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352 SOG, RAF Mildenhall
 
MC-130H Combat Talon II - 87-0024 - 7 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe   MC-130P Combat Shadow  - 65-0992 - 67 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe   MC-130H Combat Talon II - 88-1803 - 7 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe   MC-130H Combat Talon II - 88-1803 - 7 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe
 
MC-130P Combat Shadow  - 66-0220 - 67 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe   MC-130P Combat Shadow  - 65-0992 - 67 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe   MC-130P Combat Shadow  - 66-0215 - 67 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe   MC-130H Combat Talon II - 88-1803 - 7 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe
 

RAF Mildenhall - 352nd Special Operations Group

Report and Photos by Ashley Wallace

The 352nd Special Operations is an essential part of the United States Air Force Special Operations Command and is based at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk in the United Kingdom. The 352nd SOG is made up by two squadrons, the 7th Special Operations Squadron and the 67th Special Operations Squadron. With over 700 personnel assigned, the group is the one and only Air Force special operations unit in Europe.

The 7th Special Operations Squadron also known as the "Aircommandos" operates the MC-130H Combat Talon II which it's main mission is executing night, adverse weather, long-range operations into hostile environments. Alongside these missions the squadron also supports humanitarian relief and evacuation operations.

The other squadron working alongside the 7th SOS is the 67th Special Operations Squadron "Night Owls". This squadron operates long-range MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft to conduct day or night low-level flying in hostile territory using night vision goggles. As well as this, the Combat Shadows are unique as they also provide air refuelling support by the 'drogue and hose' refuelling system to support special operation helicopters which would be HH-60 Pave Hawks or the new tilt rotor aircraft, CV-22 Ospreys.

The Special Operations Group at Mildenhall will also soon be joined by the 21st Special Operations Squadron "Dust Devils" again which will stand up in early 2013 after the squadron disbanded in 2007 when it retired its fleet of MH-53M Pave Low IV helicopters. On the 24th March 2011 four CV-22Bs from the 20th SOS "Green Hornets" 27th SOG based at Cannon AFB, New Mexico arrived at RAF Mildenhall from Lajes, Azores where they were joined by a MC-130P from the 67th SOS. The four Ospreys were believed to be on an evaluation of the operability at Mildenhall with the possibility of taking permanent residency at RAF Mildenhall with the 352nd SOG. The deployment last spring was successful and in early 2013 the 21st SOS will take delivery of ten CV-22Bs.

The 352nd SOG have been deployed in support of many conflicts around the world. The most important ones being the ongoing conflicts, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The group is regularly called upon to support both these conflicts in special operations.

MC-130P Combat Shadow  - 66-0215 - 67 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe
 
CV-22B Osprey - 06-0033 - 20 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Force   MH-53M Pave Low IV - 69-5795 - 21 Special Operations Squadron (disbanded) - United States Air Forces in Europe   MH-53M Pave Low IV - 70-1630 - 21 Special Operations Squadron (disbanded) - United States Air Forces in Europe   CV-22B Osprey - 08-0037 - 20 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Force
 
MC-130P Combat Shadow  - 66-0220 - 67 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe   MC-130P Combat Shadow  - 64-14854 - 67 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe   MC-130H Combat Talon II - 87-0024 - 7 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe   MC-130H Combat Talon II - 88-0195 - 7 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe
 
MC-130H Combat Talon II - 88-0195 - 7 Special Operations Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe
 
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