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7th Bomb Wing

The 7th Bomb Wing is the host unit at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and is assigned to 8th Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. The wing is a component of Air Combat Command, headquartered at Langley Air Force, Base, Va. 7th Bomb Wing is responsible for providing combat-ready B-1B aircraft, crews and associate combat support for global engagement taskings, supervising 4,000 military and civilian personnel and managing the largest B-1B base and flying wing with 40 B-1 aircraft.

One B-1B from the 7th Bomb Wing departed for Southwest Asia 18 December 1997 to support the president's request for additional bomber forces in the Operation Desert Fox theater of operation. The 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base also launched a B-1B Dec. 18. This brings the total number of B-1Bs in theater to six -- three from Ellsworth and three from Dyess. As always for global power missions, the Wing launched a second aircraft as a spare in case the primary aircraft has problems during the flight. At some point, the second aircraft returned to Ellsworth. B-1Bs from both bases saw their first combat action in air raids over Iraq 17 December 1997. Details on the number of B-1Bs used and battle damage assessment information was not released; however, the the missions were characterized as "very successful."

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close Ellsworth AFB, SD. The 24 B-1 aircraft assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing would be distributed to the 7th Bomb Wing This recommendation would consolidate the B-1 fleet at one installation to achieve operational efficiencies. Ellsworth (39) ranked lower in military value for the bomber mission than Dyess (20).

History

Organized as the 1st Army Observation Group Oct. 1, 1919, in the beginning of the 7th Wing included three highly decorated and honored squadrons from the First World War. The 9th, 11th and 31st squadrons lent their lineage to the group's emblem as indicated by the three crosses on the shield. In March 1921, the group was redesignated the 7th Group (Observation) and assigned to Langley Field, Va., until inactivated Aug. 30, 1921. The U.S. Army Air Service redesignated the group as the 7th Bombardment Group in 1923, however the 7th was not activated until June 1, 1928, at Rockwell Field, Calif.

While the group was assigned at Rockwell Field, the fledgling Air Force was testing new theories and ideas. In early 1931, the 7th began training aircrews in radio-controlled interception. A bomber, acting as a target, reported by radio to a ground station, giving location, altitude and course. Armed with this information, ground controllers guided pursuit aircraft to the objective.

The 7th trained and participated in aerial reviews, dropped food and medical supplies to people marooned or lost, and took part in massive Army maneuvers during the 1930s. The group flew Martin B-12s, Douglas B-18s, and the new Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress during this period.

It was the B-17 that carried the men of the 7th to war Dec. 7, 1941. The group was on its way to the Philippines when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The ground echelon, on board ship, was diverted to Australia and later sent to Java. Six of the group's B-17s, which left the continental United States Dec. 6, reached Hawaii during the enemy attack and were able to land safely. Later in December, the remainder of the air echelon flew B-17s from the United States to Java. From Jan. 14 to March 1, 1942, during the Japanese drive through the Philippines and Netherlands East Indies, the group operated from Java, earning a Distinguished Unit Citation for its action against enemy aircraft, ground installations, warships and transports.

By the end of March 1942, the 7th moved to India and was assigned to the 10th Air Force. The group resumed combat operations from Karachi, India, flying B-17s and Consolidated LB-30 bombers. By the end of 1942, the group had converted to the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. Combat operations were directed primarily against the Japanese in Burma, with attacks on airfields, fuel and supply dumps, locomotive works, railways, bridges, docks, warehouses, shipping and other targets. The 7th also bombed oil refineries and railways in Thailand, hit power plants in the Andaman Sea and ferried gasoline over the Hump into China. The 7th received its second Distinguished Unit Citation for damaging the enemy's line of supply in Southeast Asia with an attack against rail lines and bridges in Thailand March 19, 1945.

