319th Air Base Wing
|319th Air Base Wing|
|Active||1949; 1949–1951; 1955–1957; 1963-present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Role||Base Administrative and Logistic Support|
|Part of||Air Combat Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Grand Forks Air Force Base|
|Nickname(s)||Warriors of the North|
|Motto(s)||Defensores Libertatis Latin Defenders of Freedom|
|Decorations||Distinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
French Croix de Guerre with Palm
|Colonel Benjamin Spencer|
|Joseph R. Holzapple|
|319th Air Base Wing Emblem
Approved 6 January 1964
The 319th Air Base Wing (319 ABW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command. It is stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. The wing is the host unit at Grand Forks.
The 319 ABW was one of only three "super tanker" wings in the United States Air Force.
Its 319th Operations Group is the successor of the World War II 319th Bombardment Group. The 319 BG was the first Martin B-26 Marauder group in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. The group received two Distinguished Unit Citation. Active for over 60 years, the 319th Bombardment Wing was a component of Strategic Air Command's deterrent force during the Cold War, as a strategic bombardment wing.
The 319th Air Base Wing is commanded by Colonel Benjamin Spencer. Its Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant Todd R. Krulcik.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Global War on Terrorism
- 3 Subordinate organizations
- 4 History
- 5 Lineage
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
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The mission of the 319th Air Base Wing is to support "Global Engagement" operations. The wing provides support functions for the Air Combat Command (ACC).
The 319th Air Base Wing won the 2002 Solano Trophy on 26 April 2002 for the best active-duty unit in Fifteenth Air Force.
Global War on Terrorism
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After the September 11 attacks, the wing was the first to fly an Air Mobility Command sortie supporting the Air Force's response to the terrorist attacks by refueling the F-16 that delivered the Federal Emergency Management Agency director to New York only three and a half hours after the attacks. All of the 319th Air Refueling Wing's mission-capable aircraft were prepped, fueled and cocked within 24 hours.
By the end of 2001, the wing had flown more than 120 Operation Noble Eagle sorties, off-loading more than 4.8 million pounds of fuel to 260 combat air patrol and support aircraft. KC-135 tankers from the 319th were the first on the ground, first in the air, first to fly over enemy territory, and first to provide aerial refueling while a base of operations in the Persian Gulf was being established for Operation Enduring Freedom. In total, they had flown more than 890 sorties, flying 6,700 hours and off-loading more than 50 million pounds of fuel to more than 3,000 receivers.
The wing also earned an "excellent" and "solid green" for the deployed 319th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron during the first-ever Expeditionary Operational Readiness Inspection while conducting operations at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Additionally, for the second year in a row, the 319th Aircraft Generation Squadron earned top Air Mobility Command aircraft maintenance effectiveness honors for the medium category.
The 319th Air Refueling Wing reached a significant milestone 3 July 2002 by flying its 1,000th hour in support of Operation Noble Eagle. The milestone-marking mission started the evening of 2 July and was commanded by Capt Kulka of the 905th Air Refueling Squadron. The crew’s mission was to provide fuel to F-16’s from Shaw Air Force Base, SC, while they patrolled the skies over the nation’s capitol.
319th Operations Support Squadron (319 OSS)
319th Comptroller Squadron (319 CPTS)
319th Mission Support Group (319 MSG)
- 319th Civil Engineer Squadron (319 CES)
- 319th Communications Squadron (319 CS)
- 319th Contracting Squadron (319 CONS)
- 319th Force Support Squadron (319 FSS)
- 319th Security Forces Squadron (319 SFS)
- 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron (319 LRS)
319th Medical Group (319 MDG)
- 319th Medical Operations Squadron (319 MDOS)
- 319th Medical Support Squadron (319 MDSS)
- See the 319th Operations Group for additional history and lineage prior to 1949
The 319th Bombardment Wing was established in the Air Force Reserve on 10 May 1949 and activated on 27 June at Reading Municipal Airport, Pennsylvania. The unit was not manned or equipped before it was inactivated on 2 September. The wing was reactivated on 10 October at Birmingham Municipal Airport, Alabama, where it replaced the 514th Troop Carrier Wing. It flew B-26 Invader light bombers. The 319th performed Reserve training until ordered to active service on 10 March 1951 due to the Korean War. Once activated, wing personnel and aircraft were deployed as replacement personnel for active-duty combat units. It was inactivated two weeks later on 28 March.
