27th Special Operations Wing

27th Special Operations Wing holds change of command ceremony.
Cannon Air Force Base airmen stands at attention during the 27th Special Operations Wing change of command ceremony, June 2, 2017, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. (Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez/U.S. Air Force)

The primary mission focus of the 27th Special Operations Wing is to generate and employ specialized aircraft and highly trained Air Commandos to execute and support special operations missions with unique capabilities, including: precision air fires, specialized mobility, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, command and control, information operations and agile combat support.

The 27th Special Operations Group, located at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., is one of four groups assigned to the 27th Special Operations Wing. The group accomplishes global special operations taskings as an Air Force component member of the United States Special Operations Command. It conducts infiltration/exfiltration, combat support, tilt-rotor operations, helicopter aerial refueling, close air support, unmanned aerial vehicle operations, non-standard aviation and other special missions. It directs the deployment, employment, training and planning for squadrons that operate the AC-130H, AC-130W, PC-12, Do-328, M-28, CV-22, MC-130J, MQ-1, MQ-9 and provides operational support to flying operations.


There are nine squadrons and three tenant units within the group.

  • 27th Special Operations Support Squadron provides operational support to flight operations.
  • 3rd Special Operations Squadron, MQ-1 Predator
  • 16th Special Operations Squadron, AC-130H Spectre gunship
  • 33rd Special Operations Squadron, MQ-9 Reaper
  • 20th Special Operations Squadron, CV-22 Osprey
  • 73rd Special Operations Squadron, AC-130W Stinger
  • 318th Special Operations Squadron, PC-12 and M-28
  • 522d Special Operations Squadron, MC-130J Commando II
  • 524th Special Operations Squadron, Do-328
  • 43d Special Operations Squadron provides specialized intelligence support.
  • 56th Intelligence Squadron provides specialized intelligence support.
  • 551st Special Operations Squadron provides specialized training on multiple weapons systems.


The 27th SOG has a long and distinguished history since its inception as the 27th Bombardment Group (Light) at Barksdale Field, Louisiana, Feb. 1, 1940. Elements of the 27th BG were in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded the island in December 1941 and aided in the fight against the invading force. The Japanese eventually overran the country, and as a result, many members of the 27th BG were taken prisoners of war and forced to participate in the Bataan Death March in 1942.

Throughout the last 68 years, the 27th designation has been assigned to several groups and wings at myriad locations. The 27th was organized as a fighter wing in August 1947 at Kearney Air Force Base, Nebraska. Later, in February 1958, in a move to preserve the heritage of the 27th, Air Force leadership transferred the designation to Cannon AFB, replacing the 312th Wing. Since 1958, the wing had supported F-100s, T/AT-33s, F-111s and F-16s. The 27th Operations Group was redesignated as the 27th Special Operations Group on Oct. 1, 2007.

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