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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


501st Tactical Missile Wing

In 1979, NATO ministers decided to deploy Ground Launched Cruise and Pershing II missiles to counter the growing Soviet SS-20 intermediate range ballistic missile threat. RAF Greenham Common and RAF Molesworth were selected as the beddown sites for the GLCM. The 501st Tactical Missile Wing (TMW) was activated at RAF Greenham Common in July 1982 and the 303rd TMW at RAF Molesworth in December 1986. In June 1987, Headquarters USAFE delegated tactical control of Third Air Force units to the Third Air Force commander.

With the signing of the INF Treaty in December 1987, GLCMs deployed to RAF Molesworth were removed to the U.S. and the 303rd TMW inactivated Jan. 30, 1989. The last GLCMs at RAF Greenham Common were removed in March 1991, and the 501st TMW inactivated June 4, 1991.




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