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The 58th Special Operations Wing (58 SOW) is a combat unit of the United States Air Force stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 58 SOW is part of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) Nineteenth Air Force.

58th Special Operations Wing
Wing CV-22 Osprey
Active1952–1958; 1969–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleSpecial Operations Training
Part ofAir Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQKirtland Air Force Base
Motto(s)Non Revertar Inultus Latin I Will Not Return Unavenged[1]
EngagementsKorean War
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Col. Michael Curry[2]
58th Special Operations Wing emblem (approved 18 November 1952)[1]

The 58 SOW serves as the premier training site for Air Force special operations and combat search and rescue aircrews. The wing provides undergraduate, graduate and refresher aircrew training for special operations, rescue, missile site support and distinguished visitor airlift helicopter, fixed-wing, and tilt-rotor operations. The wing employs more than 1,800 personnel and trains over 2,000 students a year.


The 58th Special Operations Wing's mission is to train mission-ready special operations, combat search and rescue, missile site support, and UH-1 Distinguished Visitor airlift crews directly supporting Air Expeditionary Forces for the United States Air Force.

The wing operates eight different weapon systems: UH-1N, HH-60G, HC-130J, MC-130J, and CV-22 totaling more than 60 assigned aircraft. The wing teaches more than 100 courses in 18 different crew positions including pilot, combat systems officer, flight engineer, communications system operator, loadmaster and special mission aviator. Additionally, the wing responds to worldwide contingencies and provides search and rescue support to the local community.

The unit also provides people and airlift needed in response to crises around the world and assists civilian authorities in regional rescues. Supporting the 58th SOW training mission are approximately 1,250 military and civilian personnel administering over 90 training systems courses in 18 different crew positions. Assigned units are:

The 58th SOW's Operations Group is composed of five flying and two support squadrons, as well as three geographically separated pilot training units, one unit at Fort Rucker, Alabama, another unit at MCAS New River, North Carolina, and the third unit at Fairchild AFB, WA.

23d Flying Training Squadron (23 FTS) (UH-1H & TH-1H) (Fort Rucker, AL)
36th Rescue Squadron (36th RQS) (UH-1N) (Fairchild AFB, WA)
58th Operations Support Squadron (58 OSS)
58th Training Squadron (58 TRS)
71st Special Operations Squadron (71 SOS) (CV-22)
415th Special Operations Squadron (415th SOS) (HC-130J & MC-130J)
512th Rescue Squadron (512 RQS) (UH-1N & HH-60G)
58th Maintenance Squadron (58 MXS)
58th Maintenance Operations Squadron (58 MOS)
58th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (58 AMXS)


For additional history and lineage, see 58th Operations Group

Established as 58 Fighter-Bomber Wing on 25 June 1952. Activated on 10 July 1952 in Japan absorbing the personnel and equipment of the Texas Air National Guard 136th Fighter-Bomber Group.

Korean War

The 58 FBW moved to K-2 Air Base, later known as Taegu Air Base, South Korea, in August 1952. Fighter-bomber units like the 58 FBW provided close air support for United Nations ground forces. Often flying deep into North Korea's "MiG Alley," the 58 FBW targeted airfields, railways, enemy positions, bridges, dams, electric power plants and vehicles.

The 58th provided close air support for United Nations ground forces and attacked enemy airfields and installations. In 1952 and early 1953 the wing flew interdiction and close air support missions in as well as attacking special strategic targets such as military schools, dams, and port facilities. Having entered the war with slow, short-ranged F-84D Thunderjets, the 58 FBW transitioned in late 1952 to the new "G" model, designed with more speed and range. The wing attacked the major supply port of Sinuiju in September, inflicting heavy damage without loss of personnel or aircraft. Combining with other fighter-bomber units, it attacked the Kumgang Political School at Odong-ni, Kumgang County in October 1952 and the North Korean tank and infantry school at Kangso in February 1953. Truce talks between North Korea and the United Nations stalled in the spring of 1953. As a result, the Air Force began attacking previously excluded targets in the north. On 13 May 1953, Thunderjets from the 58 FBW struck the Toksan Dam, near Pyongyang causing a massive flood. Floodwaters from the breached dam destroyed ten bridges, ruined several square miles of rice crops, flooded over 1,000 buildings and rendered the Sunan Airfield inoperable. Three days later, the wing attacked the Chosan irrigation dam with similar results. The Far East Air Forces commander later credited the 58 FBW by stating the destruction of the Toksan and Chosan irrigation dams resulted in the enemy coming to the truce talks in earnest. On 27 July 1953 it attacked runway at Kanggye and, with the 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing, bombed Sunan Airfield for the final action of the war. The wing earned a second DUC for its actions in the last three months of the war.

