14th Special Operations Wing

14th Flying Training Wing
Air Education and Training Command.png
T-38C Formation.jpg
Northrop T-38C formation from the 50th Flying Training Squadron[note 1]
Active1947–1949; 1966–1971; 1972–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleUndergraduate Pilot Training (UPT)
Part ofAir Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQColumbus Air Force Base
Nickname(s)Team Blaze
Motto(s)“Cultivate Airman, Create Pilots and Connect”
EngagementsVietnam War
DecorationsPresidential Unit Citation (United States)
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Colonel Samantha "Combo" Weeks
Robert H. Foglesong
14th Flying Training Wing emblem (approved 19 June 1967, restored 21 December 2007)[1]14th Flying Training Wingnewemblem.PNG
14th Flying Training Wing (approved 16 September 1994)[1]14th Flying Training Wing.png

The 14th Flying Training Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.

The 14th Operations Group and its six squadrons are responsible for the 52-week Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) mission. The group also performs quality assurance for contract aircraft maintenance.

The 14th Mission Support Group provides essential services with a 5-squadron/2-division, 750+ person work force and $38 million budget. It operates/maintains facilities and infrastructure for a 6,013-acre (24.33 km2) pilot training base and provides contracting, law enforcement, supply, transportation, fire protection, communications, education, recreation and personnel management for 9,500 people. The group is also responsible for wartime preparedness and contingency operations.


Air Defense[]

The 14th Fighter Wing was established on 29 July 1947. It provided air defense for the northeastern United States, 1947–1949.[1]

Vietnam War[]

Fairchild AC-119G "Shadow" gunship Serial 53-3178 17th Special Operations Squadron – 1969. Sold to Republic of Vietnam Air Force in 1971.
Douglas AC-47B-30-DK "Spooky" gunship Serial 44-76625 of the 4th Special Operations Squadron- March 1969

The unit was redesignated as the 14th Air Commando Wing and was reactivated at Nha Trang Air Base Republic of Vietnam on 8 March 1966. On 1 August 1968 it was renamed the 14th Special Operations Wing and was the host unit at the base until 30 September 1971. From 15 October 1969 through 30 September 1971 the 14th SOW also operated and conducted missions from Phan Rang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam.[1]

Operations included close and direct air support, interdiction, combat airlift, aerial resupply, visual and photographic reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency operations, psychological warfare (including leaflet dropping and aerial broadcasting), forward air control operations and escort, search and rescue, escort for convoy and defoliation operations, flare drops, civic actions, and humanitarian actions.[1]

The 14th Air Commando Wing distinguished itself by extraordinary heroism, exceptional gallantry and outstanding performance of duty in action against hostile forces in Southeast Asia from 8 March 1966 to 7 March 1967, earning a Presidential Unit Citation. Flying thousands of different sorties, elements of the Wing caused many enemy casualties and destroyed or damaged more than 8,500 structures, 500 trucks and 60 fuel sites as well as numerous automatic weapon positions, radio stations, bridges and boats.

Flying the venerable Douglas C-47 aircraft, one squadron of the Wing helped abort a large number of night hostile operations against friendly forts and hamlets through flare drops and minigun saturation fire. Despite the often heavy and accurate enemy antiaircraft fire, the search and rescue missions of the Wing recovered 91 skilled airmen during this period. In addition, the Wing's psychological warfare missions directly or indirectly influenced the surrender of thousands of enemy soldiers.

The wing also provided maintenance support for a number of tenants. The wing trained Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF) personnel in AC-119 operations and maintenance, February–August 1971, and transferred some of its AC-119s to the VNAF, August–September 1971 as part of a phase-down for inactivation.[1]

Flying training at Columbus[]

The 14th replaced, and absorbed resources of, the 3650th Pilot Training Wing in June 1972 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, and assumed an undergraduate pilot training program, plus base operations and maintenance.[1]


14th Operations Group

14th Mission Support Group

14th Medical Group

Additionally, the 14th Comptroller Squadron reports directly to the wing.


Organized on 15 August 1947
Inactivated on 2 October 1949
Organized on 8 March 1966
Redesignated 14th Special Operations Wing on 1 August 1968
Inactivated on 30 September 1971
Activated on 1 June 1972[1]









Explanatory otes
  1. ^ Northrop T-38C Talons serials 66-4327, 68–8162 and 68-8187 are identifiable.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Robertson, Patsy (23 August 2011). "Factsheet 14 Flying Training Wing (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  2. ^ 1968–1971 designation. Combat Talons prior to their MC- designation in 1977 are now referred to as "UWC-130E", for "Unconventional Warfare".


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

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