. Following the failures of Operation EAGLE CLAW, CMSgt Norrad was selected as one of sixteen combat controllers to stand up Detachment 1 Military Airlift Command Operations Staff (MACOS) as part of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He deployed again on Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama in 1989. He and his team conducted a combat jump and assault with 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment into an airfield at Rio Hato. A couple of years later, CMSgt Norrad deployed to support Operation DESERT SHIELD and subsequently Operation DESERT STORM, where he cleared the first allied aircraft for landing at Kuwait International Airport following its seizure by US Marines. CMSgt Norrad is a master parachutist with the combat jump star, military freefall jumpmaster and combat diver. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars, five Meritorious Service Medals, an Air Force Commendation Medal, two Air Force Achievement medals, and the Outstanding Airmen of the Year Ribbon. He is a member of the Combat Control Association Hall of Fame, US Special Operations Command Hall of Honor, and a recipient of the National Defense Industrial Association DeProspero Lifetime Achievement Award.