These missions were not easy and they came at a cost. By the end of December 1952, the war claimed 18 members of the 58 FBW. According to recent listings from the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, the fates of 14 members assigned to the 58th FBW are still unaccounted.

The 58th FBW served in three Korean War campaigns and earned the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for its actions in combat. After the armistice the 58th provided air defense for South Korea and deployed tactical components on rotational basis to Taiwan from January 1955 – February 1957. From 15 March 1953 to 8 November 1954 the 58th service-tested a "reinforced" wing organization, exercising direct control of the tactical components of the attached wings. In October 1958 it was re-armed with the TM-61C (Matador) tactical missile to provide a deterrent against attacks on South Korea, a mission that continued until 1962.

Fighter Training Wing

58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing Lockheed F-104G Starfighter (USAF serial number 63-13269) during a training flight on 1 August 1979, armed with two (training) AIM-9J Sidewinder air-to-air-missiles.
58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing Lockheed F-104G Starfighter (USAF serial number 63-13269) during a training flight on 1 August 1979, armed with two (training) AIM-9J Sidewinder air-to-air-missiles.
550th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron McDonnell F-4C-21-MC Phantom 63-7675, Luke AFB, Arizona, 1972
550th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron McDonnell F-4C-21-MC Phantom 63-7675, Luke AFB, Arizona, 1972

On 22 August 1969, the Air Force redesignated the wing as the 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing and activated it under Tactical Air Command at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where it absorbed the personnel and equipment of the 4510th Combat Crew Training Wing. The wing conducted training of US, German Air Force, and other friendly foreign nation aircrew and support personnel, and participated in numerous operations and tactical exercises while operating Luke until April 1977. It managed Tactical Air Command's Central Instructor School from 1971–1981. Beginning in early 1983 it performed tactical fighter training for US and foreign aircrews in the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The 58th deployed support personnel to Europe to augment United States Air Forces Europe units during the war against Iraq in 1991.

In the fall of 1991, its primary mission expanded to include tactical training in the F-15E Strike Eagle all-weather strike fighter. By 1994, the wing had trained pilots and support personnel from the Netherlands, South Korea, Turkey, Pakistan, the Republic of Singapore, Norway, Greece, Egypt, Indonesia, and Venezuela.

Modern era

In April 1994, the wing's mission changed from the training of USAF and Allied fighter pilots to the training of USAF helicopter air crews and moved to Kirtland Air Force Base. It also trained crews in special operations aircraft, including helicopters and modified C-130 Hercules aircraft. It performed pararescue training and search and rescue missions as well. Additionally, the wing trained for missile site support and airlift for distinguished visitors. At the same time the wing continued to deploy personnel worldwide for contingency and combat operations.

The wing airlifted a federal task force to Pennsylvania to investigate the crash site of the fourth airliner following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. Since that time the 58th has deployed personnel and equipment to support Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Today, the wing trains aircrews in the MC-130J Commando II and the CV-22 Osprey for the Air Force Special Operations Command; the HC-130J Combat King II and the HH-60G Pavehawk for the Air Combat Command (ACC), Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), and United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE); the UH-1N Huey or Iroquois for Air Force Space Command; the TH-1H Huey or Iroquois for initial helicopter flight crew qualification; and those aircrew operationally gained to those commands from the Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard.


Activated on 10 July 1952
Inactivated on 1 July 1958
Activated on 15 October 1969









  1. Ravenstein, pp. 93-95
  2. Johnson, Kendahl (28 June 2016). "58th SOW welcomes new commander". Kirtland Air Force Base Public Affairs. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  3. Endicott, p. 158
  4. Duncan, Argen (11 October 2016). "550th inactivates with legacy of pride". 58th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  5. Squadrons and aircraft assigned prior to 1994 in Endicott, p. 158


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

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Il 58th Special Operations Wing è uno Stormo da addestramento avanzato dell'Air Education and Training Command, inquadrato nella Nineteenth Air Force. Il suo quartier generale è situato presso la Kirtland Air Force Base, nel Nuovo Messico.

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