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Air Force Special Operations Command

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Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Force Special Operations Command emblem
Active10 February 1983 – present
(41 years, 5 months)
  • 22 May 1990 – present (as Air Force Special Operations Command)
    10 February 1983 – 22 May 1990 (as 23d Air Force)[1]
Country United States of America
Branch United States Air Force
TypeMajor Command
Role"Provide our Nation’s specialized airpower, capable across the spectrum of conflict … Any Place, Any Time, Anywhere"[2]
Size17,967 personnel authorized:[3]
  • 15,724 military personnel
  • 2,243 civilian personnel
Part of United States Special Operations Command
HeadquartersHurlburt Field, Florida, U.S.
Nickname(s)"Air Commandos"[4]
Motto(s)"Any place. Any time. Anywhere"[5]
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award[6]
CommanderLt Gen Michael E. Conley[7]
Deputy CommanderMaj Gen Rebecca J. Sonkiss
Command Chief Master SergeantCCM Anthony W. Green[8]
Twenty-Third Air Force shield (former) (approved May 1983)[9]
Aircraft flown
AttackAC-130W/J, MQ-9
TransportC-145A, C-146A, CV-22B

Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida, is the special operations component of the United States Air Force. An Air Force major command (MAJCOM), AFSOC is also the U.S. Air Force component command to United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), a unified combatant command located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. AFSOC provides all Air Force Special Operations Forces (SOF) for worldwide deployment and assignment to regional unified combatant commands.

Before 1983, Air Force special operations forces were primarily assigned to the Tactical Air Command (TAC) and were generally deployed under the control of U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) or, as had been the case during the Vietnam War, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). Just as it had relinquished control of the C-130 theater airlift fleet to Military Airlift Command (MAC) in 1975, TAC relinquished control of Air Force SOF to MAC in December 1982.

AFSOC was initially established on 10 February 1983 as Twenty-Third Air Force (23 AF), a subordinate numbered air force of MAC, with 23 AF headquarters initially established at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. On 1 August 1987, 23 AF headquarters moved to Hurlburt Field, Florida. AFSOC elements include Combat Controllers (CCT), Pararescuemen (PJ), Special Reconnaissance (SR), and Tactical Air Control Party (TACP).

Predecessor USAAF and USAF special operations units[edit]

World War II[edit]

Korean War[edit]

Early Cold War era[edit]

Vietnam War era[edit]

Late Cold War era[edit]


Activated on 1 March 1983
Redesignated Air Force Special Operations Command and made a major command on 22 May 1990[6]




Air Force Special Operations Command OrBat


Air Force[edit]

Several U.S. and Russian-built aircraft of the
Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center belonging to the 6th Special Operations Squadron
MH-53J Pave Low III helicopters near Hurlburt Field, circa 2001; upgraded to MH-53M Pave Low IV configuration, the last examples were retired from AFSOC service in late 2008 and replaced by the
CV-22B Osprey
AC-130U Spooky gunship over Hurlburt Field
MC-130H Combat Talon II infiltration/exfiltration and aerial refueling aircraft
MC-130J Commando II aircraft on the tarmac at the Lockheed Martin / Air Force Plant 6 facility at Dobbins ARB, Georgia
EC-130J Commando Solo III psychological warfare/information warfare aircraft

The following list contains the flying and Special Tactics squadrons of the Air Force Special Operations Command:

Air National Guard[edit]

Additionally, the Air Force Special Operations Command would gain the following units from Air Mobility Command or Air Combat Command aligned Air National Guard wings:[30]

Air Force Reserve Command[edit]

The Air Force Reserve Command units of Air Force Special Operations Command are:

Personnel and resources[edit]

Air Force Special Tactics Commandos[32] training in Jordan

AFSOC has about 20,800 active-duty, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and civilian personnel.[33]

The command's SOF units are composed of highly trained, rapidly deployable airmen who are equipped with specialized aircraft. These forces conduct global special operations missions ranging from precision application of firepower, to infiltration, aviation foreign internal defense, exfiltration, resupply and aerial refueling of SOF operational elements.

In addition to the pilots, combat systems officers, and enlisted aircrew who fly AFSOC's aircraft, there is a highly experienced support force of maintenance officers and enlisted aircraft maintenance personnel who maintain these complex aircraft and their support systems, a cadre of premier intelligence officers and enlisted intelligence specialists well versed in special operations, as well as logisticians, security forces and numerous other support officers and personnel.

