28th Bomb Wing: Wikis

  
  

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28th Bomb Wing
28th Bomb Wing.png
Official emblem of the 28th Bomb Wing
Active 1947–Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part of Air Combat Command
12th Air Force
Garrison/HQ Ellsworth Air Force Base
Motto Guardian Of The North
Aircraft B-1B Lancer
Decorations see "Lineage and Honors" section below
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Jeffrey B. Taliaferro
Notable
commanders
Brigadier General Richard E. Ellsworth
Brigadier General Clinton H. Winne Jr.
Brigadier General Joseph C. Wilson Jr.

The 28th Bomb Wing (28 BW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command Twelfth Air Force. It is stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. The wing is also the host unit at Ellsworth.

The wing is one of only two B-1B Lancer strategic bomber wings in the United States Air Force, the other being the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

The wing has a long and distinguished history. Active for over 60 years, the 28 BW was a component wing of Strategic Air Command's deterrent force throughout the Cold War.

The 28th Bomb Wing is commanded by Colonel Jeffrey Taliaferro. Its Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant Clifton G. Cole.

Contents

Units

28th Operations Support Squadron
34th Bomb Squadron
37th Bomb Squadron
  • 28th Mission Support Group (Colonel Michael Yuill, current Commander)
28th Civil Engineering Squadron
28th Communications Squadron
28th Contracting Squadron
28th Logistics Readiness Squadron
28th Mission Support Squadron
28th Security Forces Squadron
28th Services Squadron
  • 28th Maintenance Group (Colonel Thomas A. Fitch, current Commander)
28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
28th Maintenance Squadron
28th Munitions Squadron
28th Maintenance Operations Squadron
  • 28th Medical Group (Colonel Naomi Boss, current Commander)
28th Medical Operations Squadron
28th Medical Support Squadron

History

For additional history and lineage, see 28th Operations Group

The 28th Bomb Wing, under various designations, has been assigned to Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota for over 60 years. It is the longest assigned active-duty unit at a single base in the United States Air Force.

Lineage

  • Established as 28 Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy on July 28, 1947
Organized on August 15, 1947
Redesignated: 28 Bombardment Wing, Medium on July 12, 1948
Redesignated: 28 Bombardment Wing, Heavy on May 16, 1949
Redesignated: 28 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on April 1, 1950
Redesignated: 28 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Heavy on July 16, 1950
Redesignated: 28 Bombardment Wing, Heavy on October 1, 1955
Redesignated: 28 Wing on September 1, 1991
Redesignated: 28 Bomb Wing on June 1, 1992.
  • Designated as 28th Air Expeditionary Wing and in provisional status when wing elements deployed to combat areas after 11 Sep 2001

Assignments

Attached to 3d Air Division, 14 Apr-24 Jul 1955
Attached to United States Air Forces Central when units deployed to combat areas after 11 Sep 2001.

Components

Groups
Detached July 19 – October 18, 1948)
Squadrons
  • 4 Airborne Command and Control: 1 Apr 1970-1 Sep 1991
  • 28 Air Refueling: 1 Oct 1960-1 Sep 1991 (detached c. 9 Mar-c. 21 Sep 1966, c. 15 Jan-c. 19 Jul 1968, c. 19 Aug 1969-c. 23 Mar 1970)
  • 37 Bombardment: 1 Jul 1977-1 Oct 1982; 1 Jan 1987-1 Sep 1991
  • 77 Strategic Reconnaissance (later, 77 Bombardment) attached 10 Feb 1951- 15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-1 Sep 1991 (detached c. 9 Mar-c. 21 Sep 1966, c. 15 Jan-c. 19 Jul 1968, c. 19 Aug 1969-c. 23 Mar 1970). * 97 Air Refueling: 1 Jul 1962-15 Mar 1964
  • 717 Strategic Reconnaissance (later, 717 Bombardment): attached 10 Feb 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-1 Feb 1960
  • 718 Strategic Reconnaissance (later, 718 Bombardment): attached 10 Feb 1951- 15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-20 Feb 1960
  • 850 Strategic Missile: 1 Dec 1960-1 Jan 1962
  • 928 Air Refueling: 1 Feb 1959-1 Oct 1960.

