Beautiful commemorative coin honoring the 30th anniversary of USAF Special Operations Command. Featuring antique silver plating, detailed rope edging, full color design on both front and back of coin. Measures 2.5 inches tall by 2 inches wide. Limited quantities available, first come - first served.
Elements representing AFSOC heritage, along with the Special Tactics community were used in the design of the AFSOC 30th Anniversary coin since these main elements have shaped the command over the last three decades.
Five White Diagonal Stripes:
Five white diagonal stripes were painted on the aircraft assigned to the 5318th Provisional Unit (Air), later redesignated the 1st Air Commando Group, during the execution of Operation THURSDAY on 5 March 1944. Although several theories of the stripes existed, the consensus is that each stripe represented the five components of the group—fighter, bomber, helicopter, light aircraft, and airlift.
Check out this heritage article for more of the story behind the Air Commando stripes -- https://www.afsoc.af.mil/News/Features/Display/Article/1967948/the-story-behind-air-commando-stripes/
Originally depicted on the 492d Bombardment Group’s emblem during Project Carpetbagger, and now the 492d Special Operations Wing, the line of lights are representative of guidance to a drop/landing zone with the last polestar symbolizing valor and strength.
According to one of the last living Carpetbaggers of WWII, as they approached the landing zone they saw the first white light in a series that put them on line with their drop zone. They followed to the next two white lights and then to the red light that marked the zone. If the red light was solid (not blinking) they did a pass over and then came around to land. If the red light was blinking the drop zone was compromised and the Carpetbagger plane would abandon the mission and leave.
Military Airlift Command (MAC) requested dedicated Combat Control teams deploy with specialized forces while executing clandestine operations. On 22 December 1977, then-Capt John Carney volunteered to lead the initiative and assembled a small ‘ad hoc’ team of highly skilled operators, unofficially dubbed “Brand X.” This Air Force counterterrorist Combat Control team accompanied U.S. Army Rangers and other special forces during specialized missions. Over the years, rescue, weather, and tactical air control capabilities were added and have grown into what we now refer to as Air Force Special Tactics.