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39th Air Base Wing: Wikis


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39th Air Base Wing
39th Air Base Wing.png
39th Air Base Wing Insignia
Active 20 November 1940
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Air Base Support
Size Wing
Part of United States Air Forces Europe
Garrison/HQ Incirlik Air Base
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg;
  • World War II
American Campaign (1941–1943)
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (1944–1945)
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Japan, 10 May 1945, 23–29 May 1945
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
10 Oak Leaf Clusters (1974–2003)

The 39th Air Base Wing (39 ABW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe Third Air Force. It is stationed at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The wing is also the host unit at Incirlik .

The mission of the 39 ABW is to support and protect United States and NATO assets and people throughout Turkey while providing a full spectrum of capabilities to the warfighter. A non-flying unit, the 39 ABW also supports three geographically separated units.

The wing has a long and distinguished history. Its origins begin with its predecessor, the World War II 39th Bombardment Group (39th BG) which was part of Twentieth Air Force. The 39th Bomb Group's aircraft engaged in very heavy bombardment B-29 Superfortress operations against Japan. It's aircraft were identified by a solid black square painted on the tail with an "P" inside. Active for over 40 years, the 39th Bombardment Wing was a component wing of Strategic Air Command's deterrent force during the Cold War.

The 39th Air Base Wing is commanded by Colonel Eric Beene. Its Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant Robert A. Ellis.



Although the wing has no permanently assigned aircraft, it provides excellent facilities and supports the following areas:

  • Training deployments and regional exercises—besides its real-world operational support, Incirlik offers many training facilities. These facilities complement the area's cooperative weather, sparsely populated terrain and uncongested airspace. Pilots fly training sorties, including air-to-air, air-to-ground and low-altitude operations.
  • Communications for National Command Authority taskings—Incirlik is a key communications link in the southern region.
  • Hub support for various units—Incirlik provides vital support for numerous tenant and three geographically separated units located throughout Turkey. Key support includes medical services, supply, security and force protection, base infrastructure maintenance, communications support, transportation services, airlift, services and personnel support.

For US personnel stationed in other Turkish locations and surrounding countries, the 39th ABW acts as a hub of support. Key areas include supply, base infrastructure maintenance, security, medical services, airlift, and other services.

The 39th ABW has been providing support to Operation Enduring Freedom as C-17s supported by the unit provide airlifting of supplies and troops to Afghanistan.


  • 39th Mission Support Group
39th Civil Engineer Squadron
39th Communications Squadron
39th Contracting Squadron
39th Logistics Readiness Squadron
39th Mission Support Squadron
39th Security Forces Squadron
39th Services Squadron
39th Comptroller Squadron
  • 39th Maintenance Group
39th Maintenance Squadron
  • 39th Medical Group
  • 39th Operations Squadron
  • 728th Air Mobility Squadron




  • Established as 39th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 20 November 1940
Activated on 15 January 1941
Redesignated 39th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy), 28 March 1944
Inactivated/Activated on 1 April 1944
Inactivated on 27 December 1945.
  • Established as 39th Bombardment Wing, Heavy on 15 November 1962.
Activated on 15 Nov 1962 by redesignation of the 4135th Strategic Wing
Organized on 1 Feb 1963
Inactivated on 25 June 1965
  • Established as 39th Tactical Group, and activated, on 14 March 1966
Consolidated with 39th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, on 31 January 1984
Consolidated organization retained designation of 39th Tactical Group
Redesignated 39th Wing, 1 October 1993
Deployed as: 39th Air & Space Expeditionary Wing (September 1997 – May 2003)
Redeisgnated 39th Air Base Group, 6 July 2003.
Redesignated 39th Air Base Wing, 12 March 2004


Attached to 17th Bombardment Operational Training Wing (Very Heavy), c. 15 Apr 1944-8 Jan 1945
  • 7217th Air Division (Command), 1 Apr 1966
  • Sixteenth Air Force, 9 Sep 1970
  • TUSLOG, [The United States Logistics Group], 15 Oct 1971
Attached to 7440th Composite Wing Provisional, 16 Jan 1991-30 Nov 1995


Operational Units


  • 39th Operations Group: 1 October 1993 – 16 July 2003
39th Operations Squadron: 16 July 2003 –


