145th Airlift Wing

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145th Airlift Wing
145th Airlift Wing - MAFFS Training.jpg
145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard, training for use of the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS).
Active 1 July 1957-Present
Country  United States
Allegiance  North Carolina
Branch US-AirNationalGuard-2007Emblem.svg  Air National Guard
Type Wing
Role Airlift/Aireal Firefighting
Size 1300 members
Part of North Carolina Air National Guard
Garrison/HQ Charlotte Air National Guard Base, Charlotte, North Carolina
Nickname "Tarheel Militia"
Tail Code Blue tail stripe "Charlotte" in yellow letters
Insignia
145th Airlift Wing emblem 145th Airlift Wing.png

The 145th Airlift Wing (145 AW) is a unit of the North Carolina Air National Guard, stationed at Charlotte Air National Guard Base, Charlotte, North Carolina. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command.

Mission[edit]

The mission of the 145th is to provide tactical airlift capability to the United States Military and deliver supplies wherever needed.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

Established on 1 July 1957 when the NC ANG 156th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was expanded from a squadron to a group. The 156th was assigned as a subordinate unit to the new group. In 1959 the group was upgraded to the day/night/all-weather F-86L Sabre Interceptor.

The 156th Weather Flight is a combat weather flight located at the Stanly County Airport's Air National Guard Station, North Carolina, who's stated mission is: "To provide quality observations, forecasts, and climatological data in support of tasked Army and Air Force missions, both Federal and State, by:

  • Maximizing operations in both garrison and tactical environments.
  • Maintaining the highest level of training and equipment readiness.
  • Ensuring high motivation of unit members through safety and security, physical readiness, esprit de corp, and career advancement."

156th[edit]

The 156th Weather Flight (WF) was activated on 15 March 1948 as a standing unit in the North Carolina Air National Guard (NCANG). Based in Charlotte, the 156th WF served the vital weather forecasting and observing functions for the 145th Aero Medical Transport Group as well as the 145th Air Transport Group for Admin/Logistics support. In 1967, the 156th WF joined the 206th Weather Flight, as attached units responsible for supporting airlift missions for the 145th Military Airlift Group. The 206th WF was later inactivated (1975) leaving the 156th WF as the only unit serving the weather forecasting and observing requirements of the NCANG.

145th[edit]

In February 1961, the wing group was reassigned to the Military Air Transport Service Eastern Transport Air Force (EASTAF), at McGuire AFB, New Jersey. Was re-designated as the 145th Aeromedical Transport Group. Equipped with C-119 Flying Boxcars equipped for medical transport, the Group performed evacuations of transport of critically ill military personnel (and dependents) to military medical facilities for treatment. Re-equipped with C-121 Constellations in 1964, performed passenger transport missions for MATS both domestically and to the Caribbean and Europe for EASTAF. Was transferred to the new Military Airlift Command 21st Air Force when MATS was reorganized in 1966.

Was transferred back to Tactical Air Command control in 1971, being equipped with early-model C-130B Hercules tactical airlifters, being given a theater airlift and troop carrier mission as part of Ninth Air Force. Celebrated 25 years of service in 1973, winning 1st place in worldwide airlift competition.

In January 1974, it was transferred to Military Airlift Command, Twenty-First Air Force, later that year assisted in rescue of 10 lives of the Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 crash at Charlotte on 11 September. In 1985, the units mission was expanded by the addition of the Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) capability added to the C-130s for aerial firefighting. Other awards won were the 1986 Volant Rodeo competition as world's best airlift crew and plane and 1987 Spaatz Trophy for best flying unit in the Air National Guard .

