14th Observation Squadron

14th Weapons Squadron
Lockheed MC-130 USAF flares.jpg
14th Weapons Squadron Lockheed MC-130 using flares
Active1942-1949; 1967–1968; 2003–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleAdvanced Special Operations Training
Part ofAir Combat Command
Garrison/HQHurlburt Field, Florida
Nickname(s)Puff the Magic Dragon (1967-1968) Air Commandos (2003-present)
EngagementsVietnam Service Streamer.jpg
Vietnam War[1]
DecorationsUS Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Vietnam Gallantry Cross - Streamer.jpg
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm[1]
14th Weapons Squadron emblem (approved 5 September 1942)[1]14th Weapons Squadron - Emblem.png
Patch with 14th Air Commando Sq emblem14th Air Commando Sq patch.png

The 14th Weapons Squadron is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the USAF Weapons School, stationed at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

The squadron is a geographically separated unit of the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. The mission of the squadron is to produce weapons officers for the special operations community by providing graduate level instructional flying on Air Force Special Operations Command aircraft through weapons instructor courses. Currently, the squadron produces special operations force weapons officers specializing in Lockheed AC-130, Lockheed MC-130 and Pilatus U-28 aircraft.

The unit traces its lineage back to the 14th Observation Squadron and participated in the landings at Normandy in June 1944. Later, during the Vietnam era, the 14th Air Commando Squadron, flew Douglas AC-47 Spooky gunships between 1967 and 1968. The 14th flew out of Nha Trang Air Base, Phan Rang Air Base, Bien Hoa Air Base, and Binh Thuy Air Base, providing fire support in defense of US air bases, special forces camps, Republic of Vietnam Army outposts, and South Vietnamese hamlets. Decorations of this combat unit include the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device.

These two units were consolidated in 1985.


World War II[]

Activated in 1942 as a liaison and observation squadron, supported US Army maneuvers by flying photo and tactical observation missions, spotting artillery fire, 1942 until early 1944.[1]

Deployed to Europe in early 1944, providing courier service, observation, mail and other liaison services in support of the US Army advance through France and Germany, Jul 1944-May 1945; dropped medical supplies, food, and ammunition to an Army battalion stranded on the Moselle River, Nov 1944; supported the Third Army during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945; added medical evacuation to its tasks in Apr 1945.[1]

Supported US occupying forces in Germany, May-Sep 1945.[1]

Vietnam War[]

Combat in Vietnam, Jan-May 1968; provided aerial fire support in defense of USAF forces, including bases, camps, outposts, and hamlets in southern half of country.[1]

Advanced special operations training[]

An MH-53 Pave Low helicopter at Hurlburt Field, Florida
"From SPOOKY to Spectre" from the USAF Art Collection, artist depiction of an AC-130 Spectre and AC-47 Spooky gunship, both engaging targets

The current unit was organized as the Weapons School Special Operations Forces Division on 15 March 2000 at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The unit designation was changed to Detachment 1, 16th Operations Group on 10 August 2000 to align it with the group charged with providing aircraft and personnel who would help build the course.

Redesignated in 2003 as the 14th Weapons Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, to provide advanced training in weapons and tactics employment to Special Operations officer aircrew members in the Lockheed AC-130H Spectre, Lockheed AC-130U Spooky, Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low, Lockheed MC-130E Combat Talon I, Lockheed MC-130H Combat Talon II, Lockheed MC-130P Combat Shadow, and Lockheed MC-130J Commando II special operations aircraft. The MH-53 Pave Low weapons instructor course ended with the retirement of the MH-53 aircraft.


14th Liaison Squadron
Activated on 2 March 1942
Redesignated 14th Observation Squadron on 4 July 1942
Redesignated 14th Liaison Squadron on 2 April 1943
Inactivated on 25 March 1949
Consolidated with the 14th Air Commando Squadron as the 14th Special Operations Squadron on 19 September 1985[1]
14th Weapons Squadron
Organized on 25 October 1967
Discontinued and inactivated on 1 May 1968
Consolidated with the 14th Air Commando Squadron as the 14th Special Operations Squadron on 19 September 1985
Activated on 3 February 2003[1]






  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bailey, Carl E. (7 August 2008). "Factsheet 14 Weapons Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  2. ^ Station number in Anderson.
  3. ^ a b c d Station number in Johnson.
  4. ^ Station information in Bailey, except as noted.


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