98th Range Wing: Wikis


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98th Range Wing
98 RANW.jpg
Active January 28, 1942 – present
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Type Rage Operation
Part of Air Combat Command
Garrison/HQ Nellis Air Force Base
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg KSMRib.svg
  • World War II
European Campaign (1942–1945)
  • Korean Service (1951–1953)
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg ROK PUC
Colonel Christopher Haave

The 98th Wing (98 RANW) is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada. The 98th RANW provides command and control of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). The commander coordinates, prioritizes and is the approval authority for activities involving other governmental agencies, departments and commercial activities on the NTTR. The 98th RANW integrates and provides support for test and training programs that have a direct effect on the war-fighting capabilities of the combat air forces.

The Wing first become operational as a B-29 Superfortress unit deployed to Japan during the Korean War, where it engaged in combat until the armistice in 1953. During the Cold War it operated B-47 Stratojets and later supported deployed refueling tankers in Europe as part of Strategic Air Command.



  • 98th Operations Group
    The 98th OG commands two squadrons with 55 military and civil service personnel and has functional responsibility for approximately 300 contract personnel. It provides day-to-day control of the NTTR, directly supports Air Force, joint and multi-national test and training activities, and operates two Air Combat Command bombing ranges, NTTR and Leach Lake Tactics Range, near Barstow, Calif. It prioritizes and schedules all range activities for all range users, provides ground control intercept operations, flight-following safety deconfliction, simulated threat command and control operations, communications, data link operations, and range access control. It also assists test customers by coordinating support activities, and coordinates airspace issues with military and federal agencies.
  • 98th Mission Support Group
    The 98th MSG commands two squadrons with 70 military and civil service personnel, with functional responsibility for 507 contract personnel. It provides base operating support on the 3-million-acre (12,000 km2) Nevada Test and Training Range with contingents at several geographically separated locations, including Tonopah Test Range, Creech AFB, Point Bravo, Tolicha Peak Electronic Combat Range, and Range 63A. It operates a physical plant with two major airfields and 700 facilities, a 628-vehicle fleet, 1,214 bed spaces, one dining facility, one "all-ranks" club and three supply warehouses. It executes a $26-million budget to deliver range civil engineering, fire protection, security, dining, custodial, lodging, logistics, fuels and transportation services.
    • 98th Northern Range Support Squadron
      The 98th NRSS provides management oversight for Tonopah Test and Training Range airfield, Tolicha Peak and NTTR Northern Ranges and coordinates contractor support for tenant organizations. It also provides support to deployed forces, operates the airfield in support of deployed forces and as an emergency divert base for fighter, bomber and transport aircraft flying on the NTTR, authorizes airfield access, oversees NTTR Northern Range operational activities (1.8 million acres) and controls range access and provides initial response on-scene command for security, fire protection, environmental incidents and medical responses.
    • The Tonopah Test Range Airfield-Northern Ranges
      It's mission is to provide domestic support for internal and external range customers, provide a capability for emergency divert landing and serve as a forward-support location for various Nellis training, testing and tactics development activities.
    • 98th Southern Range Support Squadron
      The 98th SRSS provides range maintenance and support for the Nevada Test and Training Range - Southern Ranges as well as Leach Lake Training Range located near Fort Irwin, Calif. The squadron also provides base operating support for Creech Air Force Base, Angel's Peak and Point Bravo.


See 98th Operations Group for additional history and lineage prior to 1947


  • Established as 98th Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy on October 24, 1947.
Organized on November 10, 1947.
Discontinued on July 12, 1948.
Consolidated (October 1, 1984) with the 98th Bombardment Wing, Medium
which was established on May 28, 1948.
Activated on July 12, 1948.
Redesignated 98th Strategic Aerospace Wing on February 1, 1964.
Discontinued, and inactivated, on June 25, 1966.
  • Redesignated 98th Strategic Wing, activated, and organized, on June 25, 1966.
Inactivated on December 31, 1976.
  • Redesignated 98th Range Wing on September 21, 2001.
Activated on October 29, 2001.


Attached to: 92d Bombardment Wing, 17 Nov 1947-15 Apr 1950
Attached to: 92d Bombardment Wing, 16 May 1950-
Remained attached to: 92d Bombardment Wing through 31 Mar 1951
Attached to: FEAF Bomber Command, Provisional, 1 Apr 1951-
Rear echelon attached to 92d Air Base Group, 1 Apr 1951-
Remained attached to FEAF Bomber Command, Provisional, with rear echelon attached to 92 Air Base Group to 25 Jul 1952
Remained attached to FEAF Bomber Command, Provisional, through 17 Jun 1954
Attached to Twentieth Air Force, 18 Jun-25 Jul 1954
Attached to 7th Air Division, 11 Nov 1955-29 Jan 1956

