Air Force Special Operations Command

Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) was established May 22, 1990, with headquarters at Hurlburt Field, Fla. AFSOC is a United States Air Force (USAF) major command and is the Air Force component to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), a unified command located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

The commander of AFSOC is Lieutenant General Donald C. Wurster. Major General Kurt A. Cichowski is Vice Commander, and Chief Master Sergeant Michael P. Gilbert is the Command Chief Master Sergeant, Air Force Special Operations Command.


AFSOC provides AF Special Operations Forces (SOF) for worldwide deployment and assignment to regional unified commands.

The command's SOF are composed of highly trained, rapidly deployable Airmen who are equipped with specialized aircraft. These forces conduct global special operations missions ranging from precision application of firepower, to infiltration, aviation foreign internal defense, exfiltration, resupply and refueling of SOF operational elements.

AFSOC's unique capabilities include airborne radio and television broadcast for psychological operations, as well as combat aviation advisors to provide other governments military expertise for their internal development. The command's special tactics squadrons combine combat controllers, special operations weathermen and pararescuemen to form versatile SOF teams.

Air Force Combat Controllers, Pararescue Jumpers, Special Operations Weathermen and JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers) are integrated through JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) into multiservice Task Forces called Special Mission Units (SMUs) consisting of Army Special Forces, Marine Corps Special Operations (MARSOC), and Navy SEAL teams.

AFSOC core tasks are grouped into seven mission areas: shaping the battlefield; information operations; precision engagement; SOF mobility; agile combat support; aerospace interface.

AFSOC official mission statement: "America's specialized air power…a step ahead in a changing world, delivering Special Operations power anytime, anywhere."

Personnel and Resources

AFSOC has approximately 12,900 active-duty, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and civilian personnel. The command's active duty and reserve component flying units operate fixed-wing, rotary-wing, unmanned, and tiltrotor aircraft, including the CV-22, AC-130H/U, C-130-Hercules, EC-130E, MC-130E/H/P/W, MH-53J/M, |UH-1N/H, CN-235-100, An-26, U-28A, CASA 212,MQ-1A/B Predator, and Mi-17.


From the establishment of USSOCOM in June of 1987 until the creation of AFSOC in May 1990, Military Airlift Command's Twenty-Third Air Force (23AF) - minus its aerospace rescue and aeromedical evacuation units - served as the air component of USSOCOM, and the commander, Twenty-Third Air Force, served as the air component commander of USSOCOM.


Air National Guard units

Air Force Reserve units

External links

See also

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