The Full Wiki

15th Airlift Wing: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

15th Airlift Wing
15th Airlift Wing.png
Emblem approved on 5 Oct 1942.
Active 1 December 1940
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part of Pacific Air Forces
Garrison/HQ Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
Colonel Giovanni Tuck
See 15th Operations Group for complete lineage and timeline information.

The 15th Airlift Wing (15 AW) is a wing of the United States Air Force at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. It is the airlift arm of Pacific Air Forces and United States Pacific Command and reports directly to the vice commander, Pacific Air Forces.

15 AW is responsible for the following installations: Hickam Air Force Base (2,850 acres (12 km²)), and Wake Island (since the spring of 2005).



The mission of the 15th Airlift Wing is to partner with the Hawaii Air National Guard to provide strategic and tactical airlift capability to PACAF and Air Mobility Command to support local and worldwide missions of combat support and humanitarian or disaster relief.

The second mission of the 15th Airlift Wing is to enhance PACAF's power and reach by ensuring world-class en route support, maintaining operational ready forces, and providing superior customer service.

The third mission of the wing is to provide airlift support to the commander, Pacific Air Forces and the commander, Pacific Command.

A major responsibility of the wing is providing maintenance and refueling for aircraft transiting Hickam between the Continental United States and the Western Pacific, as well as housing and feeding transient personnel. Aircraft assigned are one specially configured C-40 and one C-37 aircraft flown by the wing's 65th Airlift Squadron which provide command airlift.


The 15th Airlift wing is composed of four groups each with specific functions. The Operations Group controls all flying and airfield operations. The Maintenance Group performs Aircraft and Aircraft support equipment maintenance. The Mission Support Group has a wide range of responsibilities but a few of its functions are Security, Civil Engineering, Communications, Personnel Management, Logistics, Services and Contracting support. While the Medical Group provides medical and dental care.

Hickam is also host to numerous tenant organizations. The wing supports 140 tenant and associate units.[1]

  • Wing Staff Agencies
  • 15th Maintenance Group
15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
15th Maintenance Squadron
15th Maintenance Operations Squadron
15th Operations Support Squadron
535th Airlift Squadron (C-17) (tail code: HH)
65th Airlift Squadron (C-37, C-40)
  • 15th Medical Group
15th Aeromedical-Dental Squadron
15th Medical Operations Squadron
15th Medical Support Squadron
  • 15th Mission Support Group
15th Civil Engineer Squadron
15th Mission Support Group
15th Contracting Squadron
15th Communications Squadron
15th Logistics Readiness Squadron
15th Security Forces Squadron
15th Services Squadron
15th Mission Support Squadron

Air Force installations under the wing's jurisdiction include:

  • Hickam Air Force Base
Home of Headquarters Pacific Air Forces and the 15th Airlift Wing, this is the largest installation in the wing and consists of 2,850 acres (12 km²) of land and facilities valued at more than $405 million. Sharing its runways with adjacent Honolulu International Airport (HIA), Hickam and the HIA constitute a single airport complex operated under a joint-use agreement.
  • Wake Island
Until spring of 2005, responsibility for the operation of Wake Island and its assets was assigned to the former 13th Air Force at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. However, as the Air Force continued to transform into an even more capable expeditionary service, those responsibilities were delegated to the 15th Airlift Wing. Wake Island supports US Pacific Command major regional taskings. The base provides facilities, vehicles, aerospace ground equipment, aviation fuel and bare base assets to sustain aircraft for combat operations. It also provides for the bed down of forces and emergency divert airfield operations.




  • Established as 15th Tactical Fighter Wing and activated, on 17 Apr 1962
Organized on 1 Jul 1962
Inactivated on 1 Oct 1970
  • Redesignated 15th Air Base Wing on 20 Oct 1971
Activated on 1 Nov 1971
Redesignated 15th Airlift Wing on 28 Apr 2003

Note: 15th Tactical Fighter Wing consolidated with 15th Air Base Wing, 31 Jan 1984







On 1 July 1962, the 15th Tactical Fighter Wing was activated at MacDill AFB, Florida on 1 July 1962 and assigned to Ninth Air Force. Operational squadrons of the wing and squadron tail codes were:

Initially equipped with the obsolete Republic F-84F Thunderjet which was obtained from Air National Guard units, in 1964 the wing upgraded to the tail-coded McDonnell-Douglas F-4C Phantom II. The 15 TFW was the second wing to be equipped with the F-4.

