The 65th Special Operations Squadron is an Air Force Special Operations unit based at Hurlburt Field, Florida. Although it is geographically connected to its host unit, the 1st Special Operations Group, it is geographically separated from the MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft it operates.
The 65th SOS, in a classic association with the 1st Special Operations Wing provides combatant commanders with the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and precision strike capabilities needed to enable Remotely Piloted Aircraft operations around the globe.
The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons -- it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets.
Constituted as 65th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on Nov. 20, 1940. Activated on Jan. 15, 1941. Redesignated as 65th BS, Heavy, on Sep. 21, 1943. Inactivated on Apr. 29, 1946. Redesignated as 65th BS, Very Heavy, and activated, on Oct. 1, 1946. Redesignated as 65th BS, Medium, on July 2, 1948. Inactivated Jan. 31, 1970. Redesignated as 65th Strategic Squadron on April 7, 1986. Activated on July 1, 1986. Inactivated on Oct. 2, 1991. Redesignated as 65th SOS on Sept. 26, 2018. Activated on Dec. 18, 2018-
43rd Bombardment Group, Jan. 15, 1941-April 29, 1946. 43rd BG, Oct. 1, 1946; 43rd Bombardment Wing, June 16, 1952-Jan. 31, 1970. 43rd Strategic Wing (later, 43rd BW, Heavy), July 1, 1986; 376th Strategic Wing, July 1, 1990-Oct. 2, 1991. 1st Special Operations Group, Dec. 18, 2018-
Langley Field, Virginia, Jan. 15, 1941; Bangor, Maine, Aug. 29, 1941-Feb. 17, 1942; Sydney, Australia, March 28, 1942; Williamstown, Australia, June 23, 1942; Torrens Creek, Australia, Aug. 15, 1942; Iron Range, Australia Oct. 13, 1942; Mareeba, Australia, Nov. 7, 1942; Port Moresby, New Guinea, Jan. 20, 1943; Dobodura, New Guinea, c. Dec. 11, 1943; Nadzab, New Guinea, March 1944; Owi, Schouten, Islands, c. July 11, 1944; Tacloban, Leyte, c. Nov. 24, 1944; Clark Field, Luzon, c. March 16, 1945; Fort William McKinley, Luzon, Dec. 10, 1945-April 29, 1946. Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, Oct. 1, 1946; Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, March 15, 1960; Little Rock AFB, Arizona, Sep. 1, 1964-Jan. 31, 1970. Andersen AFB, Guam, July 1, 1986; Kadena Air Base, Japan, Dec. 11, 1990-Oct. 2, 1991. Hurlburt Field, Florida, Dec. 18, 2018-
B-25 Mitchell bomber, 1941; B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, 1941-1943; B-24 Liberator bomber, 1942-1945. B-29 Superfortress bomber, 1946-1950; B-50 Superfortess bomber, 1948-1954; B-47 Stratojet bomber, 1954-1960; B-58 bomber, 1960-1970. B-52 Stratofortress bomber, 1986-1990; KC-135 Stratotanker refueler, 1990-1991.
Antisubmarine missions, December 1941-January 1942; combat in Southwest and Western Pacific, Nov. 12, 1942-Aug. 12, 1945; not fully manned or equipped, Nov. 23, 1945-April 29, 1946. From 1946-1970, the squadron participated in a series of exercises and combat simulations to maintain ability to perform long-range strategic bombardment operations. Between 1986 and 1991, served wings providing strategic bombardment and aerial refueling services in Guam and Japan.
World War II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Central Pacific; Air Offensive, Japan; China Defensive; Papua; Guadalcanal; New Guinea; Bismarck Archipelago; Western Pacific; Leyte; Luzon; Southern Philippines; China Offensive.
Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers
Distinguished Unit Citations: Papua Nov. 12, 1942-Jan. 23, 1943; Bismarck Sea, March 2-4, 1943.
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: Aug. 1, 1960-Aug. 1, 1962; June 30, 1990-June 30, 1991.