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522d Special Operations Squadron
522d Special Operations Squadron - MC-130J Commando II.jpg
A new MC-130J Commando II taxis on the flightline at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., 29 September 2011
Active 1939 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part of Air Force Special Operations Command
Garrison/HQ Cannon AFB, New Mexico
Nickname(s) Fireballs
Insignia
522d Special Operations Squadron emblem 522d Special Operations Squadron - Emblem.png

The 522d Special Operations Squadron (522 SOS), the Fireballs, is a unit of the United States Air Force. It is part of the 27th Special Operations Group, the flying component of the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon AFB. It will be the first to operate the MC-130J Combat Shadow II.[1]

Mission[]

The mission of the 522 SOS will be infiltration, aerial refueling of Special Operations Forces aircraft, and the resupply of joint and coalition SOF via airdrop in hostile, denied, and politically sensitive areas. The unit will achieve Initial Operational Capability in 2012.

History[]

522d F-16C Block 50P 92-3921

522d TFS F-100D Super Sabre - 56-3150 about 1960

522d Fighter-Escort Squadron F-84Gs, Bergstrom AFB, Texas, 1952

The 522 SOS was originally constituted in 1939 as the 16th Bombardment Squadron (Light) and activated on 1 February 1940.[2] It was stationed at Barksdale Field, LA, and later Hunter Field, GA, before being assigned to Luzon in the Philippines in 1941. After war began between the United States and Japan, the unit's air echelon operated Australia. When American units in the Philippines surrendered, ground elements of the unit were part of the Bataan Death March.

The unit was redesignated as the 522d Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 23 Aug 1943 and then the 522d Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 30 May 1944. During World War II, it was one of the most decorated U.S. Army Air Force units. The unit later served in conflicts such as the Korean and Vietnam wars, and flew almost a dozen different aircraft in support of various missions. The 522d Fighter Squadron inactivated in 2007 when the 27th Fighter Wing became the 27th Special Operations Wing.[3]

The 522d Special Operations Squadron was reactivated on 7 April 2011 using the lineage of the 522d Fighter Squadron. Lt. Col. Paul Pendleton assumed command of the 522 SOS and will lead the unit in its new role as the U.S. Air Force's first MC-130J Commando II squadron.

Lineage[]

522d Fighter Squadron emblem

  • Constituted 16th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 22 Dec 1939
Activated on 1 Feb 1940
Re-designated: 522d Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 23 Aug 1943
Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 30 May 1944
Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945
  • Activated on 20 Aug 1946
Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 22 Jul 1947
Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 1 Dec 1949
Re-designated: 522d Fighter-Escort Squadron on 1 Feb 1950
Re-designated: 522d Strategic Fighter Squadron on 20 Jan 1953
Re-designated: 522d Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 1 Jul 1957
Re-designated: 522d Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 Jul 1958
Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron on 1 Nov 1991
Designated as 522d Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and placed in provisional status when deployed to combat area of operations as part of Global War on Terrorism after 11 September 2001.
Inactivated on 30 September 2007
  • Converted to provisional status and allocated to Air Combat Command to activate or inactivate any time after 1 October 2007.
  • Converted to regular status, 1 April 2011
  • Re-designated 522d Special Operations Squadron, and activated 7 April 2011

Assignments[]

Attached to 27th Fighter-Escort Wing, 6 Aug 1951 – 15 Jun 1952
Attached to unknown, 6 Sep-18 Dec 1958
Attached to TUSLOG, 18 Oct 1959 – 22 Feb 1960
Attached to 405th Fighter Wing, 13 Feb-c. 7 Mar 1961
Attached to TUSLOG, 5 Feb-15 Jun 1962
Attached to 2d Air Division, 12 Dec 1962-c. 15 Feb 1963 and 16 Mar-6 May 1964
Attached to 405th Fighter Wing, 8 Aug-c. 20 Sep 1964
Attached to 2d Air Division, c. 20 Sep-15 Nov 1964
Attached to 405th Fighter Wing, 15 Aug-25 Nov 1965
Attached to 712th Operations Group [Provisional], 1 October 2007 – 1 March 2008

Assignments[]

  • Barksdale Field, Louisiana, 1 Feb 1940
  • Hunter Field, Georgia, 7 Oct 1940 – 19 Oct 1941
  • Fort William McKinley, Luzon, Philippines, 20 Nov 1941
  • Lipa Airfield, Luzon, Philippines, 22 Dec 1941
  • Cabcaben, Luzon (Ground echelon), 25 Dec 1941
Air echelon operated from Archerfield Airport, Brisbane, Australia, 24 Dec 1941 – 16 Feb 1942
  • Bataan, Luzon (Ground echelon), 29 Dec 1941
Air echelon operated from Batchelor Airfield, Australia, 17 Feb-c. 8 Mar 1942
Air echelon operated from Archerfield Airport, Brisbane, Australia, c. 10-c. 25 Mar 1942

Deployed at Taegu AB (K-9), South Korea, 5 Dec 1950 – 30 Jan 1951
Deployed at Itazuke AB, Japan, 31 Jan-20 Jun 1951
Deployed at Misawa AB, Japan, 13-16 Oct 1952
Deployed at Chitose AB, Japan, 17 Oct 1952-c. 13 Feb 1953
Deployed at RAF Sturgate, England, 7 May-17 Aug 1955
Deployed at Kadena AB, Okinawa, 6 Sep-18 Dec 1958
  • Cannon AFB, New Mexico, 18 Feb 1959 – 30 September 2007
Deployed at Incirlik AB, Turkey, 18 Oct 1959 – 22 Feb 1960
Deployed at Clark AB, Philippines, 13 Feb-c. 7 Mar 1961
Deployed at England AFB, Louisiana, 29 Mar-5 May 1961
Deployed at Incirlik AB, Turkey, 5 Feb-15 Jun 1962
Deployed at MacDill AFB, Florida, 21 Oct-1 Dec 1962
Deployed at Takhli RTAFB, Thailand, 13 Dec 1962 – 1 Jun 1963 (A Flight)
Deployed at Da Nang AB, South Vietnam, 13 Dec 1962 – 1 Jun 1963 (B Flight)
Deployed at Takhli RTAFB, Thailand, 16 Mar-6 May 1964 (A Flight)
Deployed at Da Nang AB, South Vietnam, 16 Mar-6 May 1964 (B Flight)
Deployed at Clark AB, Philippines, 8 Aug-25 Nov 1964
Further Deployed to: Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam, 15 Aug-25 Nov 1964
Deployed to: Undisclosed locations in Southwest Asia as part of 27th Expeditionary Operations Group, 2002-2007
Deployed at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, 13 Apr-12 May 1966
  • Cannon AFB, New Mexico, 1 October 2007 – 1 March 2008
  • Cannon AFB, New Mexico, 7 April 2011 – present

Aircraft[]

References[]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, AL: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  1. "522 SOS Fireballs return to Cannon" By Airman 1st Class Jette Carr, 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, 8 April 2011
  2. "522 Squadron Factsheet" USAF
  3. "Last deployment for Fireballs, 27th Fighter Wing" By Tech. Sgt. Steven Wilson, 36th Operations Group Public Affairs, 10 January 2007]

External links[]


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