7th Special Operations Squadron [7th SOS]
The 7th Special Operations Squadron provides day and night, as well as adverse weather low-level deliveries of troops and supplies into denied areas.
The 7th Special Operations Squadron traces its lineage to the 27th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron which was originally constituted as the 27th Observation Squadron on 1 July 1942 and activated on 17 July 1942 at Godman Field, KY. Tasked with aerial support for training ground forces, it was redesignated as the 27th Reconnaissance Squadron [Fighter] on 2 April 1943, and as the 27th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 11 August 1943, it was assigned to the 77th Observation (later, 77th Reconnaissance; 77th Tactical Reconnaissance) Group, before being disbanded on 30 November 1943 at Birmingham AAB, AL. Aircraft operated by the unit were the O-47, L-1, and L-4 (1942) and the P-39 (1942-1943).
It was reconstituted and consolidated on 19 September 1985 with the 167th Liaison Squadron and the 7th Special Operations Squadron.
The 167th Liaison Squadron was originally activated on 19 February 1945 at Vittel, France, by special authority and assigned to Ninth Air Force (though attached to Sixth Army Group to 14 Jun 1945) prior to its constitution on 1 March 1945. The unit was tasked with courier operations in ETO, from 10 March-May 1945.
It was reassigned to XII Tactical Air Command, on 20 May 1945; to US Forces, European Theater, on 15 July 1945; to Third Air Force, on 4 August 1945; to XIX Tactical Air Command, on 21 January 1946; to Tactical Air Command, on 21 March 1946; and to Ninth Air Force, on 28 March 1946 until the unit's inactivation on 3 October 1946 at Marshall Field, KS. Aircraft flown by the unit were the L-4 (1945) and the L-5 (1945-1946).
The 7th Special Operations Squadron was originally constituted as the 7th Air Commando Squadron, Composite, and activated, on 14 May 1964 under United States Air Forces in Europe, and organized on 1 July 1964 at Sembach AB, Germany. It operated the C-47 (1964-1973); C-123 (1964-c. 1973) and U-10 (1964-1968) aircraft and was tasked with Special operations training. It was reassigned to Seventeenth Air Force, on 1 May 1967.
Redesignated as the 7th Special Operations Squadron on 15 July 1968, it relocated to Ramstein AB, Germany, on 15 August 1968. The 7th began operating the C-130 that year, until c. 1977 and the UH-1 in 1971 until 1973. The 7th was later reassigned to the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, on 17 November 1972; the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing, on 31 January 1973.
Upon its reassignment to the 322nd Tactical Airlift Wing, on 15 March 1973, the squadron relocated to Rhein-Main AB, Germany, on 15 Mar 1973 (but deployed at Incirlik AB, Turkey, from 13 January-18 March 1991 and 6 April-14 May 1991).
It was reassigned to Seventeenth Air Force, on 30 June 1975; to the 601st Tactical Control Wing, on 15 October 1975; to the 7575th Operations Group, on 1 July 1977; and to 2nd Air Division, on 1 March 1983.
The 7th SOS began operating the MC-130 in 1977.
The consolidated 7th SOS was then reassigned to the 39th Aerospace Rescue & Recovery (later, 39th Special Operations) Wing, on 1 February 1987 (attached to Joint Special Operations Task Force, from 13 January-18 March 1991 and from 6 April-14 May 1991); and to the 352d Special Operations Group, on 1 December 1992 (though attached to Joint Special Operations Task Force, from 22 February-22 March 1993), relocating in the process to RAF Alconbury, England (though it deployed at Rhein-Main AB, Germany, 22 February-22 March 1993).
The 7th SOS supported Coalition forces in Southwest Asia from January-March 1991 and later resupplied Kurds in Northern Iraq.
It relocated to RAF Mildenhall on 12 January 1995 where the 352nd SOG had consolidated all its assigned units.
In 2000, the 7th SOS executed 12 Special Operations Forces exercises with 15 foreign military units in 10 countries.
The CV-22B Osprey is operated by the 7th Special Operations Squadron from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. The CV-22 is the U.S. Air Force's premier tiltrotor aircraft combining the vertical takeoff, hover and vertical landing qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency and speed characteristics of a turboprop aircraft.
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