940th Air Refueling Wing

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940th Air Refueling Wing
Air Force Reserve Command.png
940th Wing - Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Block 20 Global Hawk 04-2015.jpg
940th Wing RQ-4 Global Hawk
Active 1963-present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Air Refueling
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQ Beale Air Force Base, California
Motto(s) Citizen Warriors – Always First – Answering America’s Call
Engagements Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force, Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Joint Forge
Decorations Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Website www.940arw.afrc.af.mil
Colonel Craig C. Peters
940th Air Refueling Wing emblem (approved 11 December 1968)[1] 940th Air Refueling Wing.png
Tail code BB
Aircraft flown
Tanker Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker

The 940th Air Refueling Wing is an Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the Tenth Air Force of Air Force Reserve Command, stationed at Beale Air Force Base, California.



  • 940th Operations Group
314th Air Refueling Squadron[citation needed]
  • 940th Mission Support Group
940th Force Support Squadron
940th Security Forces Squadron
940th Civil Engineer Flight
940th Logistics Readiness Squadron
  • 940th Aerospace Medical Squadron


Need for reserve troop carrier groups[edit]

After May 1959, the reserve flying force consisted of 45 troop carrier squadrons assigned to 15 troop carrier wings.[note 1] The squadrons were not all located with their parent wings, but were spread over thirty-five Air Force, Navy and civilian airfields under what was called the Detached Squadron Concept. The concept offered several advantages. Communities were more likely to accept the smaller squadrons than the large wings and the location of separate squadrons in smaller population centers would facilitate recruiting and manning.[2] However, under this concept, all support organizations were located with the wing headquarters.[3] Although this was not a problem when the entire wing was called to active service, mobilizing a single flying squadron and elements to support it proved difficult. This weakness was demonstrated in the partial mobilization of reserve units during the Berlin Crisis of 1961. To resolve this, at the start of 1962, Continental Air Command, (ConAC) determined to reorganize its reserve wings by establishing groups with support elements for each of its troop carrier squadrons. This reorganization would facilitate mobilization of elements of wings in various combinations when needed.[4]

Activation of the 940th Troop Carrier Group[edit]

As a result, the 940th Troop Carrier Group was established at McClellan Air Force Base, California on 11 February 1963 as the headquarters for the 314th Troop Carrier Squadron, which had been stationed there since October 1955.[5] Along with group headquarters, a Combat Support Squadron, Materiel Squadron and a Tactical Infirmary were organized to support the 314th. The group was equipped with Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars for Tactical Air Command airlift operations.

The group was one of four C-119 groups assigned to the 349th Troop Carrier Wing in 1963, the others were the 938th Troop Carrier Group at Hamilton Air Force Base, California; 939th Troop Carrier Group, at Portland International Airport, Oregon, and the 941st Troop Carrier Group at Paine Air Force Base, Washington.

The 940th performed routine reserve airlift operations; was upgraded to the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II intercontinental airlifter in 1965. The group flew overseas missions, particularly to the Far East and Southeast Asia.

Air Refueling[edit]

In 1972 the group converted to Lockheed C-130A Hercules and only three years later moved to Mather Air Force Base, Calif. and converted to the Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker. It was at this time the group became the 940th Air Refueling Group.

In September 1986, the 940th traded its older KC-135A Stratotankers for planes in the upgraded KC-135E configuration. When Mather closed, the 940th returned to McClellan from July 1993 until May 1998. It then moved to its current home at Beale Air Force Base, California. In the summer of 2005 the 940th again upgraded its KC-135s to the KC-135R model. Following the approval of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations by President Bush, the 940th changed missions from flying the KC-135 to the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft and other command and control missions.

On 12 March 2005 the 13th Reconnaissance Squadron was activated at Beale with the mission of working hand in hand with their active duty counterparts in the 9th Reconnaissance Wing. On 1 October 2007 the 50th Intelligence Squadron was activated with the same underlying mission but working with the 548th Intelligence Group (later the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group). Both units were assigned to the 610th Regional Support Group at Fort Worth, Texas until the wing concluded its tanker mission.

Composite wing[edit]

On 1 July 2009 the wing was redesignated as the 940th Wing, operating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)s. The 940th Maintenance Group, 940th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 940th Maintenance Squadron, 940th Maintenance Operations Flight, and 314th Air Refueling Squadron Inactivated thus ending for a time the air refueling mission at Beale. On the same date the 13th and 50th squadrons were realigned under the 940th Operations Group. The 713th Combat Operations Squadron was also activated on this date and aligned under the 940th.

Two reserve combat operations squadrons were realigned under the 940th Wing shortly thereafter. The 701st Combat Operations Squadron, at March Air Reserve Base, California and the 710th Combat Operations Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.[note 2] AFB, HI.

On 1 May 2011 the 718th Intelligence Squadron was activated at Langley and aligned with the 940th Wing's command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission.

In 2013 the 655th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group stood up at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. This group gradually assumed control of all intelligence squadrons under Air Force Reserve Command.

Return to air refueling[edit]

In April 2016, the wing returned to its air refueling mission,[1] although the reserve reconnaissance units remained active at Beale.


  • Established as the 940th Troop Carrier Group, Medium and activated in the Reserve on 15 January 1963 (not organized)
Organized on 11 February 1963
Redesignated 940th Troop Carrier Group, Heavy on 1 April 1965
Redesignated 940th Air Transport Group, Heavy on 1 December 1965
Redesignated 940th Military Airlift Group on 1 January 1966
Redesignated 940th Tactical Airlift Group on 1 April 1972
Redesignated 940th Air Refueling Group, Heavy on 1 January 1977
Redesignated 940th Air Refueling Group on 1 February 1992
Redesignated 940th Air Refueling Wing on 1 October 1994
Redesignated 940th Wing on 1 July 2009
Redesignated 940th Air Refueling Wing on 29 April 2016[1]



  • 940th Operations Group: 1 August 1992 – present
  • 314th Troop Carrier Squadron (later 314th Air Transport Squadron, 314th Military Airlift Squadron, 314th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 314th Air Refueling Squadron): 11 February 1963 - 1 August 1992, 29 April 2015 – present[1]


  • McClellan Air Force Base, California, 11 February 1963
  • Mather Air Force Base, California, 1 January 1977
  • McClellan Air Force Base, California, 1 July 1993
  • Beale Air Force Base, California, 1 October 1997 – present[1]



  • Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
    • 1 Oct. 2003 - 30 Sept. 2005
    • 1 Oct. 2001- 30 Sept. 2003
    • 1 Oct. 1999 - 30 Sept. 2001
    • 1 Oct. 1998 - 30 Sept. 1999
    • 1 Oct. 1995 - 30 Sept. 1997
    • 31 July 1989 - 30 Sept. 1990
    • 1 Jan. 1979 - 31 Dec. 1980
    • 1 March 1981 - 29 Feb. 1984
    • 1 March 1963 - 29 Feb. 1965


  1. ^ There were an additional four rescue squadrons not assigned to the wings. Cantwell, p. 156
  2. ^ Each squadron had a detachment at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Bailey, Carl E. (June 10, 2016). "Factsheet 940 Air Refueling Wing (AFRC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved July 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ Cantwell, pp. 156, 169
  3. ^ Cantwell, p. 156
  4. ^ Cantwell, pp. 189-191
  5. ^ Maurer, pp. 382-383


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links[edit]