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55 WING (ACC)

Posted 12/31/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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55 Wing Emblem
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Lineage. Established as 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on 29 Jun 1948. Activated on 19 Jul 1948. Inactivated on 14 Oct 1949. Redesignated as 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Medium, on 27 Oct 1950. Activated on 1 Nov 1950. Redesignated as: 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on 16 Aug 1966; 55 Wing on 1 Sep 1991.
 
Assignments. 311 Air Division, 19 Jul 1948-14 Oct 1949. Second Air Force, 1 Nov 1950; 21 Air (later, 21 Strategic Aerospace) Division, 1 Oct 1952 (attached to 5 Air Division, 18 May-16 Aug 1955); 810 Strategic Aerospace Division, 1 Sep 1964; 12 Strategic Aerospace Division, 2 Jul 1966; 14 Strategic Aerospace (later, 14 Air) Division, 30 Jun 1971; 4 Air Division, 1 Oct 1976; 57 Air Division, 1 Apr 1980; 12 Air Division, 1 Oct 1982; 14 Air Division, 1 Oct 1985; Second Air Force, 1 Sep 1991; Twelfth Air Force, 1 Jul 1993; Eighth Air Force (later, Eighth Air Force [Air Forces Strategic]), 1 Oct 2002; Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern), 1 Oct 2009-.

Operational Components. Groups. 55 Strategic Reconnaissance (later, 55 Operations): 19 Jul 1948- 14 Oct 1949; 1 Nov 1950-16 Jun 1952; 1 Sep 1991-. 55 Electronic Combat: 3 Feb 03-. Squadrons. 1 Airborne Command and Control: 1 Nov 1975-1 Sep 1991. 1 Strategic Reconnaissance (Provisional): attached 1 Sep-9 Oct 1948. 1 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 10-26 Oct 1948; attached 14 Jan-1 Jun 1949. 2 Airborne Command and Control: 1 Apr 1970-1 Sep 1991. 23 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 1-17 Jun 1949. 38 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 6 Jan 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-1 Apr 1970; assigned 1 Apr 1979-1 Sep 1991. 55 Air Refueling: attached 8 Jan 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-18 Feb 1954; assigned 1 Oct 1955-15 Mar 1963 (detached 31 Oct-27 Dec 1956). 82 Reconnaissance: 2 Oct 1991-1 Jul 1992. 323 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 19 Sep-10 Oct 1949. 338 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 25 Nov 1950-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-15 Jun 1963; assigned 25 Mar-25 Dec 1967. 343 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 19 Jul-26 Oct 1948; attached 4 Jan 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-1 Sep 1991. 548 Strategic Missile: attached 1-31 Aug 1964, assigned 1 Sep 1964-25 Mar 1965. 922 Reconnaissance: 1 Jun-1 Jul 1992.

Stations. Topeka (later, Forbes) AFB, KS, 19 Jul 1948-14 Oct 1949. Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, 1 Nov 1950; Forbes AFB, KS, 5 Oct 1952; Offutt AFB, NE, 16 Aug 1966-.

Commanders. Col Alfred F. Kalberer, 19 Jul 1948; Col William R. Yancey, 20 Oct 1948; Col John H. Davies, 17 Aug-14 Oct 1949. Col Richard T. King, 1 Nov 1950; Brig Gen Sydney D. Grubbs Jr., 20 Dec 1950; Col Alfred F. Kalberer,18 Feb 1952; Brig Gen Joseph D. C. Caldara, 1 Oct 1952; Col Clayton Stiles, 24 Dec 1952; Col Adam K. Breckenridge, 26 Jan 1953; Col Olbert F. Lassiter, 1 May 1955; Col James K. Johnson, 16 Feb 1957; Col Norton H. Van Sicklen, 1 Aug 1959; Col William D. Kyle Jr., 2 Jul 1960; Col John G. Glover, 1 Jun 1961; Col Marion C. Mixon, 9 Jun 1963; Col William E. Riggs, 29 Aug 1966; Col Anthony Martinez, 17 Jul 1970; Col Marvin N. Morss, 30 Jun 1971; Col George D. Miller, 31 Aug 1972; Col Joe L. Church, 23 Jul 1974; Col Guy H. Winstead Jr., 5 Mar 1976; Brig Gen Regis F. A. Urschler, 26 May 1978; Col Donald G. Krause, 4 Aug 1980; Col W. John Soper, 19 Mar 1982; Col Merlin F. Stevens, 29 Nov 82; Col Mark J. Heller, 17 Oct 1984; Col Richard F. Vara, 26 Jun 1985; Col Lawrence A. Mitchell, 3 Jun 1986; Col Daniel R. Peterson, 31 May 1988; Col Thomas F. Atkinson Jr., 28 Jun 1990; Col William G. Manire, 1 Jul 1991; Brig Gen Thomas J. Keck, 10 May 1993; Brig Gen Michael S. Kudlacz, 17 May 1995; Brig Gen Gary A. Ambrose, 30 Dec 1996; Brig Gen Ronald F. Sams, 9 Nov 1998-unkn; Brig Gen John C; Koziol, Oct 2003; Brig Gen Jonathan George, 28 Sep 2005; Brig Gen James J. Jones, Mar 2007; Col John N. T. Shanahan, 29 Apr 2009-.
 
