157th Air Refueling Wing [157th ARW]
The 157th Air Refueling Wing was federally recognized on October 1, 1975 as the 157th Air Refueling Group and assigned to Strategic Air Command. It was at this time that the unit began transitionning to the KC-135 aircraft.
Previous to this assignement, the 157th had been designated as the 157th Tactical Airlift Group, operating the C-97 Stratocruiser, and then the C-124 Globemaster before converting to the C-130 in 1971.
In 1977, the 157th was the first Air National Guard unit to refuel the Air Force's bew B-1 bomber over March AFB.
The year 2000 saw the 157th provide support to Operation Joint Forge as well as other operational and training missions. During Operation Joint Forge, the 157th flew 55 sorties, oflloading over one and one half million pounds of fuel to operational fighters and surveillance aircraft off the coast of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.
The 157th also provided support to the Clean Hunter 2000 NATO exercise, with a deployment to Karup, Denmark. The 157th also deployed to fill Expeditinary Combat Support shortfalls for Operations Southern Watch and Northern Watch, NORAD alert in Iceland and Alaska, support of NATO AWCS in Germany and individual rotations to Joint Forge in Istres, France. One such deployment involved 50 personnel in Southwest Asia, during the summer, as part of an Air Expeditionary Forces deployment.
The federal mission of the 157th ARW is to staff, equip and train combat flying and combat support units to augment the Air Force. Its state mission is to provide units trained and equipped to protect life and property and to preserve peace, order and public safety.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign March Air Reserve Base, CA. The 163d Air Refueling Wing (ANG) would distribute its nine KC-135R aircraft to the 157th Air Refueling Wing (ANG), Pease International Tradeport Air Guard Station, NH (three aircraft) and several other bases. Military judgment also placed additional force structure at Pease to support the Northeast Tanker Task Force and also robust the squadron to a more effective size of 12 aircraft.
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