After the end of the war, the group returned to the United States in December 1945 and was inactivated Jan. 6, 1946. On Oct. 1946, the 7th was reactivated as a bombardment group (very heavy) and was assigned to Strategic Air Command. The group flew the Boeing B-29 Superfortress from Forth Worth Army Airfield (later Carswell AFB), Texas. On Nov. 3, 1947, the 7th Bombardment Wing (very heavy) was established and then activated Nov. 17, 1947. After a period of discontinuance and redesignation, the 7th Bombardment Wing (heavy) was activated at Carswell AFB Aug. 1, 1948.

During 1948, the wing began receiving the Consolidated B-36 Peacemaker intercontinental bombers. Trained in global bombardment operations, the wing controlled two B-36 groups, and three B-36 squadrons. The wing also flight tested the giant Consolidated XC-99 transport, a derivative of the B-36 using the wings, tail structure and other components of its bomber relative. The wing also evaluated the RB-36 during 1950.

The 7th began converting to the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress in in the early 1950s, along with the Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker. With these new aircraft, the wing trained in global strategic bombardment and air refueling operations.

7th Bombardment Wing was stationed at Carswell AFB from 1946 through 1958.

Beginning April 13, 1965, the 7th deployed its forces to the Pacific area in support of combat operations in Southeast Asia. All wing bombers and tankers, along with aircrews and some support personnel, deployed by the end of May. A B-52 squadron from a different wing was temporarily assigned to Carswell to maintain a bomber capability. However, by August 1965, the remaining aircraft and people were deployed to Southeast Asia, leaving only a support cadre to operate Carswell AFB. The wing's headquarters was non-operational until the bombers; aircrews and support personnel began returning in December. The 7th continued to support combat operations in Southeast Asia during the remainder of the conflict and into 1975, but on a reduced scale, except for the period Sept. 1, 1969 to March 28, 1970, when most wing resources were required overseas and only a small cadre remained at home. During the Vietnam conflict, the wing was awarded two Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.

In 1972, the wing conducted B-52D consolidated training for the Strategic Air Command as well as replacement training, combat crew training and flight training to novice crews. Beginning in June 1974, the wing also conducted B-52 and KC-135 Central Flight Instructor Courses.

On Oct. 1, 1982, the wing's new mission included strategic deterrence and support of combat theater commanders with conventional bombing capability and theater airlift support.

Oct. 1, 1993, the 7th Wing moved to Dyess AFB, where it began flying the B-1 Lancer and C-130 Hercules. April 1, 1997, the 317th Airlift Group was activated at Dyess under 15th Air Force and Air Mobility Command and the 7th Wing became the 7th Bomb Wing, the host unit at Dyess.

Organization

The wing is composed of many units working in unison to support logistic, operations, medical and support group functions and is host to 10 associate units. In a nutshell, the 7th Bomb Wing's mission is to develop and maintain operational capability for its B-1B fleet to deliver global power to theater commanders. It is also charged with producing combat-ready aircrews in the Air Force's only B-1B formal training unit. Groups assigned to the wing include the 7th Operations Group, 7th Logistics Group, 7th Support Group, and 7th Medical Group. In addition, the wing provides host-unit support for the 317th Airlift Group also stationed here.

7th Operations Group

The 7th Operations Group is responsible for executing global conventional bombing directed by proper command authority. It is the largest B-1B operations group comprised of 40 B-1s and 1,140 people assigned to five squadrons - the 9th and 28th bomb squadrons, the 7th Operations Support Squadron, and the 436th Training Squadron. Detachment 1 is the startup unit for the 13th Bomb Squadron. The 13th BS stoodup 14 June 2000 to become the fifth squadron under the group. The 7th OG combines the skill and experience of these units to provide heavy firepower at a moment's notice anywhere on the globe.

The 9th Bomb Squadron maintains combat readiness to deliver rapid, decisive airpower on a large scale in support of conventional warfare taskings. Squadron experts provide warfighting commanders with the best in maintenance support, operational aircrews, and B-1B aircraft. The squadron repairs, services, launches, recovers, and inspects 15 B-1 aircraft capable of sustained intercontinental missions and world-wide deployment/employment from forward operating locations. The 9th BS is the oldest active bomb squadron in the Air Force today.

