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378th Air Expeditionary Wing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

378th Air Expeditionary Wing
F-15C of the 44th EFS on the ramp at PSAB, Saudi Arabia. 2 June 2020.jpg
An F-15C operated by the current Wing. This particular aircraft was imaged at PSAB on 2 June 2020.
Active18 October 1942–December 1942 (378 BG)
17 December 2019–present (378 AEW)
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Air Force
TypeAir Expeditionary
RoleVarious
Garrison/HQPrince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia
Commanders
Current
commander
Brig. Gen. Evan L. Pettus[1]
Insignia
Emblem
378th Air Expeditionary Wing Patch.jpg

The 378th Air Expeditionary Wing (378 AEW) is a provisional United States Air Forces Central Command unit assigned to Air Combat Command. As a provisional unit, it may be activated or inactivated at any time.

The 378th Bombardment Group was an inactive United States Army Air Forces unit. Its last assignment was with the Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command at Langley Field, Virginia, where it was stationed from October to December 1942. The group participated in the Antisubmarine Campaign along the Atlantic coast of the United States until it was inactivated, when the Antisubmarine Command assigned all its squadrons directly to the command's two antisubmarine wings.

The current 378th AEW is garrisoned in Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia. The Wing operates McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagles.

Structure

  • 378th Air Expeditionary Group[2]
    • 378th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron[3]
    • 378th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron

History

Douglas O-46A
Douglas O-46A
A North American O-47A as flown by the old group
A North American O-47A as flown by the old group

The group was activated at Langley Field, Virginia on 18 October 1942 with the 520th,[4] 521st,[5] and 523d Bombardment Squadrons assigned.[6] Although designated a medium bombardment unit, it was equipped with Douglas O-46 and North American O-47 single-engine observation aircraft.[7]

The group conducted its operations along the southeastern coast of the United States. Only the 523d Squadron was located with the group's headquarters at Langley. The 520th Squadron operated from Jacksonville Municipal Airport, Florida, while the 521st was stationed at Charleston Army Air Field, South Carolina.[4][5][6]

In late November, Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command began a series of organizational actions to more nearly align it with United States Navy headquarters engaged in the antisubmarine campaign.[8] On 20 November, the 522d Bombardment Squadron at Lantana Airport, Florida was assigned to the group,[9] At the same time, the group's 520th Squadron was attached directly to the new 25th Antisubmarine Wing, which had been established to manage Army Air Forces antisubmarine units in the area of the Navy's Eastern Sea Frontier.[8] The group's squadrons were redesignated as antisubmarine squadrons,[4][5][6][9] Finally, in December, after less than two months of operation, the group was inactivated and its component squadrons were reassigned to the 25th Antisubmarine Wing.[7][10]

On 17 December 2019, in response to increasing tensions with Iran, the unit was reactivated as the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia.[11] The newly reactivated wing received its first combat aircraft shortly thereafter, when F-15E Strike Eagles from the  494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived in early January 2020. The 494th would be replaced by F-16s from the Triple Nickel 555th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron in late February 2020.[12] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the originally planned March redeployment to Aviano Air Base was rescheduled to 20 April 2020.[13]

A 494th EFS F-15E Strike Eagle sits on the flight line prior to a sortie at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, 8 January 2020
A 494th EFS F-15E Strike Eagle sits on the flight line prior to a sortie at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, 8 January 2020
Two 555th EFS F-16 Fighting Falcons taxi on the flight line at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, 26 February 2020
Two 555th EFS F-16 Fighting Falcons taxi on the flight line at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, 26 February 2020

In addition to hosting the 494th EFS and 555th EFS for traditional CENTCOM deployments, the 378th AEW has also conducted "Agile Combat Employment" exercises with F-35A Lightning II, E-8C JSTARS and E-3 AWACS. The intent of these exercises (which are considerably shorter than a normal deployment) was to demonstrate the Wing's ability to rapidy increase its number and variety of combat aircraft in the event tensions in the region were to escalate.[14][15][16]

A USAF E-8C JSTARS taxies at Prince Sultan Air Base, 8 March 2020
A USAF E-8C JSTARS taxies at Prince Sultan Air Base, 8 March 2020
Two F-35A's and two F-16C's taxi at Prince Sultan Air Base, 7 February 2020
Two F-35A's and two F-16C's taxi at Prince Sultan Air Base, 7 February 2020
E-3G aircrew disembark their aircraft at Prince Sultan Air Base, 1 March 2020
E-3G aircrew disembark their aircraft at Prince Sultan Air Base, 1 March 2020

On 16 May 2020, the Department of Defense confirmed that an undisclosed F-15C Eagle squadron, and USMC AV-8B Harriers from VMA-214 had replaced the Triple Nickel. [17] The USAF eventually revealed that the F-15C's belonged to the 44th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.[18]

USAF F-15C's from the 44th EFS fly in formation with Royal Saudi Air Force F-15SA's on 25 June 2020
USAF F-15C's from the 44th EFS fly in formation with Royal Saudi Air Force F-15SA's on 25 June 2020
U.S. Marines of VMA-214 pre-flight an AV-8B Harrier II at Prince Sultan Air Base on 16 June 2020
U.S. Marines of VMA-214 pre-flight an AV-8B Harrier II at Prince Sultan Air Base on 16 June 2020
An AV-8B Harrier II assigned to VMA-214 launches from Prince Sultan Air Base on 16 June 2020
An AV-8B Harrier II assigned to VMA-214 launches from Prince Sultan Air Base on 16 June 2020

