164th Airlift Wing [164th AW]
The 164th Airlift Wing was activated 23 December 1946 as the 155th Fighter Squadron. The assigned aircraft was the F-51 Fighter. On 1 April 1951, the unit was redesignated as a Tactical Reconnaissance squadron utilizing the same aircraft. During this same period, the 155th was activated for the Korean conflict.
The 155th returned to state control as a night photo unit on 1 January 1953. The type aircraft received for this mission was the RB-26.
The unit was redesignated as a photo jet organization on 1 April 1956. The RF-84 jet was received directly from the factory to be used in this mission.
April 1961 brought a major change for this unit. The 164th Military Aircraft Group was activated as parent unit and the 155th was redesignated as a military squadron. At this time, the unit received the C-97 which was a converted SAC tanker. Conversion to this aircraft brought worldwide mission to such places as Europe, Japan, South America, Australia, and South Vietnam.
During May 1966, the 164th AW set many records. To name a few: 10 round trips to South East Asia, 1702 flying hours in one month, and a large amount of cargo and passengers were transported.
May 1967 brought the Grand Lady of the air, the C-124 (Old Shakey). Along with Old Shakey, the personnel of this unit performed many missions of mercy. Old Shakey was given her deserved rest in 1974 when she was retired from military service. On August 1974, she reluctantly gave up her berth to the C-130.
The mission remained military airlift, but with tactical airlift capabilities. After obtaining the Drop Zone in Coldwater, MS, the first aerial delivery was made on 8 February 1975. It was during this time that the 164th was re-designated as the 164th Tactical Airlift Group.
Desert Storm brought on the activation of several units of the 164th. The 164th Mobile Aerial Port Squadron was the first Air Guard Aerial Port unit activated. They served a six month tour in the desert with distinction.
The C-130's were retired in April 1992 when the unit received the first of eight C-141B Starlifter Aircraft. With this conversion came the strategic airlift mission and the designation of the 164th Airlift Group. The unit was redesignated the 164th Airlift Wing on 1 October 1995.
In 2004, Tennessee Air National Guard, Memphis, Tenn. retired their C-141s and converted to C-5A's.
The mission of the 164th Airlift Wig is to provide a quality force to accomplish airlift, aerial delivery and mobility missions in support of the Nation, and respond to the needs of the State and its Communities.
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