The 28th Bomb Squadron is the largest bomb squadron in the Air Force and the largest flying squadron in the command. Its primary mission is to provide all B-1 initial qualification, re-qualification and instructor upgrade training for Air Combat Command. The squadron determines, evaluates and implements formal training requirements to qualify crewmembers in long-range day and night, all-weather and air-to-ground attack. Each year the 28th trains more than 200 B-1 crewmembers from active-duty and Air National Guard B-1 units. The unit services, launches, recovers, repairs and inspects 25 B-1 aircraft. The squadron also maintains conventional combat readiness supporting higher headquarters contingency taskings worldwide.

The operations support squadron is responsible for B-1 combat effectiveness. The squadron directs wing flight operations, conventional mission planning, combat tactics, airfield management, aircrew training, exercise scheduling, aircraft scheduling, weapons and tactics standardization, intelligence integration, war plans, deployment planning, weather support, small computer support, simulator training, air traffic control, maintenance analysis, mobility processing and wing life support functions.

The training squadron provides formal training to Air Combat Command using 15 schools at Dyess and 38 other programs exported directly to units for local training needs. Training includes command and control, air, ground and weapons safety, Air Force Operations Resource Management System, classroom instructor training, Air Force Mission Support System administration, mission planning cell training, life support and survival, and computer software use and development. The 436th Training Squadron also develops multimedia and formal presentations used in training program development and formal presentations. Multimedia personnel are based at Dyess, and deploy worldwide to perform their mission. Unit products and services are used throughout DOD.

7th Logistics Group

The 7th Logistics Group provides logistics support to the bomb wing, deployed units and associate units assigned here. Six units are assigned to the group: 7th Logistics Support Squadron, 7th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, 7th Component Repair Squadron, 7th Contracting Squadron, 7th Supply Squadron and 7th Transportation Squadron.

The supply squadron provides supplies, equipment, and fuel to all base units. The unit receives and stores more than 388,000 pieces of property, valued at over $211 million. These items range from hardware and mobility bags to vital B-1B and C-130 aircraft parts. They also provide over four million gallons of aviation and ground fuels to all government vehicles and aircraft at Dyess.

The transportation squadron fulfills transportation requirements for all units assigned to Dyess. Squadron responsibilities include management and maintenance of 588 vehicles, operation of the base taxi fleet, aircrew transportation, personal property shipments and recalling and training 130 ready-augmentation-duty force personnel to support deployment exercises, inspections and contingencies. The squadron receives, inspects and prepares Air Force property and equipment for domestic and international shipment.

Logistics support requirements include contingency and peacetime deployment planning and execution, war reserve materiel management, base support planning, and support agreement management. The unit manages facilities, people, and financial programs for the group. The squadron also ensures training requirements are met for the wing's 1,400-plus aircraft maintenance personnel.

The equipment maintenance squadron provides aircraft maintenance and munitions support for the B-1B, C-130, transient and special mission aircraft. It is Dyess' largest squadron, with more than 560 people and five flights. The unit is responsible for B-1 phase inspections, aircraft parts fabrication and maintaining all munitions, weapons release systems and aerospace ground equipment on the base.

The contracting squadron solicits and awards more than 20,000 contracts worth more than $35 million annually. Unit experts are responsible for handling contracts covering operations and maintenance construction, services, supplies, and environmental contracting for the wing including all deployed units and forces. The 35 member staff also provides emergency contracting operations during global contingency deployments and responds to support combat missions worldwide.

The component repair squadron performs on- and off-equipment maintenance on the B-1 and C-130 aircraft at Dyess. CRS is divided into three flights - avionics, accessories and propulsion. The F101 engine regional repair center, the only one in ACC, performs all major engine repairs for the B-1 fleet. Unit experts repair avionics computer driven flight control, navigation, and radar/electronic warfare components. Specialists also maintain all B-1 ejection seats and fuels systems, plus rebuild hydraulic components and overhaul selected electrical components on both airframes. The CRS boasts one of the largest Type IIB precision measurement equipment laboratories ACC. The lab calibrates test, measurement and diagnostic equipment throughout the Big Country.

