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Eighteenth Air Force

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eighteenth Air Force
(Air Forces Transportation)
Eighteenth Air Force - Emblem.png
Shield of the Eighteenth Air Force
Active 1 April 2007 - present (as Eighteenth Air Force (Air Forces Transportation))
1 October 2003 - 1 April 2007
26 June 1951 - 1 January 1958 (as Eighteenth Air Force)
7 March 1951 -26 June 1951 (as Eighteenth Air Force (Troop Carrier))
(67 years, 6 months)[1]
Country  United States of America
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Numbered Air Force
Role Provide combat-ready air mobility forces to U.S. Transportation Command[2]
Part of
Air Mobility Command.svg
Air Mobility Command
U.S. Transportation Command
Headquarters Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, U.S.
US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award[1]
Maj Gen Sam C. Barrett [3]
Col Earl Young [4]

Eighteenth Air Force (Air Forces Transportation) (18 AF) is the only Numbered Air Force (NAF) in Air Mobility Command (AMC) and one of the largest NAFs in the United States Air Force. 18 AF was activated on 28 March 1951, inactivated on 1 January 1958, and re-activated on 1 October 2003. 18 AF is headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

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Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course World History and today we’re going to discuss the series of events that made it possible for you to watch Crash Course. And also made this studio possible. And made the warehouse containing the studio possible. A warehouse, by the way, that houses stuff for warehouses. That’s right, it’s time to talk about the industrial revolution. Although it occurred around the same time as the French, American, Latin American, and Haitian Revolutions— between, say, 1750 and 1850— the industrial revolution was really the most revolutionary of the bunch. No way, dude. All those other revolutions resulted in, like, new borders and flags and stuff. We’ve studied 15,000 years of history here at Crash Course, Me from the Past. And borders and flags have changed plenty, and they’re going to keep changing. [that's a twofer: awesome + ominous] But in all that time, nothing much changed about the way we disposed of waste [g'luck with toilet teching, Bill Gates!] or located drinking water or acquired clothing. Most people lived on or very close to the land that provided their food. [like above an Eata Pita?] Except for a few exceptions, life expectancy never rose above 35 or below 25. Education was a privilege not a right. In all those millennia, we never developed a weapon that could kill more than a couple dozen people at once, or a way to travel faster than horseback. For 15,000 years, most humans never owned or used a single item made outside of their communities. Simon Bolivar didn’t change that and neither did the American Declaration of Independence. You have electricity? Industrial revolution. Blueberries in February? Industrial revolution. You live somewhere other than a farm? Industrial revolution. You drive a car? Industrial revolution. You get twelve years of free, formal education? [peep the creepy teacher in the back] Industrial revolution. Your bed, your antibiotics, your toilet, your contraception, your tap water, your every waking and sleeping second: [mongol-tage footage!] Industrial revolution. [Intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] Here’s one simple statistic that sums it up: Before the industrial revolution, about 80% of the world’s population was engaged in farming to keep itself and the other 20% of people from starving. Today, in the United States, less than 1% of people list their occupation as farming. I mean, we’ve come so far that we don’t even have to farm flowers anymore. Stan, are these real, by the way? I can’t tell if they’re made out of foam or digital. So what happened? TECHNOLOGY! Here’s my definition: The industrial revolution was an increase in production brought about by the use of machines [get ready to man-suit up, Skynet] and characterized by the use of new energy sources. Although this will soon get more complicated, for our purposes today, industrialization is NOT capitalism— although, as we will see next week, it is connected to modern capitalism. And, the industrial revolution began around 1750 and it occurred across most of the earth, but it started in Europe, especially Britain. What happened? Well, let’s go to the Thought Bubble. The innovations of the Industrial Revolution were intimately interconnected. Like, look, for instance, at the British textile industry: The invention of the flying shuttle by John Kay in 1733 dramatically increased the speed of weaving, which in turn created demand for yarn, which led to inventions like the Spinning Jenny and the waterframe. [& later, Princess Leia bun sock hats] Soon these processes were mechanized using water power, until the steam engine came along to make flying shuttles really fly in these huge cotton mills. The most successful steam engine was built by Thomas “They Didn’t Name Anything After Me” Newcomen [is that Dutch?] to clear water out of mines. And because water was cleared out of those mines, there was more coal