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Posted 8/17/2011 Printable Fact Sheet
Official 353rd Special Operations Group Emblem
Ultramarine blue and Air Force yellow are the Air Force colors. Blue alludes to the sky, the primary theater of Air Force operations. Yellow refers to the sun and the excellence required of Air Force personnel. The jagged lines of the lightning bolts as a star fix signify the electronic means used in shooting the stars in present day warfare. The sulfur sign at the point of the fix on the disc historically dramatizes the enormity of the power which can be delivered to such a place as a result of the skill of the group. The demi-globe represents the unit's ability to perform its functions anywhere in the world. The in dark and light coloration of the batcat suggests the day and night flying capabilities of the Group.
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The 353rd Special Operations Group is an integral part of the Air Force Special Operations Command and is home-based at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The group is comprised of more than 750 Airmen and is the only Air Force Special Operations unit in the Pacific.

The 353rd SOG is the focal point for all U.S. Air Force special operations activities throughout the USPACOM theater. The group is prepared to conduct a variety of high- priority, low-visibility missions.

Its mission is air support of joint and allied special operations forces in the Pacific. It maintains a worldwide mobility commitment, participates in Pacific theater exercises as directed and supports humanitarian and relief operations.

Additionally, the group develops wartime and contingency plans, which effectively use the full range of fixed wing capabilities, to include the infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of U.S. and allied special operations forces.

The primary peacetime responsibility of the 353rd SOG is to oversee the training and maintenance of its assigned units. The group ensures the combat readiness of these units through comprehensive involvement in numerous theater and Joint Chiefs of Staff -directed military exercises and training activities throughout the Pacific.

The 353rd SOG comprises the U.S. Air Force's special operations air arm of the Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC), a subunified command to the U.S. Pacific Command.

The group is comprised of five squadrons:

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. Air crews are specially trained in night, low-level flying using night vision goggles.

The 17th Special Operations Squadron flies the MC-130P Combat Shadow. The primary mission of this aircraft is to aerial refuel special operations helicopters. It is also capable of day and night low-level delivery of troops and equipment via airdrop or airland operations. Just as the aircrews of the Combat Talon, these crews are trained in NVG flying.

The 320th Special Tactics Squadron pararescuemen and combat controllers, provide for the establishment of drop and landing zones, air traffic control to the landing zone, combat medical care and evacuation, and combat search and rescue for both fixed and rotary wing assets.

The 353rd Operations Support Squadron contains and operates the logistics and operations planning support functions for the entire group. The squadron also contains and maintains all of the communications assets assigned to the 353rd SOG. The squadron also contains the intelligence function for the group. In contingency operations and wartime actions, the OSS becomes the group commander's combat staff.

The 353rd Maintenance Squadron provides the majority of off-aircraft and "back shop" maintenance for the assets of the 353rd SOG. The diversity of aircraft and missions in the 353rd creates unique challenges for the personnel of this squadron. The MXS also contains the majority of the supply function for the group.

Current as of August, 2011

Point of Contact
Air Force Special Operations Command, Public Affairs Office  |  229 Cody Ave, Suite 103  |  Hurlburt Field, Fla. 32544-5312  | (850) 884-5515  |  DSN 579-5515  |  

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