July 25, 2022 (by MSgt. Alexander Farver) - The 193rd Special Operations Wing is undergoing a substantial transformation of its primary mission. The wing is transitioning from its legacy EC-130J Commando Solo aircraft to the MC-130J Commando II.
USAF MC-130J Commando II prepares for flight on June 30, 2022 at Hurlburt Field. The Commando II flies clandestine, or low visibility, single or multiship, low-level infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces. [USAF photo by SrA Jonathan Valdes Montijo]
To prepare for this historic shift, the wing hosted a National Guard Bureau-led Site Activation Task Force here July 12-14.
“We are at a strategic point in our wing’s history that will allow our Airmen to add to the legacy and be owners of this new and exciting mission,” said Lt. Col. Benton Jackson, 193rd Special Operations Wing unit conversion officer.
The SATAF encompassed a wide array of subject matter experts from Air Force Special Operations Command and NGB along with local experts. The intent was to examine the transformation from multiple perspectives, and ensure personnel and infrastructure are prepared in advance for the new mission set.
“Change management is very important, and we have 193rd Airmen’s interests at heart,” said Timothy Pyeatt, senior strategic basing program analyst and AFSOC SATAF lead. “I was very impressed by the wing’s energy and willingness to embrace this new mission. I feel they’re ready and will thrive moving forward.”
Air Force and AFSOC leaders are calling for accelerated change across the service to ensure preparedness for a future high-end fight. The wing’s conversion to the MC-130J enables it to provide multiple capabilities in support of both peacetime and contingency operations locally and worldwide.
“We’re evolving beyond the niche capability our current aircraft provide and taking on a core, flagship special operations function with the arrival of the Commando IIs,” said Col. Eric McKissick, 193rd SOW vice commander. “It will ensure our world-class Airmen are able to provide relevant support to our fellow Pennsylvanians and our nation for years to come.”
The MC-130J Commando II flies clandestine, or low visibility, single or multi-ship, low-level infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces, by airdrop or airland and air refueling missions for special operations helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft, intruding politically sensitive or hostile territories. Its secondary mission includes the airdrop of leaflets.