The 1st Special Operations Wing (1st SOW) at Hurlburt Field, Fla. is one of two Air Force active duty special operations wings and falls under the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).
The 1st SOW mission focus is unconventional warfare: counter-terrorism, combat search and rescue, personnel recovery, psychological operations, "deep battlefield" resupply, interdiction and close air support. The wing has units located at Hurlburt Field, Fla. and Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
The wing's core missions include aerospace surface interface, agile combat support, combat aviation advisory operations, information operations, personnel recovery/recovery operations, precision aerospace fires, psychological operations dissemination, specialized aerospace mobility and specialized aerial refueling.
The 1st SOW also serves as a pivotal component of AFSOC's ability to provide and conduct special operations missions ranging from precision application of firepower to infiltration, exfiltration, resupply and refueling of special operations force operational elements. In addition, the 1st SOW brings distinctive intelligence capabilities to the fight, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance contributions, predictive analysis, and targeting expertise to joint special operations forces and combat search and rescue operations.
Hurlburt Field employs more than 5,3000 military and 1,690 civilian personnel. The wing is divided into four groups:
1st Special Operations Group:
· 1st Special Operations Support Squadron
· 4th Special Operations Squadron, AC-130U Spooky Gunship
· 8th Special Operations Squadron, CV-22 Osprey
· 9th Special Operations Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, MC-130P Combat Shadow
· 15th Special Operations Squadron, MC-130H Combat Talon II
· 23rd Weather Squadron
· 34th Special Operations Squadron, U-28A
· 319th Special Operations Squadron, U-28A
1st Special Operations Maintenance Group:
· 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
· 1st Special Operation Maintenance Operations Squadron
· 1st Special Operations Component Maintenance Squadron
· 1st Special Operations Equipment Maintenance Squadron
· 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron
· 801st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
1st Special Operations Mission Support Group:
· 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron
· 1st Special Operations Communications Squadron
· 1st Special Operations Contracting Squadron
· 1st Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron
· 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron
· 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron
1st Special Operations Medical Group:
· 1st Special Operations Medical Operations Squadron
· 1st Special Operations Medical Support Squadron
· 1st Special Operations Aerospace Medicine Squadron
· 1st Special Operations Dental Squadron
The 1st SOW and Hurlburt Field also play host to several major partner units including Air Force Special Operations Command, 505th Command and Control Wing, Air Force Special Operations Training Center, Joint Special Operations University, 823rd RED HORSE Squadron and the 720th Special Tactics Group.
The wing was redesigned from the 16th SOW to the 1st SOW Nov. 16, 2006. Today, it manages a fleet of more than 81 aircraft.
The wing's motto of "Any Time, Any Place," has repeatedly shown to be true since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. MH-53 Pave Lows, now retired from the Air Force inventory, responded almost immediately to support relief efforts in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Since the Global War on Terrorism began in October 2001, 1st SOW aircraft have flown more than 68,000 combat sorties, amassing more than 210,000 combat hours. The wing has also sent personnel on more than 28,000 deployments to 57 geographic locations around the world. The continued high operations tempo of the 1st SOW truly places the Air Commandos assigned here at the "tip of the spear."