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315th Airlift Wing [315th AW]

The 315th Airlift Wing traces its origins to the 315th Military Airlift Wing (Associate) which was activated in the Air Force Reserve on July 1, 1973, and equipped and manned from resources of the 943rd Military Airlift Group which was inactivated at that time. On February 1, 1992, the 315th MAW was redesignated as the 315th AW.

The 315th Aw is an Reserve Associate unit. The Wing flies aircraft assigned to the active 437th Airlift Wing, also based at Charleston AFB, SC. The 437th AW is responsible for flying and maintaining the C-17 Globemaster III jet cargo aircraft, the newest aircraft in the AMC airlift system. The 315th AW shares the responsibilities of flying and maintaining these aircraft.

Significant events in the unit's history have included Operation NICKEL GRASS--the support of Israel during the 1973 "Yom Kippur War"; the evacuation of refugees from Southeast Asia following the fall of the Republic of Vietnam in 1975; the aeromedical evacuation of victims of the Canary Islands airline disaster in 1977; the aeromedical evacuation of victims of the "Jonestown" crisis from Guyana in 1978; the aeromedical evacuation of U.S. Marines from Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983; Operation URGENT FURY--military operations in Grenada in 1983; hurricane relief in the southeastern U.S. following Hurricane Hugo in 1989; earthquake relief in San Francisco, Calif., in 1989; Operation JUST CAUSE--military operations in Panama in 1989; Operation DESERT SHIELD--military operations in defense of Saudi Arabia in 1990; Operations DESERT STORM/DESERT SABER--military operations to liberate Kuwait in 1991; Operation PROVIDE COMFORT--relief to Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq and southern Turkey in 1991; Operation PROVIDE HOPE--relief to the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1992; Operation RESTORE HOPE--relief to the people of Somalia and Operation PROVIDE HOPE II--relief to the war-torn Balkan states in 1993; and Operation SUPPORT HOPE relief to Rwandan refugees in 1994; and Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR, the United Nations peacekeeping mission to Bosnia in 1996.

The 315th AW consists of three major functional areas with nineteen subordinate units and a special staff. Groups assigned to the wing include: 315th Operations Group, 315th Logistics Group, and 315th Support Group.

The mission of the 315th Airlift Wing is to provide trained personnel to be a source of augmentation for the active forces in any emergency expansion of the Air Force strategic and aeromedical airlift capability. Additionally, the Wing performs peacetime missions and integrates with the active-duty 437th Airlift Wing in its normal Air Mobility Command operations and logistics missions.



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