542d Combat Sustainment Wing
|542d Combat Sustainment Wing
A member of a Navy SEAL team climbs aboard a 1550th Combat Crew Training Wing MH-53J Pave Low III helicopter at Elephant Butte Lake
|Active||1943–1945, 1971–1994, 2005–2010|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Materiel Command|
|Engagements||European Theater of World War II|
|Decorations||Air Force Outstanding Unit Award|
|General Hunter Harris, Jr.|
|542d Combat Sustainment Wing emblem (approved 9 June 2005)|
|1550th Combat Crew Training Wing emblem (approved 30 Aug 1972[note 1]|
The wing was first organized in England as the 92d Bombardment Wing, a heavy bombardment headquarters of VIII Bomber Command during World War II and took part in the air offensive against Germany until the surrender of Germany in 1945.
In 1973 Military Airlift Command (MAC) activated the 1550th Aircrew Test and Training Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The wing trained aircrews for MAC, Air Mobility Command and Air Education and Training Command from 1971 to 1994 for search and rescue and special operations missions. In 1991 the wing was renumbered and consolidated with the 92d Bombardment Wing as the 542d Crew Training Wing. It was inactivated in 1994 and its mission, personnel and equipment transferred to the 58th Special Operations Wing, which was simultaneously activated.
The wing was redesignated the 542d Combat Sustainment Wing in 2005 and activated as a logistics support organization s part of the Air Force Materiel Command Transformation project.
World War II
The wing was originally organized in 1943 as the 92d Bombardment Wing,[note 2] an operational command wing for Eighth Air Force. The wing entered combat on 11 December 1943, but its groups were withdrawn and it was not operational again until May 1944, although it conducted flying training operations in April. The wing flew in combat in the European Theater until November 1944 when its assigned bombardment groups were attached to another wing. In February 1945 the groups were reassigned. The wing returned to the United States in July 1945 and was disbanded the following month.
The 1550th Aircrew Test and Training Wing was activated in 1973 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, where it trained all USAF helicopter aircrews and trained HC-130 crews for search and rescue missions. It also provided pararescue training and, operational test and evaluation of materiel, and performed local search and rescue missions. It moved to Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. in 1976 and expanded its mission to include special operations training. By 1990, the wing's primary focus would be on special operations training. In 1983, the wing deployed three aircraft to support Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada in the Windward Islands.
From 1984 it focused on the training mission and was redesignated the 1550th Combat Crew Training Wing. In 1991, as the Air Force abolished the MAJCON (four-digit) unit system, the wing was merged with the 92d Bombardment Wing and renamed the 542d Crew Training Wing. Along with the new name, the wing acquired three groups and assumed host responsibility for Kirtland from the 1606th Air Base Wing as it reorganized as a USAF Objective Wing. That same year it deployed aircrew, maintenance personnel and operations personnel to support Operation Desert Storm. Wing aircrews were responsible for the rescue of seven aircrew during the operation. It also deployed personnel to support Operation Provide Hope in Somalia. At the start of 1993, Kirtland Air Force Base transferred to Air Force Materiel Command, and the wing lost its responsibility to act as host together with two of its groups.
With General Merrill McPeak's call to retain historic United States Air Force units on the active list, the 542d was inactivated on 1 April 1994, while the newly redesignated 58th Special Operations Wing took over its training mission.
The wing was again activated in 2005 as the 542d Combat Sustainment Wing as part of the Air Force Materiel Command Transformation project, which replaced the staff agencies at Air Logistics Centers with wings, groups, and squadrons. Its mission was to design, acquire, install, and sustain electronic warfare, avionics, support equipment, vehicles, missiles, automatic test systems and weapons. It was responsible for supply chain management for F-15, C-130 and C-5 aircraft and provided calibration standards and certification of Precision Measurement Laboratories worldwide. It was responsible for life-cycle management of over 800 systems valued at over $56 Billion. Its 542d Combat Sustainment Group supported assigned electronic warfare systems, the 642d Combat Sustainment Group supported assigned support equipment systems, the 752d Combat Sustainment Group supported assigned electronics systems, the 762d Combat Sustainment Group managed logistics support for all assigned systems, and its 782d Combat Sustainment Group supported assigned armament systems. the 742d Combat Sustainment Group supported precision measurement equipment worldwide.
92d Bombardment Wing
- Constituted as 92d Bombardment Wing (Heavy) on 25 October 1943
- Activated on 1 November 1943
- Redesignated 92d Combat Bombardment Wing, Heavy on 24 August 1944
- Redesignated 92d Bombardment Wing, Heavy on 22 November 1944
- Disbanded on 28 August 1945.
