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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

40th Bombardment Wing

The forerunner of the 40th Bombardment wing, the 40th Bombardment Group (H), was first activated on 01 April 1941. The Group flew B-17s, B-18s, and B-24s, and later flew the B-29 against Japan before being deactivated following the end of the war.

The 40th was reactivated in May 1952,and designated the 4Oth Bombardment Wing Medium, part of the striking force of the Strategic Air Command. the 40th Wing was not manned until early February 1953, when it gained personnel and equipment from a provisional squadron originally established at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, as a holding unit for people and equipment surplus to another SAC wing. The Wing's operations started at Schilling [then Smoky Hill] AFB, Salina Kansas on 01 May 1953. By October 1953 all tactical squadrons were minimally operational.

The new organization converted from B-29s to B-47s in 1954 and became combat ready in April 1955. The 40th Bombardment Wing participated in temporary duty rotational movements. The first (TDY) was executed in the summer of 1955, when the Wing deployed at Lakenheath RAF Station, England from 09 June through 09 September 1955. The second overseas rotational movement involved a deployment at Greenham Common RAF Station, England from July through October 1957.

The wing performed bombardment training and air refueling operations to meet SAC's global commitments from 1955 through 1964. The mission of the 40th Bomb Wing was to man, equip and train the units of the Wing so that they are on a combat ready status at all times, and capable of conducting such long range bombardment as operations may be assigned in the Emergency War Plan and other related operations. These long range bombment operations may be in any part of the world, either in dependently or jointly with other forces, aganist the enemies of the United States. The 40th Bombardment Wing was also responsible for the training, manning and equipping, of the 40th Air Refueling Squadron to the maximum degree of proficiency possible utilizing existing facilities and resources. The 40th Bombardment Wing was responsible for maintaining a state of proficiency within the Refueling Squadron to permit immediate engagements in effective refueling operations at any time. The 40th Bombardment Wing was also responsible for the development and maintenance of a mobility plan training of subordinate units for overseas deployment and the subsequent reestablishment of operations on minimum notice in the shortest possible time, in any part of the world as may be directed by higher headquarters.

The 40th Bombardment Wing also participated in "Brave Star", the redeployment of men and equipment from Greenham Common, England, the successful planning and execution of Pacesetter IX an Eighth Air Force directed bombing and navigational competition. Operation "Pop Up" introduced a new concept in the wing's bombing and navigation missions. Two B-47 crews and support personnel completed (TDY) which took them to Pinecastle Air Force Base to compete in a bombing and navigational mission.

The wing moved from Schilling AFB, Kansas on 20 June 1960 to its new home at Forbes AFB, Kansas. The 660th Strategic Missile Squadron was assigned to the wing from 01 February 1969 through 01 January 1962, and the 548th Strategic Missile Squadron with the Atlas missile was assigned to the wing from 01 January 1964 through 01 September 1964 (detached 1 Aug-1 Sep 1964).

The Wing was re-designated the 40th Strategic Aerospace Wing on 01 February 1964, and began phasing down for inactivation shortly thereafter. The wing was non-operational from about 15 August 1964 and was discontinued and inactivated on 01 September 1964. The last B-47E from the 40th Bomb Wing departed Forbes AFB on 17 August 1964, bringing to a close 11 years and 3 months service in what became know as the "Cold War Period."

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