The mission of the 15 TFW was to conduct tactical fighter combat crew training. The wing participated in a variety of exercises, operations and readiness tests of Tactical Air Command. Trained pilots and provided logistical support for the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing. Reorganized as a mission-capable unit at the time of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, returning afterwards to a training mission.

With the departure of the 12 TFW in 1965, the 15 TFW became the host unit at MacDill with unit's mission becoming a training unit for F-4 aircrews prior to their deployment to Southeast Asia. The wing deployed 16 F-4s at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, during the Pueblo crisis in 1968.

In 1965, the wing deployed its 43d, 45th, 46th and 47th Tactical Fighter Squadrons to Southeast Asia, where they participated in the air defense commitment for the Philippines from Clark AB and flew combat missions from Cam Rahn Bay Air Base in South Vietnam and Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand. Members of the 45 TFS achieved the first U.S. Air Force aerial victories of the Vietnam conflict when they destroyed two MIGs on 10 July 1965.

Captains Thomas S. Roberts, Ronald C. Anderson, Kenneth E. Holcombe, and Arthur C. Clark received credit for these kills.

Beginning on 8 February 1969, the 13th Bombardment Squadron, Tactical began Martin B-57G (Tail Code: FK) light bomber aircrew training. The squadron was deactivated on 1 October 1970 and redesignated as the 4424th Combat Crew Training Squadron.

The 43d TFS was reassigned to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska on 4 January 1970. The 15th was inactivated on 1 October 1970, being redesignated and activated as the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing when the 1st TFW was reassigned from the Aerospace Defense Command to Tactical Air Command and assigned to MacDill.

Pacific Air Forces

One year later, on 20 October 1971 , the 15th Air Base Wing was activated the 15th Air Base Wing and activated at Hickam AFB, Hawaii on 1 November 1971. Assigned to Pacific Air Forces, the 15th assumed the mission and duties previously performed by the 6486th Air Base Wing, which was simultaneously inactivated. This reactivation reestablished the organization in Hawaii, where the 15th Pursuit Group was formed in 1940, and the lineage, history and honors of the 15th Fighter Group were bestowed on the Wing. The 15th Tactical Fighter Wing history and lineage and that of the 15th Air Base Wing were formally consolidated on 31 January 1984.

The 15th ABW managed Hickam, Wheeler, Dillingham, and Johnston Island Air Force Bases, Bellows Air Force Station, and several smaller subsidiary bases. Responsibility for Johnston Island subsequently transferred to the Defense Nuclear Agency on 1 July 1973; but on that same date, the 15th ABW assumed operational responsibility for Wake Island . Dillingham later transferred to Army control on 27 February 1975 , as did Wheeler AFB on 1 November 1991. In 1999, the 15th ABW once again assumed responsibility for Johnston Island . Operational control of Wake Island transferred to the 36th Air Base Wing (13th Air Force), Andersen AFB, Guam , on 1 October 2000.

On 1 April 1992 the 15th Operations Group was activated as a result of the 15th Air Base Wing implementing the USAF objective wing organization. Immediately upon activation, the 15th Operations Group was bestowed the lineage, history and honors of the 15th Fighter Group, which was activated originally at Wheeler Field on 1 December 1940 and suffered the loss of many personnel and aircraft during the Pearl Harbor Attack. Upon activation, the 15th OG assumed responsibility from the 15 Air Base Wing for managing operational matters at Hickam AFB and Bellows AFS, Hawaii; and Wake Island Airfield. Also provided command and control for the defense of the Hawaiian Islands and directed tactical control of Hawaii Air National Guard alert F-15 aircraft.

On 28 April 2003 , the wing was redesignated the 15th Airlift Wing and begun preparation to stand up a first-of-its-kind active duty/associate Air National Guard C-17 organization.

Almost three years later, on 8 February 2006 the wing welcomed in the first of eight C-17 Globemaster III cargo jets changing Hickam's identity and mission from strictly en route support to include performing local and worldwide airlift operations in support of combat and humanitarian missions.


  1. ^ "Hickam Air Force Base - Units". Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2009-09-01.  

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • This article contains information from the 15th Airlift Wing history factsheet which is an official document of the United States Government and is presumed to be in the public domain.
  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Mueller, Robert. Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 (USAF Reference Series). Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1989. ISBN 0-912799-53-6.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-91279-912-9.

External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address