125th Special Tactics Squadron
Published May 15, 2013
Oregon Air National Guard's 125th Special Tactics Squadron (STS), located at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Oregon, is an integral part of the US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). The Unit is comprised of more than 75 Special Tactics Combat Controllers, Special Operations Weather Team and Combat Support Team personnel.
As an Air National Guard Unit, the 125th STS have both federal and state missions. The dual mission, a provision of the U.S. Constitution, results in each guardsman holding membership in the National Guard of his or her state and in the national defense of the United States. The 125th STS organizes trains and equips Special Tactics forces worldwide to integrate, synchronize and/or control the elements of air and space power in the area of operations. It also provides long-range operations and logistical planning, and deploys command and control elements during tactical force employment or deployment.
Their goal is to be the foremost Special Operations force poised for full spectrum rapid response to all crises and contingencies at home or abroad.
The 125th STS was officially founded on 1 May 2005, and is one of only two Special Tactics Units in the Air National Guard. On Sept. 9, 2006, the 244th Combat Communications Squadron was re-missioned creating the fully operational 125 STS in 2007. Unit members have deployed in support of national and state domestic response operations to include: Hurricanes Katina, Rita and Ike as well as flood relief for Vernonia, Oregon in 2008.
The 125th STS is an important part of AFSOC, the 24th Special Operations Wing, and the 720th Special Tactics Group based at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The 125th STS provides federal support for an active duty force comprised of more than 900 US Air Force Special Tactics Combat Controllers, Pararescuemen, Special Operations Weather Team, Tactical Air Control Party and Combat Support Team personnel. Unit members have deployed in support of countless worldwide federal missions to include: Operations Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan, Horn of Africa and Philippines as well as Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.
Training Special Tactics operators are among the most highly skilled and trained Special Operations Forces in the US military. They maintain a multitude of core skill to include: air traffic control, joint terminal attack control, survey and assessment, environmental reconnaissance and weather forecasting. In addition to these skills, operators are trained in numerous infiltration methods to include: static-line and military free-fall parachuting, scuba, small boats, all-terrain vehicles, mountain ski and hiking, rappelling and fast rope.