193d Special Operations Wing
The 193d Special Operations Wing (193 SOW) is a special operation unit assigned to the Pennsylvania Air National Guard which flies the EC-130 Commando Solo. As part of the United States Air National Guard, the command executes both state and Federal missions as directed.
The unit's role is to broadcast radio and television signals to target populations from an airborne transmitter, jamming existing television and radio signals where necessary. Messages are not developed within the wing itself, but are provided by staff of the United States Army's 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne), based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
As part of the Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the United States Air Force, its primary wartime and contingency operations mission is psychological operations (PSYOP) as a gained unit of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).
The unit began life in 1947 as the 148th Fighter Squadron, flying the P-51 Mustang from Spaatz Field (present day Reading Municipal Airport). In 1956, as propeller driven fighters faded into history, the unit was redesignated the 140th Aeromedical Transport Squadron, flying the C-46 Commando and later the C-119 Flying Boxcar. In 1961, the unit relocated to its current location at Olmsted Air Force Base (present day Harrisburg International Airport) to flying the C-121 Lockheed Constellation. Olmsted runways and facilities were better suited to the larger C-121s. In 1964, it was again redesignated, this time as the 168th Military Air Transport Group. In 1967, it was transferred to Tactical Air Command (TAC) and redesignated the 193rd Tactical Electronic Warfare Group. Four of its C-121s were converted to EC-121S Coronet Solos for its electronic warfare mission. The unit transitioned to the EC-130E Commando Solo in 1977 and was redesignated the 193rd Special Operations Group, assigned to TAC. In the mid-1980s, along with all other USAF special operations units, it was assigned to the 23rd Air Force of the Military Airlift Command (MAC). Following the creation of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) in the 1990s, the unit was reassigned to AFSOC and redesignated the 193rd Special Operations Wing. In 2001, the wing transitioned from the EC-130E to the EC-130J Commando Solo.
The wing has seen extensive overseas service, to include Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operations Support Democracy and Uphold Democracy and Operation Desert Storm, as well as more recent service in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Major Command/Gaining Command
- Air National Guard/Air Force Special Operations Command (1990–Present)
- Air National Guard/Military Airlift Command (198?-1990)
- Air National Guard/Tactical Air Command (1967-198?)
- Air National Guard/Military Air Transport Service (1956–1967)
- Air National Guard/Air Defense Command (1947–1956)
- 193rd Special Operations Wing (1995–Present)
- 193rd Special Operations Group (1977–1995)
- 193rd Tactical Electronic Warfare Group (1967–1977)
- 193rd Special Operations Squadron (Air Force Special Operations Command unit)
- 193rd Regional Support Group
- 193rd Special Operations Squadron
- 112th Air Operations Squadron
- 201st Red Horse Flight
- 203rd Weather Flight
- 211th Engineering Installation Squadron
- 271st Combat Communications Squadron
- 148th Air Support Operations Squadron
- 553rd Air Force Band/Air National Guard Band of the Mid-Atlantic
The 258th Air Traffic Control Squadron (formerly the 114th Tactical Control Flight) at Johnstown-Cambria County Airport was assigned to the 193 SOW, but was realigned into the ANG's 171st Air Refueling Wing (171 ARW) at Pittsburgh International Airport/Air Reserve Station shortly after moving to Johnstown.
- Harrisburg International Airport (1969–Present)
- Fort Indiantown Gap (Detachment 1) (???-Present)
- Olmsted Air Force Base (1964–1969)
- Spaatz Field (1946–1964)
- EC-130J Commando Solo (2004–Present)
- EC-130E Commando Solo (1980–2004)
- EC-121 Constellation (1964–1980)
- C-119 Flying Boxcar (???-1964)
- C-46 Commando (1956-???)
- P-51 Mustang (1947–1956)
- Harold Kennedy (February 2002). Why Special Ops Prefer C-130s for Many Missions. National Defense Magazine.