7th Support Group

Dyess operates much like any city and is home to thousands of people. From family services to construction and security, the 7th Support Group keeps the physical installation and its members performing at peak efficiency. Skilled craftsmen operate a power plant, water plant and wastewater treatment plant making the base self-sufficient.

Units meet administrative, educational and communications-computer system requirements for the wing. Other activities include lodging, food service, mortuary affairs, and child development functions. Recreational activities such as the fitness center, library, skill centers and clubs are vital to the health and morale of the base community. The squadrons assigned to the support group are the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron, 7th Communications Squadron, 7th Mission Support Squadron, 7th Security Forces Squadron, and the 7th Services Squadron.

Services is the most widely diverse organization at Dyess, providing more than 21 different activities to military and family members, as well as the base civilian populace. The unit manages programs geared to the health and welfare of the entire base. It also maintains a strong military deployment contingent providing worldwide support.

Security forces protect operational resources on the flight line, as well as patrol the entire base in a law enforcement role. The unit maintains a continuous presence in Southwest Asia and keeps several mobility teams in peak readiness for worldwide contingency deployment. The squadron also functions as a base and local community support agency providing services such as pass and registration, combat arms training, armory, investigations, military working dogs, and drug abuse resistance education for students.

The communications squadron provides communications-electronics maintenance on meteorological and navigational aid systems, a Doppler weather radar and land mobile and air traffic control radios. They also provide information systems services including computer network, telephone and mail support, and protection and planning for all communications and information systems. The unit provides visual information services to include graphic, photographic and video support.

Base civil engineers maintain and repair all base facilities, conduct disaster preparedness training, fire protection and prevention activities, manage environmental programs, and handle housing responsibilities for accompanied and unaccompanied personnel. In addition to operating shops with craftsmen skilled in the building trades, the unit is postured with worldwide deployable prime base engineer emergency force contingency teams equipped to deploy on short notice, to sustain them in a battlefield environment and perform wartime repair and construction.

The mission support squadron is the focal point for military and civilian personnel matters, education services, family support issues and professional military education. The unit supports military and civilian employees, family members and retirees assigned to or supported by Dyess.

7th Medical Group

The 7th Medical Group provides personalized health care through five military TRICARE Prime teams staffed by board-certified family practice physicians, flight surgeons, pediatricians, internists, general medical officers, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. The facility boasts specialty clinics for optometry, mental health, and general surgery. Additional services include immunizations, laboratory, radiology, physical therapy and pharmacy,

The 7th Dental Squadron provides the full scope of dental care for active-duty members. The staff also provides educational services to base schools and assists other organizations with dental disease prevention programs.

317th Airlift Group

The 317th Airlift Group was activated at Dyess April 1, 1997. Made up of the 39th and 40th airlift squadrons, 317th Operations Support Squadron, 317th Airlift Control Squadron and the 317th Maintenance Squadron, the group flies and maintains 24 C-130 Hercules intra-theater tactical transports.

The 39th and 40th maintain aircrew and aircraft to mobilize, deploy, and provide intra-theater airlift worldwide for DOD customers. They support theater commanders' requirements with combat delivery capability through tactical airlift and airdrop operations and humanitarian airlift and aeromedical evacuation. The squadrons provide combat-ready crews and maintenance for assigned aircraft.

The airlift control squadron is a deployable, mobile command, control, communications, and en route support unit supporting airlift operations worldwide. The ALCS extends America's global power and reach by controlling tanker and airlift aircraft at locations where support is either non-existent or insufficient. The unit is capable of sustained operations at austere locations. Select members perform duties as theater airlift liaison officers attached to 3rd Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. They would deploy with assigned Army units as airlift advisors.




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