452nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron [452nd AES]
The 452 AES is one of the largest strategic AE squadrons of the Air Force. Its Major Command (MAJCOM) is Air Force Reserve (AFRC) and our gaining command is Air Mobility Command (AMC).
The 452nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron was originally activated in 1967 as the 68th Aeromedical Evacuation Flight at March Air Force Base, CA. In 1968, it moved to Norton Air Force Base, CA, and was activated as an Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and assigned to the 445th Airlift Wing (AW), an associate reserve wing of the Air Force Reserve. The 68th AES began operational support Aeromedical (AE) missions to Elmendorf AFB, AK, in 1973 sharing this active duty mission with two other West Coast Reserve AE Squadrons.
Also during the 1970 to 1976 timeframe, members of the 68th supported Military Airlift Command, crewing numerous AE missions to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War including the 1973 Prisoner of War (POW) airlift from Hanoi during Operation Homecoming at the end of the conflict. In 1976 the 68th and the 445thW began supporting the Pacific Air Force directly by providing AE crews and support flights to the 9th AES located at Clark AB, Philippines. In 1980 members of the 68th began standing alert for urgent missions from Detachment 1, Hickam Air Force Base, HI. In 1983, the 68th began providing alert AE crews at Elmendorf AFB, AK, for urgent missions originating in Alaska.
In 1991 the 68th was mobilized for several months during Desert Storm. Most of the members of the unit were deployed either to England, Germany or Saudi Arabia in direct support of the Gulf War. Those deployed were assigned to positions flying AE missions, staffing AE Control Centers or providing logistical and administrative support to other components of the provisional AE system in the Area of Operational Responsibility (AOR).
In 1993 the 68th AES with the 445th Airlift Wing moved back to March AFB. This was a result of the Base Realignment Commission's (BRAC) recommendations under the Clinton Administration to close Norton AFB, CA. Subsequently, the 445th AW was deactivated. The 68th was reassigned to the 452nd Air Mobility Wing, a newly constructed first-ever Unit Equipped Air Mobility Wing.
Effective 1 October 1994, the 68th AES was deactivated and the 452nd AES was activated. The personnel, command and honors of the 68th were reassigned to the 452nd AES. Since 1994, the 452nd AES continues to be a key player in the peacetime and wartime preparation and execution of the worldwide Aeromedical evacuation system. The unit trains and provides integrated AE crews, crew management and operations team personnel for contingency situations throughout the world; including Somalia, the Persian Gulf and numerous other special "tasking".
The unit holds eight outstanding unit awards and streamers. Members of the unit have earned countless personal awards, decorations and certificates from the US Air Force and other forces. They also hold numerous letters of commendation and appreciation plus other types of recognition from individuals and nations worldwide.
A summary of aircraft flown includes the C-124 Globemaster II (1967-1970), the LOCKHEAD C-141A and C-141B STARLIFTER (1970-1999), and the Current C-141C with the Glass Cockpit. In addition to basic qualification in the C-141C, many members of the unit also hold qualification in the C-130 HERCULES and the KC-135R STRATOTANKER. Over the years, members of the 452 AES have flown numerous contingency AE missions throughout the world in these and other aircraft. This includes fixed wing piston and turboprop or turbojet aircraft as well as rotary engine helicopters flown by U.S. Joint Commands and foreign coalition forces. A partial listing includes the C-131 Samaritan, C-97, C-118, C-119, Huey helicopter and more modern jet aircraft such as the LOCKHEAD C-5 GALAXY, C-9 NIGHTINGALE, McDONALD-DOUGLAS KC-10, and other design-series or foreign-built aircraft such as the huge Russian Anaytov transport, with the McDONALD-DOUGLAS C-17 GLOBEMASTER III to be further added to its list.
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