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485th Air Expeditionary Wing: Wikis


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485th Air Expeditionary Wing
485th Air Expeditionary Wing.png
485th Air Expeditionary Wing emblem
Active 1943–1946, 1984–1989, 2003
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Garrison/HQ Tabuk, Saudi Arabia (2003)
Engagements Operation Iraqi Freedom
A row of C-130 Hercules from the 485th Air Expeditionary Wing are parked at a forward-deployed location in Southwest Asia. Seven C-130 units combined here to form the largest collection of the aircraft in the world, according to officials.

The United States Air Force's 485th Air Expeditionary Wing (485 AEW) was an Air Expeditionary Wing located at Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.[1]



The 485th TMW was active from 1984 to 1989 at Florennes Air Base, Belgium.

When activated in 2003, the 485 AEW comprised aircraft and personnel from Langley AFB VA, Eglin AFB FL as well as the West Virginia Air National Guard, Tennessee Air National Guard, Missouri Air National Guard, Kentucky Air National Guard, Oklahoma Air National Guard, Delaware Air National Guard, and the Air Force Reserve. The wing operated out of Southwest Asia location conducting missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom beginning in 2003.

The 485th AEW was a mixture of 24 F-15C “Eagles” fighter aircraft and 46 C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft and more than 3500 personnel from 82 different locations. The C-130s assembled represent the one of the largest combat groupings ever.

By May 3 2003, the C-130 portion of the wing had flown 1199 missions, 3354 sorties, 7451 hours, hauled 9382 tons of cargo and 8800 passengers, and boasted a mission capable rate average greater than 90 percent. When the F-15s completed flight operations April 17 they had compiled 581 sorties, flown more than 4000 hours and maintained a mission capable rate greater than 83 percent. The wing was disbanded in early May 2003 with the last members returning to the United States in September of that year.




  • Constituted as 485th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 Sep 1943
Activated on 20 Sep 1943
  • Redesignated 485th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) on 1 Aug 1945
Inactivated on 4 Aug 1946.
  • Redesignated: 485th Tactical Missile Wing in 1984
Activated: 1984 (Date TBD)
Inactivated: 1989 (Date TBD)
  • Resesignated: 485th Air Expeditionary Wing
Activation/Inactivation dates TBD



  • 506th Bombardment Squadron: 7 Mar-4 Aug 1946
  • 828th Bombardment Squadron: 20 Sep 1943-4 Aug 1946
  • 829th Bombardment Squadron: 20 Sep 1943-4 Aug 1946
  • 830th Bombardment Squadron: 20 Sep 1943-6 May 1946
  • 831st Bombardment Squadron: 1 Oct 1943-20 Aug 1945


Aircraft flown

Operational History

World War II


Constituted as 485th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on September 14, 1943 and activated on September 20. Trained with B-24’s. Moved to the Mediterranean theater, March–April 1944, with the air echelon receiving additional training in Tunisia before joining the ground echelon in Italy. Assigned to 55th Bombardment Wing, Fifteenth Air Force.

Entered combat in May 1944 and engaged primarily in flying long range missions to targets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia, bombing marshalling yards, oil refineries, airdrome installations, heavy industry, and other strategic objectives.

Received a DUC for combating intense fighter opposition and attacking an oil refinery at Vienna on June 26, 1944. Also carried out some support and interdiction operations. Struck bridges, harbors, and troop concentrations in August 1944 to aid the invasion of Southern France. Hit communications lines and other targets during March and April 1945 to support the advance of British Eighth Army in northern Italy.

Returned to the US in May 1945. Redesignated 485th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in August 1945. Equipped with B-29’s. Assigned to Strategic Air Command on March 21, 1946.

Inactivated on August 4, 1946.

Cold War

The 485th Tactical Missile Wing operated the Air Force's Ground Launched Cruise Missile base in Florennes Air Base, Belgium. The wing was activated in 1984 and inactivated in 1989 with the withdrawal of American forces from Florennes. Their installations are now being used by the TLP, which trains NATO airforces in Composite Air Operations (COMAO). This unit will move to Albacete in Spain in the summer of 2009 at which time the former 485th MW buildings will be transferred to Belgium.


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

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  1. ^, accessed June 2009

External links


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