MacDill Air Force Base
name = MacDill Air Force Base
nativename = Part of Air Mobility Command (AMC)
image-width = 300
caption = 30 December 1998
image2-width = 200
caption2 = Location of MacDill Air Force Base
IATA = MCF
ICAO = KMCF
FAA = MCF
type = Military:
Air Force Base
U.S. Air Force
built = 1941
used = 1941-Present
commander = Colonel [http://public.macdill.amc.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?id=9574 Robert D. Thomas]
6th Air Mobility Wing
elevation-f = 14
elevation-m = 4
website = [http://public.macdill.amc.af.mil/ public.macdill.amc.af.mil]
r1-number = 4/22
r1-length-f = 11,421
r1-length-m = 3,481
r1-surface = Asphalt
footnotes = Sources: official site [http://public.macdill.amc.af.mil/ MacDill AFB] , official site] and FAAFAA-airport|ID=MCF|use=PR|own=MA|site=03514.*A, effective 2007-12-20]
MacDill Air Force Base airport codes|MCF|KMCF|MCF is a
United States Air Forcebase under the claimancy of the Air Mobility Command( AMC). The host unit is the 6th Air Mobility Wing(6 AMW), flying the KC-135R Stratotanker and the C-37A Gulfstream V. The 6 AMW also has a colocated AMC-gained Air Force Reserve "Associate" unit, the 927th Air Refueling Wing(927 ARW), flying the same KC-135R aircraft as the active duty wing.
MacDill AFB is located in Hillsborough County,
Florida, eight miles south of downtown Tampa at the tip of the Interbay Peninsula. It also has city districtstatus due to the fact that the base is technically within the city limits of Tampa.
The geographic coordinates for MacDill AFB are: 27.8495 North, 82.5213 West (27.8495, -82.5213). The base population was 2,692 at the 2000 census.
MacDill AFB is home of the
Air Mobility Command's 6th Air Mobility Wing(6 AMW) and 927th Air Refueling Wing(927 ARW). The 6 ARW is part of AMC's Eighteenth Air Force(18 AF) and the 927 ARW is part of Air Force Reserve Command's ( AFRC) 4th Air Force(4 AF) when not operationally gained by AMC and 18 AF.
The 6 AMW consists of:
* 6th Maintenance Group (6 MXG)
** 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (6 AMXS)
** 6th Maintenance Squadron (6 MXS)
** 6th Maintenance Operations Squadron (6 MOS)
* 6th Medical Group (6 MDG)
** 6th Aerospace Medicine Squadron (6 AMDS)
** 6th Dental Squadron (6 DS)
** 6th Medical Operations Squadron (6 MDOS)
** 6th Medical Support Squadron (6 MDSS)
* 6th Mission Support Group (6 MSG)
** 6th Civil Engineering Squadron (6 CES)
** 6th Contracting Squadron (6 CONS)
** 6th Communications Squadron (6 CS)
** 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron (6 LRS)
** 6th Mission Support Squadron (6 MSS)
** 6th Security Forces Squadron (6 SFS)
** 6th Services Squadron (6 SVS)
* 6th Operations Group (6 OG)
91st Air Refueling Squadron(91 ARS)
Operates the Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker. The KC-135R is a long-range tanker aircraft capable of refueling a variety of other aircraft in mid-air, anywhere in the world and under any weather condition. MacDill KC-135s have supported US military operations all over the world including refueling coalition aircraft during the war in Bosnia.
310th Airlift Squadron(310 AS)
Operates three Gulfstream C-37A Gulfstream V aircraft utilizing highly experienced flight crews to provide global transportation on special assignment airlift missions (SAAM) directly supporting the Combatant Commanders of U.S Central Command, U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Joint Forces Command, and U.S. Strategic Command.
** 6th Operations Support Squadron (6 OSS)
Provides airfield management responsibilities for MacDill AFB, to include staffing and operation of the air traffic control tower, weather forecasting services, transient alert services and other flight operations and aircrew support functions.
