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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

379th Bomb Wing

In the 1950s the B-47-equipped 379th Bombardment Wing was based at Homestead Air Force Base, FL.

Delivery of the B-52H to operational units began on 09 May 1961 when the 379th Bombardment Wing at Wurtsmith AFB in Michigan received its first aircraft. Delivery of the B-52 operational bomber named "State of Michigan" marked the redesignation to the base from and fighter-interceptor training base to the Strategic Air Command and its long range B-52's, which played an important part in "Desert Storm", in the Persian Gulf.

The wing received an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period July 1, 1970, to June 30, 1971; won the Omaha Trophy for the best aircraft or missile organization in Strategic Air Command, and the Commander in Chief, Strategic Air Command, Flying Wing of the Year Award in 1971. Other major awards included the SAC Charles D. Trail Materiel Award and the Sweeney and Martensen awards from Second Air Force. In 1987 the 379th Bombardment Wing won the Fairchild Trophy as the best strategic bombardment wing in Strategic Air Command.

By 1986 the wing employed B-52s, KC-135s and the air-launch cruise missile as part of SAC's deterrent force. At the end of January 1991 six of the 97th Wing's bombers and crews assumed ground alert duty at Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, allowing the 379th Bombardment Wing, stationed at Wurtsmith, to participate in Operation DESERT STORM.

In July 1991, the BRAC Commission recommended (1) closure of Wurtsmith Air Force Base, (2) transfer of KC-135 aircraft to the Air Reserve Component, (3) retirement of the assigned B-52G aircraft, and (4) inactivation of the 379th Bombardment Wing. On June 30, 1993, the installation closed as scheduled.

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