179th Airlift Wing [179th AW]
The 179th Airlift Wing was organized at Mansfield on 20 June 1948 as the 164th Fighter Squadron, with 30 officers and 115 airmen. Predecessor units can be traced back to the 363rd Fighter Squadron of World War II, which was originally activated on 1 December 1942 and saw combat in the European Theater of Operations. The 164th received F-51D Mustang fighters, a B-26 Invader attack bomber, and a C-47 transport. In 1953 the unit entered the jet age with the arrival of the F-80A Shooting Star, which was subsequently replaced by the F-84E and F-84F.
On 10 November 1958 the unit was redesignated the 164th Tactical Fighter Squadron. It was called to active duty on 1 October 1961 during the Berlin Crisis and contributed personnel and equipment to the 7121st Tactical Fighter Wing stationed at Etain Air Base, France. In August 1962, the unit was released from active duty and reverted to the control of the State of Ohio. Shortly thereafter, on 19 October 1962, the unit was redesignated the 179th Tactical Fighter Group, with the Fighter Squadron retaining the original 164th designation.
In 1972 the unit was converted to the newer and faster F-100 aircraft.
The unit closed out its tactical fighter mission on 5 January 1976, after eight years and eight months of accident-free flying in jet fighter aircraft. At that time it was redesignated as a Tactical Airlift Group and equipped with eight C-130B aircraft.
The years 1990 and 1991 were another transitional period. The last C-130B model aircraft left the base on 30 November 1990 to make way for the new C-130H "Hercules" models which came in April 1991.
Effective 16 March 1992, the 179th Tactical Airlift Group was redesignated the 179th Airlift Group (AG) as a result of the reorganization in the Air Force and the Air National Guard. On 1 October 1995 the 179th Airlift Group was redesignated again to become the 179th Airlift Wing (AW).
The 179th AW has been the recipient of many awards, decorations, and recognitions, including the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. This includes the Alan P. Tappan Memorial Trophy, which designates the outstanding Air National Guard unit in the State of Ohio. The unit completed its 31st year of accident-free flying in 1998.
The 179th AW deployed as part of Operation Joint Forge '99, in one of the first test of the Aerospace Expeditionary Force concept.
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