MacDill AFB is commanded by
ColonelLawrence M. Martin, Jr., USAF as of Monday, September 8th, 2008.
In March 2006, The 6 AMW adopted the slogan "MacDill Lightning, High Voltage!" for their wing "battle cry".
Other major tennant units at MacDill are:
* Headquarters, United States Central Command (USCENTCOM)
* Headquarters, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)
* Headquarters, United States Special Operations Central Command (USSOCCENT)
* Deputy Commander, United States Marine Corps Forces Central Command (DEPCOMUSMARCENT)
* MacDill is also the home of the
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's( NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), which includes the NOAA WP-3 Orion and Gulfstream V hurricane hunteraircraft fleet, commanded by a rated aviator and Captainin the commissioned NOAA Corps.
Also located at MacDill are a division of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE), the
Air Force Reserve Command's 622nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (622 AES), the Florida Air National Guard's 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron (290 JCSS), Navy Operational Support Center Tampa, the US Army's 297th Military Intelligence Battalion, Detachment 1 of the 23d Wing(from Moody Air Force Base, GA), the Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, elements of the American Red Crossand the anti-medfly operation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, among numerous other agencies.
The base also supports the large military retiree community in the Tampa Bay area and surrounding environs.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign
Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. It would distribute the 319th Air Refueling Wing’s KC-135R aircraft to the 6th Air Mobility Wing (6 AMW) at MacDill AFB, FL (four aircraft) and several other installations. The 6 AMW would also host a Reserve association with the AMC-gained 927th Air Refueling Wing(927 ARW) of the Air Force Reserve Command( AFRC), which would be realigned and relocated from Selfridge ANGB, Michigan to MacDill AFB. Under the Reserve Associate arrangement, both the 6 AMW and the 927 ARW would share the same KC-135R aircraft, while the 927 ARW would turn over their KC-135R aircraft to the 127th Wing (127 WG) at Selfridge ANGB.
The 927 ARW began relocation from Selfridge ANGB to MacDill AFB in 2007 and formally established itself at MacDill in April 2008 [ [http://www.927arw.afrc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123096389 Wing moves, begins new chapter ] ] .
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 2,692 people, 638 households, and 600 families residing in the district. The racial makeup of the district was 61.80% European American, 24.50% African American, 12.0% Latin American, 0.60% American Indian, 2.90% Asian American, 0.40% Pacific Islander American, 5.10% from some other race, and 4.80% from two or more races.
There were 608 households out of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 87.8% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 1.5% were non-families. 88.5% of all households were made up of individuals over 18 and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.75 and the average family size was 3.76.
USAF Emblem Gallery
Though the south end of Interbay Peninsula was used as a military
staging areaas early as the Spanish-American War, the land at the end of the peninsula was not formally declared a military installation until it was given to the War Department in 1939 by the state and Hillsborough County.
MacDill Field was dedicated on
April 16, 1941. It was named in honor of Colonel Leslie MacDill, one of the U.S. Army's aviation pioneers who had been killed in an aircraft accident in 1938. The initial host unit was the 28th Air Base Squadron.
The initial assignment of the airfield was to
Air Defense Command. As a component of the U.S. First Army, its mission was to plan for and execute the air defense of the continental United States. MacDill was the headquarters of ADC Third Air Forceand its primary mission was to fly antisubmarine patrols. Units supporting this mission were:
* 29th Bombardment Group
Flew antisubmarine patrol missions over the
Caribbean. These missions initiated on 21 May 1940 and continued until the group was transferred to Gowen AAF, Idahoin June 1942 when the group was transitioned into a B-24 Operational Training Unit (OTU).
* 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
Trained with Consolidated B-24 Liberators and flew antisubmarine missions (January 1941 - February 1942). Transferred to Barksdale AAF,
By the fall of 1942 these patrols, in conjunction with naval operations, had succeeded in driving off the German
U-boatpacks that had been taking such a heavy toll of shipping in the western Atlantic Ocean.
