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460th Space Wing: Wikis


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460th Space Wing
460th Space Wing.png
Official emblem of the 460th Space Wing
Active 19 August 2004
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Space
Role Early warning and space defense
Size 92,000 personnel
Part of Air Force Space Command
Garrison/HQ Buckley AFB
Equipment Ground radar and satellite telecom
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg PUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA w/ V Device
GallantryCrossRibbon.jpg RVGC w/ Palm
Col. Clinton Crosier

The 460th Space Wing is located at Buckley Air Force Base, east of Aurora, Colorado.[1] Since the 460th was redesignated on 1 October 2004, the wing has delivered global infrared surveillance, provided worldwide missile warning and tracking for homeland defense purposes, and provided expeditionary warrior Airmen to combatant commanders worldwide.[2]



The 460th Space Wing is directed by Air Force Space Command.[1] The wing is divided into three groups: the 460th Operations Group, the 460th Mission Support Group, and the 460th Medical Group.

The 460th Operations Group provides missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence, satellite command and control, and robust aerospace communications. The Group operates the Defense Support Program satellites, providing continuous global surveillance, tracking, and targeting.[1]

The 460th Mission Support Group provides trained personnel to support the Air Expeditionary Forces and Homeland Defense. Specific capabilities include force protection, human resources management, contracting, an logistics. Since the 460th is the host unit at Buckley AFB, the 460th MSG also maintains the base's infrastructure and environmental controls.[1]

The 460th Medical Group supports military readiness to the Air Expeditionary Forces and Homeland Defense missions by ensuring base personnel are medically qualified for deployments. The medical group also provides quick-response services to the Air Expeditionary Forces and the Department Homeland Security, as well as more traditional health care services such as optometry, wellness services and dental care.[1]




  • Established as 460th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943
Activated on 1 Jul 1943
Redesignated 460th Bombardment Group, Heavy c. 3 Sep 1944
Inactivated on 26 Sep 1945
  • Consolidated (31 Jan 1984) with the 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, which was established, and activated, on 2 Feb 1966.
Organized on 18 Feb 1966
Inactivated on 31 Aug 1971
  • Redesignated 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Group on 19 Sep 1989
Activated on 1 Oct 1989
Inactivated on 1 Oct 1990
  • Redesignated 460th Air Base Wing on 26 Apr 2001
Activated on 1 Oct 2001
Redesignated 460th Space Wing on 19 Aug 2004




  • 460th Operations: 19 Aug 2004–Present


  • 12th Tactical Reconnaissance: 2 Sep 1966-31 Aug 1971
  • 15th Tactical Reconnaissance: 1 Oct 1989-1 Oct 1990
  • 16th Tactical Reconnaissance:18 Feb 1966-15 Mar 1970
  • 20th Tactical Reconnaissance: 18 Feb-18 Sep 1966
  • 41st Tactical Reconnaissance: 18 Feb-18 Sep 1966
  • 45th Tactical Reconnaissance: attached 30 Mar-7 Jul 1966
  • 360th Reconnaissance (later, 360th Tactical Electronic Warfare): 8 Apr 1966-31 Aug 1971
  • 361st Reconnaissance (later, 361st Tactical Electronic Warfare): 8 Apr 1966-31 Aug 1971
  • 362d Reconnaissance (later, 362d Tactical Electronic Warfare): 1 Feb 1967-31 Aug 1971
  • 760th Bombardment: 1 Jul 1943-26 Sep 1945
  • 761st Bombardment: 1 Jul 1943-26 Sep 1945
  • 762d Bombardment: 1 Jul 1943-26 Sep 1945
  • 763d Bombardment: 1 Jul 1943-26 Sep 1945
  • 6460th Tactical Reconnaissance: 8 Jun-18 Sep 1966
  • 6461st Tactical Reconnaissance: 29 Jul-18 Sep 1966.



World War II

During World War II, the 460th was known as the 460th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and was assigned to the 55th Bombardment Wing of Fifteenth Air Force.