to power more steam engines, which eventually led to the fancying up of the Newcomen Steam Engine by James “I Got a Unit of Power and a University Named After Me” Watt, [Farnsworth's raw deal tops, even still] whose engine made possible not only railroads and steamboats but also ever-more efficient cotton mills. [the touch, the feel… of technology] And, for the first time, chemicals other than stale urine, [you must be kidding] I wish I was kidding, were being used to bleach the cloth that people wore— the first of which was sulfuric acid, [sounds super chafey] which was created in large quantities only thanks to lead-lined chambers, which would’ve been impossible without lead production rising dramatically right around 1750 in Britain, thanks to lead foundries powered by coal. And all these factors came together to make more yarn that could be spun and bleached faster and cheaper than ever before, a process that would eventually culminate in $18 Crash Course Mongols shirts. [no exceptions!&$%# ] [ha] Available now at Thanks, Thought Bubble, for that shameless promotion of our beautiful, high-quality t-shirts available now at [TeamCrashCourse: lousy with subtlty] So, the problem here is that with industrialization being so deeply interconnected, it’s really difficult to figure out why it happened in Europe, especially Britain. And that question of why turns out to be one of the more contentious discussions in world history today. For instance, here are some Eurocentric reasons why industrialization might have happened first in Europe: There’s the cultural superiority argument that basically holds that Europeans are just better and smarter than other people. [somebody explain Mr. Bean then] Sometimes this is formulated as Europeans possessing superior rationality. By the way, you’ll never guess where the people who make this argument tend to come from— unless you guessed that they come from Europe. And then, others argue that only Europe had the culture of science and invention that made the creation of these revolutionary technologies possible. Another argument is that freer political institutions encouraged innovation and strong property rights created incentives for inventors. And, finally, people often cite Europe’s small population because small populations require labor-saving inventions. Oh, it’s time for the Open Letter? [it's not the yellow chair he's rolling over to so I just can't bear to look.] An Open Letter to the Steam Engine. But first, let’s see what’s in the secret compartment today. Oh, it’s a Tardis. [you're welcome, Whovians] Truly the apex of British industrialization. Dear Steam Engine, You know what’s crazy? You’ve really never been improved upon. Like this thing, which facilitates time travel, probably runs on a steam engine. [Eye of Harmony > steam engine, ftr] Almost all electricity around the world, whether it’s from coal or nuclear power, is just a steam engine. It’s all still just water and heat, and it speaks to how truly revolutionary the Industrial Revolution was that since then, it’s really just been evolution. Best Wishes, John Green So, you may have heard any of those rationales for European industrialization, or you may have heard others. The problem with all of them, is that each time you think you’re at the root cause it turns out there’s a cause of the root cause. [not unlike the show LOST] To quote Leonardo diCaprio, James Cameron, and coal mine operators, “We have to go deeper.” ["Context is everything." -John Green] But, anyway, the problem with these Eurocentric why answers, is that they all apply to either China or India or both. And it’s really important to note that in 1800, it was not clear that Europe was going to become the world’s dominant manufacturing power in the next hundred years. At the time, China, India, and Europe were all roughly at the same place in terms of industrial production. First, let’s look at China. It’s hard to make the European cultural superiority argument because China had been recording its history since before Confucius, and plus there was all that bronze and painting and poetry. It’s also kind of difficult to make a blanket statement that China was economically inferior to Europe, since they invented paper money and led the world in exports of everything from silk to china. I mean, pre-Industrial Revolution, population growth was the surest sign of economic success, and China had the biggest population in the world. [were my flowers just assaulted by educational exuberance?] I guess that answers the question of whether they’re digital. [better be in stock at, mr. green. just saying...] It’s also difficult to say that China lacked a culture of invention when they invented gunpowder, and printing, and paper, and arguably compasses. And China had more free enterprise during the Song dynasty than anywhere in the world. Some argue that China couldn’t have free enterprise because they had a long history of trying to impose monopolies on items like salt and iron. And that’s true, but when it comes to enforcing those monopolies, they also had a long history of failure. So really, in a lot of ways, China was at least as primed for an Industrial Revolution as Britain was. So, why didn’t it happen? Well, Europeans— specifically the British— had two