Another prewar mission of MacDill was "Project X;' the ferrying of combat aircraft eastward to the Philippines via the South Atlantic and South Africa. These operations began in February 1941 and were performed by the 6th Bomb Squadron and 43d Bomb Squadron flying the Douglas B-18 "Bolo" and Boeing B-17C/D "Flying Fortress" by way of
Ascension Islandand Africa.
Other prewar units based at MacDill were:
* 53rd Pursuit Group (Interceptor)
Provided air defense with Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and
Seversky P-35s (January - May 1941). Transferred to Tallahassee AAF, Florida.
* 76th Observation Group
Flew North American B-25 Mitchells. Performed aerial reconnaissance and air support techniques and aided ground units in their training (February 1942 - May 1943). Transferred to Key AAF,
World War II
With the American entry into
World War II, The antisubmarine mission was turned over to the Navy and for the balance of the war, MacDill trained aircrews for overseas deployments to the various war theaters. The first units trained at the base were Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber groups. Known units which trained at MacDill were:
* 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) (February - March 1942)
* 92d Bombardment Group (Heavy) (March - May 1942)
* 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) (May - June 1942)
* 99th Bombardment Group (Heavy) (June 1942)
* 94th Bombardment Group (Heavy) (June - July 1942)
In the summer of 1942 the 21st Bombardment Group (Medium) was activated and served at MacDill as the OTU for Martin B-26 Marauder training. As well as the main training unit, the group flew antisubmarine patrols over the
Gulf of Mexico. It disbanded on 10 October 1943. Known B-26 units that trained at the base were:
* 320th Bombardment Group (Medium) (June - August 1942)
* 336th Bombardment Group (Medium) (July - August 1942)
(Served as OTU at Lake Charles AAF, Louisiana after training at MacDill)
* 322nd Bombardment Group (Medium) (July - September 1942)
* 323rd Bombardment Group (Medium) (August - November 1942)
* 344th Bombardment Group (Medium) (September - December 1942)
* 386th Bombardment Group (Medium) (December 1942 - February 1943)
* 387th Bombardment Group (Medium) (December 1942 - April 1943)
* 391st Bombardment Group (Medium) (January - May 1943)
* 394th Bombardment Group (Medium) (March - July 1943)
* 397th Bombardment Group (Medium) (April - October 1943)
* 477th Bombardment Group (Medium) (June - August 1943)
(Group inactivated 25 August 1943)
B-26 training ceased in October 1943 and the base reverted to a primary B-17 aircrew replacement training training facility. The OTU which performed the training was the 488th Bombardment Group (Heavy) which was activated in November 1943. Groups which trained were:
B-17 Aircrew training ended at MacDill during May 1944 with the inactivation of the 488th Bomb Group.
Beginning in January 1944, the 11th Photographic Group used MacDill for its mission of photographic mapping in the US and sent detachments to carry out similar operations in Africa, the CBI theater, the Near and Middle East, Mexico, Canada, Alaska, and the Caribbean. The unit flew a mixture of B-17, B-24, B-25, B-29, F-2, F-9, F-10, and A-20 aircraft. The 11th PG inactivated in October 1944, being replaced by several intelligence and mapping training units at the airfield from 1945 through 1948.
During the war, MacDill also served as a Prisoner of War camp, holding as many as 488 German POWs.
Strategic Air Command
In 1945, with the war in Europe over, B-17 training assignment ended. On 16 April 1945 MacDill was assigned to
Continental Air Commandand became the primary training facility for aircrew assgined to the B-29 Superfortress.
With the end of hostilities in September 1945, the base became a reception facility for returning
Twentieth Air Forcegroups from the Marianas. These groups were:
The rapid demobilization after the war led these units to be inactivated during 1946. On 21 March 1946, Continental Air Command was redesignated as
Strategic Air Command. 307th Bombardment Wing
On 4 August 1946, SAC activated the 307th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) as the host unit at MacDill, being initially equipped with Boeing B-29 Superfortresses. Known initial operational squadrons of the group were the 370th, 371st and 372d Bombardment Squadrons.
