96th Bomb Wing
The 96th was activated in the Reserve on 29 May 1947 at Gunter AFB, AL. Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949. Although activated in Nov 1953, wing headquarters and most wing components were not manned until Mar 1954; those components manned were controlled by the 96th Air Base Group, whose commander served additional duty as wing commander. Began air refueling operations in Mar 1954 and bombardment training in Apr 1955 in support of SAC's global commitments. Deployed at Andersen AFB, Guam, 10 Jan-7 Apr 1957. Controlled a strategic airlift squadron, Sep 1959-Mar 1961, and an Atlas missile squadron, Jul 1961-Mar 1965. The first Atlas missile went on alert in Apr 1962.
During several months of 1970, and for a lengthy period in 1972-1973, all wing aircraft, crews, and most support personnel were loaned to other SAC organizations based in the Far East or Southeast Asia for combat operations. After the bombing halt in August 1973 aircraft returned to Dyess Air Force Base where the 96th Bombardment Wing conducted retraining and recertification to combat ready status following the unit's return from Southeast Asia.
From 1980, the wing's KC-135A aircraft deployed to Europe, Alaska, and the Pacific to support SAC tanker task force requirements.
The 96th became the first wing to operate the B-1B, after the arrival of the first aircraft on 29 Jun 1985. On 1 Oct 1986, B-1Bs assumed SAC alert duties for the first time. Wing KC-135 tankers provided refueling support to units involved in the invasion of Panama, Dec 1989. Ferried personnel and equipment to Guam for further movement to Southwest Asia, in Aug 1990. Single KC-135s provided refueling support throughout Southwest Asia, Aug 1990-Mar 1991.
The 96th Air Base Wing is assigned to the Air Armament Center. Its primary responsibility is to provide civil engineer, chaplain, communications-computer systems, logistics, medical, mobility, personnel, recreation, security, services, supply, transportation, and other support to two centers, three wings, and more than 45 associate units on Eglin - the largest Air Force complex.
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