931st Air Refueling Group [931st ARG]
Today's 931st Air Refueling Group [ARG] received its present designation on September 9, 1994. The unit activated, in the Air Force Reserve, on January 1, 1995, at McConnell AFB. The 507th ARW became the parent wing for the 931st in March of 1999.
The unit holds the distinction of being the first Associate air-refueling unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. As an associate unit, the 931st does not have operational control of the KC-135R aircraft. Instead, the host unit at McConnell AFB, the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, provides a designated number of aircraft for mission taskings assigned to the 931st. Upon mobilization, the 22 ARW and the Air Mobility Command would gain the 931st. Currently the 931st has just one operational flying squadron assigned to it. Aircrew members assigned to the 18th Air Refueling Squadron complete mission taskings directed by higher headquarters.
Other units assigned to the 931st include the 931st Military Support Flight, the 931st Civil Engineer Squadron, the 931st Operation Support Flight, and the 931st Aircraft Generation Squadron. The 931st commander also has a contingent of staff personnel.
The origin of the 931st Air Refueling Group, stationed at McConnell Air Force Base (AFB), Wichita, KS, began in 1963. On 15 January 1963, the unit was constituted as the 931st Troop Carrier Group, Medium. On 11 February 1963, the unit activated, aligned under the Continental Air Command, and began operations at Bakalar AFB, IN. In July 1967 the unit redesignated to the 931st Tactical Airlift Group. During that time airlift operations were conducted using the C-119, "Flying Boxcar."
In June 1969, the unit's mission tasking changed. The unit was charged with tactical air support. With the mission change came the redesignation to the 931st Tactical Air Support Group. To complete air support missions, from 1969 to 1971, pilots used the O-2 "Skymaster," and the U-3 "Blue Canoe." Six months after the unit redesignated it moved, with personnel and resources, to Grissom AFB, IN. Following two years of air support operations the mission changed to special operations. The unit redesignated to the 931st Special Operations Group on 1 March 1971. With the mission change came the conversion to the A-37 "Dragonfly." Operations and training with the A-37 continued over the next four years. Though the primary weapons system remained the same, the unit designation changed to the 931st Tactical Fighter Group, on 1 October 1973. After twelve and half years of service the unit inactivated on 1 July 1975.
The inactivation period lasted only three years. After a redesignation on 18 May 1977, the unit reactivated on 1 July 1978. With the change in the unit's designation came a change in the primary mission and primary weapons system. This time the unit operated under the designation of 931st Air Refueling Group, Heavy. For exactly nine years the men and women of the 931st completed air-refueling operations, using the KC-135A "Stratotanker," while stationed at Grissom AFB. On 1 July 1987, the unit inactivated. Members of the 931st distinguished themselves twice during the period of refueling operations. Two Air Force Outstanding unit awards were bestowed upon the unit.
During the distinct history of the 931st, it has maintained a combat-ready posture within the Air Force Reserve as a troop carrier, a tactical airlift, a tactical air support, a special operations, a tactical fighter, and an air-refueling group. The 931st has participated in a myriad of exercise and real world operations, as required by the Air Force Reserve and gaining commands, which the unit has been assigned. In 1968, the 931st sent crews and aircraft to Southeast Asia, to transport troops and material, which earned the unit the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.
Since the most recent reactivation the unit has completed national and international missions. The accomplishments by unit members have not only met the standard of the mission statement of "providing mission ready reservist to fly, maintain, and support global reach for America," but has earned the unit two Air Force Outstanding Unit awards, in only five years.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|