6th Special Operations Squadron
|6th Special Operations Squadron|
PZL C-145A flown by the 6th Special Operations Squadron
|Active||1944–1945; 1962–1969; 1994 – present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
Air Force Special Operations Command |
Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center
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)|
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.
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.
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.
The squadron went on to conduct replacement training for US and allied pilots in Cessna A-37 Dragonfly aircraft from January 1970 – September 1974.
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.
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."
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.
- 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
- 1st Air Commando Group, 30 September 1944 – 3 November 1945 (attached to 1st Provisional Fighter Group 7 February - 8 May 1945, 2d Air Commando Group, 23 May - 20 June 1945)
- Tactical Air Command, 18 April 1962 (not organized)
- 1st Air Commando Group (later 1st Air Commando Wing, 27 April 1962
- 14th Air Commando Wing, 29 February 1968
- 633d Special Operations Wing, 15 July 1968 – 15 November 1969
- 4410th Combat Crew Training Wing (later 4410th Special Operations Training Group), 8 January 1970
- 1st Special Operations Wing, 31 July 1973
- 23d Tactical Fighter Wing, 1 January 1974 – 15 September 1974
- 16th Operations Group, (later 1st Special Operations Group), 1 April 1994
- Asansol Airfield, India, 30 September 1944
- Hay, India, 7 February 1945
- Asansol Airfield, India, 9 May 1945
- Kalaikunda Airfield, India, 23 May 1945
- Asansol Airfield, India, 22 June - 6 October 1945
- Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, 1–3 November 1945
- Eglin Air Force Base Auxiliary Airfield 9, Florida, 27 April 1962
- England Air Force Base, Louisiana, 15 January 1966 – 17 February 1968
- Pleiku Air Base, South Vietnam, 19 February 1968 – 15 November 191969)
- Detachment at Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, 1 April 1968 – 1 September 1969
- Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (1944–1945)
- North American P-51 Mustang (1945)
- Douglas B-26 Invader (1962–1963)
- Douglas RB-26 Invader
- Helioo L-28 (later Helio U-10 Courier) (1962–1963)
- North American T-28 Trojan (1962–1967)
- Douglas A-1 Skyraider (1963, 1966; 1967–1969)
- Cessna A-37 Dragonfly (1970–1974)
- Bell UH-1H Huey (1996–2012)
- Bell UH-1N Huey (1996–2012)
- Lockheed C-130E Hercules (1996–2012)
- Mil Mi-8 (2002–2012)
- Mil Mi-17 (2002–2012)
- DHC-6 (2010–2012)
- Douglas C-47 Skytrain (2002–2008)
- An-26 (2003–2007)
- PZL C-145 Skytruck (2012 – present)
- Robertson, Patsy (9 April 2015). "Factsheet 6 Special Operations Squadron (AFSOC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- "Factsheets : 6th Special Operations Squadron" Archived 5 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Hurlburt Field. U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
- USAF Force Withdrawal from Southeast Asia, p. 14
- 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.
- King, Jr., TSG Samuel, 919th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, Eglin Flyer, Beacon Newspapers, Bayou Enterprises, Niceville, Florida, Friday 17 April 2015, page 1.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
- "Project Corona Harvest, USAF Force Withdrawal from Southeast Asia 1 January 1970 – 30 June 1971 (Secret, automatically declassified 1984)" (PDF). Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces. 31 May 1972. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 6th Special Operations Squadron.|
- 6th Special Operations Squadron Fact Sheet
- Haas, Col Michael E. (1 May 2010). "6th Special Operations Squadron". Defense Media Network. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- Haig, Jamie (11 August 2006). "6th SOS performs unique mission worldwide". 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- Pugmire, Lt Col Marvin S. (10 April 2000). "Unconventional Airmen: Present and Future Roles and Missions for 6th SOS Combat Aviation Advisors". United States Army War College. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- Everstine, Brian (19 March 2015). "Air commandos to deploy longer to train foreign services". Air Force Times. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- "6th ACS/SOS Squadron History". A-1 Skyraider Association. Retrieved 5 October 2015.