190th Air Refueling Wing [190th ARW]
The 190th Air Refueling Wing traces its origins to the 440th Bombardment Squadron (Light) -- a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania unit -- flew the B-26 aircraft in Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France during World War II. Based in Okinawa at the end of the war, it was reorganized as the 117th Bombardment Squadron (Light) and stationed at the Philadelphia Municipal Airport.
The unit was ordered to active federal service at Langley AFB during the Korean Conflict, returning to Pennsylvania afterward. Reactivated as the 117th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Kansas Air National Guard in 1957, the unit flew the F-80 from Hutchinson Naval Air Station. The 117th was re-equipped with the RB-57 in 1958 and, in 1962, was redesigned as the 190th Tactical Reconnaissance Group.
The group was transferred to Forbes AFB near Topeka in 1967 and, in 1972, was the only military unit in the world equipped with the day/night-capable B-57G bomber. In April 1974, the unit converted to EB-57B aircraft and became the 190th Defense Systems Evaluation Group. The aircraft was equipped with electronic countermeasures equipment and the mission was penetration and evaluation of US air and ground defense capabilities.
The arrival of the first KC-135 Stratotanker in 1978 heralded the still-current air refueling mission. In 1990, the 190th was the first unit to arrive at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for service during operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. During 1999, the 190th deployed twice to Turkey in support of Operation Northern Watch, refueling Allied aircraft over the northern No-Fly Zone in Iraq.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign McConnell Air National Guard (ANG) Base by relocating the 184th Air Refueling Wing (ANG) nine KC-135R aircraft to the 190th Air Refueling Wing at Forbes Field AGS, which would retire its eight assigned KC-135E aircraft. The 184th Air Refueling Wing 's operations and maintenance manpower would transfer with the aircraft to Forbes, while the wing's expeditionary combat support (ECS) elements would remain at McConnell. Additional aircraft at McConnell would capitalize on available excess capacity at no cost and optimize three squadrons for greater total wing capability. Realigning ANG KC-135R aircraft from McConnell to Forbes (35) would replace aging, higher maintenance KC-135E aircraft with newer models while retaining the experienced personnel from one of the highest-ranking reserve component tanker bases.
In another recommendation, DoD recommended to realign Portland IAP AGS, OR. It would realign the 939th Air Refueling Wing (AFR) by distributing the wing's KC-135R aircraft to the 190th Air Refueling Wing (ANG), Forbes Field AGS, KS (three aircraft) and another installation. This recommendation would realign Portland's KC-135R tanker aircraft to Forbes Field (35) because it had a higher military value than Portland (71) for the tanker mission, and the installation would remain operationally effective due to their proximity to air refueling missions. This recommendation would robust the Air National Guard squadron size at Forbes, increasing the unit's capability.
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