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US Air Force Special Operations Command, Rick Llinares and Andy Evans

US Air Force Special Operations Command, Rick Llinares and Andy Evans

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US Air Force Special Operations Command, Rick Llinares and Andy Evans

US Air Force Special Operations Command, Rick Llinares and Andy Evans

This book looks at the various aircraft currently or recently used by the US Air Force's Special Operations Command, an organisation that provides a variety of unusual services to the US military, including combat-rescue missions and the operation of flying control rooms, capable of controlling quite sizable ground operations.

Five of the eight types of aircraft covered are actually variants of the C-130 Hercules, starting with the AC-130 Hercules Gunship, the longest serving of any of the aircraft covered, with a combat career that stretches from the 1960s to the present day. The most recent is the very impressive CV-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotor aircraft, which only entered service in 2006, after a very lengthy development programme. There is also a brief look at the STOL version of the Hercules produced in 1980 for use in a possible second attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran.

Each chapter begins with a description and history of the aircraft in question. This is followed by a series of profiles showing different paint schemes, and finally by a detailed walk-around. These walk-around sections are very impressive, filled with detailed colour photographs of just about every aspect of each aircraft's exterior and most of the interiors (with fewer interior shots on the more modern aircraft for understandable reasons). These sections will be absolutely invaluable to the expert modeller, providing details views of some of the more obscure corners of each aircraft.

1 - Special Operations, History and Overview
2 - The AC-130 Gunship
3 - The MH-53 Pave Low
4 - The MC-130 Combat Talon
5 - The CV-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotor
6 - The MC-130P Combat Shadow
7 - The EC-130 Commando Solo
8 - The MC-130W Combat Spear
9 - The MH/HH-60G Pave Hawk

Appendix I: Glossary of Terms
Appendix II: XFC-130J Credible Sport
Appendix III: Aircraft Specifications

Buy direct from SAM Publications

Author: Rick Llinares and Andy Evans
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 128
Publisher: SAM
Year: 2010

Air Force Special Operations Command: Air Commandos

AFSOC, Air Force Special Operations Command

On the wall of the Command Chief’s office at the 1 ST Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, hang a Spartan spear and shield, as well as the mask and sword of the Persians the fought. They were hung there by a PJ, Chief Master Sgt. Ramon Colon-Lopez when he assumed the billet of Command Chief.

They are there to provide a visual reminder of the Command Chief’s philosophy: YOU HAVE TO RESPECT YOUR ENEMIES.

“If we fail to respect who they are, what they do and how they execute it, we’re going to come out losing. That’s why I say respect the enemy.” CMSgt Ramon Colon-Lopez

Pararescue (PJ) of the 24TH STS, Pope AFB, NC

The AFSOC description, according to the official AFSOC website, is: “AFSOC is America’s specialized air power. It provides Air Force special operations forces for worldwide deployment and assignment to regional unified commands. AFSOC’s core tasks have been grouped into four mission areas: forward presence and engagement, information operations precision employment and strike, and special operations forces mobility.”

AFSOC is headquartered in Hurlburt Field, Fla., though as the MAJCOM of some of the most deployed Airmen in the Air Force, its subordinate units are scattered around the world. It was established 22 May, 1990, but its ancestry goes back just about as far as the use of aircraft in combat operations. Its mission is to conduct special operations missions, ranging from precision application of firepower, to infiltration, aviation FID (Foreign Internal Defense), exfiltration, resupply, refueling and CSAR to SOF and other operational elements. AFSOC Special Operations Wings utilize a number of organic aircraft and ancillary specialty vehicles, and of course, frequently work with elements of the 160 TH SOAR (A) Nightstalkers.

Acknowledged Subordinate Commands Include the Following:

Note: In addition to the PJs, CCs, JTACs, ROMADs and others of AFSOC, there are numerous attached, owned and OPCONned units, such as the 1 ST Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, the 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, DET 1/43 RD Intelligence Squadron, and many others that help make up part of the functioning whole.

