The 100th Air Refueling Wing (100 ARW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Third Air Force, United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa. It is stationed at RAF Mildenhall, England. It is also the host wing at RAF Mildenhall.
The 100 ARW is the only permanent U.S. air refueling wing in the European theater.
During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 100th Bombardment Group (Heavy), was an Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England, stationed at RAF Thorpe Abbotts. Flying over 300 combat missions, the group earned two Distinguished Unit Citations (Regensburg, 17 August 1943; Berlin, 4/6/8 March 1944). The group suffered tremendous losses in combat, with 177 Aircraft MIA, flying its last mission on 20 April 1945.
One of the wing's honors is that it is the only modern USAF operational wing allowed to display on its assigned aircraft the tail code (Square-D) of its World War II predecessor.
|100th Air Refueling Wing|
100th ARW Emblem
|Active||1942–1945, 1947–1949, 1956–1983, 1990–1991, 1992–present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa|
|Motto(s)||Peace Through Strength|
FCdG w/ Palm
|Colonel S. Troy Pananon Biography|
|Darr H. Alkire|
USAFE's only KC-135 air refueling wing, it is responsible for U.S. aerial refueling operations conducted throughout the European theater. The unit supports some 16,000 personnel, including Third Air Force, four geographically separated units, and 15 associated units.
100th Operations Group (100 OG)
100th Maintenance Group (100 MXG)
100th Mission Support Group (100 MSG)
On 1 June 1942, the Army Air Forces activated the 100th Bombardment Group (Heavy) (100th BG) as an unmanned paper unit assigned to III Bomber Command. The group remained unmanned until 27 October 1942, when a small number of men transferred from the 29th Bombardment Group to Gowen Field, Idaho, to serve as the group's initial cadre. Within four days, on 1 November, the small cadre forming the 100 BG moved the unit to Walla Walla Army Air Base, Washington, where it received its first four aircrews and four B-17Fs from the Boeing factory in Seattle. Following receipt of crews and aircraft, the 100th BG relocated to Wendover Field, Utah, on 30 November where it added additional personnel, aircraft, crews, and began operational training (bombing, gunnery, and navigation).
On New Year's Day of 1943, members of the fledgling group again transferred operations to two separate bases, with the aircraft and aircrews moving to Sioux City AAB, Iowa, while the ground echelon went to Kearney Army Air Field, Nebraska. In both instances, members of the 100th BG assisted in air and ground training for other groups bound for overseas. In mid-April, the aircrew element joined its ground echelon at Kearney and received new B-17s. After additional training, the group's aircrews departed Kearney on 25 May 1943, flying the North Atlantic route to England and into the war in Europe. Prior to the departure of aircraft and aircrews from Kearney, the 100 BG's ground echelon departed for the East Coast on 2 May 1943. On 27 May 1943, the ground personnel set sail aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth bound for Podington, England from New York. At Podington the ground crews rendezvoused with the air echelon, and together moved to Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk, where they remained throughout World War II, operating as a strategic bombardment organization.
On 25 June 1943, the 100 BG flew its first Eighth Air Force combat mission in a bombing of the Bremen U-boat yards – the beginning of the "Bloody Hundredth"'s legacy. The group inherited the "Bloody Hundredth" nickname from other bomb groups due to the number of losses it took. The group experienced several instances where it lost a dozen or more aircraft on a single mission, and for the next six months, the group focused its bombing attacks against German airfields, industries, and naval facilities in France and Germany. One such raid on 10 October 1943, that the 100th BG made on Münster, ended up with the only surviving 100th BG B-17, the Rosie's Riveters (B-17F 42-30758) commanded by Robert Rosenthal, returning safely to Thorpe Abbots.
In August 1943, the group received its first Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) after attacking the German aircraft factory at Regensburg on 17 August 1943, resulting in serious disruption to German fighter production. From January–May 1944, the 100th BG regularly bombed airfields, industries, marshaling yards, and missile sites in Western Europe. The group participated in the Allied campaign against German aircraft factories, Operation Argument, during "Big Week" in the last week of February 1944. In March 1944, aircrews completed a succession of attacks on Berlin and received its second DUC of the war.
