WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao – Today, Lieutenant Colonel James A. Sinclair relinquished command of the United States Forward Operating Locations (USFOL) on Curaçao and Aruba to Lieutenant Colonel John P. McCoy. The Change of Command is a time-honored military tradition which symbolizes the continuation of leadership and unit identity despite the change in individual authority. Passing the ceremonial flag from the old commander to the new commander physically represents this transfer.
Present at the ceremony were U.S. Consul General Allen Greenberg and Commander of the Netherlands Forces in the Dutch Caribbean Brigadier General Peter Jan de Vin. Also present via social media were Commander of the 612th Theater Operations Group and 474th Air Expeditionary Group, Headquarters Twelfth Air Force, Davis Monthan Air Force Base, AZ, Colonel Travis L. Ingber, and a few other invited guests.
Lieutenant Colonel Sinclair distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the U.S. as Commander, Detachment 2, 612th Theater Operations Group, Headquarters Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern), Curaçao and Aruba USFOLs. During this period,
Colonel Sinclair led 270 Airmen and contractors responsible for the execution of a US $101 million base operation enabling over 120 flight hours.
Furthermore, his team supported more than 30 counter narcotics aircraft, flying 80 missions with the support of 240 deployed personnel resulting in 18 arrests and disrupting US $448 million of illicit drugs.
Additionally, Lieutenant Colonel Sinclair was instrumental in the support of four Hurricane Hunter aircraft ensuring 34 storm penetrations enabling the most up to date information was provided on category five Hurricane Dorian.
Finally, working closely together with the Government of Curacao and the U.S. Consulate General, Lieutenant Colonel Sinclair led the largest deployment to Curacao in over a decade, consisting of three Air Expeditionary Squadrons, 186 personnel, and four aircraft during the Covid-19 pandemic.
His successor, Lieutenant Colonel McCoy was the Director of Operations for the 755th Operations Support Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. (full bio attached) The USFOLs on Curacao and Aruba and the 429th Expeditionary Operations Squadron support multinational aircraft operations that conduct detection, monitoring, and tracking missions that play an important role in counter-drug efforts in the region. USFOL Curaçao was established because of a multilateral agreement between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States whereby aircraft and crews deploy to the USFOL on a temporary basis to conduct counter-drug operations.