179th Airlift Wing, Ohio ANG   Right Corner Banner
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History of the 179th Airlift Wing History of the 179th Airlift Wing

The unit was organized at Mansfield on 20 June 1948 as the 164th Fighter Squadron, with 30 officers and 115 airmen. Predecessor units can be traced back to the 363rd Fighter Squadron of World War II, which was originally activated on 1 December 1942 and saw combat in the European Theater of Operations.
tabHistory of the 179th Airlift Wing 
The unit was organized at Mansfield on 20 June 1948, as the 164th Fighter Squadron, with 41 officers and 177 airmen. Predecessor units can be traced back to the 363rd Fighter Squadron of World War II, which was originally activated on 1 December 1942 and saw combat in the European Theater of Operations. The 164th received F-51D Mustang fighters, a B-26 Invader attack bomber, and a C-47 transport. In 1953, the unit entered the jet age with the arrival of the F-80 Shooting Star, which was subsequently replaced by the F-84E Thunderjet and F-84F Thunderstreak.

On 10 November 1958, the unit was re-designated the 164th Tactical Fighter Squadron. It was called to active duty on 1 October 1961 during the Berlin Crisis, and contributed personnel and equipment to the 7121st Tactical Fighter Wing stationed at Etain Air Base, France. In August 1962, the unit was released from active duty and reverted to the control of the State of Ohio. Shortly thereafter, on 16 October 1962, the unit was re-designated the 179th Tactical Fighter Group, with the Fighter Squadron retaining the original 164th designation.

An impressive air show marked the dedication of a new administrative building on 9 September 1967. The building was named in honor of Brig Gen Lahm. In 1972, the unit converted to the newer and faster F-100 aircraft. (Note: This building was replaced in 1998 and the new administration building was rededicated to Brig Gen Lahm on 6 June 1999).

The 179th closed out its tactical fighter mission on 5 January 1976. At this time, the unit converted to the C-130B Hercules aircraft. Upgrade to the C-130H was completed in 1991.

The 179th Airlift Wing was active during Desert Shield/Storm providing airlift support throughout the Continental United States and Europe. Portions of the 179th Airlift Wing were activated during Desert Shield/Storm and served in the US, Europe and Saudi Arabia.

179th Airlift Wing has been the recipient of numerous awards, decorations, and recognitions, including the USAF Outstanding Unit Award, (twice), the Colonel Alan P. Tappan Memorial Trophy (Outstanding Ohio Air National Guard Unit - seven times), the Curtis N. "Rusty" Metcalf Trophy (Outstanding Air National Guard Airlift/Tanker unit), the Maj Gen John T. Pesch Flight Safety Award, the Air National Guard Comptroller Organization of the Year, the MAC Outstanding Intelligence Branch of the Year, Air National Guard Maintenance Effectiveness Award, first runner-up 21AF Outstanding Reserve Forces Unit, in addition to many individual awards and decorations for outstanding performance.

The 179th Airlift Wing has participated in humanitarian airlift efforts throughout the world including Provide Relief/Restore Hope in Somalia, has been involved in Operation Provide Promise in Bosnia, in support of UN relief efforts and Operations Joint Guard & Forge in support of NATO operating out of Rhein-Main and Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The 179AW responded to disaster relief tasking in the wake of hurricane's Hugo, Andrew and Katrina. The 179th was tasked to provide airlift support for invading forces in Haiti during Operation Uphold Democracy and served as lead unit for the Air National Guard deployment for Operation Southern Watch in support of the Southwest Asia no-fly zone.

tabInto a "Joint" Future... 
The 179th Airlift Wing recently became a Joint Air-Army base when the Army Ohio National Guard opened their newest fire station at the 179th on Friday, May 30, 2008. This new $1.2 million dollar facility adds to the current 33 buildings, valued at approximately $92.928M, here at the 179th Airlift Wing. This fire station, located directly adjacent to the 179th AW fire fighting facility, has two full time Army National Guard personnel and 16 additional part-time firefighters. The new facility supports the 5684th, 295th and 296th Ohio Army National Guard Engineer Detachments. The units are trained in aircraft firefighting techniques along with extracting crews and passengers when necessary.

Growth at the 179th Airlift Wing has continued with the standing up of the 200th Red Horse Detachment on Sunday, July 20, 2008. The 200th Red Horse Detachment consists of 200 people located at the 179th Airlift Wing and an additional 200 people located in Port Clinton. The detachment was at 95 percent of its strength when standing up in July; a tremendous feat for a new detachment. Development is in the works for a new building to be constructed across the airfield to house the Red Horse detachment. Construction of this new building is estimated to be complete in 2010.

Then on Monday, July 28, 2008 it was announced via United States Air Force Congressional Notification that the 179th Airlift Wing is to acquire a temporary bridge mission. Near the end of 2009, our C-130 Hercules will be leaving, with the removal of the last C-130 estimated to occur late-summer 2010. During this time the 179th Airlift Wing will begin transitioning into its exciting new C-21 bridge mission. This bridge mission will continue until the 179th Airlift Wing begins acquiring its new long-term C27J aircraft

Despite the initial 2005 base realignment and closure recommendations to dismantle the 179th Airlift Wing, the base's record and quick actions taken by local and state officials have not only kept the base open but spurred the growth to a joint base which will continue to grow as new units and missions are added at the 179th Airlift Wing during the years to come.

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tabAir National Guard: A Short Story
The Air National Guard as we know it today -- a separate reserve component of the United States Air Force -- was a product of the politics of postwar planning and interservice rivalry during World War II. The men who planned and maneuvered for an independent postwar Air Force during World War II didn't place much faith in the reserves, especially the state-dominated National Guard.

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