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184th Bomb Wing
184th Air Refueling Wing

The 184th Bomb Wing at, McConnell AFB, Wichita KS is the Air National Guard's first B-1B bomber unit. Heavy bombers entered the Air Guard's inventory for the first time in 1994 with a total of 14 B-1Bs programmed by the end of fiscal year FY 1997 for two units, the 184th Bomb Wing (BW), Kansas, and the 116th BW, Georgia. The 184th completed its conversion in FY 1996 at McConnell Air Force Base (AFB), Kansas. All the bombers in both units were configured for conventional, not nuclear, missions.

In mid-2001 the Department of Defense proposed to retire 33 B-1B aircraft at three locations and use a portion of the savings to upgrade the remaining 60 aircraft in the fleet. The Pentagon claims the proposal would save enough money to modernize the remaining fleet. The Kansas Air National Guard's 184th Bomb Wing would be reequipped with 10 KC-135R aerial tankers after its B-1Bs are gone and redesignated as the 184th Aerial Refueling Wing. McConnell Air Force base will become the world's largest tanker base and that the 184th will retain its identity as a National Guard unit. The 184th Bomb Wing will become the 184th Air Refueling Wing and will be independently unit-equipped with 10 KC-135R aircraft. A Phoenix Raven Security Force Team will be activated. The 184th will retain its B-1 engine repair shop and an avionics repair compatability. 184th staffing will continue at current levels. An information Operations unit will be activated. The Air Force will seriously consider McConnell Air Force Base as a candidate for the Airborne Laser.

Upon Federal recognition as the 127th Observation Squadron on 4 August 1941, the unit's limited equipment included one BC-1A, one C-47, and four L-1 aircraft. On 6 October 1941, the unit was ordered to extended active duty and remained an integral part of the United States Army Air Corps until 6 October 1945, with duty assignments in Tennessee and Okinawa.

On 7 September 1946, the unit reorganized and was designated as the 127th Fighter Squadron with assignment of F-51 "Mustang" aircraft. The F-51 was flown until December 1949, when the unit received the F-84 "Thunder Jet". Outbreak of the Korean Conflict resulted in mobilization of the 127th Fighter Squadron into Federal service on 10 October 1950. Transferred to Alexandria, Louisiana the unit became part of the Fighter Bomber Wing and deployed with the wing to Chaumont, France.

On 9 July 1952, after 21 months on active duty, the newly designated 127th FBS returned to Wichita. For the following year, the 127th FBS was again assigned F-51 aircraft due to the shortage of jets created by the Korean Conflict. In June 1954, F-80 "Shooting Star" jet fighters were assigned, followed by designation of the unit to the 127th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, and assignment of the F-86 "Sabre Jet" in January 1958.

The unit converted to the F-100 "Super Sabre", and was designated the 127th Tactical Fighter Squadron in April 1961. The unit was reorganized as the 184th Tactical fighter Group on 1 October 1962. In January 1968, following the North Korea seizure of the USS Pueblo, the unit was ordered to extended active duty, and deployed to Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. The unit was assigned as part of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing until release from active duty and return to state control in June 1969.

On 25 March 1971, the 184th was designated the 184th Tactical Fighter Training Group and acquired the F-105 " Thunderchief" aircraft. As the USAF Combat Crew Training School, the unit conducted pilot training in the F-105 for nine years.

On 1 October 1973, the 184th assumed the responsibility of operating and maintaining the Smoky Hill Weapons Range at Salina, Kansas. With over 36,000 acres, Smoky Hill is the Air National Guard's largest weapons range.

On 7 August 1979, the unit received its first F-4D "Phantom", and on 8 October 1979, was designated as the 184th Tactical Fighter Group, equipped with 50 F-4D's. In April 1982, the 184th was tasked to develop a F-4D Fighter Weapons Instructor Course to meet the needs of the Air Reserve Forces and the USAF Tactical Air Command.

In January 1987, the 184th was tasked to activate a squadron of F-16A/B "Fighting Falcon" aircraft, and conduct conversion and upgrade training in the F-16. On 8 July 1987, the 161st Tactical Fighter Training Squadron was established as the third flying squadron at the 184th TFG. Formal activation ceremonies for the 161st occurred on 12 September 1987, with the unit flying 10 F-16s and conducting its first student training class.

In March 1992, the 184th Tactical Fighter Group was designated as the 184th Fighter Group, and became part of the newly formed Air Combat Command in June 1992. In addition, each of the three flying squadrons dropped the word "Tactical" and were designated as Fighter Squadrons. In July 1993, the 184th Fighter Group changed gaining commands and became part of the new Air Education and Training Command.

In July 1994, the 184 Fighter Group was designated at the 184th Bomb Wing and again became part of the Air Combat Command, flying the B-1B Lancer. The 184th is the first Air National Guard unit to fly bombers.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign McConnell Air National Guard (ANG) Base by relocating the 184th Air Refueling Wing (ANG) nine KC-135R aircraft to the 190th Air Refueling Wing at Forbes Field AGS, KS, which would retire its eight assigned KC-135E aircraft. The 184th Air Refueling Wing 's operations and maintenance manpower would transfer with the aircraft to Forbes, while the wing's expeditionary combat support (ECS) elements would remain at McConnell. Additional aircraft at McConnell would capitalize on available excess capacity at no cost and optimize three squadrons for greater total wing capability. Realigning ANG KC-135R aircraft from McConnell to Forbes (35) would replace aging, higher maintenance KC-135E aircraft with newer models while retaining the experienced personnel from one of the highest-ranking reserve component tanker bases.




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