485th Air Expeditionary Wing
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|485th Air Expeditionary Wing|
485th Air Expeditionary Wing emblem
|Active||1943–1946, 1984–1989, 2003|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Garrison/HQ||Tabuk, Saudi Arabia (2003)|
|Engagements||Operation Iraqi Freedom|
The 485th Air Expeditionary Wing (485 AEW) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command. As a provisional unit, the 485 AEW may be inactivated or activated at any time by Air Combat Command.
A B-24 Liberator Fifteenth Air Force heavy bomb group during World War II, the 485th Bombardment Group returned to the United States in May 1945, being converted into a B-29 Superfortress Very Heavy bombardment group, undergoing training by Second Air Force when the war ended in August 1945. The group remained at its stage-3 training base, Smoky Hill AAF, Kansas after the war.
In the postwar era, the 485th Bombardment Group was one of the original ten USAAF bombardment groups assigned to Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946. The group was inactivated on 4 August 1946 at Smoky Hill Army Airfield, Kansas due to the Air Force's policy of retaining only low-numbered groups on active duty after the war. It's B-29 aircraft, personnel and equipment being activated as the senior 97th Bombardment Group in an administrative redesignation.
During the 1980s, the 485th was reactivated as a GLCM Cruise Missile wing in Belgium. Inactivated as a result of the INF treaty in 1989,
When activated in 2003, the 485 AEW was a composite wing of 24 F-15C “Eagles” fighter aircraft and 46 C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft and more than 3500 personnel from 82 different locations. The C-130s assembled represent one of the largest combat groupings ever. The wing was composed of aircraft and personnel from Langley AFB, Virginia; Eglin AFB, Florida, as well as the West Virginia Air National Guard, Tennessee Air National Guard, Missouri Air National Guard, Kentucky Air National Guard, Oklahoma Air National Guard, Delaware Air National Guard, and the Air Force Reserve.
By 3 May 2003, the C-130 portion of the wing had flown 1199 missions, 3354 sorties, 7451 hours, hauled 9382 tons of cargo and 8800 passengers, and boasted a mission capable rate average greater than 90 percent. When the F-15s completed flight operations 17 April they had compiled 581 sorties, flown more than 4000 hours and maintained a mission capable rate greater than 83 percent.
The wing was disbanded in early May 2003 with the last members returning to the United States in September of that year.
World War II 
Constituted as 485th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 September 1943 and activated on 20 September. Assigned to II Bomber Command for training in B-24 Liberators. Primarily trained in Nebraska and received deployment orders for the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in March 1944.
Deployed to Southern Italy in April 1944; entered combat in May 1944, being assigned to Fifteenth Air Force. Engaged in very long range strategic bombing missions to enemy military, industrial and transportation targets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia, bombing marshalling yards, oil refineries, airdrome installations, heavy industry, and other strategic objectives.
Received a DUC for combating intense fighter opposition and attacking an oil refinery at Vienna on 26 June 1944. Also carried out some support and interdiction operations. Struck bridges, harbors, and troop concentrations in August 1944 to aid the invasion of Southern France. Hit communications lines and other targets during March and April 1945 to support the advance of British Eighth Army in northern Italy.
Returned to the United States in May 1945, being programmed for deployment to the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) as a B-29 Superfortress Very Heavy Bombardment Group. Many combat veterans of MTO demobilized upon arrival in the United States, and a small cadre of personnel reformed at Sioux Falls Army Airfield, South Dakota at the end of May. Reassigned to Second Air Force for training in Iowa. Retained on active duty after Japanese capitulation and assigned to Continental Air Forces, being stationed at Smoky Hill Army Airfield, Kansas in September.
Transferred to Strategic Air Command in March 1946. Personnel shortages and budget reductions led to squadron inactivation in August 1946, equipment and personnel reassigned to other SAC units
Cold War 
The 485th Tactical Missile Wing operated the Air Force's Ground Launched Cruise Missile base in Florennes Air Base, Belgium. The wing was activated in 1984 and inactivated in 1989 with the withdrawal of American forces from Florennes. Their installations were used by the TLP, which trained NATO airforces in Composite Air Operations (COMAO). This unit moved to Albacete in Spain in the summer of 2009 and the 485th MW buildings were transferred to Belgium.
- Constituted as 485th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 September 1943
- Activated on 20 September 1943
- Redesignated 485th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) on 1 August 1945
- Inactivated on 4 August 1946, aircraft/personnel/equipment redesignated 97th Bombardment Group
- Redesignated: 485th Tactical Missile Wing in 1984
- Activated on: 1 August 1984
- Inactivated: 30 September 1989
- Redesignated: 485th Air Expeditionary Wing and converted to provisional status, 2003.
- Activation/Inactivation dates TBD
- 71st Tactical Missile Squadron: 1 August 1984 to 30 April 1989 (48 missiles)
- 485th Tactical Missile Maintenance Squadron: 1 August 1984 to 30 April 1989
- 506th Bombardment Squadron: 7 March–4 August 1946
- 828th Bombardment Squadron: 20 September 1943 – 4 August 1946
- 829th Bombardment Squadron: 20 September 1943 – 4 August 1946
- 830th Bombardment Squadron: 20 September 1943 – 6 May 1946
- 831st Bombardment Squadron: 1 October 1943 – 20 August 1945
Aircraft flown 
- B-24 Liberator (1943–1946)
- BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missile, 1984–1989
- F-15 Eagle (2003)
- C-130 Hercules (2003)
- C-5 Galaxy (2003)
See also 
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- The Short, Happy Life of the Glick-Em
- http://www.arpc.afrc.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?id=9533, accessed June 2009
- (Page 10) "130thAW mobilizations at highest level since Desert Storm", Capt. David P. Lester, Mountaineer Defender-Magazine of the West Virginia National Guard
- 485th Wing Story
- "166th AW part of Herculean gathering of C-130s in Operation Iraqi Freedom", Capt. David P. Lester, Delaware Air National Guard
- Globalsecurity.org: Florennes, Belgium
- 485th Tactical Missile Wing