Just Cause

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Operation Just Cause, was the invasion of Panama by the United States in December 1989. Sometime in late December to early January, Twenty-Third Air Force was part of reestablishing democracy in the Republic of Panama during the operation. Special operations aircrafts that were used were AC-130 Spectre gunships, EC-130 Volant Solo, HC-130P/N Combat Shadow tankers, MC-130E Combat Talons, and MH-53J Pave Low and MH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters. The Spectre gunship crews of the 1st Special Operations Wing earned the Mackay Trophy and Tunner Award for their efforts, a 919th Special Operations Group Spectre crew earned the President's Award, and a 1st Special Operations Wing Combat Talon crew transported Panamanian President, Manuel Noriega, to a prison in the United States. The efforts of the 1st Special Operations Wing maintenance people earned them the Daedalian Award. On May, 22 1990, General Larry D. Welch, Air Force Chief of Staff, redesignated Twenty-Third Air Force as Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). The new major command consisted of three wings: the 1st, 39th and 353rd Special Operations Wings as well as the 1720th Special Tactics Group, the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School, and the Special Missions Operational Test and Evaluation Center. After major redesignations and reorganizations, AFSOC direct reporting units include the 16th Special Operations Wing, the 352nd Special Operations Group, the 353rd Special Operations Group, the 720th Special Tactics Group, the USAF Special Operations School and the 18th Flight Test Squadron. During the early 1990s a major change happened in AFSOC. The 1720th Special Tactics Group became the 720th Special Tactics Group in March; the transfer of ownership of Hurlburt Field from Air Mobility Command to AFSOC in October 1992, followed by the merging of the 834th Air Base Wing into the 1st Special Operations Wing which assumed host unit responsibilities. A year later the 1st Special Operations Wing became the...
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