The year 1975 marked the start of an Army weather support mission that has lasted for more than 25 years. While still a fully integrated part of the Air National Guard with continuing support for Air Force missions, the 156th WF also established a tactical weather forecasting and observing capability for the NCARNG's 30th Infantry Brigade "Old Hickory", a Mechanized Heavy Separate Brigade (HSB). "Old Hickory" was tasked to support European Theatre operations in Italy in the event of armed conflict with Soviet Bloc forces. During the following twenty years, the 156th Weather Flight participated in several joint training exercises in several OCONUS locations including the Joint Forces "Brimfrost" winter exercise in central Alaska and "Reforger", a NATO exercise held in Germany during the winter of 1984. European theater training exercises also included six unit deployments to Italy for joint training with units from NATO's Southern Command.

Although tactical weather support for the 30th Brigade has been a major part of the 156th Weather Flight mission for more than twenty-five years, weather support for several Air Force flying units was a vital component of ongoing weather operations including continued support for 145th Airlift Wing operations. Recognition for the superior performance in all aspects of Weather Flight operations has come in several forms: an Air National Guard Outstanding Weather Unit Award and Excellent to High-Excellent ratings on numerous operational evaluations.

In 1995, an expanded Army tactical mission began when the 156th Weather Flight was tasked to provide weather support to the 218th Mechanized Heavy Separate Brigade, a part of the South Carolina Army National Guard. The mission is synonymous with that of the 30th HSB. During the next five years, training focused primarily on preparing for a major deployment to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California where the 156th Weather Flight received the most realistic combat training in the world.

In May 2010 the 156th Weather Flight relocated to the Stanly County Airport (KVUJ) in New London, NC under the 145th Combat Operations Group. The 156th Weather Flight currently provides vital weather intelligence in battlefield conditions to the North Carolina Army National Guard, specifically the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 60th Troop Command and the 449th Theater Aviation Brigade.

During the 1991 Persian Gulf Conflict, the 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Flight was activated and deployed to Saudi Arabia, participating in Operation Desert Storm. The unit also achieved 150,000 hours of safe flying.

Was reassigned to Air Mobility Command in 1992. and helped evacuate hospital patients in South Florida after Hurricane Andrew in late August. Upgraded to C-130H Hercules in 1993.

Celebrated 50th anniversary in 1998, received an Excellent" on Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI), and achieved 176,879 accident free flying hours. After Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the unit flew 33,000 cases of food rations in 3 C-130s to flood victims and erected a tent city for 80 people near Wilmington's airport. Additional hurricane relief took place in 2005 when the 196th was the first airlift squadron on site in response to Hurricane Katrina Relief support

In July 2012, four members of the Wing died as their C-130 firefighting plane crashed during firefighting efforts in South Dakota. They were: Lt. Col. Paul K. Mikeal, 42, and Maj. Joseph M. McCormick, 36, both pilots; Maj. Ryan S. David, 35, a navigator; and Senior Master Sgt. Robert S. Cannon, 50, a flight engineer.[1]

Hierarchy[edit]

Top Level: Air National Guard
Second Level: 145th Airlift Wing
Third Level: 145th Combat Operations Group
Fourth Level: 156th Weather Flight

Decorations[edit]

Air National Guard Outstanding Weather Unit Award

Lineage[edit]

  • Designated 145th Fighter-Interceptor Group, and allotted to North Carolina ANG, 1957
Extended federal recognition and activated, 1 Jul 1957
Re-designated: 145th Aeromedical Transport Group, 1 Feb 1961
Re-designated: 145th Air Transport Group (Heavy), 25 Jan 1964
Re-designated: 145th Military Airlift Group, 1 Jan 1966
Re-designated: 145th Tactical Airlift Group, 15 May 1971
Re-designated: 145th Airlift Group, 15 Mar 1992
Status changed from Group to Wing, 1 October 1995
Re-designated: 145th Airlift Wing, 1 October 1995

Assignments[edit]

Gained by: Air Defense Command
Gained by: Military Air Transport Service, 1 Feb 1961
Gained by: Military Airlift Command, 8 January 1966
Gained by: Tactical Air Command
Gained by: Military Airlift Command, 1 December 1974
Gained by: Air Mobility Command, 1 June 1992
Gained by: Air Mobility Command

Components[edit]

Stations[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.