182d Airlift Wing
|182d Airlift Wing|
C-130 of the 182d Airlift Wing Taxiing at Peoria Air National Guard Base
|Branch||Air National Guard|
|Part of||Illinois Air National Guard|
|Garrison/HQ||Peoria Air National Guard Base, Peoria, Illinois|
|Nickname||Defenders of Freedom|
|Tail Code||"Peoria" Orange stripe|
|Colonel William P. Robertson|
|1182d Airlift Wing emblem|
The 182d Airlift Wing (182 AW) is a unit of the Illinois Air National Guard, stationed at Peoria Air National Guard Base, Peoria, Illinois. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command.
The 182nd Airlift Wing's C-130 Hercules mission is to perform the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. The C-130 performs a diverse number of roles, including airlift support, Antarctic ice resupply, aeromedical missions, weather reconnaissance, aerial spray missions, firefighting duties for the U.S. Forest Service and natural disaster relief missions.
The 182d Airlift Wing consists of the following units:
- 182d Operations Group
- 182d Maintenance Group
- 182d Mission Support Group
- 182s Medical Group
On 15 October 1962, the Illinois Air National Guard authorized the 169th Tactical Fighter Squadron to expand to a group level, and the 182d Tactical Fighter Group was established by the National Guard Bureau on 15 October 1962. The 169th TFS became the group's flying squadron, equipped with F-84F Thunderstreaks. Other squadrons assigned into the group were the 182d Headquarters, 182d Material Squadron (Maintenance), 182d Combat Support Squadron, and the 182d USAF Dispensary.
During the 1960s the squadron continued to operate its F-84F Thunderstraks, and the unit was not activated during the Vietnam War. In May of 1969, the F-84Fs were retired and 182d TFG was re-designated as the 182d Tactical Air Support Group (TASG); flying Forward Air Control (FAC) missions. The 169th was equipped with light observation U-3A/B Blue Canoe and in January 1970, the O-2A Skymaster aircraft. The group's mission being to perform visual reconnaissance, as the FAC flew light aircraft slowly over the rough terrain at low altitude to maintain constant aerial surveillance over a combat area. By patrolling the same area constantly, the FACs grew very familiar with the terrain, and they learned to detect any changes that could indicate enemy forces hiding below. Members of the 182d TASG provided relief assistance during state active duty for the Canton tornado disaster in July of 1975. In 1976, the 182d TASG was awarded its first Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.
In 1979, the squadron received OA-37B Dragonfly jet FAC aircraft from the New York and Maine Air National Guard, continuing the FAC mission. The 182d TASG received an "Excellent" rating on its first Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) under the 12th Air Force, and the group was awarded its second Air Force Outstanding Unit award in 1985. In January of 1991, 138 group personnel were called to active duty during the 1991 Gulf War and deployed to United States Central Command Air Forces (CENTAF).
Post Cold War era 
In March 1992 the A-37s were finally retired. and the group received the Block 15 F-16A/B Fighting Falcon Air Defense Fighter (ADF). It was re-designated as the 182d Fighter Group on 15 March. In June of 1993, members served on state active duty in response to the Mississippi River flooding of southern Illinois.
Due to government budget constraints and military restructuring after the Cold War, the 182d FG converted to the C-130E Hercules and was re-designated the 182d Airlift Wing (AW) effective October 1, 1995. In 1996, the wing began participation in ongoing flying missions for Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia. In 1997, the 182d AW celebrated its 50th anniversary and received an "Excellent" in its first Air Mobility Command (AMC) ORI.
Global War on Terrorism 
After the 9-11 terrorist attacks, members of the wing were called up to support the Air Force at various locations around the world. During a September 2002 deployment to Oman, wing aircraft flew combat supply missions into Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. On March 29, 2003, SSgt Jacob Frazier of the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) was killed in action while serving with Army Special Forces in Afghanistan. He was the first member of the wing to die in combat.
In March of 2003, immediately following mobilization, six aircraft and over 350 personnel were deployed to Minhad, United Arab Emirates, for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These airmen returned in August after providing airlift support throughout the theater. Since that mobilization, smaller numbers of wing personnel and aircraft have continually supported Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. On December 28, 2003, a wing crew delivered earthquake relief supplies to Iran, becoming the first US aircraft to land there since 1981.
Beginning in January of 2005, the wing converted from the C-130E to the newer H3 model. In October of 2006, the wing received a rating of "Excellent" after serving as the lead wing during an AMC ORI. On February 3, 2007, the wing was awarded its third Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period from August 1, 2003 to July 31, 2005. Some personnel remain deployed to combat zones as part of Air and Space Expeditionary units while other members of the wing continue routine worldwide support to the Air Force.
- Designated 182d Tactical Fighter Group, and allotted to Illinois ANG, 1962
- Extended federal recognition and activated, 15 October 1962
- Re-designated: 182d Tactical Air Support Group, 16 May 1969
- Re-designated: 182d Fighter Group, 15 Mar 1992
- Status changed from Group to Wing, 1 October 1995
- Re-designated: 182d Airlift Wing, 1 October 1995
- Illinois Air National Guard, 15 October 1962-Present
- Gained by: Tactical Air Command
- Gained by: Air Combat Command, 1 June 1992
- Gained by: Air Mobility Command, 1 November 1997-Present
- 182d Operations Group, 1 October 1995-Present
- 169th Tactical Fighter (later Fighter, Airlift) Squadron, 15 October 1962-Present
- Greater Peoria Airport, Illinois, 15 October 1962
- Designated: Peoria Air National Guard Base, Illinois, 1991-Present