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1st Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando IIs train off Okinawa


Last week, the 1st Special Operations Squadron flew in formation with five Lockheed Martin MC-130J Commando IIs off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. By conducting formation flights, aircrews and maintainers exercise their ability to efficiently generate aircraft to move large numbers of ground forces and equipment in hostile or denied territory.

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1st Special Operations Squadron MC 130J Commando IIs train off Okinawa 1The 1st Special Operations Squadron flew in formation with Lockheed Martin MC-130J Commando IIs off the coast of Okinawa, Japan (Picture source: USSOCOM)


The 353rd Special Operations Group located at Kadena Air Base, Japan is comprised of approximately 1,000 Airmen and is the only Air Force Special Operations unit in the Pacific. The 353 SOG is the focal point for special operations aviation activities throughout the Pacific. Under operational control of the commander, Special Operations Command Pacific, the 353 SOG plans and executes general war and contingency operations using advanced aircraft, tactics and techniques to infiltrate, exfiltrate, resupply and support special operations forces.

The 353rd Special Operations Group traces its origins to the 3rd Air Commando Group and the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing. First activated as the 353rd Special Operations Wing at Clark Air Base in the Philippines April 6, 1989, the Air Force radically reorganized in 1992 in order to drawdown the size of headquarters staffs. During the process the 353rd SOW was re-designated the 353rd Special Operations Group, effective Dec. 1, 1992.


1st Special Operations Squadron MC 130J Commando IIs train off Okinawa 2The 1st Special Operations Squadron flew in formation with Lockheed Martin MC-130J Commando IIs off the coast of Okinawa, Japan (Picture source: USSOCOM)