Another aspect of AFSOC is Special Tactics, the U.S. Air Force's special operations ground force. Similar in ability and employment to Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC), U.S. Army Special Forces and U.S. Navy SEALs, Air Force Special Tactics personnel are typically the first to enter combat and often find themselves deep behind enemy lines in demanding, austere conditions, usually with little or no support.

The command's Special Tactics Squadrons are led by Special Tactics Officers (STOs). Special Tactics Squadrons combine Combat Controllers, Tactical Air Control Party (TACP), Air Force Special Reconnaissance, Pararescuemen (PJs) and Combat Rescue Officers (CROs) to form versatile SOF teams. AFSOC's unique capabilities include airborne radio and television broadcast for psychological operations, as well as combat aviation advisors to provide other governments military expertise for their internal development.

Due to the rigors of the career field, Special Tactics' year-long training is one of the most demanding in the military, with attrition rates between 80 and 90 percent. In an attempt to reduce the high attrition, Special Tactics is very selective when choosing their officers. Special Tactics Officers (STO) undergo a highly competitive process to gain entry into the Special Tactics career field, ensuring only the most promising and capable leaders are selected. STO leadership and role modeling during the difficult training reduces the attrition rate for enlisted trainees.

STO selection is a two-phase process. Beginning with Phase One, a board of veteran STOs reviews application packages consisting of letters of recommendation, fitness test scores, and narratives written by the applicants describing their career aspirations and reasons for applying. Based on Phase One performance, about eight to 10 applicants are invited to the next phase. Phase Two is a weeklong battery of evaluations, ranging from physical fitness and leadership to emotional intelligence and personality indicators. At the end of Phase Two, typically two to four applicants are selected to begin the year-plus Special Tactics training pipeline.



AFSOC regularly operates the following aircraft:[34]

Additionally, AFSOC, through the 492nd Special Operations Wing (as of 2017, and the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center previously), possess and operates a small number of the following aircraft for its special training mission and Aviation Foreign Internal Defense (FID) missions:


New AC-130J and MC-130J aircraft based on the Lockheed Martin KC-130J Super Hercules tanker variant are being acquired and sent to certain AFSOC units. MC-130J aircraft have already entered service while the AC-130J continues developmental testing in preparation for an Initial Operational Capability (IOC) with AFSOC projected for FY 2017[36][37][38]


Twenty-Third Air Force (23 AF)[edit]

In December 1982, the Air Force transferred responsibility for Air Force special operations from Tactical Air Command (TAC) to Military Airlift Command (MAC). Consequently, in March 1983, MAC activated Twenty-Third Air Force (23 AF) at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. This new numbered air force's responsibilities included worldwide missions of special operations, combat rescue, weather reconnaissance and aerial sampling, security support for intercontinental ballistic missile sites, training of USAF helicopter and HC-130 crewmen, pararescue training, and medical evacuation.[12]

Operation Urgent Fury[edit]

In October 1983, 23 AF helped rescue Americans from the island nation of Grenada. During the seven-day operation, centered at Point Salines Airport, 23 AF furnished MC-130s, AC-130s, aircrews, maintenance, and support personnel. An EC-130 from the 193rd Special Operations Wing of the Air National Guard (ANG) also played a psy-war role. Lieutenant Colonel (later Major General) James L. Hobson Jr., an MC-130 pilot and commander of the 8th Special Operations Squadron, was later awarded the Mackay Trophy for his actions in leading the air drop on the Point Salines Airport.[39]

U.S. Special Operations Command[edit]

In May 1986, the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act led to the formation of the United States Special Operations Command. Senators William Cohen and Sam Nunn introduced the Senate bill, and the following month Congressman Dan Daniel introduced a like measure in the House of Representatives. The key provisions of the legislation formed the basis to amend the 1986 Defense Authorizations Bill. This bill, signed into law in October 1986, in part directed the formation of a unified command responsible for special operations. In April 1987, the DoD established the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, and Army GEN James J. Lindsay assumed command. Four months later, 23 AF moved its headquarters from Scott AFB to Hurlburt Field, Florida.

