Harrisburg Air National Guard Base

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Harrisburg Air National Guard Base
Near Middletown, Pennsylvania in the United States of America
193d Special Operations Wing - C-130s.jpg
An EC-130E Commando Solo and EC-130J Commando Solo of the 193rd Special Operations Wing over south central Pennsylvania in 2006.
Harrisburg ANGB is located in the United States
Harrisburg ANGB
Harrisburg ANGB
Location in the United States
Coordinates40°11′37″N 076°45′48″W / 40.19361°N 76.76333°W / 40.19361; -76.76333Coordinates: 40°11′37″N 076°45′48″W / 40.19361°N 76.76333°W / 40.19361; -76.76333
TypeAir National Guard Base
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defense
OperatorUS Air Force (USAF)
Controlled byPennsylvania Air National Guard
Site history
Built1917 (1917) (as Middletown Airfield)
In use1917 – present
Garrison information
Colonel Terrence L. Koudelka, Jr.
Garrison193d Special Operations Wing
Airfield information
IdentifiersIATA: MDT, ICAO: KMDT, FAA LID: MDT, WMO: 725115
Elevation94.4 metres (310 ft) AMSL
Direction Length and surface
13/31 3,048.3 metres (10,001 ft) Asphalt
Airfield shared with Harrisburg International Airport
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]
Olmsted Air National Guard Base – May 1979

Harrisburg Air National Guard Base is a United States Air Force base, located at Harrisburg International Airport, (IATA: MDT, ICAO: KMDT, FAA LID: MDT) Pennsylvania. It is located 1.7 miles (2.7 km) west-southwest of Middletown, Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Air National Guard facility is sited on the location of the former Olmsted Air Force Base, which was closed in 1969. The 193d Special Operations Wing operates EC-130J Hercules aircraft, designated as "Commando Solo" for special operations missions. The airfield is shared with MDT, the civilian airport being moved from Capital City Airport, near Harrisburg in 1970 after Olmsted AFB's closure.


Robert Sanford Olmsted[edit]

The facility was named in honor of 1st Lieutenant Robert Sanford Olmsted, U.S. Army Air Service, on 11 March 1948. 1st Lieutenant Robert Sanford Olmsted was killed in a ballooning accident over the village Loosbroek, Netherlands on 23 September 1923 while competing in the Gordon Bennett Cup.[2][3][4] Olmsted remained in the race despite threatening weather which caused some competitors to drop out. Lightning struck the S-6 over Nistelrode, the Netherlands, killing Olmsted.[5]

Middletown Air Depot[edit]

The facility saw its first military use by the United States Army Signal Corps in 1898. The first known use of the field by military aircraft was when Middletown Airfield opened in 1917 as a supply depot and maintenance center for Signal Corps aircraft.

The first airplanes landed in 1918 at Middletown Air Depot, when it was under the administration of the Signal Corps of the United States Army.[6] In 1939, it was still known by this name. Middletown had an abundance of engine and airframe shops and a supply distribution system that made it a significant facility, but a poor runway that, it was felt, would be too expensive to improve.[7] It would involve claiming marsh land and portions of the Susquehanna River (both of which have since been accomplished) and the Air Force leadership at that time determined that more land for supply and maintenance buildings was needed.[7]

After World War I and the reconstitution of the United States Army Air Service in 1922, the facility became a logistics and maintenance support of Air Service aircraft and equipment through its host unit, the Middletown Air Depot (later Middletown Air Materiel Area under the U.S. Army Air Corps). During World War II, numerous U.S. Army Air Forces transport and reconnaissance units were organized and formed at Olmsted Army Airfield. Once equipped, they were reassigned to training bases.

The Middletown Air Depot-cum-Middletown Air Material was a major support installation to the U.S. Air Force and its predecessor organizations for decades. Beginning on 11 August 1948, the 147th Flight Service Squadron of the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) began operations of the Olmsted Flight Service Center.

