522d Special Operations Squadron

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9th Special Operations Squadron
522d Special Operations Squadron - MC-130J Commando II.jpg
A new MC-130J Commando II taxis on the flightline at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., 29 September 2011
Active 1939 – 2014
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part of Air Force Special Operations Command
Garrison/HQ Cannon AFB, New Mexico
Nickname(s) Fireballs
Insignia
522d Special Operations Squadron emblem 522d Special Operations Squadron - Emblem.png

The 522d Special Operations Squadron (522 SOS), nicknamed the Fireballs, was a unit of the United States Air Force. It was part of the 27th Special Operations Group, the flying component of the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon AFB. It was the first to operate the MC-130J Commando II.

The 522d SOS was originally constituted in 1939 as the 16th Bombardment Squadron, which was later redesignated the 522nd Fighter Squadron, and carried the lineage, history, and honors of those units. It was inactivated in 2014.

History[edit]

522d F-16C Block 50P 92-3921
522d TFS F-100D Super Sabre - 56-3150 about 1960
522d Fighter-Escort Squadron F-84Gs, Bergstrom AFB, Texas, 1952

The 522d SOS was originally constituted in 1939 as the 16th Bombardment Squadron (Light) and activated on 1 February 1940.[1] It was stationed at Barksdale Field, Louisiana, and later Hunter Field, Georgia, before being assigned to Luzon in the Philippines in 1941. After war began between the United States and Japan, the unit's air echelon operated in Australia. When American units in the Philippines surrendered, ground elements of the unit were part of the Bataan Death March.

The unit was redesignated as the 522d Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 23 August 1943 and then the 522d Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 30 May 1944. During World War II, it was one of the most decorated U.S. Army Air Force units. The unit later served in conflicts such as the Korean and Vietnam wars, and flew almost a dozen different aircraft in support of various missions. The 522d Fighter Squadron inactivated in 2007 when the 27th Fighter Wing became the 27th Special Operations Wing.[2]

The 522d Special Operations Squadron was reactivated at Cannon Air Force Base on 7 April 2011 using the lineage of the 522d Fighter Squadron, part of the 27th Special Operations Group. The first to be equipped with the Lockheed MC-130J Commando II special operations support aircraft, it was tasked with supporting special operations commanders through day and night low-level infiltration, exfiltration, resupply, and aerial refueling of helicopters.[3][4] In 2012, it achieved initial operational capability.

Around 9 December 2014, the unit was inactivated. The squadron's personnel, aircraft, and equipment were "reflagged" as the 9th Special Operations Squadron.[5]

Lineage[edit]

522d Fighter Squadron emblem
  • Constituted 16th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 22 Dec 1939
Activated on 1 Feb 1940
Re-designated: 522d Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 23 Aug 1943
Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 30 May 1944
Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945
  • Activated on 20 Aug 1946
Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 22 Jul 1947
Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 1 Dec 1949
Re-designated: 522d Fighter-Escort Squadron on 1 Feb 1950
Re-designated: 522d Strategic Fighter Squadron on 20 Jan 1953
Re-designated: 522d Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 1 Jul 1957
Re-designated: 522d Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 Jul 1958
Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron on 1 Nov 1991
Designated as 522d Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and placed in provisional status when deployed to combat area of operations as part of Global War on Terrorism after 11 September 2001.
Inactivated on 30 September 2007
  • Converted to provisional status and allocated to Air Combat Command to activate or inactivate any time after 1 October 2007.
  • Converted to regular status, 1 April 2011
  • Re-designated 522d Special Operations Squadron, and activated 7 April 2011
  • Inactivated c. 9 December 2014

Assignments[edit]

Attached to 27th Fighter-Escort Wing, 6 Aug 1951 – 15 Jun 1952
Attached to unknown, 6 Sep-18 Dec 1958
Attached to TUSLOG, 18 Oct 1959 – 22 Feb 1960
Attached to 405th Fighter Wing, 13 Feb-c. 7 Mar 1961
Attached to TUSLOG, 5 Feb-15 Jun 1962
Attached to 2d Air Division, 12 Dec 1962-c. 15 Feb 1963 and 16 Mar-6 May 1964
Attached to 405th Fighter Wing, 8 Aug-c. 20 Sep 1964
Attached to 2d Air Division, c. 20 Sep-15 Nov 1964
Attached to 405th Fighter Wing, 15 Aug-25 Nov 1965
Attached to 712th Operations Group [Provisional], 1 October 2007 – 1 March 2008

Stations[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Robertson, Patsy (29 January 2008). "522 Fighter Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  2. ^ Wilson, Steven (1 October 2007). "Last deployment for Fireballs, 27th Fighter Wing". 36th Operations Group Public Affairs. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  3. ^ Dollman, David (21 October 2016). "522 Special Operations Squadron (AFSOC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "522nd Special Operations Squadron". Cannon Air Force Base. 27 February 2012. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  5. ^ Slack, Chip (9 December 2014). "Earning a new name". 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 

Bibliography[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.