In August 1989, Gen Duane H. Cassidy, USAF, CINCMAC, divested 23 AF of its non-special operations units, e.g., search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, etc. Thus, 23 AF served a dual role: still reporting to MAC, but also functioning as the air component to USSOCOM.[12]

Operation Just Cause[edit]

From late December 1989 to early January 1990, 23 AF participated in the invasion of the Republic of Panama during Operation Just Cause. Special operations aircraft included both active duty AC-130H and Air Force Reserve AC-130A Spectre gunships, EC-130 Volant Solo psychological operations aircraft from the Air National Guard, HC-130P/N Combat Shadow tankers, MC-130E Combat Talons, and MH-53J Pave Low and MH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters. Special tactics Combat Controllers and Pararescuemen provided important support to combat units.[12]

Spectre gunship crews of the 1 SOW earned the Mackay Trophy and Tunner Award for their efforts, with an Air Force Reserve AC-130A Spectre crew from the 919th Special Operations Group (919 SOG) earning the President's Award. An active duty 1st SOW MC-130 Combat Talon crew ferried the captured Panamanian President, Manuel Noriega, to prison in the United States. Likewise, the efforts of the 1 SOW maintenance people earned them the Daedalian Award.[12]

On 22 May 1990, General Larry D. Welch, USAF, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, redesignated Twenty-Third Air Force as Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). This new major command consisted of three wings: the 1st, 39th and 353rd Special Operations Wings as well as the 1720th Special Tactics Group (1720 STG), the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School, and the Special Missions Operational Test and Evaluation Center.[12]

Currently, after major redesignations and reorganizations, AFSOC direct reporting units include the 16th Special Operations Wing, the 352nd Special Operations Group, the 353rd Special Operations Group, the 720th Special Tactics Group (720 STG), the USAF Special Operations School and the 18th Flight Test Squadron (18 FLTS). During the early 1990s a major reorganization occurred within AFSOC. The 1720 STG became the 720 STG in March 1992; the transfer of ownership of Hurlburt Field from Air Mobility Command (AMC, and formerly MAC) to AFSOC in October 1992, followed by the merger of the 834th Air Base Wing (834 ABW) into the 1 SOW, which assumed host unit responsibilities. A year later the 1 SOW became the 16 SOW in a move to preserve Air Force heritage.[40]

Meanwhile, the Special Missions Operational Test and Evaluation Center (SMOTEC), which explored heavy lift frontiers in special operations capabilities, while pursuing better equipment and tactics development, was also reorganized. In April 1994, the Air Force, in an effort to standardize these types of organizations, redesignated SMOTEC as the 18th Flight Test Squadron (18 FLTS).[citation needed]

Gulf War[edit]

From early August 1990 to late February 1991, AFSOC participated in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, the protection of Saudi Arabia and liberation of Kuwait. Special tactics personnel operated throughout the theater on multiple combat control and combat rescue missions. Special operations forces performed direct action missions, combat search and rescue, infiltration, exfiltration, air base ground defense, air interdiction, special reconnaissance, close air support, psychological operations, and helicopter air refuelings. Pave Low crews led the helicopter assault on radars to blind Iraq at the onset of hostilities, and they also accomplished the deepest rescue for which they received the Mackay Trophy.[41]

MC-130E/H Combat Talons dropped the BLU-82, the largest conventional bombs of the war and, along with MC-130P Combat Shadows, dropped the most psychological warfare leaflets, while AC-130A and AC-130H Spectre gunships provided valuable fire support and armed reconnaissance. However, the AC-130 community also suffered the single greatest combat loss of coalition air forces with the shoot down of an AC-130H, call sign Spirit 03, by an Iraqi SA-7 Grail surface-to-air missile. All fourteen crew members aboard Spirit 03 were killed.[42][43]


Post-Gulf War[edit]

In December 1992, AFSOC special tactics and intelligence personnel supported Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. In late 1994, AFSOC units spearheaded Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, and in 1995 Operation Deliberate Force in the Balkans.[44]

Operation Enduring Freedom[edit]

Then-MSgt Bart Decker from the 23rd STS, on horseback in the Balkh valley, during the initial days of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, and the Pentagon, Washington D.C., on 11 September 2001 pushed the United States special operations forces to the forefront of the war against terrorism. By the end of September 2001, AFSOC deployed forces to southwest Asia for Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan to help destroy the al Qaeda terrorist organization and remove the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. AFSOC airpower delivered special tactics forces to the battle ground and they in turn focused U.S. airpower and allowed Afghanistan's Northern Alliance ground forces to dispatch the Taliban and al Qaeda from Afghanistan. AFSOC personnel also deployed to the Philippines to help aid that country's efforts against terrorism.[44]

US Air Force Special Operations had a long-term presence in the Philippines during Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines.[45]

Operation Iraqi Freedom[edit]

In March 2003, AFSOC again deployed forces to southwest Asia this time in support of what would become Operation Iraqi Freedom – the removal of Saddam Hussein and his Baathist government. The command's personnel and aircraft teamed with SOF and conventional forces to quickly bring down Saddam Hussein's government by May 2003. AFSOC forces continued to conduct operations in support of the new Iraqi government against insurgents and terrorists.[44]

Interoperability and Multinational trainings[edit]

The USAFSOC takes part in the multinational trainings at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre in which it trains in multiple scenarios with partner nations in order to increase interoperability between partner forces.[46]


AFSOC has had eleven commanders since its inception in 1990.

