The Department of the Air Force selected Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, as the preferred location to host Air Force Special Operation Command’s third power projection wing. Transforming the 492nd Special Operations Wing into a power projection wing with all of AFSOC’s mission capabilities (strike, mobility, ISR, air/ground integration) will enable the Air Force to regionally focus each power projection wing on a geographic combatant commander. The transition will also allow AFSOC to further diversify its locations to protect against natural disasters by ensuring it can maintain its ability to respond to president-directed missions on very tight timelines. The additional location will also permit AFSOC to take advantage of the Barry M. Goldwater Range, which will provide additional training opportunities, capacity and increased prioritization as its forces prepare to meet the priorities of the National Defense Strategy. Standing up the new wing at Davis-Monthan AFB requires several relocations, planned throughout the next five years. The final decision will be made following completion of the environmental impact analysis process. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida, is the special operations component of the United States Air Force. An Air Force major command (MAJCOM), AFSOC is also the U.S. Air Force component command to United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), a unified combatant command located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. AFSOC provides all Air Force Special Operations Forces (SOF) for worldwide deployment and assignment to regional unified combatant commands.
The following outlines the planned transition actions:
The 492nd SOW at Hurlburt Field, Florida, will relocate to Davis-Monthan AFB. The relocation includes the 492nd SOW’s transition from support wing into a power projection wing.
The U-28 Draco fleets at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, and Hurlburt Field will be replaced by the OA-1K Armed Overwatch aircraft. As part of the 492nd SOW’s transition to a power projection wing, one OA-1K Armed Overwatch squadron will relocate from Hurlburt Field to Davis-Monthan AFB.
An MC-130J Commando II squadron will relocate from Cannon AFB to Davis-Monthan AFB to join the 492nd SOW.
An additional MC-130J squadron will activate at Davis-Monthan AFB.
The 21st Special Tactics Squadron will relocate from Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, to Davis-Monthan AFB.
The 22nd Special Tactics Squadron will relocate from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to Davis-Monthan AFB.
The 492nd Theater Air Operations Squadron will activate at Duke Field and transfer to Davis- Monthan AFB.
The 47th Fighter Squadron (24 A-10s), the 354th Fighter Squadron (26 A-10s) and the 357th Fighter Squadron (28 A-10s) at Davis-Monthan AFB will inactivate and their respective A-10s will be retired. The 47th FS and 357th FS will continue A-10 formal training until inactivation.
The 34th Weapons Squadron and the 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron will relocate from Nellis AFB, Nevada, to Davis-Monthan AFB, transferring five HH-60W Jolly Green IIs.