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Home > SOF > AFSOC

Air Force Special Operations Command - AFSOC

CV-22 Osprey

Photo: An Airman assigned to the 1st Special Operations Squadron oversees the aerial refueling of a CV-22 Osprey from an MC-130J Commando II during a training mission as part of Freedom Shield 23 over the Sea of Japan. (Photo courtesy of DoD)

Special Operations Forces have seen significant growth in many of the militaries around the world. One of the components of the U.S. military that has grown rapidly in size and capability is Air Force Special Operations Command or AFSOC.

Air Force Special Operations Command was established May 22, 1990, with headquarters at Hurlburt Field, Florida. AFSOC is one of 10 major Air Force commands and the Air Force component of U.S. Special Operations Command, a unified command located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

The command's core missions include battlefield air operations; agile combat support; aviation foreign internal defense; information operations/military support operations; precision strike; specialized air mobility; command and control; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

News Articles about AFSOC

January 22, 2024, "How Cargo Haulers Turned Into Gunships Rained Fire on the Enemy in Vietnam", by Barry Levine, History.net.

January 19, 2024, "The Aircraft of the U.S. Air Force's Special Forces", by Chrisian D. Orr, National Interest.

December 27, 2023, "US Air Force special operators may take the big gun off their Ghostrider gunships", Business Insider.

December 16, 2023, "Air Force Pararescue: What Do They Do?", Simple Flying.

November 7, 2023, "Pulling Close-Air Support Airmen from Army Bases", Military.com. The Air Force is moving to close down TACP's located on Army bases.

November 2, 2023, "Inside the Air Force's Newest SOF Career: Special Reconnaissance", by David Roza, Air and Space Forces Magazine.

October 24, 2023, "T-AOS: A New Model for Competition", by N. K. Cobb, AETHER, Air University.

October 19, 2023, "AFSOC's Theater Air Operatons Squadron (T-AOS)", SOF News. The units will regionally synchronize, integrate, enable, and selectively employ Air Force Special Operations Forces capabilities to increase advantage against national priorities and strategic competitors by providing multi-domain options for the Joint Force.

September 13, 2023, "United States Air Force Special Reconnaissance", by Ahmed Hassan, Grey Dynamics. U.S. Air Force SR is a specialized military unit that deploys advanced technology and covert operations deep behind enemy lines to provide critical battlefield intelligence, develop targets, and achieve global access, air, space, and cyberspace superiority.

August 28, 2023, "What is Assessment & Selection?", by Miriam A. Thurber, Special Warfare Training Wing. Air Force Special Warfare Guardian Angel and Special Tactics (GA/ST) operators, comprised of pararescuemen, combat controllers, special reconnaissance Airmen, special tactics officers and combat rescue officers must be selected into their career fields before continuing on to career-specific courses and training.

July 6, 2023, "'That Others May Live': What it Takes To Be an Air Force Pararescueman", by Jenner Biter, Coffee or Die Magazine.

March 20, 2023, "United States Air Force Special Reconnaissance", by Maxwell Goldstein, Grey Dynamics.

October 20, 2022, "Pararescue, Combat Controllers Approved for New, Air Force-only Combat Diver Badge", by Matt White, Coffee of Die Magazine.

October 6, 2022, "From the AFSOC We Have to the AFSOC We Need", Air Force Special Operations Command.

October 6, 2022, "Inactivation of 6th Special Operations Squadron transitions a storied legacy", 492d Special Operations Wing. The Combat Aviation Advisors of the 6th SOS will be putting their brown berets away.

October 2, 2022, "Hooyah! The Aircraft of AFSOC (The U.S. Air Force's Special Forces)", by Christian Orr, 1945.

June 25, 2018, "See how Air Force PJs keep their skills sharp", by Harold C. Hutchison, We Are the Mighty.

Videos about AFSOC

Video - AFSOC Mission Overview. Covers the history, heritage, and missions of Air Force Special Operations Command and its units. DVIDS, October 3, 2023, 5 minutes.

Video - AFSOC Mission Video 2023. Air Force Special Operations Command is defined by its Air Commandos: highly trained Airmen who are made up by character and adaptability. Airmen who are ready to take on any challenge and find a way for mission success, any place, anytime, anywhere. Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs, DVIDS, September 6, 2023.


Gunships. The Air Force can trace its gunships back to the Vietnam conflict. The ones fielded by the Air Force over the past 6 decades include the AC-119 Stinger or Shadow, AC-47 Spooky or Puff, and AC-130 Spectre.

"Flashback: Puff the Magic Draon: Development of the AC-47 Gunship", by Maya Aselstine, Air Force Material Command History Office, October 20, 2023.




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