No. Commander Term
Portrait Name Took office Left office Duration
Thomas E. Eggers
Eggers, Thomas E.Major General
Thomas E. Eggers
22 May 199020 June 19911 year, 29 days
Bruce L. Fister
Fister, Bruce L.Major General
Bruce L. Fister
21 June 199121 July 19943 years, 30 days
James L. Hobson Jr.
Hobson, James L. Jr.Major General
James L. Hobson Jr.
22 July 19948 July 19972 years, 351 days
Charles R. Holland
Holland, Charles R.Major General
Charles R. Holland
9 July 19974 August 19992 years, 26 days
Maxwell C. Bailey
Bailey, Maxwell C.Lieutenant General
Maxwell C. Bailey
5 August 199915 January 20022 years, 163 days
Paul V. Hester
Hester, Paul V.Lieutenant General
Paul V. Hester
16 January 200230 June 20042 years, 166 days
Michael W. Wooley
Wooley, Michael W.Lieutenant General
Michael W. Wooley
1 July 200426 November 20073 years, 148 days
Donald C. Wurster
Wurster, Donald C.Lieutenant General
Donald C. Wurster
27 November 200724 June 20113 years, 209 days
Eric E. Fiel
Fiel, Eric E.Lieutenant General
Eric E. Fiel
24 June 20111 July 20143 years, 7 days
Bradley A. Heithold
Heithold, Bradley A.Lieutenant General
Bradley A. Heithold
1 July 201419 July 20162 years, 18 days
Marshall B. Webb
Webb, Marshall B.Lieutenant General
Marshall B. Webb
19 July 201628 June 20192 years, 344 days
James C. Slife
Slife, James C.Lieutenant General
James C. Slife
28 June 20199 December 20223 years, 164 days
Tony D. Bauernfeind
Bauernfeind, Tony D.Lieutenant General
Tony D. Bauernfeind
9 December 20222 July 20241 year, 206 days
Michael E. Conley
Conley, Michael E.Lieutenant General
Michael E. Conley
2 July 2024Incumbent11 days

Contingency operations[edit]