The group selected as SAC's first antisubmarine unit in December 1946. Precursor to similar SAC units, the group began training other SAC combat units in anti-submarine warfare and operational procedures. In February 1947 the wing began operating a B-29 transition training school and standardized combat training for all SAC units.
The unit was redesignated as the 307th Bombardment Wing, Medium on 12 July 1948. Under the wing designation, the 306th Bombardment Group (eff: 12 August 1948) and 307th Bombardment Group (eff: 12 July 1948) were attached to the wing. This brought three additional operational squadrons (367th, 368th and 369th Bombardment Squadrons) under the wing's command. In 1952, the 307th Bombardment Wing was bestowed the lineage, honors and history of the USAAF World War II 307th Bombardment Group.
On 1 September 1950, the 307th Bomb Group with its three squadrons of B-29s was deployed to
Far East Air Force(FEAF) Bomber Command, Provisional at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, engaging in combat operations during the Korean War. From Kadena, the 307th staged attacks against the rapidly advancing communist forces in South Korea. While in Okinawa, the 307th was awarded the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citationfor its air strikes against enemy forces in Korea. It was also awarded the Distinguished Unit Citationand several campaign streamers.
The 307th BG returned from deployment on 10 February 1951, however elements of the group remained deployed in Okinawa on a permanent basis. Later in 1951, the B-29s of the group at MacDill were replaced by the Boeing B-50D Superfortress.
Also on 1 September 1950 the 306th Bomb Group was transferred to the newly activated 306th Bombardment Wing at MacDill and continued the wing's training mission.
The 307th Bomb Wing was inactivated at MacDill on 16 June 1952. The 307th Bomb Group was permanently reassigned to Kadena Air Base upon the deactivation of the wing at MacDill.
On 1 September 1950 the 306th Bombardment Wing was activated at MacDill and became SAC's first operational B-47 jet bomber wing. Upon activation, operational units of the wing were the 367th, 368th and 369th Bombardment Squadrons under the 306th Bombardment Group which was transferred from the 307th BMW.
Deliveries of the new Boeing B-47A Stratojet Stratojet to the USAF began in December 1950. It entered service in May 1951 with the 306th Bombardment Wing. The 306th was intended to act as a training outfit to prepare future B-47 crews. The B-47As were primarily training aircraft and were not considered as being combat ready, and none of the B-47As ever saw any operational duty.
On 19 November 1951 the Wing received its first operational Boeing B-47B and christened it "The Real McCoy" in honor of Colonel Michael N. W. McCoy, the wing commander who flew it from the Boeing Wichita plant to MacDill. During 1952, the 306th developed combat procedures and techniques for the new bomber and soon emerged as a leader in jet bombardment tactics and strategies.
The first Boeing KC-97E Stratotanker assigned to Strategic Air Command was delivered to the 306th Air Refueling Squadron at MacDill on 14 July 1951. Inflight refueling operations started in May 1952 with KC-97s refueling B-47s on operational training missions leading toward combat ready status.
In 1953, the 306th became the first operational B-47 Wing. The wing became the backbone of the US Nuclear Deterrence Strategy by maintaining high levels of ground alert in the US and at overseas bases. The Wing was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit citation for its role as a pioneer and leader in jet bombardment tactics.
In 1954, SAC designated specific air refueling organizations and the 306th Air Refueling Squadron became ready to support B-47 operations across the command. During 1954, the more advanced B-47Es, with ejection seats, improved electronics and a white reflective paint scheme, replaced the 306th BMW B-47Bs.
During 1954-55, MacDill and the wing also served as a backdrop for part of the
Paramount Picturesfilm "Strategic Air Command" staring Jimmy Stewartand June Allyson.
The wing deployed to
RAF FairfordEngland, Jun - Sept, 1953, at Ben Guerir AB French Morocco (later, Morocco) Jan - Feb, 1955, Oct 1956 - Jan 1957 and Oct 1957.
