171st Air Refueling Wing [171st ARW]
The 171st Air Refueling Wing (ARW) is comprised of two squadrons and is one of three "super wings" in the Air National Guard.
The 171st ARW's dual role KC-135s regularly refuel U.S. and NATO aircraft as the 171st's primary mission.
The 171st's secondary mission of cargo and passenger transportation has increased dramatically because of recent downsizing within the Air Force, which has resulted in a shortfall of airlift capability. In performing this secondary mission, the unit's tankers are continuously called upon to airlift cargo and passengers worldwide. It is not unusual for several aircraft of the 171st to be deployed simultaneously to various locations around the globe performing real-world missions (refueling and airlift).
In addition to ist primary flying mission, the 171st ARW personnel are regularly called upon to assist state agencies during natural disasters such as floods, heavy snowstorms and tornadoes. The 171st ARW is also called upon to assist during civilian transportation disasters.
Elements from the 171st ARW were called to active duty to provide support to Operation Allied Force, beginning deployment in eally May 1999, with approximately 400 personnel along with 14 KC-135E Stratotankers.
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