Operations supported by Air Force Special Operations Forces since the Vietnam War.[47]
Date(s) Operation
1975 Mayaguez incident, Cambodia
1975 Operation Eagle Pull, Cambodia
1975 Operation Frequent Wind, Vietnam
1976 Operation Fluid Drive, Lebanon
1978 Zaire Airlift
1980 Operation Eagle Claw, Iran
1981 Kidnapping of U.S. Army Brigadier General James Dozier, Italy
1981 Gulf of Sidra incident, Libya
1983 Operation Urgent Fury, Grenada
1983 Operation Big Pine, Honduras
1983–1985 Operation Bat, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos
1983–1988 Operation Bield Kirk, Operation Blue Flame, Operation Blinking Light, El Salvador
1984 Salvadorean President José Napoleón Duarte's daughter kidnapping, El Salvador
1985 TWA Flight 847 plane hijacking, Algeria/Lebanon
1985 Achille Lauro hijacking, Mediterranean Sea
1986 Operation El Dorado Canyon, Libya
1986 Pan Am Flight 73 plane hijacking, Pakistan
1987–1988 Operation Earnest Will, Operation Prime Chance, Persian Gulf
1988 Operation Golden Pheasant, Honduras
1989 Operation Safe Passage, Afghanistan
1989 Operation Poplar Tree, El Salvador
1989 1989 Philippine coup attempt, Philippines
1989 Operation Just Cause, Panama
1990 Operation Promote Liberty, Panama
1990 Civilian evacuation, Liberia
1990–1991 Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq
1991 Operation Eastern Exit, Somalia
1991–2003 Operation Provide Comfort I–III, Operation Northern Watch, Turkey, Iraq
1991 Operation Sea Angel, 1991 Bangladesh cyclone relief, Bangladesh
1991 Operation Fiery Vigil, Philippines
1991 Operation Desert Calm, Saudi Arabia
1991–2003 Operation Southern Watch, Kuwait
1992 Operation Silver Anvil, Sierra Leone
1992–1994 Operation Provide Promise I–II, Italy, Yugoslavia
1992–1993 Operation Restore Hope, Somalia
1993–1995 Operation Continue Hope I–III, Somalia
1993 Operation Deny Flight, Yugoslavia
1993 Operation Silver Hope, Ukraine
1994 Operation Restore Democracy, Operation Uphold Democracy, Haiti
1994 Operation Support Hope, Rwanda
1995 Operation United Shield, Somalia
1995–1996 Operation Deliberate Force, Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Joint Guard, Italy, Yugoslavia, Bosnia
1996 Search and Rescue support for U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown CT-43 crash, Croatia
1996 Operation Assured Response, evacuation, Liberia
1996 Operation Guardian Retrieval, Uganda
1996 Operation Pacific Bridge, Palau
1996 Operation Guardian Assistance, Rwanda
1997 Operation Silver Wake, evacuation, Albania
1997 Operation Guardian Angel, Yugoslavia
1997 Operation Firm Response, evacuation, Republic of Congo
1997 Operation High Flight, Namibia
1998 Operation Desert Thunder, Persian Gulf
1998 Operation Desert Fox, Iraq
1999 Operation Allied Force, Serbia, Kosovo
2000 Operation Atlas Response, flood relief, Mozambique
2000 Operation Fiery Relief, volcano relief, Philippines
2001 Operation Valiant Return, China
2001–2014 Operation Enduring Freedom, Global War on Terror
2002 Operation Autumn Return, evacuation, Côte d'Ivoire
2003 Operation Shining Express, evacuation, Liberia
2003–2011 Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq
2003–2008 Operation Willing Spirit, Colombia
2004 Operation Atlas Shield, Greece
2004 Operation Secure Tomorrow, Haiti
2005–2005 Operation Unified Assistance, Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia
2005 Task Force Katrina, hurricane relief, United States
2006 evacuation, Lebanon
2008 Operation Aster Silver, evacuation, Chad
2008 Operation Assured Delivery, Georgia
2008 Operation Olympic Titan, Pacific Ocean
2010 Operation Unified Response, earthquake relief, Haiti
2011 Operation Tomodachi, earthquake and tsunami relief, Japan
2011 Operation Odyssey Dawn, Libya
2013 Operation Damayan, typhoon relief, Philippines
2014 Operation Inherent Resolve, Iraq, Syria, and Libya
2015-2021 Operation Freedom's Sentinel, Afghanistan


