Published July 08, 2008
Home of the Air Commandos since 1961, Hurlburt Field today accommodates the 1st Special Operations Wing (1 SOW), Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), an Air Force major command, and a number of associate units. Officially designated Eglin Auxiliary Field No. 9, it served as one of the small training fields built on the sprawling Eglin Air Force Range in the 1940s. General Grandison Gardiner, Eglin commander, named it for First Lieutenant Donald Wilson Hurlburt who was killed in an aircraft crash at Eglin Auxiliary Field #9 in 1943. The Eglin Military Reservation, to include the surrounding auxiliary fields, played key roles in the training of special operations rescue forces for operations such as the 1970 Son Tay Raid in Vietnam. When the 1 SOW was renamed the 16 SOW on October 1, 1993, it retained the heritage and honors of the 1 SOW, its predecessor designations, and the 16th Pursuit and Fighter groups. When the 16 SOW was redesignated the 1 SOW on November 16, 2006, it retained all the honors garnered by the 16 SOW.