720th Special Tactics Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

720th Special Tactics Group
720th Special Tactics Group airmen jump 20071003.jpg
720th Special Tactics Group airmen jump from a C-130J Hercules
ActiveOctober 1, 1987 – present
Country United States of America
Branch United States Air Force
TypeSpecial Operations Forces
RoleOrganize, train and equip ST forces worldwide to integrate, synchronize, and/or control air power during operations.
Size800[1]
Part ofUnited States Special Operations Command Insignia.svg U.S. Special Operations Command
Shield of the United States Air Force Special Operations Command.svg Air Force Special Operations Command
24th Special Operations Wing insignia.jpg 24th Special Operations Wing
Garrison/HQHurlburt Field
EngagementsPersian Gulf War
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
DecorationsGallant Unit Citation
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" Device
Insignia
720th Special Tactics Group emblem (Approved 9 June 1988)[2]720th Special Tactics Group insignia.jpg

The 720th Special Tactics Group is one of the special operations ground components of the 24th Special Operations Wing, assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) of the United States Air Force. The group is headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The group is composed of geographically separated squadrons in five separate states; Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina and Washington.

Overview[edit]

The Group's Special Tactics Squadrons are made up of Special Tactics Officers, Combat Controllers, Combat Rescue Officers, Pararescuemen, Special Operations Weather Technicians, Air Liaison Officers, Tactical Air Control Party personnel, and a number of combat support airmen which comprise 58 Air Force specialties.[3]

Special Tactics Squadrons are organized, trained and equipped specifically for various special operations missions facilitating air operations on the battlefield. They conduct combat search and rescue missions, collect intelligence, as well as call in close air support or airstrikes against enemy combatants and are often partnered with other U.S. special operations forces overseas.

Subordinate units[edit]

720th STG airmen during the transition ceremony of the 17th ASOS from Air Combat Command to Air Force Special Operations Command.

The 720th Special Tactics Group is assigned five special tactics squadrons and a support squadron.[3]

Other missions[edit]

The 720th STG also serves as the functional manager for two Special Tactics squadrons stationed outside the United States, the 320th Special Tactics Squadron under the 353d Special Operations Group at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and the 321st Special Tactics Squadron under the 352d Special Operations Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England.[1]

There are two Air National Guard units that augments the 720th STG for training and deployments, the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, based at Standiford Field,[1] and the Oregon Air National Guard's 125th Special Tactics Squadron, based at Portland International Airport.

History[edit]

Prior to May 2014, special operations weather technicians were assigned to the 10th Combat Weather Squadron. The decision was made to integrate these technicians with the other special operators serving in the special tactics squadrons and the squadron was inactivated upon their transfer.[4]

Master Sergeant Ivan Ruiz, deployed from the group's 22d Special Tactics Squadron to Kandahar Province Afghanistan, was awarded the Air Force Cross for his actions on 10 December 2013. MSgt Ruiz and two Army Special Forces teammates had become separated from the main friendly body of troops while infiltrating enemy territory. The three were trapped in a courtyard by intense enemy fire that wounded MSgt Ruiz's two companions. MSgt Ruiz sprinted from his position to the exposed position of the two wounded teammates to defend them. Ruiz continued to fight the enemy alone until reinforcements arrived. Once they did, he dragged his teammates to a nearby position of concealment and administered life-saving trauma care.[5]

Lineage[edit]

  • Designated as the 1720th Special Tactics Group and activated on 1 October 1987
  • Redesignated 720th Special Tactics Group on 31 March 1992.[2]

Assignments[edit]

Components[edit]

Ft. Benning, Georgia[7]
Pope Air Force Base (later Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina[8]
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington[9]
Pope Air Force Base (later Pope Army Airfield), North Carolina[10]
Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico[11]
  • 720th Operations Support Squadron: 29 November 2004 – Present
  • Special Tactics Training Squadron, 1 June 2008 – 1 October 2008[7][12]

Stations[edit]

Awards[edit]

Award streamer Award Dates Notes
GUC Streamer.JPG Gallant Unit Citation 1 January 2008–30 September 2009 [2]
AF MUA Streamer.JPG Air Force Meritorious Unit Award 1 January 2008–30 September 2009
AFOUA with Valor.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/Combat "V" Device 1 September 2001–31 August 2003 [2]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 August 1991-31 July 1993 [2]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 August 1993-31 July 1995 [2]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 August 1995-31 July 1997 [2]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 September 1999-31 August 2001 [2]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 August 1997-31 July 1999 [2]

Commanders[edit]

  • July 2001 – July 2002 Col. Robert H. Holmes[13]
  • August 2006 – July 2008, Col. Marc F. Stratton[14]
  • July 2008[15] – June 2010, Col. Bradley P. Thompson[16]
  • Jun 2010 – Jun 2012, Col. Robert G. Armfield[17]
  • June 2012 – July 2014, Col. Kurt Buller[18]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c "Factsheet: 720th Special Tactics Group". 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs. January 25, 2007. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Haulman, Daniel L. (July 15, 2010). "Factsheet 720 Special Tactics Group (AFSOC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Factsheet:24th Special Operations Wing". Retrieved March 9, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Parkinson, A1C Jeff (May 14, 2014). "Hurlburt deactivates squadron". nwfdailynews.com. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  5. ^ Savage, Maj Craig (December 17, 2014). "PJ's extraordinary heroism earns an Air Force Cross". Air Force News Service. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  6. ^ Unless indicated, group components are stationed with the group headquarters.
  7. ^ a b Research Division, Air Force Historical Research Agency, Air Force Organizational Status Change Report, October 2008
  8. ^ "Factsheets : 21 Special Tactics Squadron (AFSOC)". Afhra.af.mil. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
  9. ^ Dollman, David (15 May 2017). "22 Special Tactics Squadron (AFSOC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  10. ^ 24 Special Tactics Squadron (AFSOC) > Air Force Historical Research Agency > Display
  11. ^ See "Factsheet 24th Special Operations Wing". 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs. September 4, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2015. (list of groups and squadrons assigned to 24th Wing)
  12. ^ Research Division, Air Force Historical Research Agency, Air Force Organizational Status Change Report, June 2008
  13. ^ "Brigadier General Robert H. Holmes". United States Air Force. June 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Colonel Marc F. Stratton". 37th Training Wing. July 2011. Archived from the original on 24 February 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  15. ^ Cooper, Amy (1 July 2008). "720th Special Tactics Group welcomes new commander". Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  16. ^ Norrad, Wayne G. (July 2010). "CCA President's Corner" (PDF). CCA News. Combat Controller Association (20): 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 November 2016.
  17. ^ "Colonel Robert G. Armfeld". Air Force Special Operations Command. May 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  18. ^ "Kurt Buller". www.linkedin.com. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links[edit]