403d Wing emblem
|Active||27 June 1949 - present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Type||Airlift & Weather Reconnaissance|
|Part of||Air Force Reserve Command
22nd Air Force
|Garrison/HQ||Keesler Air Force Base|
RVGC w/ Palm
|Col. Craig L. La Fave|
403d Wing is a unit of the United States Air Force assigned to the Air Force Reserve Command. It is located at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, and employs a military manning authorization of more than 1,400 reservists, including some 250 full-time air reserve technicians. It also controls an active duty "associate" airlift squadron consisting of active duty Regular Air Force personnel integrated into the operations of its AFRC airlift squadron.
The 403d Wing provides command and staff supervision to assigned squadrons and flights that support tactical airlift missions. These missions include airlift of personnel, equipment and supplies. Additionally, the wing is the only unit in the Department of Defense tasked to organize, equip, train and perform all hurricane weather reconnaissance in support of the Department of Commerce.
The 403d is gained upon mobilization by the Air Mobility Command and will execute missions in support of the theater commander, such as resupply, employment operations within the combat zone or forward area, and when required, aeromedical, refugee evacuation and augmentation of other airlift forces.
- 403d Operations Group
- 403d Operations Support Flight
- 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron "Hurricane Hunters"
- 815th Airlift Squadron "Flying Jennies"
- 345th Airlift Squadron "The Golden Eagles" (Active Associate Squadron)
- 403d Maintenance Group
- 403d Maintenance Squadron
- 403d Maintenance Operations Flight
- 403d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
- 403d Aeromedical Staging Squadron
- 403d Mission Support Group
- 403d Mission Support Squadron
- 403d Civil Engineer Squadron
- 403d Logistics Readiness Squadron
- 403d Security Forces Squadron
- 403d Communications Flight
- 403d Services Flight
- 41st Aerial Port Squadron
- 96th Aerial Port Squadron (Little Rock AFB)
Activated in 1949 as a C-46 Commando Troop Carrier Wing. Ordered to Active Service on 1 April 1951 for duty during the Korean War. The 403d was one of the six units initially assigned to the Eighteenth Air Force, Tactical Air Command, was eventually sent to the Far East.
The 403d mobilized at Portland Municipal Airport, Oregon. The wing trained at home in its C-46s and participated in Eighteenth Air Force’s routine training exercises for the next eleven months. On 11 February 1952, however, the Eighteenth Air Force directed it to transfer its C-46s and prepare to move overseas by 25 March 1952. By 14 April, it was in place at Ashiya AB, Kyushu, Japan. There it acquired a second group and some independent squadrons.
Upon arrival at Ashiya, the 403d immediately converted to C-119s. This action finally solved the Far East Air Force’s year-old problem of providing the Army with sufficient lift to handle the 187th Regimental Combat Team intact. The new arrangement was soon put to the test. In May 1952, the 403d airlifted the 187th Regimnental Combat Team to Pusan in an expedited movement incident to the quelling of a communist prisoner-of-war riot at Koje-do Island. The wing’s subsequent operations encompassed airborne assault training, airdrop resupply, air landed resupply, and air movement of complete units in the Far East. It engaged in a number of airborne training missions with the 137th Regimental Combat Team. In October 1952 the wing participated in an airborne feint which was part of a United Nations Command amphibious demonstration off eastern Korea
After it had served the prescribed twenty-one months on active military service, the 403d Troop Carrier Wing was inactivated on 1 January, and returned to reserve status.
Cold War and after
Performed routine airlift training the Reserve, 1953-1962. During that time, the wing also supported Army airdrop training, ferried aircraft to various parts of the country and the world, took part in training exercises, and performed humanitarian missions as needed.
Served on active duty during Cuban Missile Crisis, Oct Nov 1962. In 1963, it moved US troops to the Dominican Republic and airlifted Christmas gifts destined for US servicemen in Vietnam.
After a period of uncertainty from 1969 to 1971, when it served as a composite wing with a variety of missions and aircraft, the 403d returned to tactical airlift missions. From 1971 to 1976, the wing took part in several tactical exercises and humanitarian airlift operations. During that time it also ferried aircraft, supplies, and equipment to US forces in Vietnam and other points in the Far East. In 1976 and 1977, the wing began to perform search and rescue, aeromedical evacuation, and weather reconnaissance missions. Its crews and aircraft flew into hurricanes to determine their intensities and movements. In 1978, after a mass suicide at Jonestown in Guyana, the wing helped recover the bodies of US citizens. After the eruption of Mount St. Helens (Washington) in 1980, the wing participated in search and rescue efforts.
Its most memorable accomplishments, however, have been while flying reserve-status humanitarian airlift missions such as those flown during Operation Provide Relief, rescue missions supporting the space shuttle program, providing airlift support to U.S. Southern Command and U.S. embassies within Central and South America, and participating in real-world war contingencies such as Operations Just Cause, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Provide Promise, Provide Comfort, Uphold Democracy, and Provide Relief.
