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436th Airlift Wing (436th AW)

The 436th Airlift Wing is the senior military organization at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The "Eagle Wing" is a subordinate unit of Headquarters 18th Air Force located at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The 436th Airlift Wing was one of 12 operational wings in Air Mobility Command. As of 2009, the wing was organized under the objective wing structure with group commanders for maintenance, operations, mission support and medical. The wing consisted of a wing staff, 4 groups, 18 squadrons, 14 divisions and 32 tenant units. The Wing was authorized about 6,000 active duty military people and Department of Defense civilians.

The Operations Group consisted of 2 flying squadrons, the 3rd and 9th Airlift Squadrons, and the Operations Support Squadron. The Maintenance, Maintenance Operations, 436th and 736th Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons all made up the 436th Maintenance Group. The 436th Mission Support Group consisted of the Logistics Readiness, Aerial Port, Contracting, Security Forces, Civil Engineer, Mission Support, Services and Communications Squadrons.

The 436th Medical Group consisted of the Medical Support, Medical Operations, Aerospace Medicine and Dental Squadrons. The medical group housed an outpatient clinic to include family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, women's health, psychiatry, aerospace medicine, and optometry with excellent clinical laboratory, radiology, pharmacy and physical therapy support. Dental services included general dentistry, oral surgery, periodontics and prosthodontics.

The 436th Airlift Wing, as of 2009, also served as host to several tenant organizations that provided support from field training to manpower assessment. The largest tenant organization on base was the 512th Airlift Wing, the "Liberty Wing," Air Force Reserve (Associate). The 512th was assigned to Headquarters 22nd Air Force at Dobbins Air Force Base, Georgia. The 512th Airlift Wing had an infrastructure similar to the Eagle Wing as it shares the global mobility mission with the 436th AW.

As of 2005, the "Eagle Wing" was a subordinate of 21st Air Force headquartered at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, and Air Mobility Command, with its headquarters at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The Eagle Wing consisted of the operations, logistics, support, and medical groups; in addition to 12 divisions and 2 detachments. The wing had over 4,000 active-duty military and civilian employees.

The 436th Airlift Wing flew, maintained and trained on its 18 assigned Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft, known as "the free world's largest airlifter," and 2 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Together with the 512th Airlift Wing, aircrews flew an air fleet that comprised one-quarter of the nation's strategic airlift capability.

Prior to the arrival of the first C-17 assigned to the 3rd Airlift Squadron in 2007, the unit had been home to between 28 and 36 C-5 Galaxy aircraft. The Eagle Wing had provided 25 percent of the nation's inter-theater airlift capability, providing worldwide movement of outsized cargo and personnel on scheduled, special assignment, exercise and contingency airlift missions. The 436th was the only combat-ready C-5 Galaxy wing capable of employing airdrop and special operations tactics in support of worldwide airlift.

The Wing's operations from Delaware have included participation in joint training with Army forces, including troop and cargo drops and landings; taking part in numerous tactical exercises in the United States and overseas, particularly in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; aeromedical evacuation, humanitarian, and mercy missions, special assignment airlift, and worldwide airlift of personnel, cargo, and mail.

The 436th Airlift Wing was descended from the 436th Troop Carrier Group of World War II fame. Activated on 1 April 1943, the unit flew the C-47 Skytrain or "Gooney Bird" and was sent to 9th Air Force at Royal Air Force Bottesford, England, in January 1944. The group earned the Distinguished Unit Citation for its first missions on 6-7 June 1944 as part of the Normandy Invasion. On subsequent missions, the 436th dropped troops and supplies and inserted gliders into Southern France and Holland. In March 1945, the unit was a part of the Allied push across the Rhine and into Germany's heartland. Following the war, the 436th evacuated patients and prisoners of war until it was inactivated in November 1945.

On 10 May 1949, the 436th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium was established and later activated in the Reserve on 27 June 1949 at Goodman Air Force Base, Kentucky. From there and eventually Standiford Municipal Airport, Kentucky, the wing flew C-45s, C-47s T-7s and T-11s, training as a reserve troop carrier wing under supervision of the 2236th Air Force Reserve Training Center until its deactivation on 16 April 1951.

The unit was again activated in the Reserve on 18 May 1955 at New York Naval Air Station, New York. There the unit resumed its training mission, this time with the 2230th Air Reserve Flying Center flying T-28s, T-33s, C-45s, C-46s, and C-119s before its deactivation on 15 May 1958. In between the training periods, the unit was ordered to active service and inactivated almost immediately, with its personnel serving as fliers for other Air Force units.

The Troop Carrier Wing was redesignated the 436th Military Airlift Wing and activated on 27 December 1965. On 8 January 1966 it replaced the 1607th Air Transport Wing as the Military Airlift Command host wing at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The Wing initially flew C-124, C-133, and C-141 aircraft, but gradually replaced the C-124 and C-133 with C-5s. The first C-5 Galaxy was assigned to the Wing in April 1971. By 1 August 1973, the Wing had become the Air Force's only all C-5 wing. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the wing flew numerous missions to Southeast Asia, although primary wing routes served Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The wing also demonstrated its support in Panama in December 1989, the massive airlift undertaken by Military Airlift Command to move US troops to the Middle East following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, and with heavy involvement in the Somalian relief effort. On 2 December 1991, the Wing was redesignated the 436th Airlift Wing as part of an Air Force-wide reorganization and on 1 June 1992, the 436th Airlift Wing became part of the Air Mobility Command as part of that same reorganization.

In 1998, the wing flew more than 600 missions throughout the world projecting global reach to more than 90 countries on six different continents including Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North and South America. Additionally, the Eagle Wing operates the largest and busiest aerial port in the Department of Defense with its passenger terminal moving over 100,000 passengers in 1998.

Through the 21st century the wing has provided strategic global airlift capability for the worldwide support of contingency and emergency war plans required to support Department of Defense objectives. This was expertly demonstrated by its support in airlifting troops, equipment and supplies in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The 436th Airlift Wing functioned as the "big horses" in the logistics chain for the war on terrorism and is currently playing a major role in aerial resupply for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The 436th remained the Air Force's only all C-5 wing for nearly 24 years, until Dover Air Force Base welcomed it's first assigned C-17 on 4 June 2007.

The wing also demonstrated its support in Panama in December 1989, the massive airlift undertaken by Military Airlift Command to move U.S. troops to the Middle East following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, and with heavy involvement in the Somalian relief effort. On Dec. 2, 1991, the wing was redesignated the 436th Airlift Wing as part of an Air Force-wide reorganization and on June 1, 1992, the 436th Airlift Wing became part of the Air Mobility Command as part of that same reorganization. Through the 21st century the wing has provided strategic global airlift capability for the worldwide support of contingency and emergency war plans required to support Department of Defense objectives. This was expertly demonstrated by its support in airlifting troops, equipment and supplies in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The 436th Airlift Wing functions as the "big horses" in the logistics chain for the war on terrorism and is currently playing a major role in aerial resupply for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.




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