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14th Weapons Squadron

14th Weapons Squadron
14th Weapons Squadron Lockheed MC-130 using flares
Active 1942-Present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Advanced Special Operations Training
Part of USAF Weapons School
Garrison/HQ Nellis AFB, Nevada
GSU at Hurlburt Field, Florida
Engagements
World War II

Vietnam War
Decorations
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Insignia
14th Weapons Squadron emblem

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 14th Weapons Squadron (WPS) is a Geographically Separated Unit (GSU) of the 57th Wing, assigned to Nellis AFB, Nevada. The mission of the squadron is to produce Weapons Officers for the Special Operations community by providing graduate level instructional flying on AFSOC aircraft through Weapons Instructor Courses (WIC). Currently, the squadron produces SOF Weapons Officers specializing in Lockheed AC-130, MC-130 and U-28 aircraft. The MH-53 Pave Low Weapons Instructor Course ended with the retirement of the MH-53 Pave Low aircraft.

The unit traces its lineage back to the 14th Air Observation Squadron and participated in the landings at Normandy in June 1944. Later it was reactivated during the Vietnam era as the 14th Air Commando Squadron, flying AC-47 Spooky gunships between 1967 and 1968.

The 14th flew out of Nha Trang, Phan Rang, Bien Hoa, and Binh Thuy, providing fire support in defense of US airbases, 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 AF Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device.

Contents

  • History 1
    • World War II 1.1
    • Vietnam War 1.2
    • Modern era 1.3
  • Commanders 2
    • Lineage 2.1
    • Assignments 2.2

History

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.

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.

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

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.

Modern era

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 (SOF) 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.

Re-designated 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 AC-130H Spectre, AC-130U Spooky, MH-53 Pave Low, MC-130E Combat Talon I, MC-130H Combat Talon II, MC-130P Combat Shadow, and MC-130J Commando II Special Operations aircraft. The MH-53 weapons instructor course deactivated in 2006 in conjunction with the retirement of the MH-53 from the Air Force inventory.

Commanders

  • Lt Col Meghan Ripple (Sep 2015 - Present)
  • Lt Col George Hock (Jun 2014 - Sep 2015)
  • Lt Col Marcel Benoit (May 2012 - Jun 2014)
  • Lt Col David Hanson (Jan 2011 - May 2012)
  • Lt Col Robert Sagraves (Jun 2009 – Jan 2011)
  • Lt Col Craig Walker (May 2008 - Jun 2009)
  • Lt Col John Murphy (Nov 2006 - May 2008)
  • Lt Col Christopher Kaufman (Jul 2005 - Nov 2006)
  • Lt Col J. Marcus Hicks (Apr 2003 - Jul 2005)
  • Lt Col Christopher Connelly (Jul 2000 - Apr 2003)

Lineage

  • Constituted 14th Observation Squadron (Light) on 5 Feb 1942
Activated on 2 Mar 1942
Re-designated: 14th Observation Squadron on 4 Jul 1942
Re-designated: 14th Liaison Squadron on 2 Apr 1943
Inactivated on 25 Mar 1949
  • Consolidated (19 Sep 1985) with the 14th Air Commando Squadron (Fire Support), which was constituted, and activated, on 19 Oct 1967
Organized on 25 Oct 1967
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 1 May 1968
  • Re-designated: 14th Special Operations Squadron on 19 Sep 1985
Re-designated: 14th Weapons Squadron on 24 Jan 2003
Activated and organized on 3 February 2003, assuming resources of Detachment 1, 16th Operations Group.

Assignments

Attached to US Third Army for operations to 15 Nov 1944
Attached to Twelfth United States Army Group for operations, 15 Nov 1944-26 Jul 1945
Attached to US Third Army for operations, 26 Jul 1945-7 Jun 1946)
Attached to US
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