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Robins Air Force Base

Air Force Materiel Command.png
Part of Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC)

Robinsafb-8feb1999.jpg
February 8, 1999
IATA: WRBICAO: KWRBFAA: WRB
Summary
Airport type Military: Air Force Base
Operator U.S. Air Force
Location Warner Robins, Georgia
In use 1942–present
Commander Col. Carl. A. Buhler
Occupants 78th Air Base Wing
Elevation AMSL 294 ft / 90 m
Coordinates 32°38′24″N 083°35′30″W / 32.64°N 83.59167°W / 32.64; -83.59167Coordinates: 32°38′24″N 083°35′30″W / 32.64°N 83.59167°W / 32.64; -83.59167
Website www.robins.af.mil
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
15/33 12,000 3,658 PEM
Source: official web site[1] and FAA[2]
Team Robins Logo

Robins Air Force Base (IATA: WRBICAO: KWRB) is a major United States Air Force base located in Houston County, Georgia, United States. The base is located just east of and adjacent to the city of Warner Robins, Georgia, 18 mi (29 km) SSE of Macon, Georgia, and about 100 mi (160 km) SSE of Atlanta, Georgia. The base is named in honor of Brig Gen Augustine Warner Robins, the Air Force's "father of logistics".

Robins AFB is the home of the Air Force Materiel Command's Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC) (FLZ) which is the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines, missiles, software and avionics and accessories components. The commander of WR-ALC is Major General Polly A. Peyer . It is one of three Air Force Air Logistic Centers, the others being Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC) at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma and Ogden Air Logistics Center (OO-ALC) at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The host unit at Robins AFB is the 78th Air Base Wing (78 ABW) which provides services and support for the Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center and its tenant organizations. The Wing and Installation Commander of Robins Air Force Base is Colonel Carl A. Buhler. The Wing Vice Commander is Colonel Debra Bean.

Contents

Units

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Major Units

  • Warner Robins Air Logistics Center
    Has worldwide management and engineering responsibility for the repair, modification and overhaul of the F-15 Eagle, C-130 Hercules, and C-5 Galaxy aircraft. In addition to these weapon systems, the ALC has worldwide management responsibility for the U-2 Dragon Lady, all Air Force helicopters, all special operations aircraft and their peculiar avionics systems. The center also provides logistic support for all the C-17 Globemaster III, Air Force missiles, vehicles, general purpose computers, and many avionics and electronic warfare systems used on most Air Force aircraft.
  • 78th Air Base Wing
    The wing provides physical, military and community operations and business infrastructure processes for Robins AFB and its 39 associate units. Responsible for logistics readiness, medical, civil engineer, security, comptroller activities, contracting, morale and welfare, mission support, public affairs, legal civilian personnel and environmental management for the installation.
    • 78th Mission Support Group
    • 78th Civil Engineer Group
    • 78th Security Forces Squadron
    • 78th Operations Support Squadron
    • 78th Comptroller Squadron
  • 330th Aircraft Sustainment Wing
    The wing provides weapon system logistics support, oversees unscheduled and programmed depot maintenance, and manages modification efforts for the Air Force’s fleet of C-5, C-130, C-17, F-15, U-2, and E-8C Joint STARS aircraft, Global Hawk,Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS), MC-130, HC-130 and various special operations combat search and rescue aircraft and helicopters to include AC-130H/U,MC-130E/H/P, EC-130J, MH-53J/M, HH-60G, UH-1N,TH-1H, and HC-130P/N. In addition the wing is the engineering authority for all the aircraft above except for C-17, Global Hawk, and E-8C.
    • 330th Aircraft Sustainment Group
    • 560th Aircraft Sustainment Group
    • 580th Aircraft Sustainment Group
    • 730th Aircraft Sustainment Group
    • 830th Aircraft Sustainment Group
  • 402d Maintenance Wing
    Provides depot maintenance, engineering support and software development to major weapon systems (F-15, C-5, C-130, C-17 and SOF aircraft). Achieves command objectives providing a capability/capacity to support peacetime maintenance requirements, wartime emergency demands, aircraft battle damage repair and a ready source of maintenance of critical items.
    • 402d Aircraft Maintenance Group
    • 402d Commodities Maintenance Group
    • 402d Electronics Maintenance Group
    • 402d Maintenance Support Group
    • 402d Software Maintenance Group
    • 402d Business Development & Partnership
  • 542d Combat Sustainment Wing
    Provides our nation’s war fighters and allies the most combat capable and affordable electronic warfare systems in the world. The 542 CSW delivers a full spectrum of combat capabilities by designing, acquiring, installing, and sustaining electronic warfare, avionics, support equipment, vehicles, missiles, and weapons. Responsible for life-cycle management of over 800 systems valued at $56.2B. Manages $4.21B in executable funds and $8B in contracts to foster improvement in the agile logistics environment. Directly responsible for management of seven ACAT II programs. Programs include: electronic warfare, airborne and ground communication, navigation, precision attack systems,weapons and missiles, support equipment (SE),Automatic Test Systems (ATS), industrial equipment, vehicles, Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources (BEAR),Air Force life support systems, armament, specialized programs, and supply chain management activities for WR-ALC.
    • 542d Combat Sustainment Group
    • 562d Combat Sustainment Group
    • 642d Combat Sustainment Group
    • 742d Combat Sustainment Group
    • 752d Combat Sustainment Group
    • 762d Combat Sustainment Group
    • 782d Combat Sustainment Group