While bombing during the Oil Campaign of World War II as the summer of 1944 approached, the group also conducted interdictory missions such as the June bombing of bridges and gun positions to support the Invasion of Normandy. The next month aircrews bombed enemy positions at Saint-Lô, followed by similar campaigns at Brest in August and September. In October 1944, the 100th BG attacked enemy and ground defenses in the allied drive on the Siegfried Line, then bombed marshaling yards, German occupied villages, and communication targets in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945. For its extraordinary efforts in attacking heavily defended German installations in Germany and dropping supplies to the French Forces of the Interior from June through December 1944, the 100 BG received the French Croix de guerre with Palm.
The 100 BG flew its last combat mission of World War II on 20 April 1945. The following month the unit's aircrews dropped food to the people in the west of the Netherlands, and in June transported French Allied former prisoners of war from Austria to France. In December 1945, the group returned to the U.S., where it inactivated at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, on 21 December 1945.
On 29 May 1947, Headquarters Army Air Forces reactivated the 100 BG at Miami Army Air Field. From the time of its activation the group trained and operated as a reserve B-29 Superfortress unit being attached to the 49th Bombardment Wing (Later Air Division). It is not clear whether or not the unit was fully manned or equipped. It was inactivated on 27 June 1949 due to budget reductions.
The 100th Bombardment Wing, Medium was established on 23 March 1953 as part of Strategic Air Command, but the wing was not activated until 1 January 1956. The delay was due to construction at the unit's programmed base, Portsmouth Air Force Base, New Hampshire. Construction was completed in late 1955 and, when activated, the 100th BW was assigned to the Eighth Air Force 817th Air Division.
The 100th Bomb Wing was assigned the new B-47E Stratojet swept-wing medium bombers in 1954, capable of flying at high subsonic speeds and primarily designed for penetrating the airspace of the Soviet Union. The 100th Bomb Wing operated from Pease AFB for ten years. In official parlance, the establishment "...performed global strategic bombardment training and air refueling missions." One of the most significant overseas temporary duty assignments took place during the first four months of 1958, when the 100th participated in the last full wing B-47 deployment. During this time, the B-47s from New Hampshire operated from RAF Brize Norton, in the United Kingdom. Subsequently, overseas deployments involved the simultaneous participation of several bomb wings engaging in global strategic bombardment training, and global air refueling with the Stratojet.
In the early 1960s, the B-47 was considered to be reaching obsolescence, and was being phased out of SAC's strategic arsenal. In October 1965, the Air Force initiated Project Fast Fly to oversee the inactivation of the last five B-47 wings and supporting tanker squadrons. The 100th ARS retired its last tanker on 21 December 1965, when aircraft 53-0282 flew to the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. The following day, the 100th ARS inactivated. The 100th BW retained its ground alert commitment at Pease until 31 December 1965, and inactivated on 25 June 1966.
Headquarters SAC received authority from Headquarters USAF to discontinue its Major Command controlled (MAJCON) wings that were equipped with combat aircraft and to activate Air Force controlled (AFCON) units, most of which were inactive at the time, which could carry a lineage and history. On 11 February 1966, the 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing assumed the mission, equipment and personnel of the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. The 349th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (SRS) took over the Lockheed U-2 aircraft of the 4028th SRS and the 350th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron took over the Ryan BQM-34 Firebee reconnaissance drones of the 4025th SRS. The 4080th was a SAC MAJCOM wing, and its lineage terminated when it was discontinued and could not be continued by reactivation at a later date. The 100th SRW was now at Davis-Monthan A.F.B Tucson, Arizona
After its reactivation, the 100th SRW performed strategic reconnaissance with the Lockheed U-2 and drone aircraft. On 11 July 1970 the force was moved from Bien Hoa to U-Tapao RTAFB (OL-RU) and then (OL-UA in 1972) Thailand. Then after the move, in November 1972 they re-activated the 99th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron. In January 1973, the U-2s of the 99th SRS flew more than 500 combat hours. That was the first time any U-2 unit flew 500 hours in a single month. That was topped in December 1974 when they logged more than 600 hours. The 99th SRS deployed to forward operating locations as needed, earning the P.T. Cullen Award as the reconnaissance unit that contributed most to the photo and signal intelligence efforts of SAC in 1972. The U-2s were one of the last units to be pulled out of Thailand in March 1976,
With the end of United States combat operations in Southeast Asia in mid-1973, the Air Force formally transferred nuclear air sampling operations to the 100th SRW, and the 349th SRS converted its U-2s to the U-2R configuration for atmospheric sampling missions, replacing the WB-57s which it inherited from the 4028th SRS. The air sampling mission would be moved to Osan AB, South Korea, although the deployment of U-2Rs to Osan could not take place until overflight and basing arrangements vere concluded with the governments of Japan and the Republic of Korea and hangar facilities made ready at Osan. Not until the Communist Chinese had actually exploded their sixteenth nuclear device on 17 June 1974, could Headquarters USAF announce that all negotiations were concluded. At the same time, it directed Headquarters SAC to deploy the 349th SRS "OLYMPIC RACE" assets to Osan and begin collecting from that location on 18 June 1974. The sampling mission continued at Osan, and the U-2s in South Korea became the 100th SRW OL-A.
