Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine – April/May 2021 issue
OSHKOSH, WIS. – The aircraft and personnel of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) will be among the highlighted programs at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021, July 26-August 1 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
AFSOC is comprised of highly trained, rapidly deployable Airmen, who conduct special operations missions worldwide. Airmen who undertake Special Operations careers specialize in unique skills such as parachuting, scuba diving, rappelling, motorcycling, survival skills, and more. Aircraft in the command include specialized mobility aircraft such as the MC-130, CV-22 and C-146, Close Air Support aircraft such as the AC-130 gunship, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft such as the MQ-9 and U-28.
“Even those who have a solid familiarity with the U.S. Air Force often know little about its special operations units and the important mission they fulfill, so we want to bring some visibility to that at Oshkosh in 2021,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programming, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “The Air Force has been extremely cooperative through the years at showcasing its remarkable people and aircraft at AirVenture, and we look forward to discovering even more in 2021.”
In 1990, AFSOC formally stood up as a Major Command (MAJCOM) within the Air Force and the air component to United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), but their heritage traces back to the Army Air Forces during World War II. In the three decades since AFSOC’s formation, they have been involved in missions around the world in both independent campaigns and in conjunction with other military branches.
“We are excited to highlight specialized airpower at the nation’s largest airshow, but it’s the Airmen flying these aircraft that provide our real value to the Nation…Humans are more important than hardware. The 20,000 innovative problem solvers in this command are exactly what we need to maintain our competitive advantage in the future, and I am proud to showcase them at Oshkosh,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, Commander of Air Force Special Operations Command.
Final announcements on participating aircraft and activities have not been released but are expected to include aircraft flying during AirVenture airshows and presentations by USAF Special Operations units throughout the week.