183d Airlift Squadron
|183d Airlift Squadron|
C-17 Globemaster III from the 183d Airlift Squadron
|Active||1 July 1953-Present|
|Branch||Air National Guard|
|Part of||Mississippi Air National Guard|
|Garrison/HQ||Allen C. Thompson ANGB Field, Jackson, Mississippi|
|Tail Code||Blue tail stripe, "Mississippi" in yellow letters|
|183rd Airlift Squadron emblem|
The 183d Airlift Squadron (183 AS) is a unit of the Mississippi Air National Guard 172d Airlift Wing located at Allen C. Thompson ANGB Field, Jackson, Mississippi. The 115th is equipped with the C-17 Globemaster III.
Authorized by the National Guard Bureau in 1953 at the 183d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. Organized at Hawkins Field, Jackson and extended recognition as a new unit on 1 July 1953. The squadron was assigned to the Tennessee ANG 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, Berry Field, Nashville, for administration, operational control was exercised by the Mississippi Air National Guard.
The 183d TRS was initially equipped with World War II-era RB-26C Invader night photo-reconnaissance aircraft. The black-painted RB-26s were originally medium bombers that were modified for aerial reconnaissance in the late 1940s. Most of the aircraft received were Korean War veterans, were unarmed and carried cameras and flash flares for night aerial photography.
In 1957, the B-26 was reaching the end of its operational USAF service. The squadron was transferred to Military Air Transport Service, and the squadron was re-equipped with C-119 Flying Boxcar transports configured for medical transport. The unit was upgraded to the C-121 Constellation long-range transport in 1962 and primarily carried personnel to overseas locations in Europe and the Caribbean.
On 1 July 1965, the 183d was authorized to expand to a group level, and the 172d Air Transport Group was established by the National Guard Bureau. The 183d ATS becoming the group's flying squadron. Other squadrons assigned into the group were the 183d Headquarters, 183d Material Squadron (Maintenance), 183d Combat Support Squadron, and the 183d USAF Dispensary. The C-124 Globemaster II heavy intercontinental transport was received in 1966 which meant supplies and equipment could be carried around the world along with personnel.
The C-124 was being retired in the early 1970s and the 172d was realigned to a theater transport mission, being equipped with C-130E Hercules aircraft in May 1972. It was upgraded to new 1979-production C-130H aircraft in 1980 and continued to fly tactical airlift missions until the mid-1980s. On 12 July 1986 the first C-141B Starlifter to be released from active-duty Air Force control was assigned to the Mississippi Air National Guard. With a total of eight (8) aircraft, the unit began a new mission in strategic airlift that greatly expanded its global range.
In March 1988 the 172d took part in the airlift of approximately 3200 troops and almost 1000 tons of cargo on an exercise to Palmerola Air Base, Honduras. The 172d had the distinction of being the only Air National Guard unit in the United States which participated in the airlift of troops to Honduras. On 6 December 1988 the Soviet Republic of Armenia suffered a powerful earthquake. The first Air Guard aircraft to fly to Armenia was a C-141B from the 172d. Before relief missions ended, the 172d would fly six missions with its planes and crew and additionally would furnish a crew to fly a U.S. Air Force C-141 whose crew had reached maximum flying hours. In September 1989 a devastating hurricane struck the tiny island of St. Croix, leaving the island crippled, the 172d flew eleven emergency relief missions, hauling 465 tons of cargo and 472 passengers and encompassing 165 hours of flying time.
From 20 December 1989 to 12 January 1990 the 172d flew 21 sorties in support of Operation Just Cause in Panama. The total amount of cargo transported during the support of Operation Just Cause was 403.6 tons Total number of passengers was 1,274. On 7 August 1990 the 172d's support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm began when aircrew members began voluntary missions. Approximately 98 aircrew members flew missions on a volunteer basis. On 24 August 1990 the 183d Airlift Squadron was activated by Presidential Directive. The 183d MAS was one of the first two reserve units to be activated. From August 1990 to May 1991 the 148 members of the 183d flew 2,880 sorties which transported 15,837 passengers and 25,949.2 tons of cargo.
In 2000, the C-141C with electronic "glass cockpit" was received. In October 2000 after the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, members from the Mississippi Air National Guard's 172 Airlift Wing deployed seventeen members to Ramstein Air Base Germany. Members from the 183d Aeromedical Evacuation and 183d Airlift Squadron picked up four sailors from Ramstein Air Base in Germany and flew them home to Norfolk Naval Station. In February 2003 the 172d retired its last C-141C Starlifter in preparation for the arrival of the wings first C-17 Globemaster III.
On 17 December 2003, Lt. Gen. Daniel James III, Director, Air National Guard, hands off the "keys" to the first C-17 Globemaster III (S/N 02-1112) to Maj. Gen. James H. Lipscomb III, adjutant general for the Mississippi National Guard. C-17A 02-1112 was also the first Globemaster III assigned to the Air National Guard. The C-17 was named the "Spirit of the Minutemen".
- Designated 183d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (Night Photo) and allotted to Mississippi ANG in 1953
- Extended federal recognition on 1 July 1953
- Re-designated: 183d Aeromedical Transport Squadron (Light), 1 July 1957
- Re-designated: 183d Air Transport Squadron, 1 July 1962
- Re-designated: 183d Military Airlift Squadron, 8 January 1966
- Re-designated: 183d Tactical Airlift Squadron, 1 May 1972
- Re-designated: 183d Military Airlift Squadron, 1 July 1986
- Federalized and placed on active duty, 24 August 1990
- Released from active duty and returned to Mississippi state control, 30 May 1991
- Re-designated: 183d Airlift Squadron, 16 March 1992
- 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 1 July 1953
- 118th Air Transport Wing, 1 July 1961
- 172d Air Transport Group, 1 July 1965
- 172d Military Airlift Group, 8 January 1966
- 172d Tactical Airlift Group, 1 July 1971
- 172d Military Airlift Group, 1 July 1986
- 315th Military Airlift Wing, 24 August 1990
- 172d Military Airlift Group, 30 May 1991
- 172d Airlift Group, 16 March 1992
- 172d Operations Group, 1 October 1995-Present
- Hawkins Field, Jackson, Mississippi, 1953
- Jackson-Evers International Airport, Jackson, Mississippi, 1963
- Elements operated from: Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, 24 August 1990-30 May 1991
- Designated: Jackson Air National Guard Base, 1991
- Designated: Allen C. Thompson ANGB Field, 2004-Present
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