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711th Special Operations Squadron

711th Special Operations Squadron

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The 711th Special Operations Squadron (711 SOS) is part of the 919th Special Operations Wing
919th Special Operations Wing
The 919th Special Operations Wing is an Air Force Reserve Command wing of the United States Air Force, operationally-gained by the Air Force Special Operations Command and based at Eglin AFB Auxiliary Field #3 / Duke Field, Florida.-Mission:The 919 SOW provides and maintains the MC-130E Combat...

 at Duke Field
Duke Field
Duke Field , also known as Eglin AFB Auxiliary Field #3, is a military airport located three miles south of the central business district of Crestview, in Okaloosa County, Florida, United States-Units:...

, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. It is an Air Force Reserve Command
Air Force Reserve Command
The Air Force Reserve Command is a major command of the U.S. Air Force with its headquarters at Robins AFB, Georgia.It stood up as a major command of the Air Force on 17 February 1997....

 (AFRC) unit that is operationally-gained by Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Force Special Operations Command is the Special Operations component of the United States Air Force and the US Air Force component command to the United States Special Operations Command , a unified command located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida...

 (AFSOC).

Mission


The 711 SOS operates the MC-130E Combat Talon I aircraft, providing special operations capability.

History


Activated in mid-1943 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron, trained under Second Air Force
Second Air Force
The Second Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command . It is headquartered at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi....

 (2 AF). Deployed to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during November 1943, assigned to VIII Bomber Command
VIII Bomber Command
The VIII Bomber Command is an inactive United States Army Air Forces unit that is better known as the later appellation Eighth Air Force, as was popularized in post-World War II filmsand is frequently called the First Eighth Air Force by its veterans and successors in the services.The command was...

 as a strategic bombardment squadron. Participated in the air offensive over Nazi Germany and Occupied Europe until German capitulation in May 1945. Personnel demobilized in England and returned to the United States; squadron reassigned to Third Air Force
Third Air Force
The Third Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Forces in Europe . It is headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany....

 (3 AF) for possible re-equipping with B-29 Superfortress
B-29 Superfortress
The B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing that was flown primarily by the United States Air Forces in late-World War II and through the Korean War. The B-29 was one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War II...

es and deployment to Pacific Theater. Japanese capitulation led to inactivation in November 1945.

Reactivated in the postwar reserve as a B-29 Superfortress
B-29 Superfortress
The B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing that was flown primarily by the United States Air Forces in late-World War II and through the Korean War. The B-29 was one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War II...

 squadron, the unit trained for proficiency as part of Strategic Air Command
Strategic Air Command
The Strategic Air Command was both a Major Command of the United States Air Force and a "specified command" of the United States Department of Defense. SAC was the operational establishment in charge of America's land-based strategic bomber aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic...

 (SAC) reserve forces. Activated as a result of Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 in 1951, the squadron's aircraft and personnel were reassigned to Far East Air Force Bomber Command, then inactivated as a paper unit.

Rectivated at Naval Air Station Dallas
Naval Air Station Dallas
Naval Air Station Dallas was a United States Navy Naval Air Station located on Mountain Creek Lake in southwest Dallas. The installation was originally established as an Army Aviation center, and eventually became home to aviation assets from all the military services. The facility was...

/Hensley Field, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 as a reserve Tactical Air Command
Tactical Air Command
Tactical Air Command is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was a Major Command of the United States Air Force, established on 21 March 1946 being headquartered at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia...

 (TAC) F-86 Sabre
F-86 Sabre
The North American F-86 Sabre was a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as America's first swept wing fighter which could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15 in high speed dogfights over the skies of the Korean War...

 fighter bomber group in 1955, it was inactivated again in 1957. The unit reactivated in 1971 as the 711th Tactical Airlift Squadron (711 TAS), a reserve theater airlift squadron allocated to TAC and equipped with the C-130A Hercules, performing tactical airlift of personnel and cargo as well as air drop training support for U.S. Army paratroopers during various exercises from 1971-1974. In late 1974, the squadron began transitioning to the AC-130A Spectre aircraft that were returning from bases in Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 at the end of the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. As the Regular Air Force gunship units transitioned to strictly operating the AC-130H, the 711 TAS was redesignated as the 711th Special Operations Squadron (711 SOS) in 1975 and trained in gunship operations. Close air support of conventional and special operations ground forces became the unit's primary duty, but additional capabilities included the ability to perform armed interdiction, reconnaissance, and escort, forward air control and combat search and rescue in conventional or unconventional warfare settings. Because their advanced sensors were useful in range reconnaissance and range clearing tasks, the 711 SOS also provided missile range support from to the Air Force's Eastern Range at Cape Canaveral AFS from 1979–1989, and NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 space shuttle
Space Shuttle
The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

 support at Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
The John F. Kennedy Space Center is the NASA installation that has been the launch site for every United States human space flight since 1968. Although such flights are currently on hiatus, KSC continues to manage and operate unmanned rocket launch facilities for America's civilian space program...

