1 Special Operations Wing (AFSOC)


Lineage.  Authorized on the inactive list as 16 Pursuit Group on 24 Mar 1923.  Activated on 1 Dec 1932.  Redesignated as: 16 Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 6 Dec 1939; 16 Fighter Group on 15 May 1942.  Disestablished on 1 Nov 1943.  Reestablished and consolidated (1 Oct 1993) with the 1 Special Operations Wing, which was established as 1 Air Commando Group on 9 Aug 1944, replacing the 1 Air Commando Group (a miscellaneous unit) that was constituted on 25 Mar 1944, activated on 29 Mar 1944, and consolidated on 9 Aug 1944 with the headquarters unit of the new establishment.  Inactivated on 3 Nov 1945.  Disestablished on 8 Oct 1948. Reestablished on 18 Apr 1962.  Activated, and organized, on 27 Apr 1962.  Redesignated as:  1 Air Commando Wing on 1 Jun 1963; 1 Special Operations Wing on 8 Jul 1968; 834 Tactical Composite Wing on 1 Jul 1974; 1 Special Operations Wing on 1 Jul 1975; 16 Special Operations Wing on 1 Oct 1993; 1 Special Operations Wing on 16 Nov 2006.

Assignments.  3 Attack Wing, 1 Dec 1932; 19 Composite (later, 19) Wing, 15 Jun 1933; 12 Pursuit Wing, 20 Nov 1940; XXVI Interceptor (later, XXVI Fighter) Command, 6 Mar 1942-1 Nov 1943.  Army Air Forces India-Burma Sector, 29 Mar 1944 (original unit assigned to 9 Aug 1944, establishment assigned thereafter); Tenth Air Force, 10 Jul 1945; Army Service Forces, 6 Oct-3 Nov 1945.  USAF Special Air Warfare Center (later, USAF Special Operations Force), 27 Apr 1962; Tactical Air Command, 1 Jul 1974; Ninth Air Force, 1 Jul 1976; Tactical Air Command, 26 Sep 1980; Ninth Air Force, 1 Aug 1981; 2 Air Division, 1 Mar 1983; Twenty Third Air Force (later, Air Force Special Operations Command), 1 Feb 1987-.


Operational Components.  Groups1 Special Operations (later, 16 Operations; 1 Special Operations):  22 Sep 1992-.  549 Tactical Air Support Training:  15 Dec 1975-1 Jan 1977.  930 Tactical Airlift (later, 930 Air Commando; 930 Special Operations):  1 Jun 1968-18 Jun 1969.

