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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

72nd Bomb Wing

The 72d Air Base Wing (72 ABW) was activated at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma and assigned to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC) effective 1 October 1994. Its activation gave rebirth to the lineage and honors the history of a World War II combat organization that had earned Antisubmarine and American Theater campaign streamers. The unit was established as the 72d Observation Group on 21 August 1941.

Activated on paper on 16 Jun 1952, but not operational until it absorbed residual resources of 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing in Oct 1952, the unit experienced several organizational changes [including designation as the 72nd Strategic Reconnaissance Wing] until it was redesignated the 72d Bombardment Wing, Heavy on 1 October 1955. The wing conducted global strategic reconnaissance, March 1953-1955, gradually shifting to a bombardment training mission beginning in 1954 and adding air refueling to its global mission in 1958. In 1959 the 72nd Bombardment Wing was based at Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico, flying B-52G's. The wing earned two Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, flying RB-36 [1952-1958], KC-135 [1958-1971] and B-52 [1959-1971] aircraft, before its inactivation on 30 June 1971 in Puerto Rico.

In late 1972 the 72nd Strategic Wing (Provisional) was activated at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam during Operation Bullet Shot. The 72nd Strategic Wing (Provisional) continued operations at Andersen through the last B-52 strike mission into Southeast Asia on 15 August 1973.

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