During the 1948–1949 Berlin Airlift, the U.S. Supply Depot at Olmsted AFB provided emergency support supplies for the airlift operations.[8]

In 1958, Olmsted was designated as prime support depot for the T-38 Talon advanced jet trainer then under development and the L-27, later designated the U-3 Blue Canoe, support aircraft.

Olmsted AFB and the Middletown Air Depot's last assignment was with Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC), and the base and depot were inactivated on 30 June 1969.


Initially turned over to Pennsylvania Air National Guard after active-duty closure, much of the former Olmsted AFB flight line area was redeveloped into the Harrisburg International Airport under the ownership of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In 1998, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania transferred ownership of the airport to the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA).[6] In addition, in 1966, much of the former Air Force property was converted into The Pennsylvania State University—The Capital College, otherwise known as the Harrisburg Campus. This campus was originally chartered as a graduate and upper division school.

Major commands to which assigned[edit]

Redesignated: Army Air Forces Technical Service Command on August 31, 1944
Redesignated: Air Technical Service Command on July 1, 1945
Redesignated: Air Materiel Command on March 9, 1946
Redesignated: Air Force Logistics Command on April 1, 1961
Inactivated on 30 June 1969

Known units assigned[edit]

Known base operating units were:

  • 4149th Air Base Unit
  • 2843d Air Base Wing
  • 4112th Air Force Base Unit

Known major service units:

Known operational units assigned were:

Role and operations[edit]

The PA ANG's 193d Special Operations Wing consists of:

  • 193d Special Operations Squadron flies the EC-130J Commando Solo, a specially-modified four-engine Hercules transport. The 193d Special Operations Squadron conducts information operations, psychological operations and civil affairs broadcasts.

Other components of the Wing are located at State College and at Muir Army Airfield at Fort Indiantown Gap.

Based units[edit]

Flying and notable non-flying units based at Harrisburg Field Air National Guard Base.[9]

United States Air Force[edit]

Air National Guard

  • Pennsylvania Air National Guard
    • 193rd Special Operations Wing
      • Headquarters 193rd Special Operations Wing
      • 193rd Special Operations Group
      • 193rd Special Operations Maintenance Group
        • 193rd Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
        • 193rd Special Operations Maintenance Operations Flight
        • 193rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron
      • 193rd Special Operations Mission Support Group
        • 193rd Special Operations Civil Engineering Squadron
        • 193rd Special Operations Communications Squadron
        • 193rd Special Operations Force Support Squadron
        • 193rd Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron
        • 193rd Special Operations Security Forces Squadron
      • 193rd Special Operations Medical Group
        • Detachment 1
      • 193rd Air Operations Group
        • 93rd Air Intelligence Squadron
        • 193rd Air Communications Squadron
        • 193rd Combat Operations Squadron

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Airport Diagram – Harrisburg Intl (MDT)" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 26 March 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2010-12-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Luchtballon op Loosbroek" [Hot air balloon on Loosbroek] (in Dutch). Brabants Historisch Informatie Centrum. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  4. ^ "First photos of International Balloon Race which resulted in five deaths". Hagley Digital Archives. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  5. ^ Maurer Maurer, "Aviation in the U.S. Army, 1919–1939", United States Air Force Historical Research Center, Office of Air Force History, Washington, D.C., 1987, ISBN 0-912799-38-2, page 174.
  6. ^ a b "Harrisburg International Airport". GlobalSecurity.Org/. 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
  7. ^ a b Knight, Glenn B. (2000). "The Lititz Air Force Base". Lititz Record-Express. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
  8. ^ Provan, John, and Davies, R. E. G., "Berlin Airlift: The Effort and the Aircraft", Paladwr Press, McLean, Virginia, ISBN 1-888962-05-4, page 40.
  9. ^ "Units". 193rd Special Operations Wing. US Air Force. Retrieved 1 April 2020.


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