Squadrons.  5 Fighter, Commando (later, 605 Air Commando):  1 Sep 1944-3 Nov 1945; 15 Nov 1963-1 Jul 1964 (detached 15 Nov 1963-1 Jul 1964).  6 Fighter, Commando (later, 6 Air Commando; 6 Special Operations Training):  30 Sep 1944-3 Nov 1945; 27 Apr 1962-29 Feb 1968; 31 Jul 1973-1 Jan 1974.  8 Special Operations:  1 Mar 1974-22 Sep 1992.  9 Special Operations:  18 Apr 1989-22 Sep 1992.  16 Special Operations:  12 Dec 1975-22 Sep 1992.  18 Special Operations:  25 Jan-15 Jul 1969.  20 Special Operations:  1 Jan 1976-22 Sep 1992.  24 Pursuit (later 16 Fighter):  1 Dec 1932-1 Nov 1943.  25 Special Operations (later, 25 Special Operations Squadron [Reconnaissance Support]: 31 Aug 1970-30 Sep 1974.  29 Pursuit (later, 29 Fighter):  1 Oct 1933-1 Nov 1943.  43 Pursuit (Interceptor) (later, 43 Fighter):  1 Feb 1940-1 Nov 1943.  44 Observation (later, 44 Reconnaissance):  attached c. Dec 1932-31 Aug 1937, assigned 1 Sep 1937-31 Jan 1940, attached 1 Feb-20 Nov 1940.  55 Special Operations:  18 Apr 1989-22 Sep 1992.  71 Tactical Airlift (later, 71 Air Commando; 71 Special Operations):  1 Jun-16 Dec 1968.  74 Pursuit (later, 74 Attack; 74 Bombardment):  1 Oct 1933-1 Feb 1940.  78 Pursuit:  1 Dec 1932-1 Sep 1937.  164 Liaison:  1 Sep 1944-3 Nov 1945.  165 Liaison:  1 Sep 1944-3 Nov 1945.  166 Liaison:  1 Sep 1944-3 Nov 1945.  310 Attack:  15 May-15 Jul 1969.  311 Attack:  15 May-15 Jul 1969.  317 Air Commando (later, 317 Special Operations):  1 Jul 1964-15 Jul 1969; 15 Apr 1970-30 Apr 1974.  318 Special Operations:  15 Nov 1971-1 Jun 1974.  319 Troop Carrier, Commando (later, 319 Air Commando; 319 Special Operations):  1 Sep 1944-2 Sep 1945; 27 Apr 1962-15 Jul 1969; 30 Jul 1969-15 Jan 1972.  360 Tactical Electronic Warfare:  1-31 Jul 1973.  415 Special Operations Training:  19 Jul 1971-30 Jun 1975.  424 Special Operations (later, 424 Tactical Air Support) Training:  1 Jul 1970-1 Jan 1972.  547 Special Operations (later, 547 Tactical Air Support) Training:  15 Oct 1969-30 Apr 1975.  549 Tactical Air Support Training:  15 Oct 1969-15 Dec 1975.  602 Fighter, Commando:  1 May 1963-1 Oct 1964.  603 Fighter, Commando (later, 603 Air Commando; 603 Special Operations; 603 Special Operations Training):  1 Jul 1963-15 May 1971; 1 Jul 1973-1 Jul 1974.  604 Fighter, Commando:  1 Jul 1963-8 Nov 1964.  775 Troop Carrier:  15 Apr-1 Jul 1964.  4406 Combat Crew Training:  1 Oct 1968-15 Jul 1969.  4407 Combat Crew Training:  15 Jul 1969-30 Apr 1973.  4408 Combat Crew Training:  15 Jul-22 Sep 1969.  4409 Combat Crew Training:  15 Jul-15 Oct 1969.  4410 Combat Crew Training: 27 Apr 1962-1 Dec 1965; 15 Jul-15 Oct 1969.  4412 Combat Crew Training:  25 Oct 1967-15 Jul 1969.  4413 Combat Crew Training:  1 Mar 1968-15 Jul 1969.  4473 Combat Crew Training:  8 Aug 1969-1 Jul 1970.  4532 Combat Crew Training:  25 Oct 1967-15 Jul 1969.

Flight. 7 Special Operations:  1 Jul 1969-31 May 1972.


Stations.  Albrook Field, CZ, 1 Dec 1932-1 Nov 1943.  Hailakandi, India, 29 Mar 1944 (original unit); Asansol, India, 20 May 1944-6 Oct 1945 (original unit to 9 Aug 1944, establishment thereafter); Camp Kilmer, NJ, 1-3 Nov 1945. Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field No. 9 (Hurlburt Field), FL, 27 Apr 1962; England AFB, LA, 15 Jan 1966; Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field No. 9 (Hurlburt Field), FL, 15 Jul 1969-.


