the Combat Capability of America's Air Force
The 71st SOS Reactivation/Assumption
The unit designation "71st
Special Operations Squadron" was officially reactivated
by the Air Force on 20 May 2005 at Kirtland AFB, NM.
The present 71st SOS is assigned to the 58th
Special Operations Group,
and was the first unit in the USAF to receive Bell/Boeing CV-22
This is a great honor for every airman who served with and supported
the 71st SOS during the Southeast Asia conflict. The new 71st SOS
the 550th SOS and its H/MC-130P Combat Shadow and MC-130H
II aircraft at
Kirtland. The 58th SOW is
a Flying/Aircrew Training Unit of the Air Education and Training
Click here to
view a 2.3MB PDF file of the 71st SOS Reactivation and Assumption of
27, 2005 issue of the Kirtland AFB newsletter "Nucleus" contains an
article about the activation ceremony of the 71st SOS. Click here to
view the two-page article (PDF).
Greetings to all
Shadows & Stingers.
As announced on the 71st and AC-119 Gunship Association web sites,
the Reactivation of the 71st SOS took place on 20 May 2005 at Kirtland
AFB, NM as
scheduled. Early this year Jim Alvis, 71st Web Master, received
a communique requesting information about the history of the 71st SOS.
me know about the contact
and the two of us worked with Capt. Todd Thorpe who was the Coordinator for
the Reactivation Ceremony. We sent materials and other items to Kirtland
used in the preparing for the ceremony. We were pleased to learn that former
members of the 71st would be welcome to attend the ceremony. I decided early
on that I would make an effort to attend the ceremony and did just that.
wife Helen and I were greeted warmly upon our arrival at Kirtland
and met many of
the personnel scheduled to be part of the new 71st. A CV-22 Sperry was
flown in from Edwards AFB to be put on display during the ceremony. The
and Assumption of Command ceremony was outstanding and recognized the long
colorful history of the 71st. At the conclusion of the ceremony
I presented the new Squadron
Commander, Lt Col James L. Cardoso, with an AC-119G Gunship lithograph
(beautifully framed by the Kirtland AFB frame shop) to be placed in the
new 71st "Heritage
Room". After a personally guided tour of the CV-22 Osprey I was honored
with an hour long simulator session. What an awesome training facility.
Needless to say my piloting skills have diminished but it was a great ride.
The 71st SOS is again alive and in good hands and I am confident that all the
challenges of developing a combat ready unit will be accomplished on schedule.
It was a real privilege to be in attendance at the ceremony and I thank all
the new 71st members who made our trip a memorable one.
Herman A. (Al) Heuss Col USAFR Retired