In addition to the Drone and Air Sampling missions, the 100th SRW performed worldwide surveillance mission like the monitoring of the ceasefire between the Israelis and the Egyptians following the 1973 Yom Kippur War. This operation was operated from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus and was named operation OLIVE HARVEST – Operating Location OL-OH.
A detachment also operated from McCoy AFB, Florida until that installation's closure in 1975, followed by a move to nearby Patrick AFB, Florida, designated Operating Location LF. These U-2s engaged in OLYMPIC FIRE missions over Cuba, which were coordinated with the Joint Air Reconnaissance Control Center at NAS Key West, Florida.
In 1976 due to budget reductions, SAC consolidated its Strategic Reconnaissance assets. The 99th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron and its U-2s were returned from U-Tapao and assigned to the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (9 SRW) on 1 July 1976. This brought all the Strategic Reconnaissance assets of SAC under one wing at Beale AFB, California. The 9th SRW already controlled the 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, which operated the SR-71 Blackbird.
The U-2Rs of the 349th SRS and the AQM-34 Firebee/DC-130 Hercules drone operations of the 350th SRS were discontinued, with the squadrons becoming KC-135 tanker squadrons of the 100th Air Refuelling Wing in support of the 9th SRS SR-71 Blackbird. The U-2Rs in South Korea became the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing Detachment 2. The AQM-34s, associated DC-130 Hercules launch aircraft and CH-3 Jolly Green Giant recovery helicopters were reassigned to the Tactical Air Command's 22d Tactical Drone Squadron and remained at Davis-Monthan AFB.
With the redesignation, the 100th and its 349th and 350th Air Refueling Squadrons were moved administratively to Beale, taking over the assets of the 17th Bombardment Wing which was inactivated. The 349th and 350th assumed the KC-135s of the 903d and 922d Air Refueling Squadrons. With the re-designation, the 100th ARW assumed responsibility for providing worldwide air refueling support for the 9th SRW's SR-71s and U-2s on 30 September 1976
The 100th ARW was inactivated on 15 March 1983 when its two KC-135 squadrons were reassigned to the host 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale, which became a composite wing under the one-base, one-wing concept.
After an inactive status for over seven years, SAC again reactivated the 100th, but this time as the 100th Air Division at Whiteman AFB, Missouri, on 1 July 1990, an intermediate command echelon of Strategic Air Command. It assumed host unit responsibilities at Whiteman. In addition, the division controlled the 509th Bombardment Wing, which was not operational while waiting for production B-2 Spirit stealth bombers to arrive and appropriate facilities for the B-2s to be constructed. It also controlled the 351st Missile Wing, an LGM-30F Minuteman II ICBM wing at Whiteman.
Air Force reorganization in 1991 put the 351st MW under the reactivated Twentieth Air Force on 29 March 1991, and the 509th Bomb Wing took over host duties at Whiteman. As a result, SAC inactivated the 100th AD again on 1 August 1991.
