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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

6th Bombardment Wing

Established as the 6th Bombardment Wing, Medium, on 20 December 1950, the unit was activated on 02 January 1951 and redesignated: 6th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, on 16 June 1952; 6th Strategic Aerospace Wing on 1 May 1962; and 6th Strategic Wing on 25 March 1967. Assigned aircraft included the B-29 [1951-1952]; KB-29 [1951-1952]; B-36 [1952-1957]; and B-52 [1957- 1967]. Stationed at Walker AFB, NM, from 02 January 1951, the wing moved to Eielson AFB, AK, on 25 March 1967, where it remained until 01 September 1992.

Redesignated the 6th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on 1 April 1988, it was inactivated on 01 September 1992. Redesignated 6th Air Base Wing on 22 December 1993, it was activated on 04 January 1994 and redesignated 6th Air Refueling Wing on 01 October 1996.

The Wing conducted strategic bombardment training from activation in 1951 until 01 September 1959, with air refueling as additional mission in 1951-1952, and again from April 1958 until January 1967. The Wing deployed at Andersen AFB, Guam, October 1955- January 1956. Two bombardment squadrons (24th and 30th) joined the 4129th CCTS in Sep 1959, training B-52 and KC-135 crews, while the 40th Bombardment Squadron continued flying operational missions until 10 June 1960. From 10 June 1960 to 01 December 1961 the wing flew a few operational missions in a non-combat ready status.

The 40th Squadron returned to operational status on 01 December 1961, and on 5 Sep 1963 the other two bomb squadrons also regained tactical status. The 39th Squadron discontinued a few days later, but the 24th and 40th continued global bombardment training through Dec 1966, when they phased down for inactivation.

A missile squadron joined the wing's resources in September 1961. The missile squadron phased out its Atlas operations in February 1965 and inactivated a month later.

On 25 March 1967, the wing moved without personnel or equipment to Eielson AFB, AK, where it replaced the 4157th Strategic Wing and assumed resources and missions of that wing. In Alaska, the wing flew RC-135 strategic reconnaissance missions with an assigned squadron, and, with KC-135s deployed to Eielson from SAC, AFRES, and the ANG, conducted Alaska Task Force (ATTF) missions to support reconnaissance and numerous exercises for the Air Force and Navy.

From April 1968 to July 1972 the wing periodically served as the airborne monitor of the Alaskan ballistic missile early warning station. The wing maintained a detachment at Shemya AFS, in the Aleutians, and operated from there, February-May 1975 and June-September 1976, when Eielson closed for repair of earthquake damage.

The Wing won the P.T. Cullen Award for greatest contributions to the photo and signal intelligence efforts of Strategic Air Command, 1973, 1978, and 1983. The 24th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron left Eielson AFB on 7 Jul 1992; therefore, the wing lost its operational mission and later inactivated.

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