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5th Combat Communications Group [5th CCG]

The 5th Combat Communications Group was originally established and activated on 20 May 1964 at Robins AFB, GA, as the 5th Mobile Communications Group. It was assigned to Air Force Communications Service and on 1 July 1964, organized as the 5th Mobile Communications Group and assigned to the Tactical Communications Region (later, Tactical Communications Area).

The unit was reassigned on 1 December 1969 to the 12th Tactical Communications Region, and on 30 June 1971 to the Tactical Communications Area (later, Tactical Communications Division; Tactical Information Systems Division; Tactical Communications Division).

The unit was redesignated on 31 March 1976 as the 5th Combat Communications Group; on 15 August 1984 as the 5th Combat Information Systems Group; and on 1 October 1986 as the 5th Combat Communications Group. The group was reassigned on 1 October 1990 to the 507th Tactical Air Control (later, 507th Air Control) Wing; on 28 May 1992 to the 347th Fighter Wing; and on 1 March 1994 to Ninth Air Force.

The 5th Combat Communications Group, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., provides mobile and transportable command and control communications and air traffic control systems worldwide. The group's four combat communications squadrons deploy in support of joint task force, combatant command and Air Force flying wing operations and exercises. The 5th CCG is an Air Combat Command unit reporting to 9th Air Force at Shaw AFB, S.C.

The 5th CCG supports United States Central Command Air Forces and Joint Chiefs of Staff operations and exercises in Southwest Asia, Central and South America and the Pacific theater. The group also responds to contingencies, emergencies and natural disasters both overseas and throughout the United States. During local training exercises, the 5th CCG deploys to a variety of sites around the Southeastern United States.

Over the past several years, the unit has participated in more than 500 deployments including Iceland, Egypt, Ecuador, Panama, Virgin Islands, Wake Island, Somalia, Kenya, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Honduras.

During OPERATION DESERT STORM, the 5th CCG deployed more than 600 people to a dozen locations. As the first communications unit in theater, the squadrons provided air traffic control and communications support to six deployed wings and USCENTAF Headquarters. Group personnel have remained continuously deployed to Southwest Asia for more than three years, supporting the Cease Fire Campaign and United Nations resolutions.

At its original activation in 1964, the unit was called the 5th Mobile Communications Group and is still affectionately referred to as the 5th MOB. The unit has approximately 650 people and can be a self-supporting combat unit. The group can provide its own site security, electrical power and vehicle maintenance.

unofficial emblem For some time, the group used an unofficial shield, with four darts, because someone mistakenly assumed that the darts referred to the mission squadrons. On the original, approved shield, the three darts stand for the group's missions of combat communications, navigational support and radar control.

On Sept. 8, 1988, the group activated three combat communications squadrons: the 51st CBCS, 52nd CBCS and 53rd CBCS.

The 51st CBCS consists of approximately 180 people and provides communications and air traffic control support to an Air Force Headquarters, usually USCENTAF Headquarters. The 52nd and 53rd CBCS, both with 180 people, provide deployed fighter bases with communications and air traffic control systems.

In spring of 1993, the group added the 5th Combat Communications Support Squadron and on June 18, 1993, the 54th Combat Communications Squadron. The support squadron provides assistance to the combat communications squadrons for deployments. The 54th CBCS's mission mirrors its sister squadrons, the 52nd and 53rd CBCS, providing communications and air traffic control systems to deployed fighter bases.

The 5th CCG was named the Best Large Communications-Computer Systems Unit in ACC for 1993 and 1997. In June of 1994, the 5th CCG took top honors at Combat Challenge '94, a biennial command, control, communications and computer (C4) competition, sponsored by ACC, and held at Tinker AFB, Okla. In May of 1998, the 5th CCG received its seventh Air Force Outstanding Unit Award since 1972.

In addition, the group supports Headquarters Air Force and major air commands with temporary communications facilities and advises three Air National Guard Combat Communications Groups composed of more than 2,300 people in units throughout the Eastern U.S. from Maine to the Virgin Islands.

When the "Flood of the Century" devastated the Middle Georgia region, the 5th CCG was called upon to lend a hand by evacuating local residents, providing communications equipment to emergency personnel, and delivering much needed medication to persons cut off by the flood waters.

Immediately following the flood support, the 5th CCG performed remarkably during the ACC directed Operational Readiness Inspection receiving an overall excellent from the Inspector General Inspection Team.

The 5th CCG also lent its communications expertise to the highly visible Operation BRIGHT STAR in Egypt during October and November 1995. More than 120 members of the 52nd Combat Communications Squadron, along with augmentees from the other squadrons in the 5th CCG, took part in the multinational exercise that is recognized as the largest exercise of its kind.

Members of the 5th CCG were called upon to deploy to the Southwest Asia area of responsibility in March of 1996 to support an Air-Power Expeditionary Force. The communicators were there to help Air Force and multinational forces already in Saudi Arabia and other nearby countries patrol the no-fly zone over southern Iraq.

The 5th CCG has more than 100 of its members deployed to remote locations of the world at any given time in support of many of the ongoing operations. These members serve 120-day rotations in places like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to name a few.

When terrorists attacked Khobar Towers, the 5th CCG was called upon again to deploy to the Persian Gulf. More than 140 members of the 5th, along with 250 tons of equipment, left the Robins flightline for Prince Sultan Air Base, where they established a complete communications network beside a bare airfield.

In February of 1998, the 5th was called upon again to support Operation DESERT THUNDER, sending more than 140 people to Oman to establish communications. The members of the group had all critical circuits and systems operational within 36 hours of hitting the ground.

The 5th CCG has also become a principal in the ongoing war on drugs by supplying communications support from Robins AFB, providing personnel and equipment which allows the Drug Enforcement Administration access to secure data and voice services from classified locations.

The 5th Combat Communications Group received orders to deploy in early February 2003 to the Central Command theater of operations. The orders were part of a larger action by the United States to reposition some of its military forces to support the President's global war on terrorism and to prepare for future contingencies. The deployment marked the first time the Air Force's first total force wing, comprised of both Guard and active duty, Air Force and Army, would deploy.

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