|14th Weapons Squadron|
|Active||1942-1949; 1967–1968; 2003–present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Role||Advanced Special Operations Training|
|Part of||Air Combat Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Hurlburt Field, Florida|
|Nickname(s)||Puff the Magic Dragon (1967-1968) Air Commandos (2003-present)|
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
|14th Weapons Squadron emblem (approved 5 September 1942)|
|Patch with 14th Air Commando Sq emblem|
The squadron is a geographically separated unit of the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. The mission of the squadron is to produce weapons officers for the special operations community by providing graduate level instructional flying on Air Force Special Operations Command aircraft through weapons instructor courses. Currently, the squadron produces special operations force weapons officers specializing in Lockheed AC-130, Lockheed MC-130 and Pilatus U-28 aircraft.
The unit traces its lineage back to the 14th Observation Squadron and participated in the landings at Normandy in June 1944. Later, during the Vietnam era, the 14th Air Commando Squadron, flew Douglas AC-47 Spooky gunships between 1967 and 1968. The 14th flew out of Nha Trang Air Base, Phan Rang Air Base, Bien Hoa Air Base, and Binh Thuy Air Base, providing fire support in defense of US air bases, 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 Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device.
These two units were consolidated in 1985.
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.
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.
The current unit was organized as the Weapons School Special Operations Forces 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.
Redesignated 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 Lockheed AC-130H Spectre, Lockheed AC-130U Spooky, Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low, Lockheed MC-130E Combat Talon I, Lockheed MC-130H Combat Talon II, Lockheed MC-130P Combat Shadow, and Lockheed MC-130J Commando II special operations aircraft. The MH-53 Pave Low weapons instructor course ended with the retirement of the MH-53 aircraft.