Stations

28th BG deployed at RAF Scampton, England, July 19 – October 19, 1948
77th BS deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, c. March 9 – c. September 21, 1966, c. January 15 – c. July 19, 1968, and c. September 9, 1969 – c. March 18, 1970

Aircraft assigned

B-52D, 1957–1971; B-52G, 1971–1977; B-52H, 1977–1986

References for commands and major units assigned, components and stations:[1][2][3]

Operational history

Cold War

Established as 28 Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy on 28 Jul 1947. Maintained proficiency in heavy bombardment, 1947-1948. Maintained proficiency in global bombardment, deploying tactical components or segments thereof as needed, 1948-1950.

In March 1953 an RB-36 and its entire crew of 23 crashed in Newfoundland while returning from a routine exercise in Europe. On June 13, 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made a personal visit to dedicate the base in memory of Brig Gen Richard E. Ellsworth, commander of the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, who lost his life in that accident.

Although the wing’s aerial reconnaissance capability lasted until September 1958, by April 1955 the Air Force had already changed the wing back to its former status as the 28th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, under the 15th Air Force (later attached to the 3rd Air Division), which specialized almost exclusively in ordnance delivery. Headquarters Strategic Air Command (SAC) reassigned the 28 BMW from 8th Air Force back to 15th Air Force in October 1955.

Approximately one year later, SAC set plans in motion to replace the 28th's B-36s with the new all-jet B-52 Stratofortress. The last B-36 left Ellsworth on May 29, 1957 and the first B-52 arrived sixteen days later. In 1958 all base units came under the command of the 821st Strategic Aerospace Division, headquartered at Ellsworth.

Deployed at Andersen AFB, Guam, April–July 1955. Added aerial refueling to mission in 1959 and began operating post-attack command and control system for Fifteenth Air Force in January 1965, maintaining this capability through a rear echelon during the absences of the remainder of the wing.

Controlled a non-equipped Titan missile squadron, December 1960 – December 1961. Except for a small rear echelon left at Ellsworth AFB, SD, the wing's headquarters staff, tactical aircraft and crews, and most support personnel were integrated into Arc Light forces for combat in Southeast Asia, c. March 9 – c. September 21, 1966, c. January 15 – c. July 19, 1968, and c. September 9, 1969 – c. March 18, 1970. From April 1972 to October 1973 the wing also had most of its tactical aircraft and crews on loan to SAC organizations involved in combat operations, and the wing continued supporting Pacific forces with planes and crews into 1975.

Converted from B-52G to B-52H models in 1977. Performed airborne launch control functions for USAF Minuteman missile wings with EC-135 aircraft and provided logistic support to the 44th Missile Wing. Expanded B-52H mission in 1984 to include sea reconnaissance, surveillance, and conventional operations from forward bases overseas. Upgraded tanker force to KC-135R in 1985–1986.

In 1986 the 28 BMW made extensive preparations to phase out the aging B-52 fleet and become the new home for the advanced B-1 Lancer. Contractors completed new unaccompanied enlisted dormitories in March, a new security police group headquarters in October, and gave Ellsworth's 13,497 foot runway a much-needed facelift. In addition, they completed new aircraft maintenance facilities for the complex new B-1B. In January 1987, the wing received the first of 35 B-1B bombers.

The 37 BS returned to operational duty with the 28 BW in January 1987, just in time to join the 77 BS in training on the new bombers. The first B-1B arrived on January 21, 1987. In July 1988 the 57th Air Division became the wing’s new higher headquarters. In 1989 the wing’s B-1Bs earned the Fairchild Trophy, Crumm Linebacker Trophy, Eaker Trophy, and the Omaha Trophy for superior bomber operations and the most outstanding wing in SAC. The wing also provided tanker support for Operation Just Cause, December 1989 – January 1990.

In July 1990 the Strategic Warfare Center became the latest of the wing’s intermediate headquarters. In September 1990 the 28 BW earned the Sweeny Trophy. Adding to its extensive combat experience, the wing deployed both tanker and airborne command post aircraft to Operation’s Desert Shield/Desert Stormfrom August 1990 – March 1991. In June 1991, the wing also received the Hoban Trophy.

On September 1, 1991 SAC redesignated the 28 BW as the 28th Wing, and once again assigned it directly under Eighth Air Force, and as part of the new objective wing organization, reactivated the old 28 BG under the new name of the 28th Operations Group. The 28th Wing also regained host wing responsibilities for Ellsworth AFB from the 44th Missile Wing.