Commanders.  Unkn, 1932-1933; Maj Robert L. Walsh, c. 2 Sep 1933-c. 14 Aug 1935; Lt Col Willis H. Hale, Sep 1938-8 Aug 1939; Maj Arthur L. Bump, c. 1939-c. Feb 1941; Capt Roger J. Browne, 24 Feb 1941; Lt Col Otto P. Weyland, 20 May 1941; Maj John A. H. Miller, 1 Mar 1942; Lt Col Philip B. Klein, 10 Apr 1942; Lt Col Hiette S. William Jr., Sep 1942; Maj James K. Johnson, 1943; Maj Edwin Bishop Jr., 25 Sep 1943-unkn.  Col Philip G. Cochran, 29 Mar 1944 (original unit); Col Clinton B. Gaty, 20 May 1944 (original unit to 9 Aug 1944; establishment thereafter); Col Robert W. Hall, c. 7 Apr 1945-unkn.  Lt Col Miles M. Doyle, 27 Apr 1962; Col Chester A. Jack, 29 Apr 1962; Col Gerald R. Dix, 19 Mar 1963; Col Harry C. Aderholt, 28 Mar 1964; Col Gordon F. Bradburn, 10 Jul 1964; Col Hugh G. Fly Jr., 1 Dec 1965; Col Alpheus W. Blizzard Jr., 3 Apr 1967; Col Albert S. Pouloit, 9 Sep 1967; Col Leonard Volet, 14 Feb 1969; Col Robert W. Gates, 15 Jul 1969; Col Michael C. Horgan, 31 Oct 1970; Col James H. Montrose, 1 Apr 1973; Brig Gen William J. Holton, 11 Jan 1974; Col Edward Levell Jr., 1 Jul 1976; Col Richard H. Dunwoody, 29 Jul 1977; Col Theodore W. Stuart, 13 Mar 1980; Col Hugh L. Cox III, 26 Feb 1982; Col Hugh L. Hunter, 1 Mar 1983; Col Leonard A. Butler, 12 Jul 1985; Col Hanson L. Scott, 28 Aug 1986; Col Dale E. Stovall, 13 Jul 1987; Col George A. Gray III, 21 Jun 1989; Col Gary C. Vycital, c. 29 Aug 1990 (temporary); Col George A. Gray III, c. 24 Nov 1990; Col Gary C. Vycital, c. 24 Dec 1990 (temporary); Col George A. Gray III, 13 Mar 1991; Col Charles R. Holland, 20 Jun 1991; Brig Gen Maxwell C. Bailey, 7 Jun 1993; Brig Gen Norton A. Schwartz, 2 Jun 1995; Col Richard L. Comer, 16 May 1997; Col Donald C. Wurster; 12 Jun 1998; Col David J. Scott, 29 Jul 1999; Col Lyle M. Koenig, 29 Jun 2001; Col Frank J. Kisner, 28 Jun 2002; Col Otis G. Mannon, 24 Oct 2003; Col Norman J. Brozenick Jr., 7 Jul 2005; Col Marshall B. Webb, 3 Jul 2007; Col Gregory J. Lengyel, 20 Nov 2008; Col Michael T. Plehn, 7 Jun 2010; Col James C. Slife, 29 Jun 2011; Col William P. West, 3 Jul 2013-.


Aircraft.  P-12, 1932-1943; OA-3 1933-1937; B-6, 1933-1937; OA-9, 1937-1940; Y-10, 1937-1940; A-17, 1937-1940; P-26, 1938-1941; P-36, 1939-1942; P-39, 1941-1943; P-40, 1941-1943. B-25, 1944; P-47, 1944-1945; P-51, 1944, 1945; UC-64, 1944-1945; L-1, 1944; L-5, 1944-1945; C-47, 1944-1945; YR-4, 1944-1945; CG-4 (glider), 1944-1945; TG-5 (glider), 1944-1945.  C-46, 1962-1964; C/TC/VC-47, 1962-1970, 1973-1975; B/RB-26, 1962-1966; T/AT-28, 1962-1973; L-28 (later, U-10), 1962-1973; C/UC-123, 1963-1973; A-1, 1963-1966, 1969-1972; YAT-28, 1964-1965; YAT-37, 1964; O-1, 1964-1967, 1969-1971; AC-47, 1965, 1967-1969; U-3, 1966-1967; U-6, 1966-1967; UH-1, 1966, 1969-1974, 1976-1985; 1997-2012; A/RA-26, 1966-1969; A-37, 1967-1969, 1969-1971, 1973-1974; EC/HC-47, 1967-1969, 1973; AC-123, 1967; C/MC-130, 1968-; AC-130, 1968, 1971-; EC-130, 1969; C/AC-119, 1968-1969, 1971-1972; O-2, 1969-1976; OV-10, 1969-1976; YQU-22 (drone), 1969-1970; QU-22 (drone), 1970-1971; CH-3, 1973-1974, 1976-1980; MH-53, 1980–2008; MH-60, 1989-1999; HC-130, 1989-1995; MQ-1, 2005-2007; CV-22, 2006-; U-28, 2005-.  In addition to the primary aircraft listed above, also flew T-29, 1969-1973; VT-29, 1969-1975; T-33, 1969-1975; T-39, 1969-1975; C-131, 1970-1973; and VC-131, 1973-1975.


