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440th Airlift Wing [440th AW]

In 2005, the Dept. of Defense recommended to distribute the 440th Airlift Wing's aircraft to two different units (see below for details).

During wartime, if mobilized, the 440th would be under the operational control of Air Mobility Command.

The 440th Airlift Wing traces its heritage back to W.W.II. The original 440th was a Troop Carrier Group, established in June of 1943. After a year of flying training and preparations for duty overseas, the unit began operations on the 6th of June 1944, D-Day.

Using C-47 "Skytrains", and CG-4A "Hadrians" the 440th flew paratroop drop and glider missions during the first critical days of the Normandy Invasion. For this, the 440th TCG earned the Distinguished Unit Citation. It went on to participate in the invasion of Southern France, the Market Garden missions into Holland, the re-supply of the trapped 101st Airborne Division during the Battle of the Bulge, and the crossing of the Rhine in March of 1945, earning seven Bronze Battle Stars in the process.

Established as a Reserve unit in 1949, the 440th moved to Minneapolis-St. Paul where it assumed the airlift mission until 1 May 1951, when it was activated for the Korean War. Three days later it was decided to use the personnel assigned to the 440th to supplement other Troop Carrier Wings and the unit was inactivated. After the Korean War the 440th was reactivated as a Fighter-Bomber Wing at Minneapolis-St. Paul, and re-equipped with F-80, and T-33 jet aircraft. It performed this role until 1957, when it recaptured the airlift mission and was re-designated the 440th Troop Carrier Wing and transferred to its present home at General Mitchell International Airport-Air Reserve Station, Milwaukee, WI.

The 440th was named the nation's Air Force Reserve unit in December 1963, and 1964. More recently, in June of 1993 the Airlift Rodeo team from the 440th Airlift Wing won five major trophies and the overall Air Mobility Command International Airlift Rodeo Championship, earning the right to be called "Best of the Best" in worldwide air mobility.

Participation in "real-world" conflicts include a brief activation during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, support of the active duty during the Vietnam War, and direct involvement in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. The 440th continues to immerse itself in real-world missions as the policy of "Total Force" (combining the assets of the Reserves, Guard, and Active Duty military to fulfill US military needs) evolves.

The mission of the 440th Airlift Wing is to maintain operational readiness for the airlift of tactical units, airborne units, personnel, supplies and equipment into prepared or unprepared areas by landing or airdrop. The peacetime and wartime missions of the 440th Airlift Wing are global in scope.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close General Mitchell Air Reserve Station (ARS). This recommendation would distribute the eight C-130H aircraft of the 440th Airlift Wing to the 94th Airlift Wing (AFR), Dobbins Air Reserve Base (ARB), GA (four aircraft) and to the 314th Airlift Wing, Little Rock AFB, AR (four aircraft). It would also realign the 440th Airlift Wing's operations, maintenance and Expeditionary Combat Support (ECS) manpower to Fort Bragg, NC.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:13:29 ZULU