9th Air Refueling Squadron [9th ARS]
The 9th Air Refueling Squadron was initially activated on 1 August 1951 under the 9th Bombardment wing at Travis AFB, California. However, the squadron actually flew its KB-29 tanker aircraft out of Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, until 1953. The squadron then relocated to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho.
On 15 September 1954, the squadron received its first KC-97G air refueling tankers. During this period in the 1950's, the 9th helped thrust the Air Force and Strategic Air Command (SAC) into the early stages of global air capability. Consequently, the 9th's history included numerous deployments to such far-flung locations as French Morocco and Guam.
Following a deactivation period from 1965 to 1970, the 9th flew the KC-135Q all jet tanker at Beale AFB, California. It was one of only two squadrons to refuel the record-breaking Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. With its KC-135s, the 9th participated in several special operations involving flights to Southeast Asia. The KC-135 was the most capable tanker aircraft in the world for over 20 years until the development of the McDonnell-Douglas KC-10A Extender.
In order to transition to the new tanker-cargo aircraft, the 9th went through a short deactivation period early in 1982. The 9th relocated to March AFB, California, and was reactivated on 1 August 1982. Since that time, the 9th was called upon to protect our national interests in Operations ARID FARMER, EL DORADO CANYON, GIANT SCALE, JUST CAUSE, DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, and PROUD RETURN. During SOUTHERN WATCH, the 9th has been vital to enforcing the no-fly zone over Iraq. By escorting and refueling Marine aircraft to Aviano AB, Italy, the 9th has assisted in Operation DENY FLIGHT. The 9th conducted another Air Force mission, humanitarian relief, by delivering desperately needed food and supplies to Somalia in Operation RESTORE HOPE.
With its move to Travis AFB in July 1994, the 9th continues to support its mission of "GLOBAL REACH-GLOBAL POWER". In September 1996, 9th aircrews were called upon to provide fuel to the B-52s supporting DESERT STRIKE, the cruise missile attack on Iraq. The 9th mobilized in support of Operations PHOENIX SCORPION I II, III, & IV, the rapid movement of forces into Southwest Asia. In 1997, the 9th orchestrated the first sixteen-ship mixed-cell refueling formation in Air Mobility Command's history for Operation CENTRAZ BAT, the longest airdrop mission in aviation history, projecting eight C-17s delivering 540 paratroopers and equipment nearly 8,000 miles. In 1998, the 9th supported numerous PHOENIX BANNER (presidential support) missions while celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, by recreating the German flyby. The year 1999 past as 9th aircrews led the first ever "air power" dominated victory in Operation ALLIED FORCE in the former Yugoslavia and continued and simultaneous operations in Operations DESERT FOX in over Iraq.
The mission of the 9th Air Refueling Squadron is to mobilize and deploy 12 KC-10 aircraft with over 140 combat-ready personnel and equipment to worldwide forward operating locations.
The squadron is tasked with ensuring global reach for America by generating 24-hour-a-day strategic airlift and aerial-refueling sorties supporting US and allied forces during contingency operations.
The 9th ARS provides training for 24 aircrews tasked to support and sustain Joint Chiefs of Staff directed missions and executes an 8000+ flying hour program & $580,000 budget.
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