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92nd Air Refueling Wing [92nd ARW]

The 92nd Air Refueling Wing was born on 1 March 1942 at the Spokane Army Air Depot (later Fairchild AFB). Since its inception, the designation has changed seven times. In 1942, the wing was designated the 92nd Bombardment Group (Heavy). The wing relocated to Fairchild AFB, its home since 1947, when it arrived there with most advanced bomber of their day, the B-29.

With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, the squadron deployed to Japan and Okinawa. After only a few months, General Douglas MacArthur released the 92nd to return to the United States. Upon its return to Fairchild, the 92nd was redesignated the 92nd Bombardment Wing (Heavy).

By 1956, the wing had begun a conversion that brought the B-52 Stratofortress and later, the KC-135 Stratotanker to Fairchild. In 1961, the 92nd became the first aerospace wing in the nation with the acquisition of the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile. With the new role and the addition of missiles, the 92nd Bomb Wing was redesignated the 92nd Strategic Aerospace Wing. However, the designation remained longer than the missiles, as the Atlas missiles were removed in 1965.

The 92nd deployed a total of 560 personnel to DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM from August 1990 to March 1991. The 43rd and 92nd Air Refueling Squadrons flew a combined total of 4,004 hours, 721 sorties, and off loaded a total of 22.5 million pounds of fuel to such receiver aircraft as the A-6, A-10, B-52, C-5, EA-6, EC-130, F-4, F-111, F-117A, KC-10, and Tornado in support of Operations DESERT EXPRESS, DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, DESERT CALM, and PROVIDE COMFORT. The two squadrons' crews and aircraft also flew 200 combat sorties.

On September 1, 1991, under Air Force reorganization the 92nd Bombardment Wing (Heavy) was redesignated the 92nd Wing, emphasizing a dual bombing and refueling role.

In June 1992 the wing became part of the newly formed Air Combat Command and was redesignated the 92nd Bomb Wing. That year, the wing won, at the Proud Shield '92 competition, the Fairchild Trophy for best bomber/tanker team as well as the Saunders Trophy for the tanker unit attaining the most points on all competition missions.

December 7, 1993 marked the beginning of perhaps the largest change and transition in the history of the 92nd Bomb Wing when the first B-52 left Fairchild AFB to be turned over to another unit. The 92nd Bomb Wing's B-52s had been assigned to ACC, while the KC-135s were assigned to AMC and designated the 453rd Operations Group. During the spring of 1994, B-52s were transferred to other units and flown to other bases with the last bomber leaving May 25, 1994. The bomber mission of the 92nd had ended after 52 years, giving over to the new refueling mission on July 1, 1994.

On July 1, 1994, the 92nd Bomb Wing was redesignated the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, and Fairchild AFB was transferred from Air Combat Command (ACC) to Air Mobility Command (AMC), in a ceremony marking the creation of the largest air refueling wing in the Air Force.

Dubbed as the new "tanker hub of the Northwest," the wing is capable of maintaining an air bridge across the nation and the world in support of US and allied forces.

The mission of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing is to provide the best air mobility for America through reliable air refueling and airlift worldwide.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Fairchild AFB, WA. The 141st Air Refueling Wing (ANG) would associate with the 92d Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild AFB.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:15:51 ZULU