huge advantages: First, Coal. When you trace the story of improved transportation, or communication, or industrial efficiency, or better chemical manufacturing, it always comes back to coal, because the Industrial Revolution was all about using different forms of energy to automate production. And, England had large supplies of coal that were near the surface, which meant that it was cheap to mine, so it quickly replaced wood for heating and cooking and stuff. So, that encouraged the British to look for more coal. The only problem with coal mining, aside from it being, you know, like, deadly and everything, is that the coal mines flooded all the time. I guess coal mining is also a little problematic for, like, the health of, you know, like, the planet. ["Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Know what I mean?"] But, because there was all this incentive to get more coal out of the ground, steam engines were invented to pump water out of the mines. And because those early steam engines were super inefficient, they needed a cheap and abundant source of fuel in order to work— namely, coal, which meant they were much more useful to the British than anyone else. So steam engines used cheap British coal to keep British coal cheap, and cheap British coal created the opportunity for everything from railroads to steel, which like so much else in the Industrial Revolution, created a positive feedback loop. Because they run on rails, railroads need steel. And because it is rather heavy, steel needs railroads. Secondly, there were Wages. Britain (and to a lesser extent the Low Countries) had the highest wages in the world at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1725, wages in London were the equivalent of 11 grams of silver per day. In Amsterdam, they were 9 grams. In Beijing, Venice, and Florence, they were under 4. And in Delhi, they were under 2. It’s not totally clear why wages were so high in Britain. Like, one argument is that the Black Death lowered population so much that it tightened labor markets, but that doesn’t explain why wages remained low in, like, plague-ravaged Italy. Mainly, high wages combined with cheap fuel costs meant that it was economically efficient for manufacturers to look to machines as a way of lowering their production costs. To quote the historian Robert Allen: “Wages were high and energy was cheap. These prices led directly to the industrial revolution by giving firms strong incentives to invent technologies that substituted capital and coal for labor.” Stan, I’m a little worried that people are still going to accuse me of Eurocentrism. Of course, other people will accuse me of an anti-European bias. I don’t have a bias against Europe. I love Europe. Europe gave me many of my favorite cheeses and cross-country skiing and Charlie Chaplin, who inspired today’s Danica drawing. [big ups, Modern Times. you endure] Like, the fact of coal being near the surface in Britain can’t be chalked up to British cultural superiority. But the wages question is a little different because it makes it sound like only Europeans were smart enough to pay high wages. But here’s one last thing to consider: India was the world’s largest producer of cotton textiles, despite paying basically the lowest wages in the world. Indian agriculture was so productive that laborers could be supported at a very low cost. And that, coupled with a large population meant that Indian textile manufacturing could be very productive without using machines, so they didn’t need to industrialize. But more importantly from our perspective, there’s a strong argument to be made that Indian cotton production helped spur British industrialization. It was cotton textiles that drove the early Industrial Revolution, and the main reason that Britain was so eager to produce cottons was that demand was incredibly high. They were more comfortable than woolens, but they were also cheaper, because cottons could be imported from India at such a low cost. So, Indian cottons created the market and then British manufacturers invested in machines (and imported Indian know-how) to increase production so that they could compete with India. And that’s at least one way in which European industrialization was truly a world phenomenon. For those of you who enjoy such highly contentious and thorny, cultural historical debates, good news. Next week, we’ll be talking about capitalism. [can't wait to read the comments section for that one. yes i can] Thanks for watching, I’ll see you then. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan Muller. Our script supervisor is Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history teacher, Raoul Meyer, and myself. We are ably interned by Meredith Danko. And our graphics team is Thought Bubble. Last week’s phrase of the week was "New England Revolution" If you want to suggest future phrases of the week, you can do so in comments where you can also guess at this week’s phrase of the week or ask questions about today’s video that will be answered by our team of historians. Thanks for watching Crash Course. Special shout out to our only known platinum-selling artist viewer, Lupe Fiasco. And as we say in my hometown, don’t forget My philosophy, like color TV, is all there in black and white.