As SAC's B-47s were being phased out of the inventory, inactivation planning of the 306th BMW began. Phase down and transfer of B-47s was started, and by 15 February 1963 the wing was no longer capable of fulfilling its part of the strategic war plan. On 1 April 1963, SAC inactivated the 306th BMW at MacDill and reactivated it the same day at
McCoy AFB, Florida as a B-52D and KC-135A wing.
On 2 January 1951 the 305th Bombardment Wing was activated at MacDill. The unit became the second Strategic Air Command wing to receive the B-47 jet bomber. Operational squadrons of the wing were the 305th, 364th, 365th and 366th Bombardment Squadrons.
Initially training with the Boeing B-29 and B-50 Superfortress, later that year the 305th received its first Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter. Following this, the group began training heavily in its new dual mission of strategic bombardment and aerial refueling.
The 809th Air Division (809th AD) took over host unit responsibilities at MacDill on 16 June 1952. The 809th AD consisted of the 305th and 306th Bombardment Wings which were both assigned to the base.
In June 1952, the wing upgraded to the all-jet Boeing B-47 Stratojet. The wing continued strategic bombardment and refueling operations from MacDill. The wing deployed overseas three times, once to
England(Sep-Dec 1953) and twice to North Africa(Nov 1955-Jan 1956 and Jan-Mar 1957), in keeping with its mission of global bombardment and air refueling operations.
Two wing B-47s set speed records on 28 Jul 1953 when one flew from RCAF Goose Bay,
Labrador, to RAF Fairford, England, in 4:14 hours and the other flew from Limestone AFB, Maine, to RAF Fairford in 4:45 hours
In May 1959, the 305th Bomb Wing with B-47's was reassigned to
Bunker Hill AFB, Indiana. The 809th AD deactivated on 1 June 1959 with the reassignment of the 305th Bomb Wing.
Tactical Air Command
In 1962, MacDill AFB was transferred to
Tactical Air Command(TAC). Bomber aircraft would remain at MacDill until the 306th Bombardment Wing's transfer to McCoy AFB, and SAC would continue to maintain a tenant presence at MacDill through the 1980s, utilizing their Alert Facility as a dispersal location for B-52 and KC-135 aircraft. But for all practical purposes, the 1960s marked MacDill's transition to a fighter-centric TAC installation. Under TAC, MacDill remained a fighter base for almost 30 years, but other changes went on in the background.
MacDill AFB's transfer to TAC, the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing was reactivated on 17 April and assigned to Ninth Air Force. Initially, its only operational squadron was the 559th Tactical Fighter Squadron.
The mission of the 12th TFW was to be prepeared for tactical worldwide deployments and operations. Until 1964 the wing flew obsolete Republic F-84F Thunderjets reclaimed from the
Air National Guard.
In January 1964, the wing was chosen to be the first Air Force combat wing to convert to the new McDonnell-Douglas F-4C Phantom II. It was expanded as follows:
* 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron
* 558th Tactical Fighter Squadron
* 559th Tactical Fighter Squadron
* 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron
(Activated on 8 January 1964 as part of a wing transition from three squadrons of 25 aircraft each to four squadrons of 18 aircraft each.)
The wing was soon involved in F-4C firepower demonstrations, exercises and, ultimately, the Paris Air Show.
The first attempt to close MacDill was made in 1960, when it was listed as surplus and slated for closure. However, the
Cuban Missile Crisisof 1962 pointed up the base's strategic location and usefulness as a staging area, and the cuts were stayed. In response to the Missile Crisis, the United States Strike Commandwas established at MacDill as a crisis response force; it was one of the first unified commands, a command that draws manpower and equipment from all branches of the U.S. military.
The conflict in Southeast Asia was escalating and throughout 1965 the wing supported PACAF Contingency operations by rotating combat squadrons quarterly to Naha AB in the Ryuku Islands. The 12th began its permanent deployment to the first Air Force expeditionary airfield at
Cam Ranh BayAir Base, South Vietnamon 6 November 1965.