Associate Units

Geography

Location of Robins AFB

Robins AFB is located at 32°38′24″N 83°35′5″W / 32.64°N 83.58472°W / 32.64; -83.58472 (32.6401433, -83.5918489)[3].

The base is in the Macon metropolitan area, and is the single largest industrial complex in Georgia, employing a work force of over 25,584 civilian, contractor, and military members. The population was 3,949 at the 2000 census.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the base has a total area of 2.7 square miles (7.1 km²), of which, 2.7 square miles (7.0 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.73%) is water.

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 3,949 people, 696 households, and 682 families residing in the base. The population density was 1,458.3 people per square mile (562.6/km²). There were 791 housing units at an average density of 292.1/sq mi (112.7/km²). The racial makeup of the base was 57.53% White, 32.19% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 2.68% Asian, 0.43% Pacific Islander, 2.43% from other races, and 4.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.94% of the population.

There were 696 households out of which 82.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 88.6% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 2.0% were non-families. 2.0% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.54 and the average family size was 3.57.

In the base the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 36.0% from 18 to 24, 34.5% from 25 to 44, 1.6% from 45 to 64, and 0.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 131.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 144.6 males.

The median income for a household in the base was $37,420, and the median income for a family was $37,656. Males had a median income of $21,929 versus $14,820 for females. The per capita income for the base was $12,506. About 4.2% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.

History

Robins Army Airfield, about 1944

The Air Force complex at Warner Robins, Georgia has always consisted of two entities that are known as Robins Air Force Base and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center. Their beginning goes back toward the end of 1940, when Army planners determined the need for an aviation supply and repair depot in the Southeast to support the new airbases in the region.

Robins Air Force Base is named in honor of Brig Gen Augustine Warner Robins (1882–1940). General Robins received his military wings in 1918. Active in the Air Corps Materiel Division in the 1920s, he served as its chief between 1935 and 1939. Robins devised a system of cataloging supplies in the Air Corps that is still used today. He is considered the "father of logistics" in the modern U.S. Air Force.

General Robins died on June 16, 1940 at Randolph Field, TX, while serving as commandant of the Air Corps training Center.