As AMC’s sole NAF (and the Air Force’s largest NAF), 18 AF is responsible for the command's worldwide operational mission of providing rapid, global mobility and sustainment for America's armed forces through airlift, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and a global air mobility support system. 18 AF presents air mobility forces to combatant commanders through its role as Air Forces Transportation (AFTRANS), the air component of United States Transportation Command. The 18 AF commander also acts as the Commander, Air Force Forces (COMAFFOR), and Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC), when so designated.

The command's mobility aircraft include the C-5 Galaxy [5], KC-10 Extender [6], C-17 Globemaster III [7], C-130 Hercules [8], and KC-135 Stratotanker [9]. Operational support aircraft are the VC-25 ([[Boeing 747 / Air Force One) [10], C-21 [11], C-20B (Gulfstream III) [12], C-32A (Boeing 757) [1], C-37A (Gulfstream V) [2], C-37B (Gulfstream 550) and C-40B (Boeing 737) [3].

18 AF has an assigned military and civilian workforce of more than 37,000 personnel.


Units reporting to 18 AF include 11 wings and two stand alone groups. The 618th Air and Space Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center), located at Scott AFB, also reports to 18 AF and serves as the organization's air operations center, planning and directing tanker and transport aircraft operations around the world.

Other AMC units assigned to 18th AF are:



When the Army Air Forces (AAF) reorganized in 1946, Tactical Air Command (TAC) was established as one of its three major commands. The AAF IX Troop Carrier Command (TCC) was inactivated as part of this reorganization and Third Air Force was reassigned to TAC to control the troop carrier units formerly part of IX TCC. It was headquartered at Greenville Army Airfield, South Carolina. The C-46 Commando and C-47 Skytrain were the primary troop carrier aircraft, but surplus C-54 Skymasters that had been originally purchased for the Air Transport Command (ATC) were made available for troop carrier use.

Third Air Force was inactivated on 1 November 1946 and TAC's troop carrier mission was reassigned to Ninth Air Force which moved to Greenville. In 1947, many of TAC's Troop Carrier Groups/Wings were assigned directly to Headquarters TAC with the rest to the Air Defense Command's Fourteenth Air Force reserve 302d Troop Carrier Wing. The theater troop carrier mission was expanded rapidly during the Korean War when many of these reserve units were called into active service and assigned directly to HQ TAC.

Cold War

18 AF was established and activated 28 March 1951 to discharge Tactical Air Command's (TAC) troop carrier responsibilities. The organization became operational on 1 June 1951 at Donaldson AFB, South Carolina and initially assumed control of nine "medium" C-119 Flying Boxcar troop carrier wings (314th, 375th, 403d, 433d, 434th, 435th, 443d, 514th and 515th), seven of which were Air Force Reserve wings called to active duty during the Korean War.

The command added a "heavy" (C-124 Globemaster) wing, the 62nd Troop Carrier Wing, in Fall 1951 and another in early 1953, the 63rd Troop Carrier Wing.

In the spring of 1952, 18 AF C-124 Globemasters were sent to Japan and by July 1952, C-124s from the 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron were flying missions in South Korea. The arrival of the C-124 introduced the aircraft loadmaster position to the troop carrier mission. As the Korean War wound down, C-119 Flying Boxcar crews from the 483rd Troop Carrier Wing began supporting French operations in Indochina. United States Air Force-supplied C-47 Skytrain and C-119s were placed "on-loan" to the French Air Force at Tourane Air Base.