- Reconstituted on 31 July 1985 and redesignated 542d Combat Crew Training Wing
- Consolidated with 1550th Combat Crew Training Wing on 1 October 1991
1550th Combat Crew Training Wing
- Designated as the 1550th Aircrew Test and Training Wing and activated on 1 April 1971
- Redesignated 1550th Combat Crew Training Wing on 15 May 1984
- Consolidated with the 542d Combat Crew Training Wing on 1 October 1991
- Redesignated 542d Crew Training Wing on 1 October 1991
- Inactivated on 1 April 1994
- Redesignated 542d Combat Sustainment Wing on 31 January 2005
- Activated on 4 March 2005.
- Inactivated on 30 June 2010
- VIII Bomber Command, 1 November 1943
- 3d Bombardment Division (later, 3d Air Division), 31 March 1944 – 22 June 1945
- Second Air Force, 23 July 1945 – 28 August 1945
- Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service, 1 April 1971
- Twenty-Third Air Force, 1 October 1983
- Twenty-Second Air Force 21 May 1990
- Nineteenth Air Force 1 July 1993 – 1 April 1994
- Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, 4 March 2005 – 30 June 2010
- Polebrook, England (Station 110), 1 November 1943
- Camp Blainey, England (Station 116), ca. 12 December 1943
- Sudbury, England (Station 174), ca, 2 March 1944
- Bury St Edmunds (Station 468), England, ca. 18 November 1944
- Elveden Hall (Station 116), England, 12 February 1945 – ca. 13 July 1945
- Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, 23 July 1945 – 28 August 1945
- Hill Air Force Base, Utah, 1 April 1971
- Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico 15 March 1976 – 1 April 1994
- Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, 4 March 2005 – 30 Jun 2010
World War II
- 542d Medical Group, 1 October 1991 – 1 January 1993
- 542d Operations Group, 1 October 1991 – 1 October 1994
- 542d Support Group, 1 October 1991 – 1 January 1993
Crew Training and Logistics Operations
- 542d Logistics Group (later 542d Electronic Warfare Systems Sustainment Group, 542d Combat Sustainment Group), 1 October 1991 – 1 October 1994, 4 March 2005 – 30 June 2010
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 April 1974–31 March 1976||1550th Aircrew Test and Training Wing|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 April 1976–31 March 1978||1550th Aircrew Test and Training Wing|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 July 1985–30 June 1987||1550th Combat Crew Training Wing|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 July 1987–30 June 1989||1550th Combat Crew Training Wing|
|Air Offensive, Europe||2 November 1943-5 June 1944||92d Bombardment Wing|
|Normandy||6 June 1944-24 July 1944||92d Bombardment Wing|
|Northern France||25 July 1944-14 September 1944||92d Combat Bombardment Wing|
|Rhineland||15 September 1944-21 March 1945||92d Combat Bombardment Wing (later 92d Bombardment Wing)|
|Ardennes-Alsace||16 December 1944-25 January 1945||92d Bombardment Wing|
- This emblem was retained by the 542d Crew Training Wing.
- This wing is not related to the 92d Bombardment Wing, which was active from 1947 to 1991. Ravenstein, pp. 128–130
- Haulman, Daniel L. (March 2, 2009). "Factsheet 542 Combat Sustainment Wing (AFMC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- Maurer, p. 411
- "Abstract, History 1550 Combat Crew Training Wing, Jan–Jun 1990". Air Force History Index. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- "Abstract, History 1550 Aircrew Training & Test Wing, Jul-Dec 1983". Air Force History Index. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- "Abstract, History 542 Crew Training Wing, Jan-Jun 1991". Air Force History Index. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- "Abstract, History 542 Crew Training Wing, Jul 1991-Dec 1992". Air Force History Index. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- Blyth, p. vii
- Briefing 542d Combat Sustainment Wing Requirement Symposium 2006 (retrieved 1 January 2013)[dead link]
- Lineage, station, and campaign information through 1945 are in Maurer, p. 411
- Lineage, Station, Aircraft, Assignment information not included in Maurer, Combat Units is from the AFHRA Factsheet through 2009
- United Kingdom AAF station numbers are in Anderson
- See Mueller, p. 244
- Mueller, Air Force Bases, p. 293
- Anderson, Capt. Barry (1985). Army Air Forces Stations: A Guide to the Stations Where U.S. Army Air Forces Personnel Served in the United Kingdom During World War II (PDF). Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- Blyth, Lance R. (2006). A Brief History of the 58th Special Operations Wing (PDF). Kirtland AFB, NM: History Office. 58th Special Operations Wing.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rogers, Brian. (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, UK: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
- World Airpower Journal. (1992). US Air Force Air Power Directory. Aerospace Publishing: London, UK. ISBN 1-880588-01-3
- 1550th Combat Crew Training Wing, The MAC Flyer, October 1989 (retrieved 1 Jan 2013)
- Helis.com 1550th Aircew Training & Test Wing (retrieved 1 Jan 2013)
- USAF Engineers: 542 CSW (link requires registration)