Profile: 919th Special Operations Wing

23rd Special Tactics training.

The 919th Special Operations Wing, located at Eglin Air Force Base Field 3 (Duke Field), Fla., is the only special operations wing in the Air Force Reserve. The 919th SOW is a subordinate unit of 10th Air Force headquartered at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, and the Air Force Reserve Command, with headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. In wartime or a contingency, the wing reports to Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., its gaining major command. 


The 919th SOW, in a classic association with the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center, provides operations and maintenance personnel to support the aviation foreign internal defense and combat aviation advisor programs for the Air Force Special Operations Command through the use of the C-145A aircraft. The wing conducts U-28 and C-145A formal training unit flight instruction through a classic association with the AFSOAWC. It also employs the MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial system in a geographically separated classic association with the 27th Special Operations Wing, Cannon AFB, N.M. The wing provides personnel to support AFSOC taskings and AFRC Air Expeditionary Force taskings relating to security forces, civil engineering, communications, logistics, supply, transportation, services and personnel functions.


919th Operations Group 2nd Special Operations Squadron (Nellis AFB, Nev.) 5th Special Operations Squadron (Hurlburt Field, Fla.)  711th Special Operations Squadron  919th Operations Support Squadron

919th Maintenance Group  919th Maintenance Squadron  919th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron  919th Maintenance Operations Flight 

919th Mission Support Group  919th Civil Engineering Squadron  919th Security Forces Squadron  919th Communications Squadron  919th Logistics Readiness Squadron  919th Force Support Squadron 

919th Medical Squadron 


The 919th SOW employs about 1,200 traditional part-time reservists. Air Reserve Technicians, commonly referred to as ARTs, provide the full-time continuity and support to keep the units and members combat ready. ARTs carry dual status as a full-time civil service employee for the U.S. Air Force and, as a condition of employment, must also participate as reservists. More than 280 ARTs and 47 civilians support the wing in day-to-day operations. The wing also has 86 Active Guard Reserve members (full-time military members) to assist in full-time support for different combat missions. 


The wing's payroll in fiscal year 2012 was $60.1 million. Total economic impact in the Northwest Florida panhandle in FY 2012 was an estimated $88.8 million.


As the only special operations unit in the Air Force Reserve, the 919th SOW deploys in numerous contingencies throughout the world. The unit supported Operation Just Cause in December 1989. In 1991, more than 300 reservists were called to active duty for deployment in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In September 1994, more than 100 reservists deployed throughout a four-month period in support of Operation Uphold Democracy. In September 2001, up to 600 wing reservists were activated in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 919th Security Forces Squadron was the first Air Force Reserve unit to be activated in support of OEF. By October 2002, nearly 550 reservists were extended for a second year of activation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After deactivation on Sept. 29, 2003, the wing has continued supporting numerous voluntary and mobilized deployments for OEF, OIF, Operation New Dawn and numerous other U.S. Special Operations Command and AFSOC mission taskings in a wide variety of aircraft platforms and mission sets to include manning a continuous UAS combat air patrol since June 2009. This deployed combat support has been a constant ongoing commitment and continues through present day. The wing now also supports AvFID and CAA deployments with the C-145A in multiple geographic areas worldwide.


Initially called the 919th Tactical Airlift Group, the unit was activated at Duke Field and received its first C-130A in 1971. One year later, the RC-130A was added to the inventory. In 1973, it converted to C-130B models. In 1974, a new mission was announced -- special operations -- and the 919th began flying the AC-130A Spectre Gunship in 1975. On June 1, 1992, the unit was re-designated the 919th Special Operations Wing. In 1995, the 919th SOW transitioned from the gunship to the MC-130E (711th SOS) and MC-130P (5th SOS) aircraft.

In 2000, about 300 active duty members moved to Duke Field from Hurlburt Field, bringing two active duty units, the 8th Special Operations Squadron and the 716th Maintenance Squadron to work alongside reservists in support of the MC-130E Combat Talon I mission. Two Reserve units, the 5th Special Operations Squadron and 719th Maintenance Squadron, moved to Eglin AFB to support the MC-130P aircraft in an association with the active duty 9th Special Operations Squadron and 16th Maintenance Squadron. In August 2006, the 8th SOS and 716th MXS active duty units returned to Hurlburt Field to support other AFSOC missions.

In 2007, the 5th SOS transitioned from the MC-130P and moved to Hurlburt Field to support a schoolhouse mission associated with the Air Force Special Operations Training Center (now called the AFSOAWC) to provide the primary flight instructors for students in the U-28 aircraft FTU. In 2008, the 919th SOW stood up the 2nd Special Operations Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nev., which supplies a continuous MQ-1 Predator CAP in support of Overseas Contingency Operations.

In 2008, the wing moved the 719th MXS to Hurlburt Field and transitioned the unit's mission to become an air operations center (named the 919th Operations Group Detachment 2), which was later shutdown in 2012. In May 2013, the 711th Special Operations Squadron and 919th Maintenance Group transitioned from the MC-130E to the C-145A aircraft to support the AvFID and CAA programs for AFSOC through the AFSOAWC. This was accomplished by associating the Reserve units with the active duty 6th SOS and 592nd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron. At the same time, the 5th SOS picked up the primary flight instruction mission for the C-145A FTU schoolhouse at Duke Field under the AFSOAWC association.


Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards:  July 30, 1971- March 31, 1973  July 1, 1975 - Jan. 31, 1977  Oct. 1, 1983 - June 1, 1985  June 1, 1987 - May 31, 1989 Dec. 8, 1989 - Jan. 7, 1990  June 1, 1990 - May 31, 1992 June 1, 1992 - May 31, 1994 June 1, 1994 - May 31, 1996  June 1, 1996 - May 31, 1998  June 1, 1998 - May 31, 2000  Feb. 1, 2001 - Jan. 31, 2003 (with valor)  Oct. 1, 2003 - Dec. 21, 2004  Jan. 1, 2005 - Dec. 31, 2005  Jan. 1, 2006 - Dec. 31, 2006  Jan. 1, 2007 - Dec. 31, 2007  Jan. 1, 2008 - Dec. 31, 2008  Oct. 1, 2008- July 30, 2010 

919th Operations Group: March 2006 - Gallant Unit Citation March 2009 - Meritorious Unit Award

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