126th Air Refueling Wing [126th ARW]
The primary mission of the 126th Air Refueling Wing is to provide air refueling support to major commands of the Air Force, as well as other U.S. military forces and the military forces of allied nations. Additionally, the unit can support airlift missions. The unit is also tasked with supporting the nuclear strike missions of the Single Integrated Operational Plan.
During peacetime, the 126th ARW receives direction through the adjutant general, the governor of Illinois and the National Guard Bureau. Upon federal mobilization, the wing is assigned to Air Mobility Command; 15th Air Force.
The 126th ARW relocated to Scott Air Force Base in 1999 from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport as part of the recommendations for base closure made by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Grand Forks Air Force Base (AFB), ND. It would distribute the 319th Air Refueling Wing's KC-135R aircraft to the 126th Air Refueling Wing (ANG), Scott AFB, IL (12 aircraft) and several other institutions. The 126th would retire its eight KC-135E aircraft. Scott would receive KC-135R model aircraft to replace older, higher maintenance KC-135E models, capture Scott's existing capacity, and increase its capability by robusting the ANG squadron.
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