Six months after its inactivation as an Air Division, and over 46 years after departing England at the end of World War II, the Air Force activated the 100 ARW, stationed at RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom, on 1 February 1992. It was assigned to Strategic Air Command, Fifteenth Air Force, 14th Air Division. It was then reassigned to Third Air Force on 1 February 1992. From the time of its reactivation, the 100 ARW has served as the United States Air Forces Europe's lone air refueling wing. It also serves as the host unit at RAF Mildenhall where it deployed aircraft and managed the European Tanker Task Force.
100th Bombardment Group
100th Air Refueling Wing
100 AEW Components
Not to be confused with the 100th Air Refueling Wing, nor the Alabama Air National Guard 100th Fighter SquadronThe 100th Aero Squadron was a Air Service, United States Army squadron during World War I. Ordered to serve on the Western Front, it boarded the SS Tuscania on 23 January 1918. The ship was torpedoed on 5 February and most of the survivors were rescued.
Re-formed in England the squadron was assigned as a Day Bombardment Squadron; its mission to perform long-range bombing attacks on roads and railroads; destruction of materiel and massed troop formations behind enemy lines. It was assigned to the 2d Day Bombardment Group, United States Second Army.
Just before its first scheduled combat mission, the war ended. After the 1918 Armistice with Germany, the squadron returned to the United States in June 1919 and was demobilized.The squadron was never reactivated and there is no current United States Air Force or Air National Guard successor unit.24th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron
The 24th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron is a provisional unit of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to United States Air Forces Europe to activate or inactivate as needed. Its last known attachment was to the 100th Air Refueling Wing, stationed at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, UK in 2007.306th Strategic Wing
The 306th Strategic Wing, previously the 306th Bombardment Wing, is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the Strategic Air Command at RAF Mildenhall, England and was inactivated on 1 February 1992. Its heritage as both the 306th Bombardment Wing and its predecessor organization, the 306th Bombardment Group of World War II, was assumed by the 306th Flying Training Group (306 FTG), an Air Education and Training Command organization at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado.
The mission of the 306th SW was to coordinate all SAC air refueling and reconnaissance resources in the European Theater with the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE). It assumed the mission of the 98th Strategic Wing when that unit was inactivated in 1976. The 306th SW was inactivated as part of the inactivation of SAC in 1992.
The wing's World War II predecessor unit, the 306th Bombardment Group, was the first operational bombardment group in VIII Bomber Command. It was stationed at RAF Thurleigh, England from 6 September 1942 until 25 December 1945, the longest tenure at one station for any one Eighth Air Force group. That unit's lineage and history is held by the present-day 306th Flying Training Group, which is an active unit of the Air Education and Training Command, stationed at the United States Air Force Academy. From 1954 until the wing was inactivated, it was temporarily bestowed with the honors and heritage of the 306th Bomb Group.During the Cold War, Strategic Air Command (SAC) initially established the 306th Bombardment Wing as a Boeing B-29 Superfortress medium bombardment wing at MacDill AFB, Florida in 1950. It later flew Boeing B-50, Boeing KC-97 and Boeing B-47 Stratojet aircraft at MacDill.
The wing moved to McCoy AFB, Florida in 1963, where it was a redesignated as a heavy bombardment wing flying Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and Boeing KC-135A and KC-135Q Stratotanker aircraft. The 306th forward deployed to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s. As a result of post-Vietnam reductions in force, the wing was inactivated in late 1974 with the concurrent closure of McCoy AFB.
the 306th was activated once again as the 306th Strategic Wing at Ramstein AB, West Germany, assuming operational control for SAC air refueling and reconnaissance resources in the European Theater. In 1978, the 306th moved to RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom. For most of this period the 306 SW controlled KC-135, KC-10 Extender, RC-135 Rivet Joint, SR-71 and U-2 aircraft deployed from the United States to England. In 1992 it was inactivated and its mission transferred to the 100th Air Refueling Wing under United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE).322d Tactical Airlift Wing
The 322d Tactical Airlift Wing is an inactive unit of the United States Air Force351st Air Refueling Squadron
The 351st Air Refueling Squadron is part of the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England. It operates the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft conducting air refueling missions.7486th Air Defense Group
The 7486th Air Defense Group is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with the Twelfth Air Force, being stationed at Landstuhl Air Base, West Germany. It was inactivated on 12 September 1957.Beale Air Force Base
Beale Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: BAB, ICAO: KBAB, FAA LID: BAB) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 8 miles (13 km) east of Marysville, California.