Modern era

Emblem of the 28th Air Expeditionary Wing
Emblem of the 28th Air Expeditionary Wing (Desert Motif)

With the end of the Cold War, on September 28, 1991 the Secretary of Defense ordered B-1Bs and tankers off alert. The 4 ACCS continued to maintain an alert crew until May 1992. On June 1, 1992, simultaneously, SAC inactivated, Air Combat Command activated, the 28th Wing changed names to the 28th Bomb Wing, and the 28 AREFS became a geographically separated unit assigned to Malmstrom AFB, Montana. In September 1992 the 4 ACCS also inactivated, having effectively worked themselves out of a job by helping America’s deterrent resolve win the Cold War. Also during this year the wing won its second Eaker Trophy.

In 1993 the 28 BW continued to adapt to meet new defense demands in light of the world’s changing threats. The wing’s versatile B-1Bs were the first in ACC to transition from their former strategic role to an all-conventional mission. The 28th’s operational squadrons could conceivably touch anywhere in the world to meet national defense needs. Ellsworth tested this concept in 1993 and early 1994 during such events as: “Team Spirit” (the first B-1Bs ever to land in South Korea); “Global Power” (various long-duration, round trip sorties flown from Ellsworth to bomb training ranges in another continent.); and “Bright Star” (the wing’s second but the B-1Bs first visit to a major JCS exercise in Southwest Asia).

From June through December 1994, 28 BW B-1Bs participated in a Congressionally directed operational readiness assessment known locally as “Dakota Challenge.” This test, conducted exclusively by the 28 BW, proved the B-1B to be a versatile and reliable weapon system; the mainstay of America’s heavy bomber fleet for years to come.

On March 31, 1995, the 77 BS—a unit that had served under the wing since 1948—inactivated. Its B-1Bs became part of ACC’s reconstitution reserve. This action freed funds to allow the Air Force to develop new precision-guided munitions, which will benefit our country’s defense for years to come. The Air Force announced in early 1996 that the 77 BS would once again activate under the 28 BW on April 1, 1997. In November 1998, they received the first Block D upgraded B-1B in the USAF inventory. The Block D upgrade brings the capability for the B-1 to drop the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), which is a global positioning system (GPS) guided munition. (These are the upgrades that were paid for with the funds that were freed during the 77 BS's inactivation).

One B-1B from the 28th Bomb Wing departed for Southwest Asia December 18, 1997 to support the president's request for additional bomber forces in the Operation Desert Fox theater of operation. The 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base also launched a B-1B December 18. This brings the total number of B-1Bs in theater to six—three from Ellsworth and three from Dyess. B-1Bs from both bases saw their first combat action in air raids over Iraq December 17, 1997. Details on the number of B-1Bs used and battle damage assessment information is not being released; however, the missions were characterized as "very successful."

In December 1998, 28 BW deployed aircraft, which flew under the flag of the 28th Air Expeditionary Group in Operation Desert Fox, were the first B-1s to drop bombs on an enemy target.

Background of name

The motto "Guardian of the North" hails from the 28th Operations Group's World War Two service in Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, and the Kuril Islands. The 28th Bomb Wing carries on the traditions of the 28th Operations Group.

Myth: The motto "Guardian of the North" is not related in any way to the wing's Cold War service with B-52 Stratofortress bombers. Although this motto seems to dovetail nicely with the idea of guarding the north (whether spearheading an attack over the North Pole, or defending against one) from the Soviets, this is definitely not the case.

Honors

Campaign streamers

  • World War II: Air Offensive, Japan; Aleutian Islands

Decorations

  • Distinguished Unit Citation: Kuril Islands, 1 Apr 1944-13 Aug 1945
  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" Device: June 1, 2001 – May 31, 2003; September 20, 2001 – January 17, 2002 (conferred)
  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: September 1, 1957 – June 30, 1958; January 1 – December 31, 1966; January 1 – March 1, 1968; March 2 – July 1, 1968; June 9 – July 10, 1972; July 1, 1976 – June 30, 1978; July 1, 1978 – June 30, 1980; July 1, 1981 – June 30, 1983; July 1, 1988 – June 30, 1990; June 1 – November 30, 1994; June 1, 1997 – May 31, 1999

Awards

In 1989, won the Fairchild Trophy for excellence in bombing and navigation and the Omaha Trophy, presented to the outstanding wing in SAC.

Emblem

Approved for 28th Group on November 14, 1941 and for 28th Wing on June 11, 1952

References

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

  1. ^ Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129
  2. ^ Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  3. ^ Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.

External links








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