182nd Airlift Wing [182nd AW]
On 7 December 1946, the 169th Fighter Squadron was formed at the Greater Peoria Airport. The unit consisted of 15 officers and 47 enlisted personnel with the first assigned aircraft being the F-51 "Mustang", the AT-6 trainer, and a B-26 tow target plane. A little over six months from the date the 169th was formed, the squadron received its Federal Recognition on June 21, 1947.
In order to keep pace with the times and more fully meet its role and importance to the overall national defense, in March 1958 the unit was redesignated as the 169th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and moved into the jet age with the assignment of F-84F "Thunderstreaks".
On September 1, 1961, the unit was called to Federal Active Duty to meet the possible threats during the Berlin Crisis. The 169th remained on active status until August 20, 1962, at which time it reverted to its peacetime status as a ready reserve guard unit.
On October 15, 1962, by order of the Department of Defense, the 169th Fighter Squadron was reorganized and placed under the command of a new group, the 182nd Tactical Fighter Group.
In May 1969, the 182nd Tactical Fighter Group underwent a mission change, converted from a fighter group to a Tactical Air Support Group while at the same time converted from F-84F to U-3A aircraft.
In January 1971, the 182nd once again underwent an aircraft conversion with the receipt of the 0-2A "Skymaster". Once again proving its value to the overall national defense, the unit converted aircraft in January 1980, returning the thunder and roar of jets with the receipt of the OA-37B "Dragonfly".
During the mid 1980s plans were approved for the 182nd to move to an entirely new base to be built on the south side of the Greater Peoria Airport. Groundbreaking occurred in May 1987, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 27th, 1990 dedicating the first four buildings completed - Operations, Maintenance Hanger, Avionics/Weapons, and Engine Shop. Construction of the remaining facilities continued through the 1990s.
On December 8th, 1990, the 182nd responded to a partial call-up in response to Operation Desert Shield, and then later Operation Desert Storm.
With its conversion to F-16 "Fighting Falcon" aircraft in July 1992, the 182nd's name changed to the 182nd Fighter Group.
In June 1993, the unit was called to State Active Duty in response to flooding of the Mississippi River in Southern Illinois. Over 648 unit personnel were activated to fill sand bags and evacuate citizens.
Budget constraints forced the Guard Bureau to reduce the fighter population, therefore beginning in December 1994, the 182nd began its conversion from the F-16 fighters to the C-130E "Hercules" cargo aircraft, again changing names to the 182nd Airlift Wing on 1 October 1995.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Nashville International Airport (IAP) AGS, TN. This recommendation would distribute the C-130H aircraft of the 118th Airlift Wing (ANG) to the 182d Airlift Wing (ANG), Greater Peoria Airport AGS, IL (four aircraft) and another installation. Military judgment was the predominant factor in this recommendation--this realignment would create a right-sized squadron at Peoria (127) and would retain experienced ANG personnel.
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