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15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force
Fifteenth Air Force

Fifteenth Air Force is one of the two numbered air forces assigned to the Air Mobility Command. Headquartered at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., its main area of operations is the region stretching west of the Mississippi River to the east coast of Africa, pole to pole, but is often tasked to support Air Mobility Command's global reach mission. Its primary mission is to provide strategic and theater airlift for all Department of Defense agencies as well as air refueling for the Air Force in both peace and wartime. This includes the aeromedical evacuation of sick and injured. Primary aircraft assigned to its units are the C-5 Galaxy, C-9 Nightingale, C-21, C-130 Hercules, C-141 Starlifter, KC-10 Extender, and KC-135 Stratotanker. The C-17 Globemaster III will join the Fifteenth Air Force fleet in July 1999 at McChord Air Force Base, Wash.

With the assigned military work force of 28,912 personnel and an assigned civilian work force of 5,288 people, Fifteenth Air Force manages almost 300 aircraft and many support facilities in the United States and in the Pacific and Indian Oceans -- all the way to Diego Garcia. Fifteenth Air Force's current active duty flying units include the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.; 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.; 62nd Airlift Wing, McChord Air Force Base, Wash.; 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.; 319th Air Refueling Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D.; 317th Airlift Group, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas; and the 375th Airlift Wing, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

En route mission support is provided by the 615th Air Mobility Support Group with six Pacific locations. In time of national emergency, the capability of the Fifteenth Air Force will be expanded with the resources of the Air National Guard, the Air Force Reserve and the Civil Reserve Air Fleet. This could include seven Air Force Reserve units consisting of 18,000 people, 32 unit-equipped aircraft and 126 associate aircraft; and eight Air National Guard units consisting of 8,000 people and 80 unit-equipped aircraft.

Since its establishment Nov. 1, 1943, in Tunis, Tunisia, under the command of Maj. Gen. James Doolittle, Fifteenth Air Force has flown almost every type of aircraft in the Air Force inventory and has participated in every war and major contingency in which the United States has been involved. Originating during World War II as a bomber and fighter unit, it became part of Strategic Air Command in 1946. It flew bombers in the Korean War and, in the following decade, added tankers to its arsenal. Between the Vietnam War and 1991, it commanded reconnaissance aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Fifteenth Air Force became exclusively a tanker command Sept. 1, 1991. When Strategic Air Command was inactivated June 1, 1992, and its assets divided between the newly created Air Mobility Command and Air Combat Command, Fifteenth Air Force became part of Air Mobility Command. Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force moved from March Air Force Base to Travis Air Force Base on July 2, 1993, and merged its tankers with the airlift aircraft of the Twenty-Second Air Force. The Twenty-Second Air Force's flag moved to the Air Force Reserves at Dobbins Air Force Base, Ga.

Fifteenth Air Force frequently participates in major exercises in all parts of the world, such as Team Spirit in South Korea. It played an important role in the Gulf War as a bomber, airlift and air refueling force, and its tankers helped make possible the air bridge to Somalia for Operation Restore Hope, while flying 15 percent of the airlift missions -- demonstrating its global flexibility. Altogether, Fifteenth Air Force is a flexible and potent force providing America's global reach.

The Fifteenth Air Force is responsible for approximately 50 percent of the Air Force's air mobility assets and mission with an area of operations spanning west from the Mississippi River to the east coast of Africa. Fifteenth Air Force provides rapid and flexible Global Reach for America from six major Air Force bases in the United States and 47 locations throughout the Pacific. More than 71,000 people, including active duty and gained Reserve and National Guard personnel, operate and support airlift, tanker and aeromedical aircraft as part of the Fifteenth Air Force.

The Fifteenth Air Force commander is also the Commander, Task Force 294 (TF 294), which provides aerial refueling to aircraft assigned to the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) in time of war. TF 294 includes 28 units from the 15th Air Force and 21st Air Force, the Air National Guard, and the Air Force Reserve Command. The 15th AF staff assures the operational readiness of 15th AF units by conducting readiness assessment visits and staff assistance visits. It acts as an advocate for its subordinate units and enforces higher headquarters policies and directives.

On October 1, 2003 the Fifteenth Air Force was re-designated as the 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:10:05 ZULU