Attached 15 January 1941 – 24 February 1942
Assigned 25 February 1942 – 1 April 1944
Assigned 1 April – 10 May 1944
15 January 1941 – 1 April 1944
1 April 1944 – 27 December 1945
15 January 1941 – 1 April 1944
1 April 1944 – 27 December 1945.
  • 62d Bombardment:
15 January 1941 – 1 April 1944
1 April 1944 – 27 December 1945
1 February 1963 – 25 June 1965


Operational History

World War II

The 39th Bombardment Group was constituted on 20 November 1940 and activated on 15 January 1945 at Fort Douglas, Utah. Equipped with early-model B-17 Flying Fortresses, the group was sent to Geiger Field, Washington as part of Second Air Force's Fifth Bomb Wing, patrolling the northwest corner of the United States after the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

Reassigned to Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona in April 1942, the group performed operational training and replacement training for B-24 Liberator groups. With the phasedown of heavy bomber training, the group was inactivated on 1 April 1944.

The unit was redesignated as the 39th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) that same date and was assigned to Smokey Hill AAF, Kansas as part of the new B-29 Superfortress-equipped 17th Bombardment Operational Training Wing. For the next several months the group trained on the B-29 and prepared for overseas deployment. In January 1945 the group deployed to the Pacific Theater and was assigned to the XXI Bombardment Command, Twentieth Air Force on Guam. On 18 February, the group was assigned to its permanent unit, the 314th Bomb Wing, which had just arrived from Colorado.

The group conducted its first mission against the Japanese home islands in April 1945. Supported Allied invasion of Okinawa by attacking airfields that served as bases for kamikaze pilots. Bombed military and industrial targets in Japan and participated in incendiary raids on urban areas from mid-May until the end of the war.

The 39th Bomb Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for an attack against the Otake oil refinery and storage area on Honshū on 10 May 1945. Received a second Distinguished Unit Citation for bombing industrial and dock areas in Yokohama and manufacturing districts in Tokyo, 23–29 May 1945.

Returned to the United States, November–December 1945 for inactivation.

Strategic Air Command

Emblem of the 39th Bombardment Wing

The unit was established as the 39th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, and activated on 15 November 1962 at Eglin AFB, Florida as a Strategic Air Command B-52G Stratofortress bombardment wing. It was assigned to SAC's the 822d Air Division at Turner AFB, Georgia. The 39th BW was a redesignation of the former 4135th Strategic Wing which was inactivated on 1 February 1963 and the unit redesignated in order to retain the lineage of the combat units and to perpetuate the lineage of many currently inactive units with illustrious World War II records. The wing's 62d Bomb Squadron flew B-52G's which it acquired from the 301st Bomb Squadron.

The 39th BW trained to maintain combat readiness for strategic bombardment on global scale, maintaining airborne alert, ground alert, and participated in numerous exercises. On 25 June 1965 the wing's 62d BS was reassigned to the 2d Bombardment Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana to support SAC Arc Light combat operations over Southeast Asia and the phaseout of SAC operations at Eglin. At this time the 39th Bomb Wing was inactivated.

United States Air Forces in Europe

Emblem of the 39th Tactical Group (1966-1993)

On 1 April 1966 39th Tactical Group was activated at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, and replaced the 7216th Combat Support Group to control permanent support units and deployed weapons training detachments. The redesignation was part of the USAFE takeover of the base and its support functions. Known as TUSLOG (The United States Logistics Group) Detachment 10 within Turkey until 1 October 1982, it supported the USAFE and NATO operational missions in the Middle East. Provided disaster relief and mercy missions as required during fires, floods, earthquakes, and other such disasters. Provided support for US and NATO forces during operations in Southwest Asia, Eastern Europe, and Iraq, August 1990-Present.

On 31 January 1984, the MAJCOM unit was consolidated with the AFCON 39th Bombardment Wing and 39th Bombardment Group and gave the host unit at Incirlik a unit with a combat lineage. The consolidated unit retained the designation of 39th Tactical Group.

It was redesignated the 39th Wing and upgraded to wing status on 1 October 1993. Since then the unit has provided operational and logistical support for all U.S. forces in Turkey and operated a Supreme Allied Command Europe Quick Reaction Alert Force.

From September 1997 – May 2003, the wing became the major force provider for the provisional 39th Air and Space Expeditionary Wing, which supported Operation Northern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.


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

  • 39th Bomb Wing At
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924
  • Ravenstein, C. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings: Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Office of Air Force History: Washington, D.C. ISBN 0-912799-12-9

External links


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