The host unit at Beale is the 9th Reconnaissance Wing (9 RW) assigned to the Air Combat Command and part of Twenty-Fifth Air Force. The 9 RW collects intelligence essential for Presidential and Congressional decisions critical to the national defense. To accomplish this mission, the wing is equipped with the nation's fleet of U-2 Dragon Lady and RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft and associated support equipment. The wing also maintains a high state of readiness in its combat support and combat service support forces for potential deployment in response to theater contingencies.
The 940th Air Refueling Wing (940 ARW) is a tenant Air Force Reserve Command wing at Beale AFB flying the KC-135 Stratotanker and operationally-gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC).
Beale AFB was established in 1942 as Camp Beale and is named for Edward Fitzgerald Beale (1822–1893), a former Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and a Brigadier General in the California Militia who was an explorer and frontiersman in California. Camp Beale became a United States Air Force installation on 1 April 1951 and was renamed Beale Air Force Base.Büchel Air Base
Büchel Air Base is a military air base of the Luftwaffe in Büchel (Germany), near the city of Cochem and at about 70 km from Spangdahlem Air Base. It is home to the Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 33 (Tactical Air Force Wing 33; abbreviated as: TaktLwG 33) (formerly Jagdbombergeschwader 33 or Fighter Bomber Wing 33) of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) and the 702 Munitions Support Squadron (702 MUNSS) of the United States Air Force (USAF). It was formerly the home of the 7501 MUNSS.
The TaktLwG 33 has been operating German Panavia Tornado airplanes since 1985, which are capable of delivering the twenty B61 nuclear bombs, which are stored and maintained by the 702 MUNSS of the USAF. Under the NATO nuclear sharing arrangement, these twenty B61 bombs require a dual key system, with the simultaneous authorizations of Germany and the United States, before any action is taken. The air base has been the only location in Germany with nuclear weapons since 2007.
According to the press, Eastern European Member States of NATO have resisted the withdrawal of the shared nuclear bombs from Europe, fearing it would show a weakening of the US commitment to defend Europe against Russia.Ghedi Air Base
Ghedi Air Base (Italian: Base aerea di Ghedi, ICAO: LIPL) is a base of the Italian Air Force in Ghedi, about 15 kilometres from Brescia, northern Italy.
It is home to the 6º Stormo of the Italian Air Force with the 102º Gruppo (Papero), il 154º Gruppo (Diavoli Rossi) e il 155º Gruppo (Le linci) equipped with the Tornado IDS.
It houses more than 40 nuclear weapons type B61.The commander since 2017 is the Italian Air Force Colonel Luca Maineri.Headquarters Air Command Europe
HQ Air Command Europe was created to replace the Third and Sixteenth Numbered Air Forces as headquarters for United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) wings. Third Air Force inactivated and Sixteenth Air Force assumed the new role as the Warfighting Headquarters for USAFE. Most USAFE wings were reassigned to this new headquarters on 18 November 2005.
31st Fighter Wing - Aviano Air Base, Italy
38th Combat Support Wing (CSW) - Ramstein Air Base, Germany
Geographically Separated Unit (GSU) advocacy and support
39th Air Base Wing - Incirlik AB, Turkey
48th Fighter Wing - RAF Lakenheath, UK
F-15E Strike Eagle
52d Fighter Wing - Spangdahlem AB, Germany
F-16 Fighting Falcon
65th Air Base Wing - Lajes Air Base, Azores
En route transient aircraft support
86th Airlift Wing - Ramstein AB, Germany
100th Air Refueling Wing - RAF Mildenhall, UK
435th Air Base Wing - Ramstein Air Base, Germany
501st Combat Support Wing - RAF Mildenhall, UKKleine Brogel Air Base
Kleine Brogel Air Base (ICAO: EBBL) is a Belgian Air Component military airfield located 0.8 nautical miles (1.5 km; 0.92 mi) east of Kleine-Brogel, in the municipality Peer, Belgium. It is home to the Belgian 10th Tactical Wing, operating F-16 Fighting Falcons, which are capable, among other capabilities, of delivering B61 nuclear bombs.List of Major Commands of the United States Air Force
This is a list of major commands (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force
A major command is a significant Air Force organization subordinate to Headquarters, US Air Force. Major commands have a headquarters staff and subordinate organizations, typically formed in numbered air forces, centers, wings, and groups.Historically, a MAJCOM is the highest level of command, only below Headquarters Air Force (HAF), and directly above numbered air forces (NAFs).