12th TFW Combat squadrons initially scheduled for deployment to Vietnam were the 555th, 557th and 558th TFS. Ultimately, the 559th TFS took the place of the 555th when the squadron was diverted to a second TDY with the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing at
Naha Air Base, Okinawa, followed by a re-assignment to the 8th TFW at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. Still later the 555th was assigned to the 432d TRW at Udon Royal Thai Air Force Base.
On 17 April 1962, the 15th Tactical Fighter Wing was activated at MacDill and assigned to
Ninth Air Force. Operational squadrons of the wing and squadron tail codes were:
* 45th Tactical Fighter squadron (FC)
* 46th Tactical Fighter squadron (FD)
* 47th Tactical Fighter squadron (FE)
* 43rd Tactical Fighter Squadron (FB)
(Activated on 8 January 1964 as part of a wing transition from three squadrons of 25 aircraft each to four squadrons of 18 aircraft each.)
The 12th and 15th TFWs constituted the 836th Air Division at MacDill AFB 1 July 1962.
Initially equipped with the Republic F-84F Thunderjet, in 1964 the wing upgraded to the tail-coded McDonnell-Douglas F-4C Phantom II.
The mission of the 15th TFW was to conduct tactical fighter combat crew training. The wing participated in a variety of exercises, operations and readiness tests of Tactical Air Command, and trained pilots and provided logistical support for the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing. Reorganized as a mission-capable unit at the time of the
Cuban Missile Crisisof 1962, it returned afterwards to a training mission.
With the departure of the 12th TFW in 1965, the 15th TFW became the host unit at MacDill with unit's mission becoming a training unit for F-4 aircrews prior to their deployment to Southeast Asia. The wing deployed 16 F-4s to
Seymour Johnson AFB, NC during the U.S.S. PuebloCrisis in 1968.
In 1965, the wing deployed its 43rd, 45th, 46th and 47th Tactical Fighter Squadrons to
Southeast Asia, where they participated in the air defense commitment for the Philippinesfrom Clark ABand flew combat missions from Cam Rahn Bay Air Base in South Vietnamand Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Basein Thailand. Members of the 45th TFS achieved the first U.S. Air Force aerial victories of the Vietnam conflict when they destroyed two MiGs on 10 July 1965.
Captains Thomas S. Roberts, Ronald C. Anderson, Kenneth E. Holcombe and Arthur C. Clark received credit for these kills.
Beginning on 8 February 1969, the 13th Bombardment Squadron, Tactical began Martin B-57G (Tail Code: FK) light bomber aircrew training. The squadron was deactivated on 1 October 1970 and redesignated as the 4424th Combat Crew Training Squadron.
Also in 1970, Strike Command was renamed United States Readiness Command.
The 43rd TFS was reassigned to
Elmendorf AFB, Alaskaon 4 January 1970. The 15th was deactivated on 1 October 1970, being replaced by the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing.
Cuban Missile Crisis
During the 1962
Cuban Missile Crisis, the following units were deployed to MacDill in addition to the assigned 12th and 15th TFWs in preparation for planned airstrikes on Cuba:
* 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, 60 F-100s
Cannon AFB, New Mexico)
* 363d Tac Reconnaissance Wing, 33 RF-101s, 31 RB-66s
Shaw AFB, South Carolina)
* 622d Air Refueling Squadron, 20 KB-50Js
(Aerial Tankers deployed from
England AFB, Louisiana)
The MacDill-based 12th and 15th Tac Fighter Wings, were designated as the 836th Air Division. The 836th AD was committed to provide one hundred F-84F sorties in the planned first strike. They were to press napalm and rocket attacks against SAM sites at Mariel and Sagua La Grande as well as the airfields at Santa Clara, Los Banos and San Julien.
The 836th commitment for the second strike was to provide sixty-four sorties concentrating on the Los Banos airfield, two AAA sites and the SSM launchers at San Diego de los Vegas and Pinar Del Rio.