By early 1953, the Air Force Reserve wings were replaced by active duty wings organized, administered, equipped, trained, and prepared for combat by 18 AF. Augmented troop carrier forces in the Far East and Europe provided trained crews and replacement personnel to units in the Korean War.

The next year, 18 AF C-119s from the 483rd Troop Carrier Wing (and flown by civilian crews employed by Civil Air Transport) airdropped supplies to besieged French paratroops at Dien Bien Phu, Indochina. Some 483rd personnel flew missions in an unofficial capacity and would play key roles in the troop carrier mission in later years. After the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, 374th Troop Carrier Wing and TAC C-124s airlifted wounded French soldiers out of Indochina to Japan.

The command also took part in joint exercises and provided support for airborne paratroop training all the while working to improve communications capabilities and to advocate for the inclusion of medical air evacuation in joint exercises. 18 AF also provided airlift support to other Air Force major commands and TAC organizations.

The advent of the jet age saw TAC with a new mission, as it became the focal point for a new military philosophy based on the rapid deployment of heavily armed fighter/bomber units and Army airborne and light infantry units to overseas "trouble spots" before conflicts could escalate into full-scale war. 18 AF units supplemented Military Air Transport Service (MATS) airlift when needed and transported U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force units for training and deployment.

The Korean War illustrated the need for a medium transport capable of operating from dirt airstrips, which led to the development of several new transport aircraft, including the delivery of the jet-prop powered C-130 Hercules at the end of 1956. 18 AF also took deliveries of the Fairchild C-123 Provider, a twin-engine transport designed for assault operations into rudimentary landing zones.

With the advent of the C-130, TAC established the Composite Air Strike Force, commonly known as a CASF, which was centered on troop carrier C-130s supplemented by MATS aircraft to deliver personnel and cargo at a moment's notice to support TAC fighter/bombers at overseas destinations. With these new aircraft, 18 AF units rotated troop carrier units to Europe in support of NATO.

The command was heavily committed to airlift operations in Arctic areas beginning in the Fall of 1952. Between 1955 and 1957, the command offloaded and airdropped equipment supporting the construction of the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line) radar system across northern Canada. Helicopters of the 310th Troop Carrier Squadron, operating from two icebreakers, provided support airlift to the U.S. Navy in the HIRAN (High Precision Air Navigation) project in January 1956. The command provided airlift and airlift expertise to the U.S. Navy in Antarctic Operation Deep Freeze I and II, establishing a base at the South Pole. Crews of the 63rd Troop Carrier Wing performed the first airdrop at the South Pole in October 1956. A combat controller of the 1st Aerial Port Squadron performed the first parachute jump at the South Pole in November 1956 (in order to determine the necessary corrections for ongoing airdrops of equipment). 18 AF also provided airdrop and airland support to Alaskan Air Command and Northeast Air Command, from March to early June 1957 in order to establish similar sites on ice islands in north polar regions.

The command was also instrumental in the development of the aerial port concept, including techniques and equipment for loading troop carrier aircraft and the airdrop of cargo.

18 AF Airmen also developed the Air Force "pathfinder" combat controller capability to establish ground to air communications and navigation aids at jump sites and to select landing sites. They also carried out fixed wing assault missions using C-123 aircraft for landing on small unimproved landing areas. The command organized the first rotary assault group in the U.S. Air Force before losing the mission to the U.S. Army and served as advisory body for reserve troop carrier wings. Finally, the command was also heavily involved in the testing of new aerial delivery equipment, equipment and techniques for dropping paratroops and cargo, and navigation devices to determine "point of release".

A realignment of Troop Carrier forces in 1957 led to the reassignment of 18 AF's C-124 wings to MATS and its headquarters was moved to James Connally AFB, Texas on 1 September. At the same time, Donaldson AFB was turned over to MATS (along with the C-124s and 63d TCW assigned there). At Connally the command gained responsibility for TAC's day fighter, fighter-bomber, and aerial tanker operations on western U.S. bases.

18 AF was inactivated effective 1 January 1958 due to budgetary reasons, and its units were reassigned to Twelfth Air Force (which had been reassigned from U.S. Air Forces Europe at Ramstein Air Base, West Germany to James Connally AFB.)

