Return of the Fireballs

Officials with the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon AFB, N.M., have actviated the 522nd Special Operations Squadron. “We will commit ourselves to excellence, be dedicated and courageous, and we will always, lead the way,” said Lt. Col. Paul Pendleton, who took command of the reformed unit, whose history dates back to World War II. The 522nd SOS will be USAF’s first unit assigned the MC-130J Combat Shadow II, which is due to begin operations in 2012. The unit’s role will be covert infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special forces in hostile and denied regions. Pendleton received the unit’s laurelled guidon from 27th Special Operations Group acting commander Col. Charles Myers during the April 7 stand-up ceremony. The 522nd, known as the Fireballs, was one of the most decorated air units during World War II. (Cannon report by A1C Jette Carr)