Harriers assigned to VMA-214 ended their deployment to Prince Sultan on 21 July 2020.[19]

Lineage

  • Constituted as the 378th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 13 October 1942
Activated on 18 December 1942
Inactivated on 14 December 1942[7]
  • Reactivated as the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing and converted to provisional status on 17 December 2019. It operates out of Prince Sultan Airbase, Saudi Arabia.[20]

Assignments

  • Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command, 13 October - 14 December 1942[7]
  • Air Combat Command after redesignation & conversion 2019

Squadrons

  • 520th Bombardment Squadron (later 15th Antisubmarine Squadron): 18 October - 14 December 1942 (attached to 25th Antisubmarine Wing after 20 November)[4]
  • 521st Bombardment Squadron (later 16th Antisubmarine Squadron): 18 October - 14 December 1942[5]
  • 522d Bombardment Squadron (later 17th Antisubmarine Squadron): 20 November - 14 December 1942[9]
  • 523d Bombardment Squadron (later 2d Antisubmarine Squadron): 18 October - 14 December 1942[6]
  • 494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (F-15E Strike Eagle): 03 January - March 2020 [21][22]
  • 555th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (F-16CM Fighting Falcon): February - 20 April 2020 [23][24]
  • Marine Attack Squadron 214 (AV-8B Harrier II): May 2020 - 21 July 2020 [25][26]
  • 44th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (F-15C Eagle): May 2020 - present [27][28]

Stations

  • Langley Field, Virginia, 18 October - 14 December 1942[7]
  • Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, 17 December 2019 - Present

Aircraft

  • Douglas O-46
  • North American O-47[7]
  • General Dynamics F-16CM Fighting Falcon
  • McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle
  • McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle
  • McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II

Campaign

Campaign Streamer Campaign Dates Notes
American Campaign Streamer.png
Antisubmarine 18 October 1942 – 14 December 1942 [7]
Inherent Resolve Campaign streamer.png
Operation Inherent Resolve 17 December 2019 – present [29]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ "BRIGADIER GENERAL EVAN L. PETTUS Biography". U.S. Air Force. June 2020.
  2. ^ "PSAB Buildup". DVIDS. 22 December 2019.
  3. ^ "PSAB MWDs train for real world contingencies". DVIDS. 22 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 82
  5. ^ a b c d Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 768-769
  6. ^ a b c d Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 10
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Maurer, Combat Units, p. 266
  8. ^ a b Ferguson, p. 41
  9. ^ a b c Maurer, Combat Squadron, p. 783
  10. ^ Maurer, Combat Units, 388-389
  11. ^ https://www.dvidshub.net/news/357168/378th-aew-officially-activates-psab
  12. ^ https://www.dvidshub.net/news/363928/falcons-nest-psab
  13. ^ https://www.dvidshub.net/news/369679/redeployment-during-covid-19-triple-nickel-comes-home
  14. ^ https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2116232/projecting-airpower-jstars-join-aircraft-utilizing-psab-to-modernize-employment/
  15. ^ https://www.afcent.af.mil/Units/378th-Air-Expeditionary-Wing/News/Article/2105091/awacs-test-rapid-deployment-capability-at-psab/
  16. ^ https://defpost.com/u-s-air-force-f-35a-jets-land-at-prince-sultan-air-base-saudi-arabia-for-first-time/
  17. ^ https://www.afcent.af.mil/Units/378th-Air-Expeditionary-Wing/News/Article/2189444/psab-continues-to-provide-dynamic-mission-capability/
  18. ^ https://www.dvidshub.net/image/6240995/f-15c-icts-make-comeback
  19. ^ https://militaryaviationreview.com/vma-214-black-sheep-return-from-deployment
  20. ^ Sims, Senior Airman Giovanni. "378th AEW officially activates at PSAB". US Air Forces Central Command. United States Air Force. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  21. ^ https://www.afcent.af.mil/Units/378th-Air-Expeditionary-Wing/News/Article/2105096/the-mighty-panthers-bid-farewell-to-psab/
  22. ^ https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/air-force-f-15e-strike-eagles-arrive-at-saudi-arabian-base-amid-iran-tensions-1.615007
  23. ^ https://www.dvidshub.net/news/363928/falcons-nest-psab
  24. ^ https://www.airforcemag.com/avianos-triple-nickel-first-full-unit-to-return-from-deployment-amid-covid-19/
  25. ^ https://www.afcent.af.mil/Units/378th-Air-Expeditionary-Wing/News/Article/2189444/psab-continues-to-provide-dynamic-mission-capability/
  26. ^ https://militaryaviationreview.com/vma-214-black-sheep-return-from-deployment
  27. ^ https://www.afcent.af.mil/Units/378th-Air-Expeditionary-Wing/News/Article/2189444/psab-continues-to-provide-dynamic-mission-capability/
  28. ^ https://www.dvidshub.net/image/6240995/f-15c-icts-make-comeback
  29. ^ https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/35028/fully-armed-kadena-f-15-eagles-soar-over-the-saudi-arabia-wearing-some-awesome-nose-art

Bibliography

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 October 2020, at 19:55
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