438th Air Expeditionary Wing
"Building Air Power for Afghanistan"
The mission of the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing is to set the conditions for a professional, fully independent and operationally-capable Afghan Air Force that meets the security requirements of Afghanistan. The Wing provides trained and ready Afghan Air Force (AAF) Airmen to accomplish critical tasks from the air in support of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and when directed by the Ministry of Defense and General Staff, to support by air the civil authorities of Afghanistan at all levels.
The 438th Air Expeditionary Wing was first established as the 438th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium on 10 May 1949. It was activated in the Air Force Reserve on 27 June 1949. The Wing was ordered to Active Service on 10 March 1951, training in the Air Force Reserve for troop carrier operations. The Wing was inactivated on 14 March 1951. It was subsequently redesignated as the 438th Fighter-Bomber Wing on 26 May 1952 and activated in the Air Force Reserve on 15 June 1952. The Wing trained for fighter bomber missions before being again inactivated on 16 Nov 1957.
The unit was redesignated on 438th Military Airlift Wing and activated on 27 December 1965. The Wing was organized on 8 January 1966. The Wing flew global transport missions for the Military Airlift Command between Sep 1978 and Jun 1980. It was redesignated as the 438th Airlift Wing on 1 November 1991. Between 1 November 1991 and 1 October 1994 when the Wing was again inactivated, the Wing participated in numerous contingency, humanitarian airlift, and peacekeeping operations around the world.
The unit was redesignated as the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing and converted to provisional status on 4 Dec 2001. The Wing eventually assumed an advisory role in Afghanistan in support of developing Afghanistan's air capability. By May 2012, the Wing had also assumed the lead role in the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan (NATC-A). Consisting of more than 1,051 members at tha time, the NATC-A included coalition partners from the United States, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Croatia, Canada, Italy, Hungary, Jordan, Mongolia, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, Greece and Belgium. The 438th Air Expeditionary Wing by May 2012 had 3 groups based in Afghanistan: the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, at Kabul International Airport; the 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, at Kandahar Airport; and the 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, at Shindand Air Base. The 438th Air Expeditionary Group also had detachments in Jalalabad (Detachment 1) and Mazar-e-Shariff (Detachment 3), while the 838th Air Expeditionary Group had a detachment in Herat (Detachment 1).
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