The 919th Special Operations Wing, located at Eglin Air Force Base Field 3 (Duke Field), Fla., is the only special operations wing in the Air Force Reserve. The 919th SOW is a subordinate unit of 10th Air Force headquartered at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, and the Air Force Reserve Command, with headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. In wartime or a contingency, the wing reports to Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., its gaining major command.
The 919th SOW, in a classic association with the 492nd SOW, provides operations and maintenance personnel to support the non-standard aviation, foreign internal defense and combat aviation advisor programs for the Air Force Special Operations Command through the use of the C-145A and C-146A aircraft. The wing conducts formal training unit flight instruction through a classic association with the 492nd SOW for most special operations aircraft platforms. It also employs the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial system in a geographically separated classic association with the 27th Special Operations Wing, Cannon AFB, N.M. The wing supports AFSOC and AFRC taskings relating to operations, maintenance, security forces, civil engineering, communications, logistics, supply, transportation, services and personnel functions.
919th Special Operations Group
2nd Special Operations Squadron (Hurlburt Field, Fla.)
5th Special Operations Squadron (Hurlburt Field, Fla.)
711th Special Operations Squadron
859th Special Operations Squadron
919th Special Operations Support Squadron
919th Special Operations Maintenance Group
919th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron
919th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
919th Special Operations Mission Support Group
919th Special Operations Civil Engineering Squadron
919th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron
919th Special Operations Communications Squadron
919th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron
919th Special Operations Force Support Squadron
919th Special Operations Medical Squadron
The 919th SOW employs about 1,300 traditional part-time reservists. Air Reserve Technicians, commonly referred to as ARTs, provide the full-time continuity and support to keep the units and members combat ready. ARTs carry dual status as a full-time civil service employee for the U.S. Air Force and, as a condition of employment, must also participate as reservists. More than 280 ARTs and 47 civilians support the wing in day-to-day operations. The wing also has 86 Active Guard Reserve members (full-time military members) to assist in full-time support for different combat missions.
ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT
The wing's payroll in fiscal year 2016 was $57.7 million. Total economic impact in the Northwest Florida panhandle in FY 2016 was an estimated $90.5 million.
As the only special operations unit in the Air Force Reserve, the 919th SOW deploys in numerous contingencies throughout the world. The unit supported Operation Just Cause in December 1989. In 1991, more than 300 reservists were called to active duty for deployment in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In September 1994, more than 100 reservists deployed throughout a four-month period in support of Operation Uphold Democracy. In September 2001, up to 600 wing reservists were activated in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 919th Security Forces Squadron was the first Air Force Reserve unit to be activated in support of OEF. By October 2002, nearly 550 reservists were extended for a second year of activation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After deactivation on Sept. 29, 2003, the wing has continued supporting numerous voluntary and mobilized deployments for OEF, OIF, Operation New Dawn and many other U.S. Special Operations Command and AFSOC mission taskings in a wide variety of aircraft platforms and mission sets to include manning a continuous UAS combat air patrol since June 2009. This deployed combat support has been a constant ongoing commitment and continues through present day. The wing now also supports NSAV, FID and CAA deployments in multiple geographic areas worldwide.
Initially called the 919th Tactical Airlift Group, the unit was activated at Duke Field and received its first C-130A in 1971. One year later, the RC-130A was added to the inventory. In 1973, it converted to C-130B models. In 1974, a new mission was announced -- special operations -- and the 919th began flying the AC-130A Spectre Gunship in 1975. On June 1, 1992, the unit was re-designated the 919th Special Operations Wing. In 1995, the 919th SOW transitioned from the gunship to the MC-130E (711th SOS) and MC-130P (5th SOS) aircraft. In 2000, about 300 active duty members moved to Duke Field from Hurlburt Field, bringing two active duty units, the 8th Special Operations Squadron and the 716th Maintenance Squadron to work alongside reservists in support of the MC-130E Combat Talon I mission. Two Reserve units, the 5th Special Operations Squadron and 719th Maintenance Squadron, moved to Eglin AFB to support the MC-130P aircraft in an association with the active duty 9th Special Operations Squadron and 16th Maintenance Squadron. In August 2006, the 8th SOS and 716th MXS active duty units returned to Hurlburt Field to support other AFSOC missions. In 2007, the 5th SOS transitioned from the MC-130P and moved to Hurlburt Field to support a schoolhouse mission associated with the Air Force Special Operations Training Center (now called the AFSOAWC) to provide the primary flight instructors for students in the U-28 aircraft FTU. In 2008, the 919th SOW stood up the 2nd Special Operations Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nev., which supplies a continuous MQ-1 Predator CAP in support of Overseas Contingency Operations. In 2008, the wing moved the 719th MXS to Hurlburt Field and transitioned the unit's mission to become an air operations center (named the 919th Operations Group Detachment 2), which was later shutdown in 2012. In May 2013, the 711th SOS and 919th Maintenance Group transitioned from the MC-130E to the C-145A aircraft to support the FID and CAA programs for AFSOC through the AFSOAWC. This was accomplished by associating the Reserve units with the active duty 6th SOS and 592nd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron. At the same time, the 5th SOS added the primary flight instruction mission for the C-145A FTU schoolhouse at Duke Field under the AFSOAWC association. In 2014, the wing added the "special operations" designation to all of the groups and squadron names. In 2014, the 2nd SOS transitioned from Nellis to Hurlburt Field. It currently operates the MQ-9 Reaper. The C-145A was deactivated as the wing's primary aircraft in 2015. All but five of the aircraft were retired from the AF inventory. In Jan 2016, the first C-146A arrived at Duke Field to begin a new phase of the wing's aircraft mission set.
Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards:
July 30, 1971 - March 31, 1973 June 1, 1998 - May 31, 2000
July 1, 1975 - Jan. 31, 1977 Feb. 1, 2001 - Jan. 31, 2003 (with valor)
Oct. 1, 1983 - June 1, 1985 Oct. 1, 2003 - Dec. 21, 2004
June 1, 1987 - May 31, 1989 Jan. 1, 2005 - Dec. 31, 2005
Dec. 8, 1989 - Jan. 7, 1990 Jan. 1, 2006 - Dec. 31, 2006
June 1, 1990 - May 31, 1992 Jan. 1, 2007 - Dec. 31, 2007
June 1, 1992 - May 31, 1994 Jan. 1, 2008 - Dec. 31, 2008
June 1, 1994 - May 31, 1996 Oct. 1, 2008 - July 30, 2010
June 1, 1996 - May 31, 1998 Oct. 1, 2012 - Sept. 30, 2014
919th Special Operations Group:
March 2006 - Gallant Unit Citation (U.S. Air Force)
March 2009 - Meritorious Unit Award
(Current as of February 2017)