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Special Operations Wing

The Special Operations Wing (SOW) of the U.S. Air Force is responsible for the air power involved in the military's counterterrorism operations.

The various SOW divisions are part of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), which was established on May 22, 1980, at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The emerging AFSOC was supported by the 1982 Defense Guidance statement of the administration of U.S. president Ronald Reagan. This document asserted that special operations must be revitalized to address a number of issues, including the Soviet challenge.

The duties of the SOW include basic air power tasks, such as carrying cargo, dropping troops via parachute, extracting ground personnel, and providing air cover for ground operations. Such operations are carried out inside enemy lines, in conjunction with the military's other elite special operations forces (e.g., the Navy SEALs). Most missions are flown in darkness, as low as 50 feet ...

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