Air Mobility Command

18 AF was reactivated on 1 October 2003 as part of an overall AMC reorganization to improve air mobility support to warfighters. Born from the consolidation of AMC's 15th and 21st Air Forces under the leadership of Maj Gen Bill Essex [13], AMC'S Director of Plans and Programs, the command had a modest restart. By the time Lt Gen William Welser III [14] was finally confirmed as commander a mere two months after reactivation, the 18 AF headquarters staff numbered 30 (of which more than half was the legal office).

At that time, every AMC wing and independent group reported to the 18 AF, including the newly designated 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force and 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force, AMC's lead agencies for conducting airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and expeditionary combat support operations worldwide. This meant that a single commander, the 18 AF commander, had tasking and execution authority for all air mobility missions. It became quickly apparent that in order for the command to effectively oversee the global air mobility enterprise it would have to grow and develop strong relationships with key organizations across the Air Force and United States Department of Defense.

From the start, the command's leadership ensured strong lines of communication with sister NAFs, the AMC staff, Air Force Reserve Command leadership, United States Transportation Command, and counterparts in the other military services. Strong communication was also a priority within the command.

"We visited every unit in the NAF to ensure all members of the command family understood their role in our mission success. This included integration of Air Reserve Component advisors and visits to Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard units to ensure they were fully integrated into war-fighting team. Visiting other service units also paid huge dividends in the joint fight," said Welser.

Building on a foundation of strong internal and external communication, 18 AF leaders next focused on evolving the command's role to present air mobility forces and expertise to combatant commands, particularly United States Transportation Command.

In November 2005, Maj Gen James A. Hawkins [15], a former 18 AF vice commander, took the reins of the 18 AF. Under his leadership, and that of his successor, Maj Gen Winfield W. Scott III [16], who took command in June 2008, the command continued to evolve to meet complex missions at home and abroad.

One of the most demanding of those missions came when Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast in August 2005, eventually causing more than 1,800 deaths and nearly $80 billion in damage over an area of approximately 90,000 square miles. From the initial response through recovery, 18 AF Airmen were part of a massive total force team that flew more than 300 missions that moved nearly 1,800 sick and injured hurricane victims to safety and airlifted more than 4,000 tons of relief supplies to the stricken area.

A mere two years afterward, the command also flexed its muscle overseas with the deployment of approximately 1,500 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to Iraq in only four months.

The increasingly complex nature of the command's mission, evidenced by global demands such as these argued for a second "rebirth" of the command, which was soon to come.

These changes occurred on 6 January 2011, when five units transferred from the 18 AF to the command of the United States Air Force Expeditionary Center (USAFEC) at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey Included in the transition were the 87th Air Base Wing at Joint Base M-D-L, the 628th Air Base Wing at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, the 627th Air Base Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, the 43rd Airlift Group at Pope Army Air Field, North Carolina and the 319th Air Refueling Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota

The 18 AF Commander, Lt Gen Robert Allardice [17] at the time, retained operational control of Airmen in these units (a control 18 AF retains to this day), but the change reduced his administrative burden, allowing him greater focus on the command's worldwide mobility flying operations. The need for that focus had become obvious over the years, reflected in a doubling of the 18 AF's headquarters staff between 2003 and 2010. During the same time the headquarters also added Operations and Plans directorates as well as an integration cell to leverage other key AMC staff members performing operational tasks supporting the command's mission.

While the 2011 restructuring was one of the most visible elements of an evolutionary process that enhanced the 18 AF's operational capability - it was far from the last. The following year the command went through one of its most significant restructuring efforts to date.

In March 2012, the 18 AF inactivated its two Expeditionary Mobility Task Forces: the 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey and the 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force at Travis Air Force Base, California. These inactivations administratively aligned the task forces' subordinate units, the 615th Contingency Response Wing at Travis, the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Joint Base MDL, the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany under the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center (USAF EC). The following June also saw the inactivation of the 615 CRW, with the alignment of its subordinate units under the 621 CRW.

