150th Air Refueling Squadron
|150th Air Refueling Squadron|
150th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker
|Branch||Air National Guard|
|Part of||New Jersey Air National Guard|
|Garrison/HQ||Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Wrightstown, New Jersey|
|Nickname(s)||"Count on us"|
|Tail Code||Orange Tail Stripe "New Jersey" in black letters, Princeton Tiger graphic|
|150th Air Refueling Squadron emblem|
The 150th Air Refueling Squadron (150 ARS) was a unit of the New Jersey Air National Guard 108th Air Refueling Wing. It was assigned to McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey and was equipped with the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. The squadron was inactivated in 2008 following the retirement of the wing's KC-135E aircraft.
Established at Newark Airport, New Jersey, on February 1, 1956. Initially equipped with C-46 Commando aircraft, performing primarily tactical transport missions from Newark in the northeast. In 1963, retired the C-46 and was re-equipped with the C-121 Constellation long distance transport, primarily for passenger movements to Europe, also flew to the Caribbean and to Japan, Thailand, South Vietnam, Australia and the Philippines during the Vietnam War. In 1965, the unit relocated to McGuire AFB, New Jersey.
The Constellations were retired in 1973, being replaced with the C-7 Caribou light transport, which was withdrawn from service in the Vietnam War. The C-7s were used for carrying small payloads in combat areas with rough airstrips.
In 1977, upon receipt of Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers, the unit became the 150th Air Refueling Squadron. It was the first air refueling unit in the United States to launch tankers to establish the now famous U.S.-Saudi Arabia "Air Bridge" during Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. Hours after President Bush ordered U.S. forces to the Persian Gulf, 150th aircrews were refueling fighters and cargo transports winging their way nonstop from the U.S. to the Persian Gulf. Shortly thereafter, and again, prior to certain units personnel being activated, the 150th deployed aircraft, aircrews, maintenance and support personnel to Saudi Arabia. It also provided urgently needed medical, security police and support personnel to U.S. air bases to assist active duty personnel and serve as "back-fill" for those already rushed to the combat theater.
On 1 October 1993, the 170th Air Refueling Group was consolidated with the senior 108th Air Refueling Wing at McGuire AFB for budgeting reasons. The 170th Air Refueling Group was inactivated, however, the 150th Air Refueling Squadron remained active, being assigned to the 108th Operations Group as its second KC-135 Squadron (along with the 141st ARS).
In September 1994, for over 30 days, five aircraft and 300 members deployed to Pisa, Italy for Operation DENY FLIGHT. Supported by 15 active duty Air Force personnel, the squadron was the first Air National Guard unit to take full responsibility during that period.
- Designated 150th Air Transport Squadron, Heavy and allotted to New Jersey ANG, 1956
- Extended federal recognition and activated, 1 February 1956
- Redesignated 150th Aeromedical Evacuation Transport Squadron, Light on 1 February 1957
- Redesignated 150th Air Transport Squadron, Heavy on 10 December 1963
- Redesignated 150th Military Airlift Squadron on 1 January 1966
- Redesignated 150th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron ca. 1 December 1969
- Redesignated 150th Tactical Airlift Squadron on 22 June 1973
- Redesignated 150th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 1 April 1977
- Redesignated 150th Air Refueling Squadron ca. 16 March 1992
- New Jersey Air National Guard, 1 February 1956
- Gained by Military Air Transport Service
- 170th Air Transport Group, 18 January 1964
- 170th Military Airlift Group, 8 January 1966
- 170th Tactical Airlift Group, 1 July 1973
- 170th Air Refueling Group, 1 April 1977
- 108th Operations Group, 30 September 1993 – 2008