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Library > Fact Sheets > The 452nd Air Mobility Wing


Posted 5/19/2014 Printable Fact Sheet
Aerial refueling
A KC-135R from the 336th Air Refueling Squadron refuels a C-17A from the 729th Airlift Squadron Dec. 6, 2005 over Arizona. Both aircraft are from the Air Force Reserve Command's 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt Rick Sforza, 4th Combat Camera Squadron)
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The 452nd Air Mobility Wing traces its lineage directly to the 452d Bombardment Wing established in 1944 flying B-17s out of England during World War II. This group was a unit of 8th Air Force which flew its missions from the East Anglia Base of Deopham Green in 1944 and 1945. The wing consisted of the 728th, 729th, 730th and 731st Bombardment Squadrons. Although the bomb group was deactivated in 1945, the present day 452d works to maintain a special relationship with the 452d Bomb Group Memorial Association to keep its proud heritage alive.

During the Korean Conflict, the 452d Bomb Wing was mobilized and ordered to active duty August 10, 1950. Flying B-26s from bases in Japan, the 452d flew its first Korean combat mission October 27th. It was the first Air Force Reserve wing to fly combat missions in Korea. The unit returned to reserve status May 10, 1952, and returned to Long Beach, Calif.

Over the next several years, the 452d changed missions and converted to different aircraft many times. The unit, still equipped with B-26s was redesignated the 452d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing on June 13, 1952, and on May 22, 1955, was redesignated the 452d Tactical Bombardment Wing. The 452d converted to C-46 "Commandos" July 1, 1957, and was redesignated the 452d Troop Carrier Wing (Medium). The 452d converted to the C-119 "Flying Boxcar" April 8, 1958, and moved from Long Beach to March AFB, Calif., November 1, 1960. The 452d's 942d Troop Carrier Group converted to C-124 "Globemasters" April 1, 1965, while the 943d and 944th Troop Carrier Groups continued to fly the C-119. The 452d Troop Carrier Wing was redesignated the 452d Military Airlift Wing July 1, 1966.

In 1968, the former 944th became the 445th Airlift Wing and the first unit in the Associate Reserve Program. Under the Associate Program, the mission of the 445th was to provide necessary augmentation to the active duty in the form of aircrew, maintenance and aerial port operations to achieve full use of military airlift aircraft under various conditions of heightened tension, up to and including total mobilization of reserve forces.

The 452d MAW moved to Hamilton AFB, Calif., January 1, 1972, converted to C-130B "Hercules" April 1, and was redesignated the 452d Tactical Airlift Wing. Hamilton AFB became an Air Force Reserve base and the 452d its host unit October 1, 1973. The 452d returned to March AFB January 12, 1976 and converted to KC-135E "Stratotanker" aircraft, and was redesignated the 452d Air Refueling Wing October 1, 1976.

The 452d ARW became the single manager of all Air Force Reserve refueling organizations flying the KC-135E. It was responsible for the 336th Air Refueling Squadron at March AFB, 940th Air Refueling Group at Mather AFB, located in Sacramento, Calif., and the 931st Air Refueling Group at Grissom AFB, Ind.

In October 1977, the wing became the first reserve unit to stand alert alongside a then Strategic Air Command (SAC) active duty wing. The action solidified the "Total Force" concept by placing the Air Force Reserve on the front lines of this nation's military deterrence posture.

The 452d entered the Associate program again when it formed the 78th Air Refueling Squadron (Associate) November 1, 1981, at Barksdale AFB, LA. This squadron became the first reserve unit to fly the Air Force's new KC-10A "Extender" tanker/cargo aircraft. Two sister squadrons, the 79th ARS and 77th ARS were formed and activated at March AFB, Calif., and Seymour-Johnson, N.C., September 1, 1981 and October 1, 1985, respectively.

On April 1, 1993, the 445th Military Airlift Wing located at Norton AFB, Calif., became the first Associate Wing to transition to a "unit-equipped" wing by taking ownership of its own aircraft and resources. The wing's two flying squadrons, 729th Airlift Squadron and 730th Airlift Squadron trace their lineage directly to the 729th and 730th Bombardment Squadrons under the 452d Bombardment Wing during World War II.

In 1993, March AFB was selected for realignment. The 445th MAW was transferred from Norton AFB, to March AFB. As part of the Air Force's realignment, March's two reserve units, the 445th MAW and 452nd ARW were deactivated and their personnel and equipment joined under the 452nd Air Mobility Wing on April 1, 1994. On April 1, 1996, March officially became March Air Reserve Base. In 2005, the wing retired its C-141 fleet.  A year later, the wing began to receive its eight C-17s.

The wing consists of the operations group which includes a C-17 "Globemaster III" flying squadron and a KC-135 R "Stratotanker" flying squadron as well as an aeromedical evacuation squadron; the maintenance group includes two aircraft maintenance squadrons, a maintenance operations squadron and a maintenance squadron; the mission support group includes the civil engineering squadron, communications squadron, mission support squadron, security forces squadron, two aerial port squadrons, logistic readiness squadron and a services squadron; the medical group includes an aerospace medicine squadron, aeromedical staging squadron and a medical squadron. In addition, the commander has a personal staff which consists of the following offices: inspector general, legal, chaplain, financial management, public affairs, recruiting, safety plans, historian and equal opportunity.

On Dec. 3, 2010, the 912th Air Refueling Squadron reactivated and joined the March team as an active duty associate unit.

452nd Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
2145 Graeber St., Ste. 211
March ARB, CA 92518
(951) 655-4137
DSN: 447-4137

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