The 209th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron (SOCES) is the only Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) gained Guard unit in Mississippi. It became AFSOC gained in 2003 and was previously assigned under Air Combat Command. The unit’s mission is strictly a mobility mission with 50 percent of its members tied directly to supporting the Active Duty AFSOC and related special operations forces (SOF) around the globe.
The 209th SOCES is a unique civil engineer (CE) unit with a mix of traditional and specialty CE skills and missions. The bulk of the of unit is made up of traditional CE craftsman such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, power production, and fire fighting to name a few, but in addition to their primary Air Force skill, many of them have been trained in more specialized chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) skill sets.
Unit members are trained and highly skilled in CBRN detection and decontamination and provide a specialized “playbook option” to any branch of SOF team when working or anticipating working in this environment, giving them a toxic-free environment to operate from or return to after having been exposed to ill effects of CBRN environments. As such they are considered a Premier Air National Guard CBRN unit.
The unit also includes one of the most diversely skilled military fire departments in the state. Because of its unique role of having a mobility only mission, the 209th Fire Department is not limited to training to respond to one assigned type of aircraft. This gives them the ability to train on all aircraft available to them, to include Navy jets as well as the Army rotary wing aircrafts.