Operations.  Provided fighter defense of Panama Canal operations, Dec 1932-Oct 1943. Replaced the 5318 Provisional Air Unit in India in Mar 1944.  As a miscellaneous unit, the group was comprised until Sep 1944 of operational sections (rather than units): bomber; fighter; light-plane (and helicopter); transport; glider; and light-cargo.  The group provided fighter cover, bomb striking power, and air transport services for Wingate’s Raiders, fighting behind enemy lines in Burma.  Operations included airdrop and landing of troops, food, and equipment; evacuation of casualties; and attacks against enemy airfields and lines of communication.  Converted from P-51 to P-47 fighters and eliminated its B-25 bomber section in May 1944.  In Sep 1944, after the original unit was consolidated with the headquarters component of the new establishment (also called 1 Air Commando Group); the sections were replaced by a troop carrier, two fighter, and three liaison squadrons.  The group continued performing supply, evacuation, and liaison services for allied forces in Burma until the end of the war, including the movement of Chinese troops from Burma to China in Dec 1944.  It also attacked bridges, railroads, airfields, barges, oil wells, and troop positions in Burma and escorted bombers to Burmese targets, including Rangoon.  Switched back to P-51s in May 1945.  Left Burma in Oct and inactivated in NJ in Nov 1945.  Replaced the 4400 Combat Crew Training Group in Apr 1962 and assumed air commando operations and training responsibility.  Trained USAF and South Vietnamese Air Force aircrews in the United States and South Vietnam in unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, psychological warfare, and civic actions throughout the Southeast Asian conflict.  Between 11 Jan and 30 Jun 1974, the USAF Special Operations Force and 1 Special Operations Wing merged their operations, and on 1 Jul 1974, the wing assumed responsibility for operating the USAF Air Ground Operations School, which trained personnel in concepts, doctrine, tactics, and procedures of joint and combined operations until 1 Feb 1978, and the USAF Special Operations School, which trained selected American and allied personnel in special operations, until Mar 1983.  Elements of the wing participated in the attempt in Apr 1980 to rescue US hostages held in Tehran, Iran.  Thereafter, continued to work closely with multi-service special operations forces to develop combat tactics for numerous types of aircraft and conduct combat crew training for USAF and foreign aircrews.  Conducted numerous disaster relief; search and rescue; medical evacuation; and humanitarian support missions.   Supported drug interdiction efforts in a coordinated program involving multiple US and foreign agencies, 1983-1985.  Conducted airdrop and airlift of troops and equipment; psychological operations, close air support, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and attacks against enemy airfields and lines of communications in support of the rescue of US nationals in Grenada, Oct-Nov 1983, and the restoration of democracy in Panama, Dec 1989-Jan 1990.  Beginning Aug 1990, deployed personnel and equipment to Saudi Arabia.  These forces carried out combat search and rescue, unconventional warfare, and direct strike missions during the conflict, including suppression of Iraqi forces during the Battle of Khafji, Jan 1991.  Deployed personnel and equipment worldwide, performing combat search and rescue, and supporting contingencies, humanitarian relief, and exercises that included Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, Kuwait, and Central America.  Elements of the wing deployed to participate in Operation Provide Comfort in Iraq, 1991-1996 and Deny Flight, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1993-1995.  It supported Operation Deliberate Force/Joint Endeavor, Aug-Sep 1995 and 14-20 Dec 1996, flying combat missions and attacking targets critical to Bosnian-Serb Army operations.  Wing elements participated in Operations Northern and Southern Watch in 1997 and again participated in combat operations in Desert Thunder, Feb-Jun 1998 and Desert Fox, 17-21 Dec 1998.  It assumed an additional mission, supporting the Aerospace Expeditionary Forces in Feb 2000.  In 2001 and 2003 deployed elements to Afghanistan and Iraq and performed combat operations in the global war on terror.


Service Streamers.  World War II American Theater.


Campaign Streamers.  World War IIIndia-Burma; Central Burma.  Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.


Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers.  Grenada, 1983; Panama, 1989-1990.

 

Decorations.  Distinguished Unit Citation:  Burma and India, [Mar]-20 May 1944.  Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat “V” Device:  1 May 1982-30 Apr 1984; 1 Jun 1997-31 May 1999; 1 Jul 2003-30 Jun 2005; 1 Jul 2005-30 Jun 2007.  Meritorious Unit Awards: 1 Jul 2007-30 Jun 2009; 1 Oct 2009-30 Sep 2011.  Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards:  Jul 1963-Jun 1965; 1 Jul 1969-15 Apr 1971; 1 Jan 1976-31 Mar 1977; 15 Jul 1979-15 May 1980; 16 May 1980-30 Apr 1982; 1 May 1985-30 Apr 1987; 1 May 1988-30 Apr 1990; 16 Apr 1992-15 Apr 1994; 1 Jun 1995-31 May 1997; 1 Jul 1999-30 Jun 2001; 1 Jul 2001-30 Jun 2003.


Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 20 Sep 2013.

 

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 20 Sep 2013. 

 

Supersedes statement prepared on 6 Dec 2006.

 

Emblem.  Approved on 6 Jun 1963.

 

Prepared by Patsy Robertson.

 

Reviewed by Daniel L. Haulman