On 6 August 2010 the wing received operational control of the activated 345th Airlift Squadron "The Golden Eagles," the first C-130 active associate squadron in the Air Mobility Command, and began integrating its personnel with the operations of the AFRC 815th AS. However on 21 March 2013 the wing announced that beginning in October 2013 it would be redeploying its 10 C-130J aircraft to Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, in preparation for inactivation of the 815th AS under the Force Structure Action Implementation Plan. The status of the 345th AS remained undetermined, and that of the 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron was unaffected.
- Established as 403d Troop Carrier Wing, Medium on 10 May 1949
- Activated in the Reserve on 27 June 1949
- Ordered to active duty on 1 April 1951
- Inactivated on 1 January 1953
- Activated in the Reserve on 1 January 1953
- Ordered to active duty on 28 October 1962
- Relieved from active duty on 28 November 1962
- Re-designated: 403d Tactical Airlift Wing on 1 July 1967
- Re-designated: 403d Composite Wing on 31 December 1969
- Re-designated: 403d Tactical Airlift Wing on 29 July 1971
- Re-designated: 403d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing on 15 March 1976
- Re-designated: 403d Rescue and Weather Reconnaissance Wing on 1 January 1977
- Re-designated: 403d Tactical Airlift Wingon 31 December 1987
- Re-designated: 403d Airlift Wing on 1 February 1992
- Re-designated: 403d Wing on 1 July 1994.
- Fourth Air Force, 27 June 1949
- Tactical Air Command, 2 April 1951
- Eighteenth Air Force, 1 June 1951 – 1 January 1953
- Attached to 315th Air Division, 14 April 1952 – 1 January 1953
- Fourth Air Force, 1 January 1953
- Tenth Air Force, 16 November 1957
- Fifth Air Force Reserve Region, 1 September 1960
- Twelfth Air Force, 28 October 1962
- Fifth Air Force Reserve Region, 28 November 1962
- Central Air Force Reserve Region, 31 December 1969
- Eastern Air Force Reserve Region, 1 April 1971
- Western Air Force Reserve Region, 15 March 1976
- Fourth Air Force, 8 October 1976
- Fourteenth Air Force, 1 August 1992
- Twenty-Second Air Force, 1 July 1993
- Tenth Air Force, I Oct 1994
- Twenty-Second Air Force, 1 April 1997 – present
- 314th Troop Carrier Group: attached 14 April-31 Dec 1952
- 403d Troop Carrier (later, 403d Operations) Group: 27 June 1949 – 1 January 1953; 1 January 1953 – 14 April 1959; 1 August 1992
- 908th Airlift Group: 1 August 1992 – 1 October 1994
- 913th Tactical Airlift (later, 913th Airlift) Group: 21 April 1971 – 8 January 1976; 1 August 1992 – 1 October 1994
- 914th Tactical Airlift Group: 21 April 1971 – 8 January 1976
- 920th Weather Reconnaissance Group: 1 January 1977 – 1 July 1981; 1 March 1983 – 1 November 1983
- 927th Troop Carrier (later, 927th Tactical Airlift; 927th Tactical Air Support; 927th Tactical Airlift) Group: 11 February 1963 – 31 December 1969; 1 June 1970 – 15 March 1976
- 928th Troop Carrier (later Tactical Airlift, later Tactical Air Support, later Tactical Airlift) Group: 11 February 1963 – 1 December 1969
- 929th Troop Carrier Group: 11 February 1963 – 1 January 1964
- 930th Special Operations Group: 1 June 1970 – 15 January 1971
- 931st Tactical Air Support Group: 1 June 1970 – 15 January 1971
- 934th Tactical Airlift Group: 31 December 1987 – 1 August 1992
- 939th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group: 1 April 1985 – 1 October 1987
- 21st Troop Carrier Squadron: attached 14 April-1 Dec 1952
- 53d Troop Carrier Squadron: attached 14 April-c. 12 September 1952
- 63d Troop Carrier Squadron: 14 April 1959 – 11 February 1963
- 64th Troop Carrier Squadron: 14 April 1959 – 11 February 1963
- 65th Troop Carrier Squadron: 14 April 1959 – 11 January 1963
- 301st Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron: 15 March 1976 – 1 October 1987
- 303d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron: 15 March 1976 – 1 April 1985
- 304th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron: 15 March 1976 – 8 April 1985
- 305th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron: 15 March 1976 – 1 October 1987
- 815th Weather Reconnaissance (later, 815th Tactical Airlift; 815th Airlift) Squadron: 1 November 1983 – 1 August 1992
- 6461st Troop Carrier Squadron: attached 1–31 December 1952
- Fact Sheet: 345th Airlift Squadron "The Golden Eagles"
- 403rd Wing losing C-130J aircraft, 403rd Wing Public Affairs (Retrieved 21 March 2013)
- Fletcher, Harry R., Air Force Bases Volume II, Active Air Force Bases outside the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1989. ISBN 0-16-002261-4.
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1961 (republished 1983). ISBN 0-912799-02-1.
- Mueller, Robert. Air Force Bases Volume I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1989. ISBN 0-912799-53-6.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947-1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
- Rogers, Brian, United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Midland Publications, 2006. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
- Uncredited. Two Years Pacific Sandman, 403d Troop Carrier Group. Public Relations Staff, 1945.