The wing was redesignated the 319th Fighter-Bomber Wing on 12 April 1955 and was activated in the reserve on 18 May at Memphis Municipal Airport, Tennessee. It replaced the 8710th Pilot Training Wing and performed reserve training. From July 1956 through August 1957, it maintained two Republic F-84 Thunderjets on "runway alert," under the operational control of the 20th Air Division of Air Defense Command. The wing was inactivated on 16 November 1957 and replaced by the 445th Troop Carrier Wing, as the Air Force converted those air reserve forces not in the Air National Guard into an all airlift organization.
B-52 bomber era
4133d Strategic Wing
On 1 September 1958, Strategic Air Command (SAC) established the 4133d Strategic Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, an Air Defense Command (ADC) base whose host was the 478th Fighter Group and assigned it to Second Air Force as part of SAC's plan to disperse its B-52 Stratofortress heavy bombers over a larger number of bases, thus making it more difficult for the Soviet Union to knock out the entire fleet with a surprise first strike. In January 1959 the 4133d was transferred to the 821st Air Division. The wing remained a headquarters only until 1 February 1960 when the 905th Air Refueling Squadron Flying Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers, three maintenance squadrons and a squadron to provide security for special weapons were activated and assigned to the wing.
In March 1961, the 39th Munitions Maintenance Squadron was activated to oversee the wing's special weapons but it was not until 1 January 1962 that the 30th Bombardment Squadron, consisting of 15 Boeing B-52Hs, moved to Grand Forks from Homestead AFB, Florida where it had been one of the three squadrons of the 19th Bombardment Wing. Starting in 1960, one third of the wing's aircraft were maintained on fifteen-minute alert, fully fueled and ready for combat to reduce vulnerability to a Soviet missile strike. This was increased to half the wing's aircraft in 1962. The 4133d (and later the 319th) continued to maintain an alert commitment until September 1991. On 1 July 1962, the 4133d was reassigned to the 810th Strategic Aerospace Division.
319th Bombardment Wing
In 1962, in order to perpetuate the lineage of many currently inactive bombardment units with illustrious World War II records, Headquarters SAC received authority from Headquarters USAF to discontinue its Major Command controlled (MAJCON) strategic wings that were equipped with combat aircraft and to activate Air Force controlled (AFCON) units, most of which were inactive at the time which could carry a lineage and history.[note 1]
As a result, the 4133d SW was replaced by the 319th Bombardment Wing (BW), which assumed its mission, personnel, and equipment on 1 February 1963.[note 2] The 46th Bombardment Squadron, a squadron that had been assigned to the wing when it was a reserve organization, replaced the 30th BS. The 905th Air Refueling Squadron and the 59th Munitions Maintenance Squadron were reassigned to the 319th. Component support units were replaced by units with the numerical designation of the newly established wing. Each of the new units assumed the personnel, equipment, and mission of its predecessor.
Shortly after the wing was activated, Grand Forks was transferred from ADC to SAC in July 1963, and the personnel and equipment of ADC's 478th Air Base Group and 478th USAF Dispensary were transferred to form the wing's 319th Combat Support Group and 804th Medical Group. In 1964, however, the wing became a tenant of the 321st Strategic Missile Wing as its base support mission, manpower, and equipment was transferred to the 321st.
The wing placed aircraft on peacetime quick reaction alert duty, and conducted global bombardment training for Emergency War Order operations and air refueling operations to meet SAC commitments. During the Vietnam War, the 319th Bomb Wing's mission expanded to include sending bomber and tanker aircrews on temporary duty assignments to support B-52 and KC-135 operations from 1963 to 1974. Tanker crews participated in refueling operations for both bombers and fighters. The bomb crews flew B-52Ds from bases at Andersen AFB, Guam; Kadena AB, Okinawa, and U-Tapao RTNAF, Thailand. Bomber crews participated in Operation Arc Light in 1968 and Operations Linebacker I and Linebacker II in 1972.