Major Commands

  • Air Service Command, July 22, 1942
Redesignated: Army Air Forces Materiel and Services Command, July 17, 1944
Redesignated: Army Air Forces Technical Service Command, August 31, 1944
Redesignated: Air Technical Service Command, July 1, 1945
Redesignated: Air Materiel Command, March 9, 1946
Redesignated: Air Force Logistics Command, April 1, 1961 - July 1, 1992

Major units assigned

  • 4th Station Complement Squadron
Operating from Herbert Smart Airport, Augusta, Georgia, April 11, 1942 – August 18, 1942
Operating from Robins Field, August 18, 1942 – January 4, 1943
  • Wellston Air Depot
Redesignated: Warner Robins Air Depot, 22 June 1942
Redesignated: Warner Robins Depot Area Command, 3 Jan 1945
Redesignated: Warner Robins Air Service Center, TBD
Redesignated: Warner Robins Air Technical Service Center, TBD
Redesignated: Warner Robins Air Material Area, 21 May 1951
Redesignated: Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, 1 Apr 1961 - Present
  • 479th Base HQ and Air Base Sq, January 4, 1943 – June 16, 1943
  • HQ Robins Fld, June 16, 1943 – April 1, 1944
  • 4117th AAF Base Unit, 3 January 1945
Redesignated: 4117th AF Base Unit, September 26, 1947
Redesignated: HQ, Warner Robins Air Materiel Area, 28 August 1948
Redesignated: HQ, Warner Robins Air Materiel Area, 21 May 1951
Redesignated: HQ, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, 1 Apr 1961 - Present
  • 2104th Air Weather Group (MATS), 1 Jun 1948-24 Oct 1950
  • 1727th Air Transport Squadron (MATS), 9 Oct 1948-1 Nov 1954
  • HQ, Fourteenth Air Force, 29 Oct 1949-1 Sep 1960
  • 2853d Air Base Wing, August 1, 1953
Redesignated: 2853d Air Base Gp, October 16, 1964 – 1994
Redesignated: 19th Air Refueling Wing (SAC), 1 Oct 1983
Redesignated: 19th Air Refueling Group (AMC), 1 Jul 1996-28 May 2008
  • HQ, Air Force Reserve (Agency), 1 Aug 1968
Redesignated: HQ, Air Force Reserve Command (MAJCOM), 17 Feb 1997 - Present

Note: MATS (Military Air Transport Service); SAC (Strategic Air Command); MAC (Military Airlift Command); AMC (Air Mobility Command)

Operational History

Origins

Aerial view of Robins Air Depot warehouses, 1943/1944
Aerial view of Robins Air Depot aircraft hangar
View of Robins Air Depot aircraft hangars and maintenance building

The 1935 Wilcox-Wilson bill provided for construction of new army air logistics depots, and in the early 1940s Macon civic leaders, led by Mayor Charles L. Bowden and supported by Congressman Carl Vinson, convinced the War Department to locate an airfield near Macon.

The Site Selection Board narrowed the choice to two finalists: Ellenwood, just south of Atlanta, and Wellston, 14 miles south of Macon. The main advantage of Ellenwood was the fact that Atlanta was a major transportation hub with railroads running in every direction. Its disadvantages included the facts that the Army would have to purchase the property and the topography required extensive grading costs to construct an airfield. On the other hand, Wellston was relatively level and the necessary land would be purchased by the local government then donated to the Army. Wellston's shortcomings included the shortage of skilled labor, remote location, some swampy land, and only one railroad line, the Southern. Needless to say, local interest groups and politicians lobbied hot and heavy during the selection process to promote their respective sites

In June 1941, after much competition, the War Department approved the construction of a depot in middle Georgia dairy-farm country near the Southern Railroad whistle-stop of Wellston. The site was chosen because of its flat lands, artesian water, proximity to a main rail line, and abundant and cheap land and labor. To placate the Atlanta faction, the Army approved a general Army depot at Ellenwood, without an airfield, for Army ground forces.