Read Next: The Aircraft of the Air Force Special Operations Command

  • 23 RD Air Force
  • 1 ST Special Operations Wing
  • 27 TH Special Operations Wing
  • 623 RD Air Operations Wing
  • 919 TH Special Operations Wing (AFR)
  • 193 RD Special Operations Wing (ANG)
  • USAF SOTC (Special Operations Training Center)
  • 18 TH Flight Test Squadron
  • 720 TH Special Tactics Group
  • 352 ND Special Operations Group
  • 353 RD Special Operations Group
  • 724 TH Special Operations Group
  • 209 TH Civil Engineer Squadron
  • 227 TH Special Operations Flight
  • 280 TH Combat Communications Squadron

US Air Force Special Operations Command, Rick Llinares and Andy Evans - History


The various publications, movies and videos titles here are provided to list any know stories and/or visual presentation of USAF helicopters and USAF helicopter missions and/or operations. All the listings are provided by the membership. USAF helicopters may only be mentioned or shown briefly in some of this media, but provides insights into our history or technical specifications. Some of these items may no longer be available for purchase but might be found in libraries across the country. RotorHeads is not indorsing or recommending any of these items, but supplies this listing to provide awareness of media items that may be of interest to anyone seeking more information about USAF helicopters, reading or seeing stories, of USAF helicopter history.

The Fall Of South Vietnam

A Certain Brotherhood

A Novel Of The Secret War

Over The Ho Chi Minh Trail

Col. Jimmie H. Buttler

Inside The Air Force Special Operations Command

Philip D. Chinnery

Vietnam, Latin America, and

Col. Bob Gleason

Heinie Aderholt And

America's Secret Air Wars

The Mayaguez and the

Battle of Koh Tang

John F. Guilmartin, Jr.

The Secret War In

John Stryker Meyer

Air War In Vietnam

Air War Over South Vietnam

Bernard C. Nalty

Air War Over Southeast Asia

A Pictorial Record Vol. 3 1971-1975

Philip D. Chinnery

United States Air Force

Special Operations During

Col. Michael E. Haas

Arsenal Of Democracy II

American Military Power

In The 1980s and The

Origins Of The New

Helicopter Special

Operations from Vietnam

Maj. Mike McKinney and

Combat Air Rescues In

Vietnam And Laos

George J. Marrett

Darrel D. Whitcomb

The CIA's Secret War

James E. Parker, Jr.

1st Hand Accounts from Operations Rolling Thunder

to the Fall of Saigon

Donald L. Gilmore with

From a Dark Sky

The Story of U.S. Air Force

Special Operations

The History Of The U.S. Air

Force 20th Special

Operations Squadron

Wayne Mutza

H-3 Sea King In Action

Squadron/Signal Publications Aircraft Number 150

My Adventures As A

Helicopter Rescue Pilot

Col. Edward Fleming

Military Hardware In Action

Helicopters & Autogyros Of

Enlarged and revised edition

Paul Lambermont with Anthony Pine

Helicopters And Other VTOL's

Wayne Mutza

Michael J.H. Taylor and

A True Story of Rescue &

Recovery Durng Vietnam War Including Raid at Son Tay.

Lt. Col. Thomas R. Waldron

USAF Retired

Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Military Aircraft

1914 To Present

Interdiction in Southern Laos 1960-1968

Jacob Van Staaveren

An Illustrated History

Wayne Mutza

A Lifetime After Military

Johan D. Ragy

A Personal Account of the Vietnam War

James E. Parker, Jr.

The Saga Of Combat Search

George Galdorisi and

Richard C. Kirkland

Nakhon Phanom, RTAFB

Military Rotary-Wing Aircraft Since 1917

Norman Polmar and

Floyd D. Kennedy, Jr.

Modern Military Aircraft

National Museum

States Air Force

A Pictorial Tour Of The

Museum, 2nd Revised

On a Steel Horse I Ride

A History of the MH-53 Pave Low Helicopters in War and Peace

Darrel C. Whitcomb

One Day Too Long

Top Secret Site 85 and the Bombing of North Vietnam

Timothy N. Castle

The Story of Air Rescue in Vietnam as seen through

the eyes of Pararescuemen

SMSgt Robert L.

Search And Rescue In Southeast Asia

Earl H. Tilford Jr.