The USAF is organized on a functional basis in the United States and a geographical basis overseas. A major command (MAJCOM) represents a major Air Force subdivision having a specific portion of the Air Force mission. Each MAJCOM is directly subordinate to Headquarters, Air Force. MAJCOMs are interrelated and complementary, providing offensive, defensive, and support elements. An operational command consists (in whole or in part) of strategic, tactical, space, or defense forces; or of flying forces that directly support such forces. A support command may provide supplies, weapon systems, support systems, operational support equipment, combat material, maintenance, surface transportation, education and training, or special services and other supported organizations.
The USAF's last major reorganization of commands was in 1992. In July 2006, the Air Force Network Operations (AFNETOPS) command was stood up at Barksdale Air Force Base. At the time, it was anticipated that it would be transformed into a new MAJCOM: the Air Force Cyber Command. However, this did not occur, and AFNETOPS was integrated into Space Command.
Since its inception in 1947, a total of 27 organizations have been designated as major commands. Over time, the role of MAJCOMs have changed: some were replaced with NAFs, while some NAFs were replaced with MAJCOMs.
Currently, the USAF is organized into ten MAJCOMS (8 Functional and 2 Geographic), with the Air National Guard component reporting to Headquarters, United States Air Force (HAF). The most recent major command, Air Force Global Strike Command, was activated in August 2009. The other MAJCOMs have either inactivated or lost their command status.List of airline codes (U)
This is a list of all airline codes. The table lists the IATA airline designators, the ICAO airline designators and the airline call signs (telephony designator). Historical assignments are also included for completeness.Mildenhall, Suffolk
Mildenhall is a small market town and civil parish in Suffolk, England. The town is near the A11 and is located 37 mi (60 km) north-west of Ipswich, the county town. The large Royal Air Force station, RAF Mildenhall as well as RAF Lakenheath, are located north of the town. The former is used by the United States Air Force, as the headquarters of its 100th Air Refueling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Group.RAF Alconbury
Royal Air Force Alconbury or more simply RAF Alconbury is an active Royal Air Force station near Huntingdon, England. The airfield is in the civil parish of The Stukeleys, close to the villages of Great Stukeley, Little Stukeley, and Alconbury.
Opened in 1938 for use by RAF Bomber Command, the station has been used from 1942 by the United States Army Air Force (now known as the United States Air Force, or USAF for short).RAF Fairford
Royal Air Force Fairford or more simply RAF Fairford (IATA: FFD, ICAO: EGVA) is a Royal Air Force (RAF) station in Gloucestershire, England which is currently a standby airfield and therefore not in everyday use. Its most prominent use in recent years has been as an airfield for United States Air Force B-52s during the 2003 Iraq War, Operation Allied Force in 1999, and the first Gulf War in 1991. It is the US Air Force's only European airfield for heavy bombers.RAF Fairford was the only TransOceanic Abort Landing site for NASA's Space Shuttle in the UK. As well as having a sufficiently long runway for a shuttle landing (the runway is 3,046 m (9,993 ft) long), it also had NASA-trained fire and medical crews stationed on the airfield. The runway is rated with an unrestricted load-bearing capacity, meaning that it can support any aircraft with any type of load.
RAF Fairford is also the home of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), an annual air display. RIAT is one of the largest airshows in the world, with the 2003 show recognised by Guinness World Records as the largest military airshow ever, with an attendance of 535 aircraft.RAF Feltwell
Royal Air Force Feltwell or more simply RAF Feltwell is a Royal Air Force station in Norfolk, East Anglia that is used by the United States Air Forces Europe. The station is located about 10 miles west of Thetford, and is in the borough of King's Lynn at approximate Ordnance Survey grid reference TL 715 900.