Aircraft and Missiles. B/RB-17, 1948-1949; B/RB-29, 1948-1949; RC-54, 1948. B/RB-29, 1950-1951; RB-50, 1950-1954; EB/RB-47, 1954-1967; Atlas, 1964-1965; EC-135, 1966-1998; KC-135, 1966-; RC-135, 1967-; E-4, 1975-; C-135, 1977-1994; NKC-135, 1983-1994; TC-135, 1988-; T-38, 1992-1995; WC-135, 1992-; C-21, 1993-1997; OC-135, 1994-; EC-130, 2002-.

Operations. Provided precise mapping and photographic reconnaissance, 1948-1949. Performed strategic reconnaissance, charting photography, precise electronic geodetic mapping, and electronic reconnaissance, 1950-1954. When mapping and charting functions transferred on 1 May 1954, wing assumed mission of global strategic reconnaissance, including electronic reconnaissance, weather reconnaissance (to Jun 1963), and photographic reconnaissance (to May 1964). Deployed at Ben Guerir AB, French Morocco, May-Aug 1955. Responsible for an Atlas missile complex, Aug 1964-Mar 1965. Became responsible for the Strategic Air Command's (SAC's) airborne command post and post-attack command and control operations, Aug 1966. In addition, flew SAC logistic support missions after Sep 1971. Conducted K/E/RC-135 pilot training as required. Became responsible for the National Emergency Airborne Command Post E-4 aircraft fleet in 1975. Began Airborne Launch Control operations in 1978 using EC-135Cs as flying launch/control platforms for Minuteman, and later, Peacekeeper strategic missile systems. Awarded the P. T. Cullen award five times since 1971 for its contributions to photo and signal intelligence collection. Operated from bases in the US, Mediterranean, Europe, and the Pacific. Provided reconnaissance for contingencies in Grenada, 1983; Libya, 1986; and Southwest Asia, 1990-1991. Ended nearly twenty-five years of continuous Airborne Command Post operations in 1990, assumed a modified alert posture, and continued worldwide reconnaissance. Provided crews and aircraft for enforcement of no-fly zones over southern Iraq, 1992- and Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1992-1996. Subordinate units operated in England, Japan, Greece, and southwest Asia. Flew global reconnaissance and air-sampling missions during the 1990s, including Open Skies Treaty flights to monitor the military activities of other nations. In 1994, the airborne command post mission was altered to include support for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for response to natural disasters. Provided worldwide reconnaissance, command and control, and combat support to national leadership and war fighting commanders, 2000-.
 
Service Streamers. None.
 
Campaign Streamers. Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. Grenada, 1983.

Decorations. Meritorious Unit Awards: 1 Jun 2002-31 May 2004; 1 Jun 2004-31 May 2006; 1 Jun 2006-31 May 2007; 1 Jun 2007-31 May 2008; 1 Jun 2008-31 May 2009. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: Jul 1956-Nov 1957; 1 Jul 1963-30 Jun 1964; 1 Jul 1966-30 Jun 1967; 1 Jul 1972-30 Jun 1974; 1 Jul 1974-30 Jun 1976; 1 Jul 1976-30 Jun 1978; 1 Jul 1978-30 Jun 1980; 1 Jul 1987-30 Jun 1989; 1 Jul 1989-30 Jun 1991; 1 Aug 1993-31 Jul 1995; 1 Jun 1997-31 May 1999; 1 Jun 1999-31 May 2001.
 
Bestowed Honors. Authorized to display honors earned by the 55 Fighter Group prior to 19 Jul 1948. Service Streamers. World War II American Theater. Campaign Streamers. World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air Combat, EAME Theater. Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: European Theater of Operations (ETO), 3-13 Sep 1944; Germany, 19 Feb 1945.

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 2 Nov 2009.

Commanders through Apr 2009, Aircraft, and Operations through Jun 2005.

Supersedes statement prepared on 2 Jun 2009.

Emblem. Approved for 55 Group on 18 Feb 1942 and for the 55 Wing on 20 Nov 1951; reinstated on 15 Jun 1994; newest rendition approved on 20 Oct 2000.

Prepared by Patsy Robertson.
 
Reviewed by Daniel Haulman.







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