Harman Patil (Editor)

522d Special Operations Squadron

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Active  1939 – present
Garrison/HQ  Cannon AFB, New Mexico
Country  United States
Nickname(s)  Fireballs
522d Special Operations Squadron
Branch  United States Air Force
Part of  Air Force Special Operations Command

The 9th Special Operations Squadron (9 SOS), the Fireballs, is a unit of the United States Air Force. It is part of the 27th Special Operations Group, the flying component of the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon AFB. It is the first to operate the MC-130J Commando II.


The 9th SOS was originally constituted in 1939 as the 16th Bombardment Squadron, which was later redesignated the 522nd Fighter Squadron, and carries the lineage, history, and honors of those units.


The mission of the 9 SOS is the aerial refueling of Special Operations Forces aircraft and the infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of joint and coalition SOF via airdrop in hostile, denied, and politically sensitive areas. The unit achieved Initial Operational Capability in 2012.


The 9 SOS was originally constituted in 1939 as the 16th Bombardment Squadron (Light) and activated on 1 February 1940. It was stationed at Barksdale Field, LA, and later Hunter Field, GA, before being assigned to Luzon in the Philippines in 1941. After war began between the United States and Japan, the unit's air echelon operated Australia. When American units in the Philippines surrendered, ground elements of the unit were part of the Bataan Death March.

The unit was redesignated as the 522d Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 23 Aug 1943 and then the 522d Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 30 May 1944. During World War II, it was one of the most decorated U.S. Army Air Force units. The unit later served in conflicts such as the Korean and Vietnam wars, and flew almost a dozen different aircraft in support of various missions. The 522d Fighter Squadron inactivated in 2007 when the 27th Fighter Wing became the 27th Special Operations Wing.

The 522d Special Operations Squadron was reactivated on 7 April 2011 using the lineage of the 522d Fighter Squadron.


  • Constituted 16th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 22 Dec 1939
  • Activated on 1 Feb 1940 Re-designated: 522d Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 23 Aug 1943 Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 30 May 1944 Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945
  • Activated on 20 Aug 1946
  • Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 22 Jul 1947 Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 1 Dec 1949 Re-designated: 522d Fighter-Escort Squadron on 1 Feb 1950 Re-designated: 522d Strategic Fighter Squadron on 20 Jan 1953 Re-designated: 522d Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 1 Jul 1957 Re-designated: 522d Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 Jul 1958 Re-designated: 522d Fighter Squadron on 1 Nov 1991 Designated as 522d Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and placed in provisional status when deployed to combat area of operations as part of Global War on Terrorism after 11 September 2001. Inactivated on 30 September 2007
  • Converted to provisional status and allocated to Air Combat Command to activate or inactivate any time after 1 October 2007.
  • Converted to regular status, 1 April 2011
  • Re-designated 522d Special Operations Squadron, and activated 7 April 2011
  • Re-designated "9th Special Operations Squadron " on 17 Nov 2014
  • Assignments

  • 27th Bombardment (later, 27th Fighter-Bomber; 27th Fighter) Group, 1 Feb 1940 – 7 Nov 1945
  • 27th Fighter (later, 27 Fighter-Escort) Group, 20 Aug 1946
  • Attached to 27th Fighter-Escort Wing, 6 Aug 1951 – 15 Jun 1952
  • 27th Fighter-Escort (later, 27th Strategic Fighter; 27th Fighter-Bomber; 27th Tactical Fighter; 27th Fighter) Wing, 16 Jun 1952
  • Attached to unknown, 6 Sep-18 Dec 1958 Attached to TUSLOG, 18 Oct 1959 – 22 Feb 1960 Attached to 405th Fighter Wing, 13 Feb-c. 7 Mar 1961 Attached to TUSLOG, 5 Feb-15 Jun 1962 Attached to 2d Air Division, 12 Dec 1962-c. 15 Feb 1963 and 16 Mar-6 May 1964 Attached to 405th Fighter Wing, 8 Aug-c. 20 Sep 1964 Attached to 2d Air Division, c. 20 Sep-15 Nov 1964 Attached to 405th Fighter Wing, 15 Aug-25 Nov 1965
  • 27th Operations Group, 1 Nov 1991
  • Twelfth Air Force, 1 Oct 2007
  • Attached to 712th Operations Group [Provisional], 1 October 2007 – 1 March 2008
  • 27th Special Operations Group, 7 April 2011 – present
  • References

    522d Special Operations Squadron Wikipedia

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