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711th Special Operations Squadron [711th SOS]

The 711th SOS has 8 of the Air Force's inventory of 14 MC-130E Combat Talon I aircraft assigned to it. It transitioned to that aircraft from the AC-130A Spectre gunship beginning in September 1995. The mission called on the squadron to perform specialized day or night low-level delivery of troops or cargo into denied or hostile areas.

In early spring 2000, the 8th SOS - an active-duty unit from Hurlburt Field - will transfer to Duke Field with its Combat Talon I aircraft. The unit will combine its forces with the 711th SOS.

Under the associate unit concept, an active-duty unit owns the aircraft and Reserve crews and maintainers augment the missions. In this case, however, the Air Force Reserve will own all the Combat Talon I aircraft as both units form an associate unit flying the Combat Talon I aircraft.

The move is part of an overall plan for Air Force Special Operations Command to combine Reserve and active-duty components onto common airframes. These changes result from mission changes, adjustments for efficiency, congressional directives and implementation of the expeditionary aerospace force concept.

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