437th Military Airlift Wing 16th Airlift Squadron Special Operations Spec Ops C-141 Starlifter Air Force Challenge Coin
This coin is 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
On 1 October 1993 the squadron was reassigned without aircraft or personnel to the 437th Operations Group, Charleston AFB, South Carolina, to replace the 76th Airlift Squadron flying the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter. Over the next six years the 16th AS provided the nation's only long-range, rapid-response, special operations low level (SOLL) capability. The squadron provided the backbone of the nation's elite special operations forces and used the "Bad to the Bone" motto on their unit patches. Ever vigilant in sitting continuous alert 24 hours, 7 days a week, the 16th routinely responded to short-notice National Command Authority taskings. The squadron used uniquely qualified aircrews, trained in the use of enhanced night vision equipment and specially modified aircraft for unconventional warfare ops. In this capacity, the 16th AS was tasked with delivering the sting of US special forces by maintaining continuous JCS-directed alert force for global contingencies and thus provide the nation's rapid deployment airlift/airdrop capability. These crews rapidly deployed and inserted special operations ground forces into blacked-out, austere airfields/drop zones and extracted those ground forces upon mission completion. This unique mission was formally transferred to McGuire AFB, New Jersey in April 1999.
The last C-141 to leave Charleston AFB occurred on or about 7 September 2000 and the squadron was officially inactivated on 29 September 2000.