The CIA's Secret War In Laos

A Photo History of the Secret Wars

The Secret Wars Of America's Commandos In Vietnam

MACV Studies & Opservations Group VOLUME I

MACV Studies & Observations Group VOLUME IV

Helicopter Pilot

Richard C. Kirkland

Richard C. Kirkland

The Four Day of Mayaguez

The Helicopter Directory

Joseph Mill Brown

An Encyclopedia

Stranley Sandler

The Last Battle

Ralph Wetterhahn

Darrel D. Whitcomb

The United States Air Force

in Thailand, 1961-1975

Jeffrey D. Glasser

The Secret War Against Hanoi

Kennedy's and Johnson's Use

of Spies, Saboteurs, & Covert Warriors in NVN

Richard H. Shultz, Jr.

The Story of the Winged-S

Igor I. Sikorsky

The United States

Air Force In Southeast Asia

Tactical Airlift

The USAF Search and Rescue in southeast Asia

Office of Air Force

The War Against Trucks

Aerial Interdiction in

Southern Laos 1968-1972

Bernard C. Nalty

The World's Helicopters

Joan Bradbrooke

Squadron/Signal Publications Aircraft Number 75

Wayne Mutza

US Air Force Special Operations Command, Rick Llinares and Andy Evans - History

Post by viper3111 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:26 pm

Book-US Air Force Special Operations

By-Rick Llinares and Andy Evans

Published by-Sam Publications

Here is one of the latest titles from SAM publications,
It begins right from the early days with the 'Special Flight Section' of the 12th air force's 5th bombardment wing in North Africa, and their first combat mission was in 1943 in a highly modified B-17F.
Then we start to move on with the AC-47's, AC-119, HH-3'S and the AC-130's.

The book Starts with 'Spooky and Spectre' with some interesting specifications on the AC-130 including a comparison between the 'H' and 'U' variants. This is complimented with some stunning aerial shots. It give a pilot's perspective on flying the AC-130H which is a very interesting and informative read.

The pictures of the interior will be very helpful if you would like to copy Ben with his AC-130 build as it shows the 105mm Howitzer from the carriage.

The part I found to be most helpful for modelling was the side profiles as it clearly shows the colour schemes as well as the markings and unit badges going right back to the AC-130A.

The walkrounds are very clear, with explanations as to what it is. The interior is nicely shown with detailed photos of the consoles and 'the office'.

We then move on to the MH-53 Pavelow with a very in depth write up about its history and deployment. Once again accompanied by some very interesting photo's and stunning aerial shots. Once again we have the colour schemes layout with the various finishes it has worn throughout its service starting with the overall Gunship grey MH-53J 71-4431 and finishing with the medium grey of MH-53M 73-1652 in its final year of operations.

Once again you are treated to an excellent walkround which includes some very nice interior shots.

Anyone living near mildenhall or is a regular to the base will be familiar with the next subject wich is the MC-130 Combat Talon. The first set of pictures are when it wore the green camo with the story of the aircraft starting back in 1964 which were 64-0506 and 64-0507 in project 'thin slice'.
For anyone who will be doing a build of one of the MC-130's based at Mildenhall (I know I will be) the colour scheme section for this type includes 2 from the base as well as one from Alconbury. The walkround of this aircraft will prove very helpful for your 'MC project.

Next up is the CV-22 Osprey wich follows in the same vein as the other types, with a very interesting right up on the history and deployment accompanied by some rather nice pictures.
The colour scheme section has both rotors on and off wich will be handy to see the markings behind then on the fuselage. Now as I havnt seen one of these up close yet, the walkround section on it will help no end if you intend on doing the 48th scale Italeri kit.

The book then continues in the same way with the MC-130P, EC-130 Commando solo, MC-130W Combat spear and finaly the MH/HH-60G Pavehawk.

This book is a very interesting read and will prove invaluable when building these subjects.

IPMS/USA Reviews

If you've ever spent time at Hurlburt Field, Florida, near Mary Esther, and mostly surrounded by Eglin AFB, you probably know something about Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). The first time I was there, they had AC-130s, HH-3s, and MC-130s. Each time I went back they had something new and more esoteric. I haven't been back since they got the Ospreys, but I've seen one fly, and they are a hoot.

This book is aimed at the modeler and aviation enthusiast interested in the less-traveled and publicized areas of the modern Air Force. Each chapter contains a few pages of text, with photographs which illustrate and flesh out the subject of the text. Then come side color profiles of the aircraft, and finally a walk-around showing all those things we're interested in and those details we can't find photos of.