In 1973, the 319th Bombardment Wing acquired the AGM-69 Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM), replacing the older AGM-28 Hound Dog air-to-ground missile aboard its B-52Hs. As the activities in Southeast Asia decreased, the 319th Bomb Wing focused its full efforts on training crews to fly strategic strike missions. It participated in a SAC program to test admission of females to the inflight refueling career field, January–December 1979.
B-1 bomber era
The wing converted from B-52 to B-1B Lancer bombers, 1986–1987 and flew training missions with conventional and nuclear configurations. Tanker crews assigned to the wing assisted in air refueling efforts during the invasion of Panama in December 1989. It deployed tankers to Oman, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to provide air refueling and cargo missions in Southwest Asia, August 1990 – April 1991.
In line with the changing international situation, President George H. W. Bush decided to reduce the US nuclear alert force. Thus, on 28 September 1991, the 319th Wing pulled its B-1B bombers and KC-135R tankers from quick reaction alert duty, ending nearly three decades of such activity at Grand Forks AFB.
With the inactivation of SAC on 1 June 1992, the Air Force redesignated the 319th Wing as the 319th Wing and assigned it to the newly established Air Combat Command (ACC). At the same time, the wing's 905th Air Refueling Squadron and its KC-135R tankers were assigned to the 305th Air Refueling Wing at Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana, despite the fact that they remained physically stationed at Grand Forks AFB. Because it had lost its air refueling components, the wing became the 319th Bomb Wing. Still remaining at Grand Forks, the 905th was reassigned to the 43d Air Refueling Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, on 1 July 1993.
On 1 February 1993 ACC dropped the 319th Bomb Wing's primary nuclear mission and gave the wing the primary mission of B-1B conventional bombardment operations. The wing began planning and training to support such a mission to counter worldwide regional threats.
On 1 October 1993 the Air Force redesignated the 319th Bomb Wing as the 319th Air Refueling Wing. The wing was reassigned from the Air Combat Command to the Air Mobility Command. It also reacquired the 905th Air Refueling Squadron and its KC-135R tankers while turning over its B-1B bombers to the newly activated 319th Bombardment Group, an Air Combat Command organization. On 1 February 1994 the Air Mobility Command transferred the 906th Air Refueling Squadron from Minot AFB, North Dakota, to the 319th Air Refueling Wing.
The 319th supported worldwide Tanker Task Forces, as well as, combat operations in Southwest Asia, Central Europe, and Counter Narco-Terror operations in Central America by providing air refueling for combat aircraft.
Switch to Base Support
In March 2011, pursuant to a Base Realignment and Closure decision, the wing lost its operational manned flying mission and was redesignated the 319th Air Base Wing. In September, remotely piloted (e.g., unmanned) aircraft operations commenced when the 69th Reconnaissance Group of the Air Combat Command, flying the RQ-4 Global Hawk, was activated at Grand Forks. Although the 69th is assigned to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, California, it receives administrative and logistics support from the 319th. On 13 June 2017 it was announced that the 319th would be realigned from the Air Mobility Command to the Air Combat Command.
