303d Aeronautical Systems Wing
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|303d Aeronautical Systems Wing|
Emblem of the 303d Aeronautical Systems Wing
|Active||1951–1964; 1986–1989; 2005–present|
|Part of||Air Force Material Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Wright-Patterson Air Force Base|
The 303d Aeronautical Systems Wing (303 ASW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Force Material Command Aeronautical Systems Center. It is stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio as a tenant unit.
The wing is the successor organization to the World War II Eighth Air Force 303d Bombardment Group. The group was one of the first VIII Bomber Command B-17 Flying Fortress units in England. The "Hell's Angels" were the first B-17 group to complete 25 combat missions in June 1943, going on to fly more than 300 combat missions, more than any other group. The 359th BS B-17F 41-24605 "Knock-out Dropper" was the first aircraft in Eighth Air Force to complete 50, then 75 missions.
During the Cold War, the Strategic Air Command 303d Bombardment Wing was a B-47 Stratojet medium bomber wing in the 1950s, and later became a Tactical Missile Wing assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe during the 1980s.
The 303 ASW has responsibility for program execution to develop, acquire, field and modernize capabilities; and support for life-cycle management for the United States and coalition partners.
Wing responsibilities also include identifying, coordinating and implementing horizontal integration/capability planning across weapons systems in support of the Global Strike and Global Persistent Attack concept of operations.
- For additional history and lineage, see 303d Bombardment Group
Trained for strategic bombardment and air refueling operations to meet Strategic Air Command's global commitments, equipped with B-29 Superfortresses. Deployed to Sidi Slimane AB, French Morocco, 5 Oct-6 Nov 1952.
Replaced the propeller-driven B-29s with new B-47E Stratojet swept-wing medium bombers in 1953, capable of flying at high subsonic speeds and primarily designed for penetrating the airspace of the Soviet Union. Flew numerous training missions and participated in various SAC exercises and deployments with the Stratojet, deploying to Greenham Common RAF Station, England, 17 Mar-28 Apr 1954; Fairford RAF Station, England, 28 Apr-5 Jun 1954; and Anderson AFB, Guam, 4 Jul-4 Oct 1956 and 5 Apr-5 Jul 1958.
In the early 1960s, the B-47 was considered to be reaching obsolescence, and was being phased out of SAC's strategic arsenal. Began sending its stratojets to AMARC in 1963, the last being retired in 1964. Wing was inactivated on 15 June 1964 after the last B-47 was retired.
Reactivated as a BGM-109G Gryphon Cruise Missile wing in August 1986. Maintained 64 operational missiles in a combat-ready state. Inactivated in January 1989 as a result of the INF treaty and the elimination of the BGM-109G missile from service.
As part of the Aeronautical Systems Center, the 303d designs, develops and delivers dominant aerospace weapon systems and capabilities for U.S. Air Force, other U.S. military, allied and coalition-partner warfighters, in support of Air Force leadership priorities.
- Established as 303d Bombardment Wing, Medium, on 27 August 1951
- Activated on 4 September 1951
- Discontinued, and inactivated, on 15 June 1964
- Redesignated 303d Tactical Missile Wing on 19 August 1986
- Activated on 12 December 1986
- Inactivated on 31 January 1989
- Consolidated (23 Jun 2006) with the 303d Reconnaissance Systems Wing, which was established on 23 November 2004.
- Activated on 18 January 2005
- Redesignated 303d Aeronautical Systems Wing on 14 July 2006.
- Inactivated on 1 July 2010 as it was re-stood up as ASC/WI (Aeronautical Systems Center, ISR Directorate) on the same date.
- 36th Air Division, 4 September 1951
- Attached to: 5th Air Division, 5 Oct-6 Nov 1952
- Attached to: 7th Air Division, 4 Mar-5 Jun 1954
- Attached to: 3rd Air Division, 4 Jul-4 Oct 1956 and 5 Apr-4 Jul 1958
- 12th Air (later, 12 Strategic Aerospace) Division, 15 Mar 1960 – 15 Jun 1964
- Third Air Force, 12 Dec 1986 – 31 Jan 1989
- Aeronautical Systems Center, 18 Jan 2005–present
- 303d Bombardment Group: 4 Sep 1951 – 16 Jun 1952 (not operational)
- 9th Air Refueling Squadron: attached 15 Jan-5 Oct 1952 and 15 Nov 1952 – 25 Apr 1953
- 43rd Air Refueling Squadron: 15 Mar-15 Nov 1960
- 303d Air Refueling Squadron: attached 4 Sep 1951 – 8 Apr 1952 (not operational); assigned 18 Feb 1953 – 1 Feb 1956 (detached 19 Apr-2 Jun 1955)
- 358th Bombardment Squadron: attached 4 Sep 1951 – 15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952 – 15 Jun 1964
- 359th Bombardment Squadron: attached 4 Sep 1951 – 15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952 – 15 Jun 1964
- 360th Bombardment Squadron: attached 4 Sep 1951 – 15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952 – 15 Jun 1964
- 427th Bombardment Squadron: 1 Dec 1958 – 1 Jan 1962 (not operational, 1 Sep 1961 – 1 Jan 1962)
- 87th Tactical Missile Squadron: 12 December 1986 to 31 January 1989
- 303d Tactical Missile Maintenance Squadron: 12 December 1986 to 31 January 1989
Detachments: Det, 96th Air Refueling Squadron: attached c. 4 Jul-c. 4 October 1956.
- Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, 4 Sep 1951 – 15 Jun 1964
- RAF Molesworth, England, 12 Dec 1986 – 31 Jan 1989
- BGM-109G Missile site located at:
Aircraft and missiles
- B-29 Superfortress, 1951–1953
- KB-29 Superfortress (Tanker), 1952, 1952–1953
- B-47 Stratojet, 1953–1964
- KC-97 Stratotanker, 1953–1956, 1956, 1960
- BGM-109G, GLCM, 1987–1988.
- List of B-29 units of the United States Air Force
- List of B-47 units of the United States Air Force
- List of BGM-109G GLCM Units
- List of United States Air Force missile squadrons
- Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947–1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
- The Short, Happy Life of the Glick-Em
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