14 Facts About AFSOC


An Air Force major command, AFSOC is the US Air Force component command to United States Special Operations Command, a unified combatant command located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

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AFSOC provides all Air Force Special Operations Forces for worldwide deployment and assignment to regional unified combatant commands.

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AFSOC was initially established on 10 February 1983 as Twenty-Third Air Force, a subordinate numbered air force of MAC, with 23 AF headquarters initially established at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

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AFSOC elements include Combat Controllers, Pararescuemen, Special Reconnaissance, and Tactical Air Control Party.

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AFSOC has about 20,800 active-duty, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and civilian personnel.

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Currently, after major redesignations and reorganizations, AFSOC direct reporting units include the 16th Special Operations Wing, the 352nd Special Operations Group, the 353rd Special Operations Group, the 720th Special Tactics Group, the USAF Special Operations School and the 18th Flight Test Squadron.

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From early August 1990 to late February 1991, AFSOC participated in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, the protection of Saudi Arabia and liberation of Kuwait.

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In late 1994, AFSOC units spearheaded Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, and in 1995 Operation Deliberate Force in the Balkans.

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AFSOC airpower delivered special tactics forces to the battle ground and they in turn focused US airpower and allowed Afghanistan's Northern Alliance ground forces to dispatch the Taliban and al Qaeda from Afghanistan.

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AFSOC personnel deployed to the Philippines to help aid that country's efforts against terrorism.

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In March 2003, AFSOC again deployed forces to southwest Asia this time in support of what would become Operation Iraqi Freedom – the removal of Saddam Hussein and his Baathist government.

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AFSOC forces continued to conduct operations in support of the new Iraqi government against insurgents and terrorists.

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USAFSOC takes part in the multinational trainings at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre in which it trains in multiple scenarios with partner nations in order to increase interoperability between partner forces.

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AFSOC has had eleven commanders since its inception in 1990.

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