6th Special Operations Squadron

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6th Special Operations Squadron
PZL C-145A flown by the 6th Special Operations Squadron
Active 1944–1945; 1962–1969; 1994 – present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Special Operations
Part of Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center
Garrison/HQ Duke Field
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation
Gallant Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" Device
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
6th Special Operations Squadron emblem (Approved 5 September 1997)[1] 6th Special Operations Squadron.jpg

The 6th Special Operations Squadron is part of the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center at Duke Field, Florida. It is a Combat Aviation Advisory unit.

Its mission is to assess, train, advise, and assist foreign aviation forces in airpower employment, sustainment and force integration.

The unit is manned by Combat Aviation Advisors (CAA), who are specially trained Air Commandos responsible for the conduct of special operations activities by, with, and through foreign aviation forces.[2]


The squadron was first activated at Asansol Airfield, India in September 1944 as the 6th Fighter Squadron (Commando). In its first months of operation, it flew from several stations, maintaining detachments at Cox's Bazar from 15 to 21 October 1944, 2 to 8 November 1944 and 11 to 18 January 1945, and from Fenny Airfield from 1 to 24 December 1944. The 6th flew combat missions in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II from 17 October 1944 – 8 May 1945.[1]

A 6th SOS A-1E Skyraider at Pleiku in 1968–69.

It again flew combat missions from 1 March 1968 to 15 November 1969 during the Vietnam War. It was inactivated in Operation Keystone Cardinal, the first reduction in United States Air Forces combat forces as ceilings on forces in South Vietnam were reduced as the United States began to withdraw. Its Douglas A-1 Skyraiders were transferred to the 56th Special Operations Wing, stationed in Thailand.[3]

The squadron went on to conduct replacement training for US and allied pilots in Cessna A-37 Dragonfly aircraft from January 1970 – September 1974.[1]

Since 1994 the squadron has sent advisers to help US-allied forces employ and sustain their own airpower resources and, when necessary, integrate those resources into joint and multi-national operations.[2]

The unit moved from Hurlburt Field to Duke Field in 2012, as the 711th Special Operations Squadron transitioned from the MC-130E to the foreign internal defense role, the two units jointly assuming the new mission. "As the only two Air Force operational squadrons performing this mission, their deployment tempo is best described as continuous averaging around one deployment a month."[4]

In 2015, the 6th SOS shares a building, flightline, PZL C-145 Skytruck aircraft and mission with the Air Force Reserve's 711th SOS at Duke Field.[5]


  • Constituted as the 6th Fighter Squadron (Commando) on 22 September 1944
Activated on 30 September 1944
Inactivated on 3 November 1945
  • Disbanded on 8 October 1948
  • Reconstituted, redesignated 6th Air Commando Squadron, Fighter on 18 April 1962 and activated (not organized)
Organized on 27 April 1962
  • Redesignated 6th Special Operations Squadron on 15 July 1958
Inactivated on 15 November 1969
Activated on 8 January 1970
  • Redesignated 6th Special Operations Training Squadron on 31 August 1972
Inactivated on 15 September 1974
  • Redesignated 6th Special Operations Flight on 25 March 1994
Activated on 1 April 1994
  • Redesignated 6th Special Operations Squadron on 1 October 1994[1]



Detachment at Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, 1 April 1968 – 1 September 1969
  • England Air Force Base, Louisiana, 8 January 1970 – 15 September 1974
  • Hurlburt Field, Florida, 1 April 1994
  • Duke Field, Florida, 2012 – present[1]




  1. ^ a b c d e f g Robertson, Patsy (9 April 2015). "Factsheet 6 Special Operations Squadron (AFSOC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Factsheets : 6th Special Operations Squadron" Archived 5 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Hurlburt Field. U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
  3. ^ USAF Force Withdrawal from Southeast Asia, p. 14
  4. ^ King, Jr., TSG Samuel, USAF, 919th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, Eglin Flyer, Beacon Newspapers, Bayou Enterprises, Niceville, Florida, Friday 17 April 2015, page 1,6.
  5. ^ King, Jr., TSG Samuel, 919th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, Eglin Flyer, Beacon Newspapers, Bayou Enterprises, Niceville, Florida, Friday 17 April 2015, page 1.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

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