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121st Air Refueling Wing [121st ARW]

The 121st Air Refueling Wing (ARW) is comprised of two squadrons and is one of three "super wings" in the Air National Guard. The unit provides in-flight air refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied aircraft, on a worldwide, daily basis. Air Force reserve forces provide 41 percent of all U.S. refueling missions.

The 121st ARW was originally established as part of the 55th fighter Wing in December 1947 based at Lockbourne Air Force Base. The unit was redesignated the 121st Fighter Wing in 1950 and converted from the P-51 to the F-84C Thunderjet.

In 1961, the unit was called to active duty in support of the Berlin Crisis. After returning from active duty at Etain, France, the 121st converted to the F-100 Super Saber.

Another call-up to active duty occurred in 1968 as a result of the USS Pueblo Crisis, One year of the 18-month activation was spent in Kunsan, Korea.

The unit converted to the A-7D Corsair II in 1974. This was the same year that the base name was officially changed to Lockbourne Air Force Base (AFB) to Rickenbacker AFB. In 1991, after 44 years of flying fighters, the 121st tactical Fighter, converted to the KC 135 Stratotanker and became the 121st Air refueling Wing which consolidated with the 160th Air refueling Group.

The 160th began as the 145th Air Transport Squadron in March 1956, flying C-46s out of the Akron-Canton Municipal Airport, Ohio. In 1958, the became the 145th Aero Medical Transport Squadron, flying the C-119J "flying Boxcar".

The unit assumed an air refueling mission, flying the KC-97 in July 1961, and was redesigned to the 160th Air Refueling Group (AREFG), assigned to Clinton County AFB in Wilmington, Ohio. In 1971, the 160th AREFG moved to Lockbourne AFB. In 1975, the unit became the first Air National Guard unit to fly the KC-135 Stratotanker. The unit was activated and deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation DESERT STORM in 1991.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:09:04 ZULU