Finally, forty-two F-84Fs were to strike Los Banos MiG base a third time and the Santa Clara MiG base, Sagua La Grande and Mariel SAM sites each a second time.
The Cuban missile confrontation was ultimately resolved and the air strikes, which would have been followed by an invasion of Cuba, were never launched.
On 10 January 1970, the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing was reassigned without personnel or equipment to MacDill, the wing being transferred from
Air Defense Command(ADC) to TAC from Hamilton AFB, California. Initially, the 1st TFW operated with the same Tactical Fighter Squadron designations used by the 15th TFW until 1 July 1971 when they were redesignated as follows:
* 45th TFS -> 27th Tactical Fighter Squadron (FD/FF) (F-4E)
* 46th TFS -> 71st Tactical Fighter Squadron (FB/FF) (F-4E)
* 47th TFS -> 94th Tactical Fighter Squadron (FE/FF) (F-4E)
* 4424Th TFTS -> 4530th Combat Crew Training Squadron (FK/FS) (B-57G)
(Note: squadron deactivated 30 June 1972.)
In 1972, the 1st TFW standardized on the common wing tail code "FF".
At MacDill, the 1st TFW was an operational TAC fighter wing, assuming operational commitments of the 15th TFW. Assumed an F-4 transitional and replacement pilot training role in 1971, some of its aircrews and equipment being deployed from time to time in a variety of tactical exercises.
On 1 July 1975 the 1st TFW and its operational squadrons were reassigned to
Langley AFB Virginiawithout personnel or equipment.
On 30 June 1975, the 56th Tactical Fighter Wing became the new host unit at MacDill, being reassigned from
Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. Operational squadrons of the wing were:
* 61st Tactical Fighter Squadron (former 27th TFS, yellow tail stripe)
* 62d Tactical Fighter Squadron (former 73rd TFS, blue tail stripe)
* 63d Tactical Fighter Squadron (former 94th TFS, red tail stripe)
* 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron (white tail stripe, deactivated at MacDill during conversion from F-4D to F-16A/B in 1981 and reactivated at
Misawa AB, Japan as an F-16 squadron)
* 72nd Tactical Fighter Squadron (black tail stripe)
(F-16A/B/C/D Activated 1 July 1981, deactivated 19 June 1992)
The 56th TFW assumed the F-4E aircraft of the reassigned 1st TFW. Tail codes were changed to "MC".
The wing conducted F-4E replacement training for pilots, weapon systems officers, and maintenance personnel and conducted a service test of TAC's "production oriented maintenance organization" in 1976 and converted to the POMO concept in March 1977. In addition, the wing converted from the F-4E to F-4D between October 1977 and September 1978.
In 1980 and 1981, the wing upgraded to the Block 10 General Dynamics F-16A/B Fighting Falcon. With the arrival of the F-16, the wing designation was changed to 56th Tactical Training Wing on 1 October 1981. The aircraft were upgraded to the more capable Block 30 and 42 F-16C/D in 1991.
In 1983, the new Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF) was activated, and in 1987 it became
U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM. That same year, U.S. Readiness Command(USREDCOM) was redesignated U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM.
On 1 October 1991, the 56th TTW was redesignated as the 56th Fighter Wing (56 FW). Following inactivation of Tactical Air Command (TAC), the 56 FW and was reassigned to the newly-established
Air Combat Command(ACC) on 1 June 1992.
Post Cold War
By the 1990s, the U.S. was looking to downsize the military and eliminate a large number of bases. MacDill AFB figured prominently in this: the
Tampaarea saw substantial commercial air traffic at several airports within ten miles of MacDill, creating hazardous conditions for F-16 training, and the noise associated with the high-performance jets was deemed unsuitable for high-density residential areas like those around MacDill. As a result the 1991 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission ordered that all flightline activities cease at MacDill AFB by 1993.