The 460th Bomb Group flew B-24H Liberators with tails marked in yellow and black, affixed with a black square[3]

The group trained for heavy bombardment operations overseas at bases in Alamogordo AAF in New Mexico from 1 July to 31 August 1943, at Kearns AAB in Utah, and Chatham AAF in Georgia. The 460th moved to Spinazzola, Italy in February 1944, and the entered combat on 19 March.[1][4]

The 460th bombed enemy marshalling yards, oil refineries and storage facilities, aircraft factories, industrial areas and other objectives in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Rumania, Yugoslavia and Greece.

The group flew its last World War II combat mission on 26 April 1945, then moved to Waller Field in Trinidad and finally Paramirim Field, Natal, Brazil in June 1945 to assist in moving redeployed personnel from Europe to the United States. The 460th Bombardment Group was deactivated on 26 September 1945.[4]

Vietnam War

460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing Shield

The 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing was reactivated at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam on 2 February 1966 to control and administer tactical reconnaissance resources in Southeast Asia. Assigned and attached tactical reconnaissance and tactical electronic warfare squadrons and squadron-sized detachments flew day and night visual, photographic, radar, thermographic, and electronic reconnaissance missions to meet the combat needs of the 2nd Air Division until April 1966 and for the 7th Air Force thereafter. It then divided reconnaissance in Southeast Asia with another wing in September 1966.

In October 1966, it assumed aircraft maintenance responsibility for all U.S. Air Force organizations using Tan Son Nhut AB. It continued its reconnaissance operations through August 1971 and was inactivated 31 Aug. that year.[4]

The 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Group flew RF-4C Phantom IIs in 1990

1989 and 1990

The 460th was redesignated as the 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Group on 19 September 1989 and was activated on 1 October 1989. The 460th spent a year operating RF-4s out of Taegu AB, South Korea in support of the Seventh Air Force.[4]

2001 – 2004

On 1 October 2001, the 460th Air Base Wing was reactivated to assume full control of Buckley AFB in Aurora, Colorado.

Buckley AFB was established as Buckley Field in 1942 by the Department of the Army to train armorers and bombardiers for B-24 Liberators and B-17 Flying Fortresses. After World War II, the field briefly became an auxiliary field of Lowry AFB before being transferred to the Colorado Air National Guard in 1946. In 1947, the field fell under control of the Department of the Navy for twelve years as Naval Air Station Denver before returning the base to the Colorado Air National Guard in 1959. The Colorado ANG would operate fighters at the base for the next 60 years. However, on 1 October 2000, the United States Air Force took control of the base and it was assigned the 821st Space Group to oversee its operations.[5]

A year later, control of Buckley AFB was transferred to the newly reactivated 460th Air Base Wing. Under the 460th's command, the base underwent an extensive modernization program to improve the base's support facilities. The 460th oversaw construction of one of the largest DeCA base commissary and AAFES base exchange complexes in the Air Force, as well as a fitness center, dorms, and other housing areas for Buckley Airmen.[4][5]

2004 – present

On 19 Aug. 2004, the wing was redesignated as the 460th Space Wing. The 460th SW, while retaining control of Buckley AFB, assumed command for several squdrons from the 21st Space Wing, which was also located at Buckley.[4] Today, the 460th delivers global infrared surveillance, tracking and missile warning for theater and homeland defense and provides combatant commanders with expeditionary warrior Airmen.[1]

Unit Decorations

During its relatively short active-duty time, the 460th has been awarded numerous times for its effort. The 460th has received the Distinguished Unit Citation, four Presidential Unit Citations, five Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards (2 with Combat "V" device). These esteemed decorations came from direct service in twenty-two different campaigns during WWII, Vietnam, the Cold War, and during operations in the support of the Global War on Terror.[4]

  • The 460th Heavy Bombardment Group earned a Distinguished Unit Citation for leading the 55th Bomb Wing through adverse weather and heavy enemy fire to attack an airfield and aircraft facilities in Zwolfaxing, Austria, on 26 July 1944. The group also flew some interdiction and support missions and supported the invasion of southern France in Aug 1944 by raiding submarine pens, marshalling yards and gun positions in the assault area. It struck bridges, viaducts, ammunition dumps, railroads and other targets to aid the advance of Allied forces in northern Italy.

Contact Information

460th Space Wing Public Affairs
510 S. Aspen St. (Stop 88)
Buckley AFB, CO 80011
Ph: 720-847-9431


External links


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