Bases stationed




  • 98 Air Refueling: 16 Jun 1952-1 Jul 1953 (detached); 18 Feb 1954-15 Apr 1963 (detached 18 Feb-31 Jul 1954, 7 Jan-21 Feb 1955, 27 Dec 1956-14 Mar 1957, 28 Dec 1957-25 Mar 1958, 1 Apr-c. 8 Jul 1959, and 2 Oct 1962-7 Jan 1963)
  • 307 Air Refueling: attached 8 Nov 1954-1 Feb 1955
  • 343 Bombardment (later, 343 Strategic Aerospace): attached 1 Apr 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-25 Jun 1966 (not operational, 8 Dec 1965-25 Jun 1966)
  • 344 Bombardment (later, 344 Strategic Aerospace): attached 1 Apr 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-25 Jun 1966 (not operational, 8 Dec 1965-25 Jun 1966)
  • 345 Bombardment (later, 345 Strategic Aerospace): attached 1 Apr 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-25 Jun 1966 (not operational, 8 Dec 1965-25 Jun 1966)
  • 380 Air Refueling: 1 Aug-8 Nov 1954
  • 415 Bombardment: 1 Sep 1958-1 Jan 1962
  • 515 Strategic Missile: 1 Jan 1964-25 Jun 1965.


  • Detachment 1, 98th Strategic Wing 25 Jun 1966 - 31 Mar 1970 RAF Upper Heyford, United Kingdom
  • Detachment 1, 98th Strategic Wing 01 Apr 1970 - 31 Dec 1976 RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom

Aircraft and missiles

  • Detachment 1 Operations
  • RC-135 Reconnaissance Aircraft (1966 - 1976)
  • KC-135 Stratotanker (1966–1976) Reconnaissance Aircraft Support

Operational History

Postwar era and Korean War

From Nov 1947 to Jul 1948 and Jul 1948 to Jul 1954, wing headquarters was often manned as a "paper" unit with most of its components attached to other establishments for long periods. The wing's tactical group was operational, but under control of other organizations from Nov 1947 to Apr 1950 and again from Aug 1950 through Mar 1951.

On 1 April 1951, wing headquarters deployed to Japan to assume control over combat operations of three tactical squadrons. Combat missions included interdiction of enemy communications and support of United Nations ground forces. Last combat mission flown 25 Jul 1953. Dropped propaganda leaflets on day of truce two days later.

During the Korean War, the squadrons of the 98th flew more than 5,000 sorties and dropped more than 40,000 tons of bombs (actual total unavailable). They earned 10 battle streamers and two Outstanding Unit Awards which are comparable to the Presidential Unit Citation. They also received the South Korean Presidential Citation. The 98th was credited with the destruction of 5 MiG 15 Jet Fighters and one propeller driven fighter. The 98th recorded 19 B-29 losses from August 1950 to July 1954.

Remaining at Yokota until July 1954. The 98th returned their B-29s and personnel to the U.S. in July 1954.

Cold War

Remained in Japan in combat-ready status for another year. Meanwhile, wing components not deployed in Japan moved to a reopened base in Nebraska to supervise construction in preparation for movement there of deployed wing components.

In July 1954, wing components concentrated at Lincoln AFB, NE. Air refueling operations were already underway by then. B-47 aircraft began arriving in January 1955. At this point the wing began an intensive training program to effect the conversion to combat ready status as soon as possible. This was achieved in July 1955.

During next decade, participated in Strategic Air Command's worldwide bombardment training and air refueling commitments. Deployed at Lakenheath RAF Station, England, 11 Nov 1955-29 Jan 1956. From Jan 1964 to Apr 1965, the wing also controlled an Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) squadron until Lincoln AFB was closed.

The wing was inactivated on June 5, 1966 at Lincoln AFB, but activated the same day at Torrejon Air Base, Spain replacing the 3970th Strategic Wing. For the next decade, the 98th had no tactical aircraft components assigned to it, but rather used attached KC-135 tankers and crews furnished by other SAC wings to provide air refueling support for the operational, alert exercise commitment of SAC, TAC, USAFE and NATO. It’s operational area included the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, most of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The Wing maintained a Detachment at RAF Upper Heyford 1966 - 1970 and relocated to RAF Mildenhall April 1970 to Dec 1976 supporting RC-135 reconnaissance Aircraft.

In October 1976, the 306th Strategic Wing, based in West Germany, assumed this support task and the 98th phased down at Torrejon and was inactivated December 31, 1976.

Post Cold War

In October 2001, the wing began operating the range facilities of the Air Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.


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

  • Futrell, Robert Frank (1983) The United States Air Force In Korea, 1950–1953, Maxwell AFB, Alabama Office of Air Force History, ISBN 0912799714
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell
  • [1] Air Force Historical Research Agency

External links


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