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86th Airlift Wing [86th AW]

The mission of the 86th Airlift Wing is to provide rapid mobility and agile combat support for US forces and enhance the quality of life for its people.

The 86th Airlift Wing is equipped with C-130, C-9, C-20 and C-21 aircraft.

The 86th Airlift Wing traces its lineage to the 86th Fighter Wing which was established and activated, on 1 July 1948 at Neubiberg AB, Germany. It was assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe, and tasked with providing air defense, primarily in West Germany.

It was reassigned to 2nd Air Division, on 10 October 1949, and redesignated as the 86th Fighter-Bomber Wing on 20 January 1950. It was reassigned to Twelfth Air Force, on 7 May 1951. The unit relocated to Landstuhl (later, Ramstein-Landstuhl; Ramstein) AB, Germany, on 21 August 1952. It was once again redesignated, this time as the 86th Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 9 Aug 1954; and reassigned to United States Air Forces in Europe, on 1 January 1958. It was again reassigned on 15 November 1959, to Seventeenth Air Force.

The 86th was redesignated as the 86th Air Division (Defense) on 18 November 1960. During its eight years as an air division, the organization supervised the improvement of a manual radar system to a semi-automatic air weapons control system. During that period, the squadron was also reassigned a number of times: to United States Air Forces in Europe (1 July 1963); to Seventeenth Air Force (1 September 1963); to United States Air Forces in Europe (20 May 1965); and to Seventeenth Air Force(5 October-14 November 1968). It inactivated on 14 November 1968.

Redesignated as the 86th Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 14 November 1968 and then, as the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing on 13 October 1969, it reactivated on 1 November 1969 at Zeibrucken AB, Germany, assigned to Seventeenth Air Force. From Nov 1969 to Jun 1971, it was charged only with tactical reconnaissance, but added tactical fighter operations later in 1971.

Relocating to Ramstein AB, Germany, on 31 January 1973, the unit supported numerous military units located in the area of Ramstein AB from January 1973 until 1985. That year, the 86th was reassigned to 316th Air Division, on 14 June. The wing participated in numerous exercises that provided the wing with air combat tactics training essential to their mission. It converted to the F-16 Fighting Falcon, from 1985 to 1986.

Beginning in April 1991, the wing began deploying to Turkey and supported operations in Southwest Asia to ensure that Iraq complied with treaty terms. Wing aircraft twice attacked Iraqi surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites in northern Iraq.

Redesignated as the 86th Fighter Wing on 1 May 1991, the unit was reassigned to Seventeenth Air Force on 1 May 1991. The following year, on June 1, the 86th was redesignated as the 86th Wing, adding an airlift mission and performing special airlift missions with C-12, C-20, C-21, CT-43 and C-135 aircraft.

In July 1994 the 86th's last F-16 departed Ramstein AB, thereby, completing its transfer from the F-16 aircraft to the C-130 aircraft. It was redesignated as the 86th Airlift Wing on 1 October 1994.

The 86th AW was reassigned to Third Air Force on 31 July 1996.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:15:34 ZULU