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Fact Sheets
FACTSHEET | Feb. 13, 2024

437th Special Operations Squadron

The 437 Special Operations Squadron, “Scorpions,” maintains a continual employment posture of personnel and equipment to provide C-17 Special Operations Low-Level II (SOLL II) qualified crews to meet CJCS global airlift delivery and employment of special operations force packages. The squadron conducts rapid global infiltration, exfiltration, resupply and specialized refueling missions in support of special operations forces in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive areas.

In 1979, Military Airlift Command (MAC) tasked Charleston Air Force Base to provide specially trained C-141 flight crews to provide strategic airlift to the joint Special Operations community. By August 1983, all C-141 SOLL II crews were consolidated at Charleston AFB, SC. With the impending retirement of the C-141 from active duty in September 2004, the C-17 SOLL II Follow on Testing & Evaluation (FOT&E) began in 1997. The FOT&E evaluated the C-17 in all aspects of the Special Operations Low Level mission and was completed successfully in September 1998. The C-17 SOLL II program was declared fully mission capable in October of 2002 and in April 2004 the C-17 became the only aircraft in Air Mobility Command (AMC) executing the SOLL II mission.

The C-141 had a high frequency radio antenna on the forward side of the t-tail which resembled the coiled tail and stinger of a scorpion preparing to strike. Because of this likeness, the 437th Airlift Wing leaders began using the scorpion as a symbol to identify crewmembers trained to provide strategic airlift support to Special Operations forces. The 437 Special Operations Squadron emblem is dominated by 17 stars in the pattern of the stellar constellation "Scorpius the Scorpion," centered on a disk of Ultramarine Blue background with Air Force Yellow border and lettering. The blue alludes to the sky, the primary theater of Air Force operations and the yellow refers to the sun and the excellence required of Air Force personnel. The stars are gray to match the color of the C-17 aircraft flown by the unit. The star Antares, known as “the heart of the scorpion,” is colored red to represent core Special Operations tasks. The J-shape of the constellation implies the joint nature of the Squadron’s mission, and the crescent moon implies night-time flight operations.