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Air Force Special Operations Command (USAF)". af.mil. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  2. ^ "AFSOC "About Us"". afsoc.af.mil. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Air Commandos". af.mil. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  5. ^ "United States Air Force". m.facebook.com. Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Bailey, Carl E. (9 November 2010). "Factsheet Air Force Special Operations Command (USAF)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  7. ^ Bell, Lucelia (1 July 2024). "Conley promoted to lieutenant general ahead of AFSOC change of command". Air Force Special Operations Command. Hurlburt Field, Florida: Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs. Retrieved 2 July 2024.
  8. ^ "Chief Master Sergeant Anthony W. Green". Air Force Special Operations Command. Retrieved 3 June 2023.
  9. ^ Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. Naval Imaging Command. 1988-ca. 1993 (Predecessor); Department of Defense. Defense Audiovisual Agency (Predecessor); Department of Defense. American Forces Information Service. Defense Visual Information Center. 1994– (12 May 1983). Approved insignia for: 23rd Air Force. Series: Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files, 1921–2008. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2018 – via US National Archives Research Catalog.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "The Carpetbagger Photographic Archives". Archived from the original on 7 March 2015.
  11. ^ ZenosWarbirds (29 May 2013). "Operation Carpetbagger: B-24s drop agents and supplies into occupied Europe in WW2". Archived from the original on 27 January 2016 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Haas, Michael E., "Apollo’s Warriors: US Air Force Special Operations during the Cold War", Air University Press, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, 1997, page 36.
  14. ^ Haas, Apollo's Warriors: U.S. Special Operations During the Cold War
  15. ^ "Topic: A-26A/B-26K Counter Invader Farm Gate Program – Bien Hoa AB Association". Archived from the original on 8 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Nakhon Phanom During The Secret War 1962–1975". Archived from the original on 23 February 2011.
  17. ^ "The Air Commando Association – Air Commando and Special Operations Combat". Archived from the original on 3 October 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Air Force Special Operations Command Brief History > Air Force Special Operations Command > Display". Archived from the original on 8 March 2016.
  19. ^ 23rd AF deactivates [sic] Archived 15 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Afsoc.af.mil. Retrieved on 21 July 2013.
  20. ^ AFSOC stands up Air Warfare Center Archived 17 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Afsoc.af.mil. Retrieved on 21 July 2013.
  21. ^ "1st SOW units". Hurlburt Field Public Affairs. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Hurlburt Field reactivates 73d SOS". Hurlburt Field Public Affairs. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  23. ^ "24th SOW units". 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs. 20 February 2015. Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  24. ^ "27th Special Operations Group". 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  25. ^ 1st Lieutenant Douglas, Renee. "The 353rd SOG bids farewell to the Combat Talon II". 353rd Special Operations Group. Retrieved 27 April 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ "Special operations Osprey squadrons stand up at US air base in Tokyo". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  27. ^ "AFSOC stands up Air Warfare Center". Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  28. ^ "Air Force Special Operations Command > Units > Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  29. ^ "137th Special Operations Wing Units". 137th Special Operations Wing. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  30. ^ a b "Air Force Special Operations Command > Home". Archived from the original on 20 January 2015.
  31. ^ "We are the 919th Special Operations Wing". 919th Special Operations Wing. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  32. ^ "Air Commandos At The Tip of the Spear". SWS Heritage Center.
  33. ^ U.S. Seeks Faster Deployment; Smaller, More Flexible Special-Operations Teams Would Tackle Emerging Threats Under New Plan Archived 27 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine 7 May 2012
  34. ^ USAF Special Operations Command Archived 2 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine Official Site.
  35. ^ "6th Special Operations Squadron – Defense Media Network". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  36. ^ FlightGlobal.com: Lockheed Martin C-130J selected for new special operations role Archived 30 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine, by Stephen Trimble, Washington DC, 18 June 2008; accessed: 20 February 2012
  37. ^ "MC-130J Commando II > U.S. Air Force > Fact Sheet Display". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  38. ^ "AC-130J Ghostrider > U.S. Air Force > Fact Sheet Display". Archived from the original on 8 March 2016.
  39. ^ "MAJOR GENERAL JAMES L. HOBSON JR. > U.S. Air Force > Biography Display". Archived from the original on 8 March 2016.
  40. ^ "Factsheets : 1 Special Operations Wing (AFSOC)". Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  41. ^ "25th Anniversary of Desert Storm". Archived from the original on 9 March 2016.
  42. ^ "In Memory Of "Spirit 03" Jan 31, 1991". Archived from the original on 8 March 2016.
  43. ^ "In memory of Spirit 03". Archived from the original on 8 March 2016.
  44. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  45. ^ Neville, Leigh, Special Forces in the War on Terror (General Military), Osprey Publishing, 2015 ISBN 978-1472807908, pp. 184–185
  46. ^ "US Air Force Special Tactics trains to lead, build partnership in Jordan > Air Force Special Operations Command > Article Display".
  47. ^ "AFSOC Heritage". Archived from the original on 19 March 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  48. ^ Trest, Warren A., "Air Commando One: Heinie Aderholt And America's Secret Air Wars", Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., London, 2000, LCCN 99--5364, ISBN 978-1560988076

Further reading[edit]

  • Chinnery, Philip D. Any Time, Any Place: Fifty Years of the USAF Air Commando and Special Operations Forces, 1944–1994. Annapolis, Md: Naval Institute Press, 1994. ISBN 1557500371
  • Haas, Michael E. Apollo's Warriors: U.S. Air Force Special Operations During the Cold War. 2002, University Press of the Pacific, Honolulu. ISBN 978-1410200099.
  • Hebert, Adam J. "The Air Commandos". Air Force Magazine, March 2005 (vol. 88, no. 3).
  • Marquis, Susan L. Unconventional Warfare: Rebuilding U.S. Special Operations Forces. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1997. ISBN 0815754760
  • Pushies, Fred J. Deadly Blue Battle Stories of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. New York: American Management Assoc, 2009. Books24x7. ISBN 978-0814413616
  • Sine, William F. Guardian Angel: Life and Death Adventures with Pararescue, the World's Most Powerful Commando Rescue Force. Havertown, Pa: Casemate, 2012. ISBN 978-1612001227

External links[edit]