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55th Wing [55th WG]

The 55th Wing is the host unit at Offutt Air Force Base and the largest wing within Air Combat Command. The wind conducts global reconnaissance missions and provides support functions not only for wing operations but also for the multitude of associate units on Offutt AFB.

The 55th Wing is one of the most diversified wings in the Air Force with responsibilities in worldwide reconnaissance, command and control communications, airlift and a full complement of support organizations.

The 55th Wing commander oversees the wing special staff and the five functional groups which compose the wing. The special staff totals several hundred people in specialty areas such as finance, legal, public affairs, inspections, history, safety, manpower, quality improvement, protocol and administration.

The 55th wing employs 46 aircraft, including 13 models of seven different types. Mission responsibility includes the Air Force's most diverse flying operations supporting worldwide reconnaissance, command and control, Presidential support, and nuclear treaty verification.

The 55th Wing traces it's lineage to the 55th Pursuit (Interceptor) Group constituted on 20 November 1940 and activated 15 January 1941 at Hamilton Field, California. During World War II, the 55th Pursuit Group garnered two Distinguished Unit Citations. The group fostered 16 aces who were credited with 90 air-to-air victories. Its last mission flew on 21 April 1945 and inactivation occurred on 20 August 1946.

On 24 February 1947, Strategic Air Command activated and redesignated the 55th Fighter Group as the 55th Reconnaissance group at MacDill Field, Florida, operating the RB-17. The newly activated group's mission consisted of aerial photography, mapping, charting, and photo reconnaissance missions, some of which flew around the globe. The group then converted to RB-29s and transferred to Topeka (later Forbes) AFB, Kansas, in 1948, but was again inactivated in October 1949. On 1 November 1950, the 55th Strategic reconnaissance group was activated as a "paper organization" with the tactical squadrons attached directly to the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance wing. The wing was bestowed with the awards and honors of the 55th Reconnaissance Group and moved to Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico. In 1952 the group was again inactivated on 16 June 1952 as the Air Force reorganized its wings into the tri-deputate system.

As the end of the Cold War dawned in the early 1990s, the Air Force again underwent dramatic changes and reorganizations. the decision was made to return to the group organizational structure. In line with this decision, the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Group was redesignated as the 55th Operations Group on 29 august 1991 and activated on 1 September 1991. It was assigned to the 55th Wing, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, along with four other groups. The 55th Operations Group activated with one of the largest and most diverse missions in the USAF.

Since the end of the Cold War, the 55th Operations Group has supported every US contingency worldwide. These missions have included but were not limited to reconnaissance, command and control, and airlift missions supporting Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, PROVIDE COMFORT, VIGILANT WARRIOR (Southwest Asia), PROVIDE PROMISE, DENY FLIGHT (Bosnia-Herzegovina), SUPPORT DEMOCRACY, UPHOLD DEMOCRACY (Haiti), and TIGER RESCUE (Yemen). Additionally, its squadrons have been called upon to support Distinguished Visitor airlift for the National Command Authorities, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and numerous exercises.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:14:22 ZULU