A former Second World War bomber station, the airfield is used as a housing estate for United States Air Force personnel stationed nearby at RAF Mildenhall as part of the 100th Air Refueling Wing and RAF Lakenheath as part of the 48th Fighter Wing, while also containing the Mathies Airman Leadership School for USAF personnel in the UK, as well as being the home of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service's sole furniture store in the country. It also houses the only Middle School for Lakenheath and Mildenhall, which covers most of the station.RAF Mildenhall
Royal Air Force Mildenhall, more commonly known as RAF Mildenhall, (IATA: MHZ, ICAO: EGUN) is a Royal Air Force (RAF) station located near Mildenhall in Suffolk, England.
Despite its status as a Royal Air Force station, it primarily supports United States Air Force (USAF) operations, and is currently the home of the 100th Air Refueling Wing (100 ARW).
On 8 January 2015, the United States Department of Defense announced that operations at RAF Mildenhall would end (along with those at RAF Molesworth and RAF Alconbury), and be relocated to Germany (Spangdahlem Air Base) and also elsewhere within the UK.On 18 January 2016, the British Ministry of Defence announced that the RAF Mildenhall would be closed as an airfield and the site to be sold. However, a change in presidential administrations in the United States, heightened security concerns on the part of the United States, the United Kingdom and NATO pertaining to Europe and the Middle East, and a variety of other issues have prompted a reassessment on RAF Mildenhall's closure. As of 2017, the closure process of RAF Mildenhall has been put on indefinite hold. As of December 2018, it is planned that USAF personnel will move from RAF Mildenhall to RAF Fairford by 2024 the earliest.Robert D. Beckel
Robert Duane Beckel (born January 2, 1937) is a retired lieutenant general in the United States Air Force. He was the commander of the 15th Air Force at March Air Force Base, California.Beckel was born in Walla Walla, Washington, in 1937. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1959 as a member of its first class, and a master of science degree in international affairs from The George Washington University in 1971. He completed the Naval Command and Staff Course in 1971, and National War College in 1975. Upon graduation from the academy, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He received pilot wings in June 1960 at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., where he was the outstanding graduate of his class. He then completed jet fighter training at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, and Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. In August 1961 General Beckel was assigned to the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, West Germany, where he flew F-100s and F-105s.
He next became a member of the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds. From December 1965 to December 1967 he flew the solo position for the "Ambassadors in Blue" in demonstrations throughout the world. While serving as flight commander of the 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron, South Vietnam, he flew 313 combat missions in the F-100 from December 1967 until January 1969. He returned to Nellis Air Force Base and Joined the 4525th Fighter Weapons Wing as an F-100 instructor. Beckel served as executive officer for the wing commander and then moved to the 66th Fighter Weapons Squadron as an operational test and evaluation officer, flying the F-105. Beckel attended the Command and Staff Course at the Naval War College from August 1970 to June 1971. He then was assigned to the Office of Legislative Liaison, Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C., where he worked in the House of Representatives. In 1972 he became chief aide to Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He entered the National War College in August 1974. Upon graduation in July 1975, he served as vice commander of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and flew SR-71s and T-38s. There he became commander of the 100th Combat Support Group in October 1976 and, later, the 100th Air Refueling Wing. In August 1978 Beckel transferred to K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Mich., as commander of the 410th Bombardment Wing. In June 1979 he became commander of 7th Air Division, Strategic Air Command, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany.
Beckel returned to the Air Force Academy in February 1981 as commandant of cadets. In June 1982 he became director of operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He transferred to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., In September 1984 as deputy chief of staff for operations, and in October 1985 became chief of staff. Beckel was assigned to Europe in July 1987 as deputy chairman, NATO Military Committee, Headquarters North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Brussels, Belgium.He is a command pilot with more than 4,400 flying hours. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters. He was named to the Helms All-American basketball team in 1959, and was on the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and all-Air Force basketball teams in 1961.
He was promoted to lieutenant general Aug. 1, 1987, with same date of rank and retired on June 1, 1992.
Part of the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE)