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about Us

Aerial photo of 8 C-130s on a flight lineThe unit was organized in Mansfield, 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.

Welcome to the 179th Airlift Wing Mansfield, Ohio

Photo of C-130 on the flight lineThe C-130 Hercules primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. The C-130 operates throughout the U.S. Air Force, serving with Air Mobility Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Pacific Air Forces, Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve Command, fulfilling a wide range of operational missions in both peace and war situations. Basic and specialized versions of the aircraft airframe perform a diverse number of roles, including airlift support, Antarctic ice resupply, aeromedical missions, weather reconnaissance, aerial spray missions, firefighting duties for the U.S. Forest Service and natural disaster relief missions.


We exist to deliver Tactical Airlift and Support to Combatant Commanders and Domestic Authorities.

Stand ready to support the National Defense Strategy in support of new missions.


Buckeye Airlifters

Advancing a legacy of lethality, readiness and professionalism

The Mansfield Way.


ang Federal Mission

The Air National Guard's federal mission is to maintain well-trained, well-equipped units available for prompt mobilization during war and provide assistance during national emergencies (such as natural disasters or civil disturbances). During peacetime, the combat-ready units and support units are assigned to most Air Force major commands to carry out missions compatible with training, mobilization readiness, humanitarian and contingency operations such as Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.


  • Execute the Mission
  • Lead People
  • Manage Resources
  • Improve the Unit

Strategic Plan

2022 and Beyond STRAT PLAN COVER

ang State Mission

When Air National Guard units are not mobilized or under federal control, they report to the governor of their respective state, territory (Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands) or the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard. Each of the 54 National Guard organizations is supervised by the adjutant general of the state or territory. Under state law, the Air National Guard provides protection of life, property and preserves peace, order and public safety. These missions are accomplished through emergency relief support during natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and forest fires; search and rescue operations; support to civil defense authorities; maintenance of vital public services and counterdrug operations.

179th Airlift Wing history

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.


DVIDS Graphic use Link to 179 DVIDS page

179AW Social Media

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Important Links

Updated Links

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ang: 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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