Creech Air Force Base: Wikis

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Creech Air Force Base

Air Combat Command.png
Part of Air Combat Command (ACC)

Creech Air Force Base main gate.jpg
Creech AFB main gate
IATA: INSICAO: KINSFAA: INS
Summary
Airport type Military: Air Force Base
Owner U.S. Air Force
Location Indian Springs, Nevada
Built 1942
In use 1942 - present
Occupants 432d Wing
• 98th Southern Ranges Support Squadron
• 11th Reconnaissance Squadron
• 757th Maintenance Squadron
• 99th Ground Combat Training Squadron
• UAV Battlelab
• Joint UAV Center of Excellence
Elevation AMSL 3,133 ft / 955 m
Coordinates 36°35′14″N 115°40′24″W / 36.58722°N 115.67333°W / 36.58722; -115.67333
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
8/26 9,002 2,744 Asphalt
13/31 5,468 1,667 Asphalt
Sources: USAF[1] and FAA[2]
Creech AFB is located in Nevada
Creech AFB
Location of Creech Air Force Base, Nevada

Creech Air Force Base (IATA: INSICAO: KINSFAA LID: INS), formerly known as Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, is a United States Air Force base located one mile (2 km) north of the central business district of Indian Springs, in Clark County, Nevada, United States.[2] It is about 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Las Vegas and 45 miles (72 km) northwest of Nellis Air Force Base. It is named in honor of General Wilbur L. “Bill” Creech, known as the "Father of the Thunderbirds".

The host unit is the 432d Wing, which has six operational squadrons, one maintenance squadron, and MQ-9 Reapers and MQ-1 Predators.

Along with being the aerial demonstration training site for the Thunderbirds, the base plays a major role in the ongoing War on Terror. The base is home to the MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle which is used regularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. The base is also home to the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Battlelab.

Contents

History

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World War II

The airfield that now bears General Creech’s name was originally built by the Army in the early 1940s to support the war effort during World War II. A month after the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, the Army began building the training camp. Known as Indian Springs Axillary Army Airfield , by the end of 1942, the service had contracted for regular facilities and by the end of February 1943 the base was being used as a divert field and a base for air-to-air gunnery training to support the Western Flying Training Command Gunnery School at Las Vegas Army Airfield. Personnel assigned to the airfield maintained five small airstrips.

May be a target airfield as bomb craters are visible in imagery.
Now Pahute Mesa Airstrip.
  • Auxillary Fields #2; #3 and #5 have not been located.

The little post was in service supporting B-17s and T-6s until March 1945 when the Army put the base in stand-by status maintained by a small housekeeping staff. When Las Vegas AAF inactivated in January 1947, Indian Springs also closed down.

Cold War

The base re-opened in January 1948 and two years later received its first permanently assigned Air Force unit. In August 1951 the base became an auxiliary field and in July 1952 transferred from Air Training Command (ATC) to the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC), reporting to the Air Force Special Weapons Center at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In 1961 the base transferred to the Tactical Air Command (TAC). It was officially known as Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field at least prior to 1977 and remained that until 2005. Following the inactivation of Tactical Air Command In 1992, the base became a component of Air Combat Command (ACC). During the 1970s and 1980's, the only assigned aircraft unit on the base was a detachment of UH-1N Twin Huey helicopters which was designated as "Det 1". The primary mission during this time was range maintenance for the vast Nellis weapons range. The 57th Combat Support Squadron was the primary squadron on the base during this time which was composed of Air Force Civil Engineers.

The base has also been the remote training site for the USAF Thunderbirds. On Jan 18, 1982, while practicing for an air show at Davis-Monthan AFB, the entire 4-ship diamond formation of the Thunderbirds crashed at Indian Springs. The four pilots, including the squadron commander, were flying T-38 Talon aircraft that equipped the team at the time and were performing a line abreast loop when all aircraft had a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) impact along the runway in front of the base Fire Station.

Modern era

On June 20, 2005, Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field officially changed its name to Creech Air Force Base in honor of the late General Wilbur L. “Bill” Creech. Gen Creech was a former commander of the Tactical Air Command and was also known as the “father of the Thunderbirds,” the Air Force’s premiere air demonstration squadron.[3]

In October 2005, the 3d Special Operations Squadron was activated at Creech joining the 11th, 15th and 17th Reconnaissance Squadrons, becoming the first MQ-1 squadron in the Air Force Special Operations Command. The Joint Unmanned Aerial Systems Center of Excellence was also established at the same time.

The 42d Attack Squadron was formed at Creech on November 8, 2006 as the first Reaper squadron.

On May 1, 2007 operational control of the base was moved from Nellis to the 432d Wing which was reactivated and assumed control of the base.[4]

Many organizations have criticized the use of the Predator and Reaper drones, and the perceived extremely high danger of harming civilians [5][6][7] In protest to UAV attacks in Pakistan, in an event sponsored by Nevada Desert Experience, Father Louie Vitale, Kathy Kelly, Stephen Kelly, SJ, John Dear, and others were arrested outside the Air Force Base on Wednesday April 9, 2009.[8] Subsequent monthly protests have been ongoing and conducted by a number of organizations including Code Pink.[9]

Units assigned

First MQ-9 Reaper taxies at Creech AFB 2007

See also

Notes

References

External links


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