164th Airlift Wing
|164th Airlift Wing|
164th Airlift Wing C-5 Galaxy over Memphis, Tennessee
|Active||1 April 1961-Present|
|Branch||Air National Guard|
|Part of||Tennessee Air National Guard|
|Garrison/HQ||Memphis Air National Guard Base, Memphis, Tennessee|
|Tail Code||Red tail stripe, "Memphis" in white letters|
|164th Airlift Wing emblem|
The 164th Airlift Wing (154 AW) is a unit of the Tennessee Air National Guard, stationed at Memphis Air National Guard Base, Tennessee. If activated to federal service, it is gained by the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command.
The 164th Airlift Wing's C-5 Galaxy mission includes carrying fully equipped combat-ready military units to any point in the world on short notice and then provide field support required to help sustain the fighting force.
- 164th Operations Group
- 164th Mission Support Group
- 164th Maintenance Group
- 164th Medical Group
This unit was activated on 1 April 1961 as an expansion of the 155th Air Transport Squadron to a Group level, and the 155th was assigned as a subordinate unit. At this time, the unit received the C-97 Stratofreighter, which was a converted Strategic Air Command (SAC) aerial refueling tanker. Conversion to this aircraft brought a worldwide mission with operations to such places as Europe, Japan, South America, Australia and South Vietnam.
During May 1966, the unit set numerous records, to include 10 round trips to Southeast Asia and 1702 flying hours in one month, all accomplished primarily by dedicated part-time personnel.
May 1967 brought the introduction of the C-124 Globemaster, affectionately known as "Old Shakey". Along with Old Shakey, the group's personnel performed numerous humanitarian missions as well as routine support to Military Airlift Command (MAC). The C-124 was given a well-deserved rest in 1974 when she was retired from military service, reluctantly giving up her berth to the C-130 Hercules.
The unit's gaining command changed to the Tactical Air Command as it assumed a tactical airlift mission and was redesignated as the 164th Tactical Airlift Group. However, the unit's presence in TAC was short-lived when in early 1975 all C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory, to include the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve were transferred to the Military Airlift Command (MAC).
Operation Desert Storm brought on the activation of several units of the 164th, with the 164th Mobile Aerial Port Squadron (164 MAPS) being the first Air Guard Aerial Port unit activated, subsequently serving a six-month tour in Southwest Asia with distinction. The C-130s were transferred to other units in April 1992 when the unit received the first of eight C-141 Starlifter aircraft. With this conversion came the strategic airlift mission and redesignation as the 164th Airlift Group. With the disestablishment of Military Airlift Command (MAC) in 1992, the unit became an operationally-gained asset of the newly established Air Mobility Command (AMC) and was later redesignated the 164th Airlift Wing on 1 October 1995.
Bob Wilson, a former Commander of the 155th Airlift Squadron, former Deputy Commander for Operations of the 164th Airlift Wing and a veteran Command Pilot of over 30 years experience in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard, was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame in 2006.
2008 brought momentous changes to the 164th:
Due to organizational restructuring in the U.S. Air Force, the 164th Aerial Port Squadron was disbanded. The career fields under Aerial Port were relocated into other functional areas including Logistical Readiness and the Traffic Management Office, among others.
In September 2008, the unit relocated from the facility on Democrat Road, to a new base on Swinnea Road. The new base was designed to provide adequate facilities to support the size and mission of the C-5A, including 3 maintenance hangars large enough to fully enclose a C-5. The old facility and property was purchased by FedEx.
- Designated 164th Air Transport Group, and allotted to Tennessee ANG, 1961
- Extended federal recognition and activated, 1 April 1961
- Re-designated: 164th Military Airlift Group, 8 January 1966
- Re-designated: 164th Tactical Airlift Group, 1 March 1971
- Re-designated: 164th Airlift Group, 16 April 1992
- Status changed from Group to Wing, 1 October 1995
- 118th Airlift Wing, 1 April 1961-1 October 1995
- Gained by: Military Air Transport Service
- Gained by: Military Airlift Command, 8 January 1966
- Gained by: Tactical Air Command, 1 March 1971
- Gained by: Military Airlift Command, 1 December 1973
- Gained by: Air Mobility Command, 1 June 1992
- Tennessee Air National Guard, 1 October 1995-Present
- Gained by: Air Mobility Command
- 164th Operations Group, 1 October 1995-Present
- 155th Air Transport (later Military Airlift, Tactical Airlift, Airlift) Squadron, 1 April 1961-Present
- Squadron assigned to Group entire period
- Memphis Municipal Airport (later International Airport, later Memphis Air National Guard Base), 1 April 1961-Present
- C-97 Stratofreighter, 1961-1967
- C-124 Globemaster II, 1967-1974
- C-130 Hercules, 1974-1992
- C-141B Starlifter, 1992-2004
- C-5 Galaxy, 2004-2013
- C-17 Globemaster III, 2013-Present