Olmsted Air Force Base
|Part of Air Force Logistics Command|
|Located near Middletown, Pennsylvania|
|In use||1917-1969, Afterwards by Pennsylvania Air National Guard|
|Controlled by||Pennsylvania Air National Guard|
It was named in honor of 1st Lieutenant Robert S. Olmstead.
The facility saw its first military use by the United States Army Signal Corps in 1898. The first known use of the field by military aircraft was when Middletown Airfield opened in 1917. The 113th Aero Squadron assigned to the airfield was attached to the Pennsylvania National Guard.
After World War I, and the reconstitution of the United States Army Air Service in 1922, Olmsted became a logistics and maintenance support of Air Service aircraft and equipment through its host unit, the Middletown Air Depot (later Middletown Air Materiel Area).
The airfield was renamed in honor of 1st Lt. Robert S. Olmsted. Lt. Olmsted entered U.S. Army balloon S-6 in international balloon race from Brussels on September 23, 1923, despite threatening weather which causes some competitors to drop out. Lightning struck the S-6 over Nistelrode, Holland, killing Olmsted.
The Middletown Air Depot was a major support installation to the Air Force for decades. Its last assignment was with Air Force Logistics Command, and was inactivated on 30 June 1969.
Known base operating units were:
Known operational flying units assigned were:
Established as Middletown Air Depot in 1917 as supply depot and maintenance center for Signal Corps aircraft.
Olmsted AFB had an abundance of engine and airframe shops and a supply distribution system that made it a significant facility, but a poor runway that, it was felt, would be too expensive to improve. It would involve claiming marsh land and portions of the Susquehanna River (both of which have since been accomplished) and the Air Force leadership at that time determined that more land for supply and maintenance buildings was needed.
During World War II, numerous transport and reconnaissance units were organized and formed at Olmsted Army Airfield. Once equipped, they were reassigned to training bases.
Beginning on 11 Aug 1948, the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) 147tth Flight Service Squadron began operations of the Olmstead Flight Service Center,
In 1958, Olmsted was designated as prime support depot for T-38 and L-27 aircraft.
Designated Middletown Air Material Area after World War II. Remained a major source of supply for Air Force weapons systems, until budget reductions forced closure of the facility in 1969.
Turned over to Pennsylvania Air National Guard after active-duty closure. Currently home of the 193rd Special Operations Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, an Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) organization currently operating the EC-130 Commando Solo psychological operations (PSYOP) aircraft.
In 1998, the Commonwealth transferred ownership to the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA). In addition, in 1966, much of the property was converted into The Pennsylvania State University -- The Capital College, otherwise known as the Harrisburg Campus. This campus was originally chartered as a graduate and upper division school.
The flightline area was redeveloped into the Harrisburg International Airport, under the ownership of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.