While the changes reduced the administrative demands on the 18 AF commander, they still left him with full operational control of AMC's forces. Lt Gen Mark Ramsay [18], then-18 AF Commander, noted that the changes represented a more effective and efficient way of carrying out the command's global air mobility mission "especially the planning, exercising, execution, and assessment of airlift, air refueling, and aeromedical evacuation operations in support of combatant commanders across the globe."

Since then, the value of the command's continual evolution has been validated by multiple crises and contingencies, each of which has in some way reflected the elements of "speed, safety, and success", the ethos represented in 18 AF's emblem.

In the wake of Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the command successfully and quickly orchestrated efforts transporting hundreds of tons of humanitarian relief while assuring the safe return of thousands of military families back to the U.S. Simultaneously, within hours of the passing of a Security Council Resolution, AMC tanker units rapidly formed the 313th Air Expeditionary Wing, a total force "Calico wing" (so named for the variety of aircraft tail flashes from the different units that constituted it) to support the U.S. Operation Odyssey Dawn over Libya, which later became the NATO Operation Unified Protector. All this occurred against the backdrop of the massive movement of personnel and equipment from Iraq.

Since that time, the command has continued to rapidly respond to crises across the globe whether delivering relief supplies to Americans stricken by Superstorm Sandy, moving troops and equipment in the face of provocations by North Korea and Syria, or supporting international efforts battling extremists in Mali and the Central African Republic. At the same time, the command has undertaken the massive effort of redeploying equipment and troops from Afghanistan in just a few years.


  • Established as Eighteenth Air Force (Troop Carrier) on 7 March 1951.
Organized on 28 March 1951.
Redesignated Eighteenth Air Force on 26 June 1951.
Inactivated on 1 January 1958.
  • Activated on 1 October 2003.
  • Reorganized on 6 January 2011.



Bergstrom AFB, Texas
George AFB, California
Cannon AFB, New Mexico
England AFB, Louisiana
  • 309th Troop Carrier Group: 8 July 1955 – 2 June 1956 (detached 8 July 1955 – May 1956)
Assigned to: Ardmore AFB, Oklahoma (USAFR), C-122, C-123


Aircraft Assigned


  1. ^ a b "Eighteenth Air Force (Air Forces Transportation) (". Archived from the original on 28 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Units". Archived from the original on 19 May 2017.
  3. ^ "MAJOR GENERAL SAM C. BARRETT > 18th Air Force > Display". Archived from the original on 25 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Factsheets : Eighteenth Air Force (Air Forces Transportation) (". 2 April 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  5. ^ "C-5M Super Galaxy". Archived from the original on 4 February 2014.
  6. ^ "KC-10 Extender". Archived from the original on 11 July 2014.
  7. ^ "C-17 Globemaster III". Archived from the original on 5 July 2014.
  8. ^ "C-130 Hercules". Archived from the original on 14 September 2014.
  9. ^ "KC-135 Stratotanker". Archived from the original on 24 October 2014.
  10. ^ "VC-25 - Air Force One". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014.
  11. ^ "C-21". Archived from the original on 24 August 2014.
  12. ^ "C-20". Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
  13. ^ "MAJOR GENERAL PAUL W. "BILL" ESSEX > U.S. Air Force > Biography Display". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014.
  14. ^ "LIEUTENANT GENERAL WILLIAM WELSER III > U.S. Air Force > Biography Display". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014.
  15. ^ "MAJOR GENERAL JAMES A. HAWKINS > U.S. Air Force > Biography Display". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014.
  16. ^ "MAJOR GENERAL WINFIELD W. SCOTT III > U.S. Air Force > Biography Display". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014.
  17. ^ "LIEUTENANT GENERAL ROBERT R. ALLARDICE > U.S. Air Force > Biography Display". Archived from the original on 14 May 2014.
  18. ^ "LIEUTENANT GENERAL MARK F. RAMSAY > U.S. Air Force > Biography Display". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 August 2018, at 09:29
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