The 353rd Special Operations Group is the focal point for all U.S. Air Force special operations activities throughout the USPACOM theater. The group is comprised of more than 800 Airmen and five squadrons.
The 1st Special Operations Squadron operates the MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft in support of joint and allied special operations forces. This aircraft is capable of delivering troops and equipment into denied areas during adverse weather conditions at night by airdrop or landing. Aircrews are specially trained in night, low-level flying using night vision goggles.
The 17th Special Operations Squadron flies the MC-130J Commando II. The Commando II flies clandestine, or low visibility, single or multiship, low-level air refueling missions for special operations helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft, and infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces by airdrop or airland intruding politically sensitive or hostile territories. The MC-130J primarily flies missions at night to reduce probability of visual acquisition and intercept by airborne threats.
The 320th Special Tactics Squadron consists of Combat Controllers, Pararescuemen, Combat Weather personnel and Survival Resistance and Escape specialists. Enabled by deployed- ready combat support personnel, these Special Tactics operators can rapidly infiltrate into austere or hostile areas to enable airpower success in support of contingency operations.
The 353d Special Operations Maintenance Squadron provides full spectrum logistics support for the 353 SOG. The squadron's unique composition of airmen provides flexible combat support capability to execute dynamic mission sets associated with small fleet dynamics and special operations aircraft demands.
The 353d Special Operations Support Squadron contains and operates the logistics and operations planning support functions for the entire group. The squadron maintains all of the communications assets assigned to the 353d SOG. The squadron also contains the intelligence function for the group. In contingency operations and wartime actions, the SOSS becomes the group commander’s combat staff.
Detachment 1 of the 43rd Intelligence Squadron provides dedicated, real-time threat warning and enhanced situational awareness in support of Air Force Special Operations command. The unit serves as the conduit between the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency and provides maintenance and support to the mission of the 353rd SOG.