As a result of the BRAC decision, the F-16 training mission and the
56th Fighter Wingwere moved without personnel or equipment to Luke Air Force Base, outside of Phoenix, Arizona, and was reassigned to Air Education and Training Command(AETC). The wing's F-16 aircraft were transferred to other USAF and ANG squadrons. 6th Air Mobility Wingand 927th Air Refueling Wing(Associate)
In August 1992, just prior to the landfall of
Hurricane Andrewin southern Florida, the 31st Fighter Wingand the Air Force Reserve's 482d Fighter Wing, both based at Homestead AFB, executed an emergency hurricane evacuation of all of their F-16C aircraft, with the bulk of those aircraft temporarily staging at MacDill.
In 1993, with the help of local Congressman
Bill Young(R-FL), the flight line closure order for MacDill was rescinded and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) transferred from their former air facility at Miami International Airportto Hangar 5 at MacDill AFB in order to use the base and its flight line as their new home station for weather and research flights.
On 1 January 1994, the
Air Mobility Command's 6th Air Base Wing (6 ABW) stood up at MacDill to operate the base and provide support services for CENTCOM, SOCOM, and the large and growing number of other tenant units, as well as to provide services for transient air units. Later that year, the base served as the primary staging facility for Operation Uphold Democracyin Haiti.
This staging was considered evidence of the quality and usefulness of the MacDill runway and flight line, even in light of the high civilian air traffic levels in the Tampa Bay area from nearby
Tampa International Airportand Peter O'Knight Airport. With further Congressional prodding and lobbying, MacDill was chosen as the site for a KC-135 air refuelingmission. With the arrival of 12 KC-135R tankers and the 91st Air Refueling Squadron from Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, the 6th Air Base Wing was renamed the 6th Air Refueling Wing on 1 October 1996.
In January 2001, the 310th Airlift Squadron (310 AS) was activated at the base, flying the CT-43A and
EC-135, the latter aircraft providing executive transport and airborne command post capabilities to the commanders of USCENTCOM and USSOCOM at MacDill and the commander of United States Southern Command(USSOUTHOM) in Miami. New C-37A aircraft were delivered starting in 2001, and the CT-43 and EC-135 were subsequnetly remved from service. The 310th's primary mission is dedicated airlift support for the commanders of SOCOM and CENTCOM. With the addition of the 310 AS, the wing was given its current designation as the 6th Air Mobility Wing.
In April 2008, pursuant to
BRACaction, the Air Force Reserve Command's 927th Air Refueling Wing(927 ARW) relocated from Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan to MacDill AFB, where it became an associate wing to the 6 AMW, flying the same KC-135Raircraft.
Air Mobility Command
United States Central Command
Air Combat Command
Tactical Air Command
Strategic Air Command
Florida World War II Army Airfields
6th Air Mobility Wing
56th Fighter Wing
1st Fighter Wing
15th Airlift Wing
12th Flying Training Wing
305th Air Mobility Wing
306th Flying Training Group
* This article includes content from the [http://public.macdill.amc.af.mil MacDill Air Force Base] public website. As a U. S. Government website, the contents are presumed to be in the public domain.
* Martin, Patrick (1994). Tail Code: The Complete History of USAF Tactical Aircraft Tail Code Markings. Schiffer Military Aviation History. ISBN 0887405134.
* Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
* Menard David R. (1998). Republic F-84: Thunderjet, Thunderstreak, & Thunderflash: A Photo Chronicle, Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 0764304445
* Mueller, Robert (1989). Volume 1: Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. USAF Reference Series, Office of Air Force History, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C. ISBN 0912799536; 0160022614
* Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.
* Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
* [http://home.att.net/~jbaugher/usafserials.html USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to present]
* [http://www.f-16.net/ www.f-16.net]
* [http://www.armyairforces.com/ www.armyairforces.com]
* [http://public.macdill.amc.af.mil/ MacDill AFB] , official site
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/macdill.htm MacDill AFB] at
* [http://www.f-4.nl/ F-4 Phantoms]
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