Construction officially started with groundbreaking ceremonies on September 1 on a 3,108-acre (12.58 km2) tract. Macon city fathers, supported by Wellston leaders, obtained property rights from the Feagin Family who were the original owners. The Army Air Forces (AAF) later bought an additional 2,700 acres (11 km2) for the cantonment area, civilian barracks, and the pistol/rifle range. Even though Wellston was in Houston County, Bibb County leaders spent more than $100,000 to obtain Robins Field by increasing city business license taxes and county ad valorem taxes.

World War II

Spurred on by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the number of construction workers reached 2,200 by Christmas 1941. The Army enlarged the project by purchasing 2,637 additional acres and leasing 782 more south of the depot for troop training. In May 1942, the number of construction workers peaked at 6,600. The contractors essentially completed the project by August 31, 1942. Construction on the industrial and cantonment areas was completed by August 31, 1942. The second and third phases were completed the following April.

The rapidly growing town of Wellston changed its name to Warner Robins on 1 September 1942. Known as the Georgia Air Depot in the beginning, the depot has undergone many name changes. It was redesignated seven times, eventually being named Warner Robins Army Air Depot on 14 October 1942.

Warner Robins Army Air Depot eventually assumed overall command of the Air Service Command's installations in the states of Georgia, South Carolina, a portion of Florida, and North Carolina. Warner Robins supported approximately 6,500 Army aircraft in this area with depot maintenance and supply.

Throughout World War II (1941–45), 23,670 employees repaired almost every kind of AAF aircraft, including B-17s, C-47s, B-29s, B-24s, P-38s, P-47s, and P-51s. Its training facilities turned out nearly 60,000 field repair mechanics for every theater of war. The workforce supplied every kind of part necessary to keep AAF planes flying, especially spark plugs. It also maintained thousands of parachutes, aircraft electronic and radio systems, and AAF small arms.

In addition to aircraft maintenance and supply, air depots also trained aviation support personnel. These included air depot groups and air service groups, plus medical, military police, quartermaster, ordnance, chemical, and signal personnel. Warner Robins sent its first trained unit, the 38th Air Depot Group, overseas in December 1942. It is estimated that over 50,000 Army personnel trained at Warner Robins during the war.

Cold War

The depot's complement began a steady decline after the war, and by March 1946 only 3,900 employees remained. In the post-war era, Robins assumed the task of storing surplus war material and thousands of vehicles. The depot also cocooned and stored 250 B-29s. On 18 September 1947, the Army Air Force became the United States Air Force. Five months later on February 16, 1948, the airfield was re-designated Robins Air Force Base. Robins received its first major tenant when the Fourteenth Air Force moved there from Orlando AFB, Florida.

The Berlin Airlift (1949) and the Korean War (1950–53) restored the workforce to 17,697 by December 1952. In addition to its normal mission, the depot returned most of the B-29s in storage to active service. During the war, Robins AFB overhauled and modified B-29 and F-84 aircraft as well as repairing F-80 and F-86 fighters. In 1951, the Air Force began a $3.5 million construction project. When this project reached completion in 1952, the Air Force made Robins AFB a permanent installation. Personnel strength grew in proportion and reached 17,697 by the end of 1952. A devastating tornado struck the Warner Robins, Ga., area on April 30, 1953. Fortunately, the tornado struck after the day shift had ended and casualties were minimal. The base sustained $2 million in damage and one fatality, an officer's wife. All told, this one tornado caused the area 18 fatalities, 350 injuries, and S10 million in damage that left 1000 homeless.

As the Korean War ended, along came a new conflict — the Cold War. Robins AFB assumed the management of the Matador and later the Mace surface-to-surface missiles as well as the Martin B-57 Canberra. To expedite services of Robins AFB to U.S. Air Force units all over the world, the 7th Logistic Support Squadron was transferred to Robins AFB in October 1954 with C-124 Globemaster transport airplanes.

