153rd Airlift Wing [153rd AW]
The 153rd Airlift Wing, headquartered in Cheyenne, was organized August 10, 1946, as the 187th Fighter Squadron, and was among the first Air Guard units created after World War II. In 1951, the squadron was mobilized for federal service as the 187th Fighter Bomber Squadron for the Korean conflict, and eight of its pilots died in action.
Since 1946, the Air Guard has undergone a number of mission changes, and personnel have seen many types of aircraft come and go.
In the latter part of 1953, the squadron converted from the original P-51 "Mustang" piston-engine fighters to F-80 "Shooting Star" jet fighters and, in 1956 was redesignated the 187th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. F-86L "Sabre" jets came along in 1958, and the squadron expanded to become the 153rd Fighter Interceptor Group. Early in 1961, the unit converted to C-119 transport planes and was redesignated the 187th Aeromedical Transport Squadron.
Converting to four-engine C-121G aircraft in 1963, the Wyoming Air National Guard became the 153rd Air Transport Group, flying many overseas missions to Japan and Vietnam. In 1968, they picked up the aeromedical responsibility once more and transported armed forces patients to medical centers for emergency or specialized treatment. The unit also provided airlift cargo and passengers for the Military Airlift Command, other active forces, and the Army and Air National Guard.
The state's Air Guard is equipped with state-of-art, four-engine C-130H3 Lockheed "Hercules" transport planes, and is designated the 153rd Airlift Wing under the Air Mobility Command. The missions of the Wyoming Air National Guard are to deliver troops and cargo, provide aeromedical evacuation, and to airlift passengers and cargo when required.
Elements and personnel of the Wyoming Air National Guard were mobilized for active service during Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-91.
One of the specialized peacetime missions of Wyoming's Air Guard is airborne fire fighting. The unit is equipped with Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS), and crews have received training in MAFFS operation. Upon call of the U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming's MAFFS crews and planes have fought major fires in the U.S., including the Yellowstone National Park fires in 1988. Wyoming ANG personnel also were deployed for Operations "Provide Promise" (Bosnia) and "Provide Hope" (Somalia).
The Wyoming Air National Guard had a busy year in 1999. The 153rd Maintenance Team consists of the Maintenance Squadron, Aircraft Generation Squadron, Logistics Support Flight, and Quality Assurance. This team of 170 members was instrumental in ensuring that the Wing's worldwide flying mission was supported in an outstanding manner. The Maintenance Team supported two major back-to-back deployments to Germany: Shining Hope, with atotal of 108 personnel from June 12 to Aug. 13, and the first Aerospace Expeditionary Force (AEF) deployment, "Joint Endeavor", with a total of 130 personnel. These deployments were followed by two additional deployments of 21 personnel each to Puerto Rico insupport of "Coronet Oak". While accomplishing these missions and others, 2,617 mishap-free flying hours were accumulated. Throughout the year, the 187th Air Evacuation Squadron (AES) was involved with several exercises, deployments, and other events. Personnel participated in the Special Operations Joint Forces Exercise ë99, the Aeromedical Evacuation Contingency OperationsTraining course, Personnel Recovery course, Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses, Contingency Wartime Planning course and the Biological Warfare Management course. In January, the 187th Airlift Squadron participated in the "New Horizon Exercise," in Haiti. This involved seven crew members, 40 clinic personnel and three pallets of material.
During July 1999, the 153rd Civil Engineering Squadron deployed 28 engineers to Mescalero, N.M. to support the construction of a fire station for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In March, the unit deployed to the Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Miss. Fifty-five engineers and firefighters conducted required annual training including MAFFS (Modular Air Fire Fighting System) recertification. The 243rd Air Traffic Control Squadron received anew mobile control tower in July 1999, and a new temporary administration facility in December. The 243rd deployed two air traffic controllers in support of AEF Number 9. Additionally, they provided threemaintainers to Global Patriot in Dugway, Utah, in support of the 241st Air Traffic Control Squadron's "Operational Readiness Evaluation". Throughout the year, the Logistics Non-Commissioned Officer was called upon to assist the Air National Guard's Mobility Training Center in Alexandria, La. The center provides courses in Combat Familiarization, which are required for all members of the squadron.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Boise Air Terminal Air Guard Station (AGS), ID by distributing the four C-130H aircraft of the 124th Wing (ANG) to the 153rd Airlift Wing (ANG), Cheyenne, WY. The new, larger unit at Cheyenne would create an active duty/ ANG association. Cheyenne would be robusted to a larger, more effective C-130 squadron size. Additionally, Cheyenne's proximity to an active duty Air Force installation (F.E. Warren Air Force Base) would allow it to host an active/ANG associate unit.
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