The contents are, by chapter:

  1. Special Operations: History and Overview
  2. The AC-130 Gunship
  3. The MH-53 Pave Low
  4. The MC-130 Combat Talon
  5. The CV-22 Osprey
  6. The MC-130P Combat Shadow
  7. The EC-130 Commando Solo
  8. The MC-130W Combat Spear
  9. The MH/HH-60 Pave Hawk

The text in each chapter is mostly concerned with the differences between different sub-types of each aircraft and the equipment changes and modifications made as capabilities and missions changed. If you're looking for a "there I was" shoot-'em-up adventure with AFSOC, you'll be disappointed. If you want to know what the antenna farm on the bottom of the Combat Talon looks like, be happy, because it's in there.

Overall Evaluation

Recommended. I bought this book at the IPMS Nationals at Omaha last month. SAM Publications offers a discount to IPMS/USA members, and I couldn't pass this one up. Sooner or later I'm going to get one of the kits for one of these aircraft out of my stash, and now I've got all the reference material I need to build the full-out AMS copy.

Thanks to SAM for having their books at the IPMS Nationals, and to IPMS for allowing me to review the book. Thanks also to my ATM card which provided the cash to buy this book.

By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief.

“To attain the desired fighter fleet, the Air Force must right size current aircraft inventories to expedite the transition away from less capable, aging aircraft and emphasize investment in future capabilities” such as the F-35 Block 4 modernization program and Next Generation Air Dominance, the service’s sixth generation fighter, said Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

The service hopes to shed 42 A-10 Warthogs, which would bring the total inventory to 239 aircraft — which puts the Air Force toward the number it believes it needs for counterterrorism and low-end operations through at least 2030, Stefanek said.

/>A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle release flares over the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility on Aug. 13, 2020. (Senior Airman Duncan C. Bevan/U.S. Air Force)

It also plans to cut 47 F-16C/D and 48 F-15C/D fighters, which have “major structural issues” and will become unsafe to fly as early as 2023, Stefanek said.

The Air Force is continuing the trend from FY21 of retiring a portion of its legacy tanker fleet, divesting 14 KC-10 tankers and 18 KC-135 tankers. The retirement of those aircraft will allow the Air Force to invest more money toward standing up the KC-46, specifically the transition of KC-10 and KC-135 maintainers to the KC-46, Stefanek said.

The Air Force would retire a total of 13 C-130Hs, a move than Stefanek said “constitutes a low level of risk, given future joint war-fighting missions.”

The service also plans to retire four of its 16 E-8 JSTARS aircraft, which are used for ground surveillance and targeting, and 20 RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 surveillance drones.

“The Air Force must accelerate investment in competitive capabilities that can penetrate and survive in the highly contested environment,” Stefanek said of the proposal. “Divestment of less-survivable weapon systems provides resources to fund emerging ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] capabilities that can penetrate and collect data in the highly contested environment.”

Lawmakers have already signaled they may not accept the Air Force’s plan to retire certain aircraft.

On Friday morning, Arizona Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema as well as Reps Ann Kirkpatrick, Ruben Gallego, Tom O’Halleran and Greg Stanton issued a statement opposing the proposed divestment of the A-10, which is based at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

“Removing A-10s from the fleet when there is not another aircraft capable of performing this mission takes a vital tool away from our military and is the wrong step for our national security,” Kelly said.

The Air Force might encounter similar opposition for retiring the RQ-4 and E-8 — something it attempted in past budgets, only to be shot down by lawmakers who have fought divesting those aircraft when no direct replacement exists.

Congress may be more likely to approve the retirement of KC-135s this year. In FY21, lawmakers blocked proposed divestment of KC-135s due to concerns from U.S. Transportation Command about the overall size of the tanker force. However, TRANSCOM head Gen. Stephen Lyons told lawmakers during a May 18 hearing that he would support some KC-135 retirements this year.

Trade-offs today for tomorrow

The Air Force’s decision to slash procurement — resulting in some cases in lower buys of aircraft than was projected in FY21 — may also prove controversial.

The service stuck to its plan of buying 48 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing models and 12 F-15EX Eagle II fighters in FY22, at $4.5 billion and $1.3 billion respectively.

It also wants to spend $2.4 billion on 14 KC-46 tankers — two more than projected in its FY21 plans.

However, the service lowered procurement of the HH-60W combat rescue helicopter from 20 aircraft in its FY21 plans to 14 in the FY22 request. And instead of buying four MC-130Js for Air Force Special Operations Command, as it planned in FY21, it will buy only three at a cost of $220 million.

It also funds a single C-130 and E-11 Battlefield Airborne Communications Node to replace combat losses.

The service requests $2.1 billion to procure missiles. Most notably, it will buy hypersonic missiles for the first time, adding $161 million to the budget for low-rate initial production of the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon.

Meanwhile, the Air Force wants to make big investments in several advanced technology programs under development to outmatch emerging Chinese threats. The service stepped up its investment on Next Generation Air Dominance, a family of systems that will include a sixth-generation fighter. Spending on the program is set to increase by $623 million, for a total of $1.5 billion in FY22. An NGAD demonstrator first flew last year. Though it remains unclear when the capability will be fielded, it is set to replace the F-22.

Although the Biden administration will likely pursue a nuclear posture review, Air Force nuclear development programs received a huge boost in funding despite ongoing questions about whether to fund the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, which is meant to replace Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles. GBSD was dealt a major victory in FY22, with the Air Force adding $1.1 billion to the program for a total of $2.6 billion.

The service increased spending on the Long Range Standoff Weapon from $385 million in FY21 to $609 million in FY22. Funding for the B-21 bomber stayed stable at $2.9 billion.

The Air Force boosted spending on the Advanced Battle Management System program from $158 million in FY21 to $204 million in FY22. It also increased spending for hypersonic weapons prototyping from $386 million to $438 million.

The service also put more money toward upgrades for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and B-52 bomber. The service increased funds for the F-35′s Block 4 modernization program and Technology Refresh 3 by $239 million, for a total of $1.1 billion. It added $233 million for B-52 upgrades, including the engine replacement program, for a total of $716 million.

Funding for the VC-25B Air Force One replacement aircraft dropped slightly from $799 million to $681 million.


In November 1943, although it had no bombers to spare, the AAF yanked the 492nd Bombardment Group from daylight missions, moved the group to a new base at Harrington, England, and gave it a new job. Col. Clifford J. Heflin’s unit became known as the “Carpetbaggers.”

A Carpetbagger crew in front of their gloss black-painted B-24 Liberator. National Archives

Heflin’s airmen dropped agents and resupplied resistance forces. The 492nd was directed not by the military chain of command but by the OSS. With nose guns removed and a new paint coat of gloss black, B-24 Liberators with names like Baby Bug II and Tiger’s Revenge flew 2,809 sorties to drop agents and supplies. Although their war was in Europe, the Carpetbaggers sent one B-24 to Myitkyina, Burma to explore the possibility of supporting clandestine operations there.

These five firms could build a new armed overwatch plane for US Air Force special operators

WASHINGTON — U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command has tapped five companies to compete in its armed overwatch program for a new attack aircraft, awarding $19.2 million in contracts among the vendors.

The selected companies will now build and fly prototype aircraft in a series of demonstrations at Eglin Air Force Base, Floria. Those competitors include:

  • Leidos’ Bronco II
  • MAG Aerospace’s MC-208 Guardian
  • Textron Aviation Defense’s AT-6E Wolverine
  • L3Harris Technologies’ AT-802U Sky Warden
  • Sierra Nevada Corp.’s MC-145B Wily Coyote

Demonstrations are set to occur through March 2022, according to a solicitation on SAM.gov. Afterward, AFSOC will determine whether any of the aircraft meet its requirements. If so, “the contractor may be requested to provide a production proposal for a follow-on production award,” the solicitation stateed.

In February, AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. James Slife said he was hopeful procurement of a new platform could start in 2022.

“I think we can do [the program] at relatively low risk based on what we’ve seen from the vendors who have indicated that they intend to bring platforms to demonstrate for us in the coming months,” Slife said.

AFSOC plans to buy up to 75 armed overwatch platforms to replace the U-28 Draco, and the command is looking at nondevelopmental, multimission aircraft that can be reconfigured to collect intelligence and perform close-air support for ground forces.

Like the Draco, the new overwatch aircraft should be tailored for missions in uncontested environments like that of Africa, capable of operating in austere conditions with only a minimal logistics footprint.

History [ edit | edit source ]

Twenty-Third Air Force [ edit | edit source ]

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.

Operation Urgent Fury [ edit | edit source ]

In October 1983, 23 AF participated in the successful rescue of 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), played a significant psy-war role. An MC-130 pilot from the 8th Special Operations Squadron won the MacKay Trophy for his actions in leading the air drop on the Point Salines Airport.

US Special Operations Command [ edit | edit source ]

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 to Hurlburt Field, Florida.

In August 1989, Gen Duane H. Cassidy, MAC Commander in Chief, divested 23rd AF of its non-special operations units. Thus, 23 AF served a dual role—still reporting to MAC, but also functioning as the air component to USSOCOM.

Operation Just Cause [ edit | edit source ]

From late December 1989 to early January 1990, 23 AF participated in the re-establishment of democracy in the Republic of Panama during Operation Just Cause. Special operations aircraft included both active duty and reserve AC-130 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 during this operation.

Spectre gunship crews of the 1st SOW earned the Mackay Trophy and Tunner Award for their efforts, a 919th SOG Spectre crew earned the President's Award, and a 1st SOW Combat Talon crew ferried the captured Panamanian President, Manuel Noriega, to prison in the United States. Likewise, the efforts of the 1st SOW maintenance people earned them the Daedalian Award.

On 22 May 1990, General Larry D. Welch, Air Force Chief of Staff, 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 (STG), the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School, and the Special Missions Operational Test and Evaluation Center.

Currently, after major redesignations and reorganizations, AFSOC direct reporting units include the 16th SOW, the 352nd Special Operations Group, the 353rd Special Operations Group, the 720th Special Tactics Group (STG), the USAF Special Operations School and the 18th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS). During the early 1990s a major reorganization occurred within AFSOC. The 1720th STG became the 720th 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 (ABW) into the 1st SOW which assumed host unit responsibilities. A year later the 1st SOW became the 16th SOW in a move to preserve Air Force heritage.

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.

Gulf War [ edit | edit source ]

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.

Combat Talons dropped the largest conventional bombs of the war and, along with Combat Shadows, dropped the most psy-war leaflets. The AC-130s provided valuable fire support and armed reconnaissance, but they also suffered the single greatest combat loss of coalition air forces with the shooting down of Spirit 03. All fourteen crew members aboard were lost.

AFSOC [ edit | edit source ]

Post-Gulf War [ edit | edit source ]

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.

Operation Enduring Freedom [ edit | edit source ]

AFSOC Combat Controller in Afghanistan

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 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.

Operation Iraqi Freedom [ edit | edit source ]

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 have continued to conduct operations since then, in support of the new Iraqi government against insurgents and terrorists.

U.S. Special Operations advances Bronco II aircraft from prototype to flying phase

The US Special Operations Command has chosen an aircraft to help operators out in austere environments- and it looks awfully similar to an older.

The US Special Operations Command has chosen an aircraft to help operators out in austere environments- and it looks awfully similar to an older, tried-and-true warhorse.

Defense company Leidos was issued a contract for the US Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) Armed Overwatch aircraft prototype program, allowing the Bronco II to move forward.

The Bronco II, touted as a rugged, affordable and sustainable multi-mission aircraft built to meet the specific needs of special operations forces, looks similar to the Vietnam-era OV-10 Bronco, which was made by North American Rockwell.

The OV-10 was noted for its toughness and versatility, making it a popular observation and light attack aircraft with both the US Air Force and US Marine Corps.

In fact, the OV-10 was brought out of “mothball” storage in recent years to provide proof-of-concept in combat conditions.

The Bronco II may look somewhat puny compared to its forerunner, but that is partially by design- it is made to adhere to “roll-on, roll-off” standards, meaning it can be rapidly disassembled, transported and reassembled in the field by a small crew.

Sacrificing two engines for one “pusher” prop, the Bronco II can be upgraded in the field for a variety of missions.

According to a statement from the company, the Bronco II will be made in Crestview, Florida.

Watch the video: ΣΩΣΤΟ ΔΗΛΗΤΗΡΙΟ! Αυτά είναι τα 9 Φαγητά που δεν πρέπει ποτέ να ξαναζεστάνουμε (June 2022).


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