- Constituted as 319th Bombardment Wing, Light on 10 May 1949
- Activated in the reserve on 27 June 1949
- Inactivated on 2 September 1949
- Activated on 10 October 1949
- Ordered to active service on 10 March 1951
- Inactivated on 28 March 1951
- Redesignated 319th Fighter-Bomber Wing on 12 April 1955
- Activated on 18 May 1955
- Inactivated on 16 November 1957
- Redesignated 319th Bombardment Wing, Heavy on 15 November 1962 in the Regular Air Force
- Activated on 15 November 1962 (not organized)
- Organized on 1 February 1963
- Redesignated 319th Wing on 1 September 1991
- Redesignated 319th Bomb Wing on 1 June 1992
- Redesignated 319th Air Refueling Wing on 1 October 1993
- Redesignated 319th Air Base Wing on 1 March 2011
- Reading Regional Airport, Pennsylvania, 27 June 1949 – 2 September 1949
- Birmingham, Alabama, 10 October 1949 – 28 March 1951
- Memphis, Tennessee, 18 May 1955 – 16 November 1957
- Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, 1 February 1963 – present
- 319th Air Base Group (later 319th Combat Support Group. 319th Support Group, 319th Mission Support Group): 27 June 1949 – 2 September 1949; 10 October 1949 – 22 March 1951; 18 May 1955 – 16 November 1957; 1 September 1991 – present
- 319th Bombardment Group (later, 319th Fighter-Bomber Group, 319th Operations Group): 27 June 1949 – 2 September 1949; 10 October 1949 – 22 March 1951; 18 May 1955 – 16 November 1957; 1 September 1991 – present
- 319th Maintenance and Supply Group (later 319th Maintenance Group, 319th Logistics Group): 27 June 1949 – 2 September 1949; 10 October 1949 – 22 March 1951; 18 May 1955 – 16 November 1957; 1 September 1991 – present
- 319th Medical Group (later 319th Tactical Hospital, 319th Medical Group): 27 June 1949 – 2 September 1949; 10 October 1949 – 22 March 1951; 18 May 1955 – 16 November 1957; 1 September 1991 – present
- 804th Medical Group; 1 July 1963 – 1 November 1964
- 46th Bombardment Squadron: 1 February 1963 – 1 September 1991
- 905th Air Refueling Squadron: 1 February 1963 – 1 September 1991
Support and Maintenance Squadrons
- 319th Airborne Missile Maintenance Squadron: 1 February 1963 – 30 June 1974
- 319th Armament and Electronics Maintenance Squadron (later 319th Avionics Maintenance Squadron): 1 February 1963 – 31 March 1991
- 319th Comptroller Squadron: 1 September 1991 – 1 July 1994; 1 March 1996 – present
- 319th Field Maintenance Squadron: 1 February 1963 – 1 September 1991
- 319th Organizational Maintenance Squadron: 1 February 1963 – 1 September 1991
Awards and Campaigns
|Distinguished Unit Citation||3 March 1944||Rome, Italy (bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group)|
|Distinguished Unit Citation||11 March 1944||Florence, Italy (bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group)|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 July 1977 – 30 June 1979||319th Bombardment Wing|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 October 1993 – 30 June 1995||319th Air Refueling Wing|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 July 1995 – 30 June 1997||319th Air Refueling Wing|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 July 2000 – 30 June 2002||319th Air Refueling Wing|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 July 2002 – 30 June 2004||319th Air Refueling Wing|
|French Croix de Guerre with Palm||April, May, June 1944||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|Air Combat EAME Theater||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|Algeria-French Morocco||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|Tunisia||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|Sicily||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|Naples-Foggia||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|Anzio||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|Rome-Arno||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|Southern France||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|North Apennines||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|Air Offensive, Japan||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|Ryukyus||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
|China Offensive||bestowed, earned by 319th Bombardment Group|
- MAJCON units could not carry a permanent history or lineage. Ravenstein, Guide to Air Force Lineage and Honors, p. 12
- The 319th Wing continued, through temporary bestowal, the history, and honors of the World War II 319th Bombardment Group. It was also entitled to retain the honors (but not the history or lineage) of the 4133d.
- Ravenstein, Combat Wings, pp. 169–170
- "Biographies". Grand Forks Air Base. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- Mueller, pp. 199–203
- "Abstract (Unclassified), Vol 1, History of Strategic Air Command, Jan-Jun 1957 (Secret)". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- "Factsheet 821 Strategic Aerospace Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 11 October 2007. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- Maurer, pp. 148–149
- "Abstract (Unclassified), History of the Strategic Bomber since 1945 (Top Secret, downgraded to Secret)". Air Force History Index. 1 April 1975. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- "Factsheet 810 Strategic Aerospace Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 11 October 2007. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- Dollman, TSG David (20 October 2016). "Factsheet 319 Air Base Wing (AMC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Fontaine, Scott (1 March 2011). "N.D. wing undergoes name, mission change". Air Force Times. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- Rupard, Wade (16 October 2015). "With UAS progress, return of tankers to GFAFB a possibility, Hoeven says". Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Robertson, Patsy (17 September 2015). "Factsheet 69 Reconnaissance Group (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). A Guide to Air Force Lineage and Honors (2d, Revised ed.). Maxwell AFB, AL: USAF Historical Research Center.
- Further Reading
- Rogers, Brian. (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, UK: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.