In 1955, the Air Force added a new 12,000 x 300-ft all-weather runway to the airfield. By the end of the 1950s, Robins AFB assumed management of vir¬tually all the cargo aircraft in the Air Force that included the C-47, C-54, C-117, C-118, C-123, C¬124, and the C-130. As a result, Robins called itself the "cargo center of the Air Force." Also in the late 1950s, Robins added a Strategic Air Command base on the eastern side of the Air Force Base. SAC units at Robins initially operated B-47 "Stratojets" before upgrading to B-52 "Stratofortresses".

When the U.S. Air Force closed down its maintenance depots at Mobile, Alabama and Middleton Township, Pennsylvania, Robins AFB assumed the workload of these depots. Some Robins AFB SAC units re-deployed to Guam or Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and took part in many of the bombing missions. Maintenance teams from Robins frequently traveled to Southeast Asia to repair severely damaged aircraft. Robins AFB eventually managed the Lockheed C-141, C-7, and the F-15 Eagle as well as modifying the C-130s to the gunship configuration.

Robins played a key role in the Vietnam War (1964–73), supplying troops and materiel through the Southeast Asian Pipeline and modifying AC-119G/K and AC-130 gunships. Also playing a role were the C-141, the C-130, the C-123, and the C-124 cargo aircraft—all maintained at Robins. In 1973 these same C-141s supported the resupply of Israel in the Yom Kippur War. In October 1983, C-130s from Robins supported U.S. forces in the invasion of Grenada.

Between 1977–1981, Robins was the air base used by former President Jimmy Carter during his tenure on visits to his hometown of Plains. SAC's B-52's left Robins in 1983, and the 19th Wing assumed solely a refueling mission with KC-135s.

Modern era

In 1990–91, during the Persian Gulf War, Robins provided record numbers of parts, repairs, and personnel to coalition forces in the Persian Gulf. Robins-maintained F-15 Eagles and the E-8 Joint STARS played key roles in defeating the Iraqi military powers. In March–June 1999, during Operation Allied Force, the same employees and weapon systems played a decisive role in defeating the forces of the Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic.

In 1996, the Georgia Air National Guard's 116th Bombardment Wing moved to Robins with B-1 Lancer bombers. That same year the 93rd Air Control Wing wasactivated at Robins with the E-8 Joint Stars aircraft. In 2001, the B-1 bombers left Robins AFB and the Georgia Air National Guard took over the Joint Stars mission from the Air Force.

In 2004, the Warner Robins Air Logistic Center and Robins AFB are jointly the largest single industrial complex in the State of Georgia. The 23,000 civilian employees have an annual payroll over $1 billion. The Logistic Center manages and overhauls the F-15, C-141 Starlifter, C-5 Galaxy, C-130 Hercules, and the AC-130 gunships -- and all of the Air Force's helicopters. In addition, the Center also supports the C-17 Globemaster III and U-2 aircraft.

Robins is also the home of the KC-135s of the 19th Air Refueling Group and the E-8s of Georgia Air National Guard 116th Air Control Wing. The Headquarters of the Air Force Reserve is also located on the base. The metropolis of Warner Robins, Georgia has grown in proportion to become the sixth largest city in Georgia, according to some ways of counting.

Museum of Aviation

The Museum of Aviation,[5] begun in 1981, has four major structures on forty-three acres and ninety historic aircraft.

This Museum is also home to the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame which honors outstanding Georgians prominent in aviation. The 93 aircraft and missiles on display include a B-52, SR-71, a Marietta, Georgia-built B-29, and a specially modified C-130 Hercules that was used in the failed Iran-hostage rescue mission.

It has become a major regional educational and historical resource that hosts more than 500,000 visitors annually. Admission is always free. This museum is open every day of the year with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.

Air Force Bands

See also

References

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

  • Shettle, M. L. (2005), Georgia's Army Airfields of World War II. ISBN: 0-9643388-3-1
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Mauer, Mauer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. ISBN 0892010975

External links


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