 from 1981-1988. In 1983, the squadron's operational claimancy shifted from TAC to Military Airlift Command
Military Airlift Command
The Military Airlift Command is an inactive United States Air Force Major Command of the USAF which was headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. It was constituted on 1 January 1966 and active until the end of the Cold War, when the Air Force table of organization was revised...

 (MAC) and the newly constituted 23d Air Force (23 AF) as TAC divested itself of all special operations aircraft and missions in order to focus exclusively on fighter aircraft.

The 711th flew pre-strike reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

, fire support, escort, and airbase defense sorties during the U.S. invasion of Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

 from 8 December 1989-7 January 1990. In May 1990, operational claimancy for the 711 SOS and its parent wing shifted again as MAC divested its special operations aircraft assets with the creation of the Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Force Special Operations Command is the Special Operations component of the United States Air Force and the US Air Force component command to the United States Special Operations Command , a unified command located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida...

 (AFSOC) as a separate Major Command (MAJCOM). The 711 SOS again flew combat missions in Southwest Asia
Southwest Asia
Western Asia, West Asia, Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia...

 in support of Operation Desert Storm from 9 February-March 1991.

The squadron's primary mission changed in late 1995 as the unit retired its long-serving AC-130A aircraft and transitioned to the MC-130E Combat Talon I aircraft. In its new role, the squadron provides long-range clandestine
Clandestine operation
A clandestine operation is an intelligence or military operation carried out in such a way that the operation goes unnoticed.The United States Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms defines "clandestine operation" as "An operation sponsored or conducted by governmental...

 delivery of special operations forces and equipment. It has periodically deployed personnel and aircraft to support special operations contingency operations worldwide, as well as numerous humanitarian
Humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid is material or logistical assistance provided for humanitarian purposes, typically in response to humanitarian crises including natural disaster and man-made disaster. The primary objective of humanitarian aid is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity...

 missions.

In February 1997, the Air Force Reserve (AFRES) transitioned from being a Field Operating Agency (FOA) to MAJCOM status, designated as Air Force Reserve Command
Air Force Reserve Command
The Air Force Reserve Command is a major command of the U.S. Air Force with its headquarters at Robins AFB, Georgia.It stood up as a major command of the Air Force on 17 February 1997....

 (AFRC). With this change, AFRC and AFRC's 10th Air Force (10 AF) became the principal higher headquarters for the squadron and its parent wing, with the unit still maintaining previous operational connections to AFSOC. Beginning 1 October 1997, the 711th also provided the flight portion of MC-130E Combat Talon I training for both Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Force Special Operations Command is the Special Operations component of the United States Air Force and the US Air Force component command to the United States Special Operations Command , a unified command located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida...

 and Air Force Reserve Command
Air Force Reserve Command
The Air Force Reserve Command is a major command of the U.S. Air Force with its headquarters at Robins AFB, Georgia.It stood up as a major command of the Air Force on 17 February 1997....

.

Since September 2001, the 711 SOS has made multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lineage

  • Constituted 711th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 6 April 1943
Activated on 1 May 1943
Inactivated on 7 November 1945
  • Redesignated 711th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 10 May 1949
Activated in the reserve on 27 June 1949
Ordered to active service on 17 March 1951
Inactivated on 21 March 1951
  • Redesignated 711th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 12 April 1955
Activated in the reserve on 18 May 1955
Inactivated on 16 November 1957.
  • Redesignated 711 Tactical Airlift Squadron on 17 June 1971
Activated in the Reserve on 30 July 1971
Redesignated 711 Special Operations Squadron on 1 July 1975

Assignments

  • 447th Bombardment Group, 1 May 1943-7 November 1945
ETO Fuselage Code: IR
  • 448th Bombardment Group, 27 June 1949-21 March 1951
  • 448th Fighter-Bomber Group
    448th Fighter-Bomber Group
    The 448th Fighter-Bomber Group is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was to the 448th Fighter-Bomber Wing, stationed at Hensley Field, Texas. It was inactivated on 16 November 1957....

    , 18 May 1955-16 November 1957
  • 919th Tactical Airlift Group
    919th Special Operations Wing
    The 919th Special Operations Wing is an Air Force Reserve Command wing of the United States Air Force, operationally-gained by the Air Force Special Operations Command and based at Eglin AFB Auxiliary Field #3 / Duke Field, Florida.-Mission:The 919 SOW provides and maintains the MC-130E Combat...

    , 30 July 1971-1 July 1975
  • 919 Special Operations Group
    919th Special Operations Wing
    The 919th Special Operations Wing is an Air Force Reserve Command wing of the United States Air Force, operationally-gained by the Air Force Special Operations Command and based at Eglin AFB Auxiliary Field #3 / Duke Field, Florida.-Mission:The 919 SOW provides and maintains the MC-130E Combat...

    , 1 July 1975-1 August 1992
  • 919th Special Operations Wing
    919th Special Operations Wing
    The 919th Special Operations Wing is an Air Force Reserve Command wing of the United States Air Force, operationally-gained by the Air Force Special Operations Command and based at Eglin AFB Auxiliary Field #3 / Duke Field, Florida.-Mission:The 919 SOW provides and maintains the MC-130E Combat...

    , 1 August 1992–Present

Stations



  • Ephrata Army Air Base, Washington, 1 May 1943
  • Rapid City Army Air Base, South Dakota
    South Dakota
    South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

    , 13 June 1943
  • Harvard Army Airfield
    Harvard Army Airfield
    Harvard State Airport , also known as Harvard State Airfield, is a public use airport located two nautical miles northeast of the central business district of Harvard, a city in Clay County, Nebraska, United States. It is owned by the Nebraska Department of Aeronautics...

    , Nebraska
    Nebraska
    Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

    , 1 August-11 November 1943
  • RAF Rattlesden
    RAF Rattlesden
    RAF Rattlesden is a former World War II airfield in England. The field is located 9 miles SE of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.-USAAF use:Rattlesden airfield was built in 1942 as a Class A bomber airfield. The airfield had three intersecting concrete runways, perimeter track and, for USAAF use,...

     (AAF-126), England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

    , 1 December 1943-c. 1 August 1945

  • Drew Field, Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

    , 14 August-7 November 1945
  • Long Beach Army Air Field, California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

    , 27 June 1949-21 March 1951
  • Hensley Field, Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

    , 18 May 1955-16 November 1957
  • Eglin AF Aux Field #3 (Duke Field)
    Duke Field
    Duke Field , also known as Eglin AFB Auxiliary Field #3, is a military airport located three miles south of the central business district of Crestview, in Okaloosa County, Florida, United States-Units:...

    , Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

    , 30 June 1971–present


Aircraft

  • B-17 Flying Fortress, 1943–1945
  • B-29 Superfortress
    B-29 Superfortress
    The B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing that was flown primarily by the United States Air Forces in late-World War II and through the Korean War. The B-29 was one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War II...

    , 1949–1951
  • AT-7 Navigator
    Beechcraft Model 18
    The Beechcraft Model 18, or "Twin Beech", as it is better known, is a 6-11 seat, twin-engine, low-wing, conventional-gear aircraft that was manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas...

     (1949–1951)
  • AT-11 Kansan
    Beechcraft Model 18
    The Beechcraft Model 18, or "Twin Beech", as it is better known, is a 6-11 seat, twin-engine, low-wing, conventional-gear aircraft that was manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas...

     (1949–1951)
  • F-86 Sabre
    F-86 Sabre
    The North American F-86 Sabre was a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as America's first swept wing fighter which could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15 in high speed dogfights over the skies of the Korean War...

    , 1955
  • C-130 Hercules
    C-130 Hercules
    The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

     (1971 - )
  • AC-130
    Lockheed AC-130
    The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily-armed ground-attack aircraft variant of the C-130 Hercules transport plane. The basic airframe is manufactured by Lockheed, while Boeing is responsible for the conversion into a gunship and for aircraft support...

     (1975–1995)
  • MC-130E Combat Talon I (1995–present)

Operations

  • World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

  • Operation Just Cause
  • Operation Desert Storm
  • Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom

External links