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10th Air Base Wing
10th Air Base Wing - Change of Command.jpg
Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, Air Force Academy superintendent, passes the 10th Air Base Wing guidon and command of the wing to Col. Thomas Gibson during the wing's change of command ceremony
Active 14 November 1947-Present
Country United States United States
Branch Flag of the United States Air Force.png United States Air Force
Role Air Base Support
Part of United States Air Force Academy
Garrison/HQ US-AirForceAcademy-Shield.svg United States Air Force Academy
Motto(s) ARGUS – Ceaseless Watch

Southwest Asia Service Streamer.png
Operation Desert Storm

  • Defense of Saudi Arabia
  • Liberation and Defense of Kuwait
Decorations US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg
AFOUA (12x)
Colonel Thomas L. Gibson [1]
Robert Merrill Lee
10th Air Base Wing Emblem 10th Air Base Wing.png

The 10th Air Base Wing (10 ABW) is a non-flying United States Air Force unit that is the host wing for the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


The 10 ABW provides all base-level support activities to the USAFA. These activities include security, civil engineer, communications, logistics, military and civilian personnel, financial management, services, command post, chaplaincy, equal opportunity and the hospital, all of which support nearly 4,000 cadets and a total military community of approximately 20,000 personnel.[2]


The 10 ABW consists of more than 2,100 military, civilian and contract personnel. Its organizational structure consists of:[3]

  • 10th Medical Group
10th Aeromedical Squadron (10 AMDS)
10th Dental Squadron (10 DS)
10th Medical Operation Squadron (10 MDOS)
10th Medical Support Squadron (10 MDSS)
10th Surgical Operations Squadron (10 MSGS)
  • 10th Mission Support Group
10th Civil Engineer Squadron (10 CES)
10th Communications Squadron (10 CS)
10th Contracting Squadron (10 CONS)
10th Force Support Squadron (10 FSS)
10th Logistics Readiness Squadron (10 LRS)
10th Security Forces Squadron (10 SFS)


See 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Group and RAF Alconbury for complete lineage and history
Section source: 10th ABW History[4][5]

The 10th Air Base Wing is the current successor unit to the 10th Tactical Fighter Wing, a United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) organization, stationed in France, West Germany, and England for over 40 years. During its USAFE service, the wing received seven Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards and deployed personnel and equipment to King Fahd International Airport, Saudi Arabia and engaged in combat operations during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing

Douglas RB-66B-DL Destroyer Serial 54-0529 and Martin RB-57A-MA Serial 52-1454 of the 19th TRS (B-66) and 1st TRS (B-57) based at Spangdahlem Air Base, 1957.

The Air Force started a “wing-base” service test in 1947. Under this program the 10th Reconnaissance Wing was organized 3 December 1947, at Pope Field, North Carolina. The new wing was assigned the 10th Reconnaissance Group as its operational flying component. On 25 August 1948, the 10th Reconnaissance Wing was redesignated the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (10 TRW), with its component groups also being redesignated.

The 10th conducted training at Pope, primarily with army units at Fort Bragg until 1 April 1949 when, due to budget restrictions, the unit was inactivated.

On 10 July 1952 as a result of the United States Cold War military buildup in Europe, the 10 TRW was reactivated and assigned to NATO at Toul-Rosieres Air Base, France, absorbing the mission and equipment of the inactivating federalized 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing.

McDonnell RF-4C-24-MC Phantom of the 1st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 14 August 1971.

However, the base was not yet ready for jet aircraft, so only the 10th TRW Wing Headquarters was sent to Toul. The propeller-driven RB-26s of the former 112th TRS were absorbed by the 1st TRS at Toul, while the two RF-80A squadrons assigned to the 32d and 38th TRS were located at Neubiberg and Fürstenfeldbruck Air Bases near Munich, West Germany.

Ongoing construction delays in France forced the wing's transfer on 9 May 1953 to the newly completed Spangdahlem AB in West Germany where all the squadrons of the wing were united. The Republic RF-84F Thunderflash began to arrive in the fall of 1955, and the RF-80As were returned to the United States for Air National Guard use. Martin RB-57A Canberras replaced the World War II vintage RB-26s in 1954 to perform night Reconnaissance missions. In 1956, the 10th TRW began to transition to the RB-66 and WB-66 Destroyers, and the RF-84Fs were transferred to the 66th TRW at Phalsbourg-Bourscheid Air Base, France.

Northrop F-5E Tiger II Serials 73–0953, 0956 and 0985 of the 527th TFTAS in formation, 1977

In 1959, France placed new limits on the type of American forces stationed on its soil. Specifically, USAF nuclear-capable aircraft were to be removed from French bases. To accommodate the French restrictions, USAFE moved the 49th TFW from Etain-Rouvres Air Base to Spangdahlem and the 10th TRW was relocated to RAF Alconbury on 20 July 1959.

With its headquarters at RAF Alconbury, the 10 TRW operated its B-66 “Destroyers” from RAFs Alconbury, Bruntingthorpe, and Chelveston. In addition, the 10th TRW frequently rotated its aircraft to Toul AB, France establishing a detachment there until France's withdrawal from NATO's integrated military in 1965. Also in 1965, the 10 TRW received a new airplane, the RF-4C Phantom II. The wing's mission changed slightly in 1976. It inactivated two of its three RF-4C squadrons. The 527th Tactical Fighter Training Aggressor Squadron, flying F-5E “Tiger IIs,” activated at RAF Alconbury.

1 April 1976, bringing a new mission to the wing. The squadron provided combat training to North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces by teaching and demonstrating soviet air tactics-under the title of Dissimilar Air Combat Tactics. The 527th flew the first “Aggressor” sortie from RAF Alconbury in May.

10th Tactical Fighter Wing

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II Serial 81-0979 – 10th TFWs Wing Commanders' aircraft 1990

In the late 1980s, the 10 TRW experienced more dramatic changes. After 34 years with the same mission, the 10 TRW received a new one. This 1st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron inactivated in June 1987 and its RF-4Cs left the base. On 20 August 1987, the wing was designated as the 10th Tactical Fighter Wing. During 1988, two squadrons of A-10A Thunderbolt IIs, the 509th and 511th Tactical Fighter Squadrons, arrived from RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge. As the A-10s arrived, the 527th Aggressor Squadron moved to RAF Bentwaters.

Both A-10 flying squadrons, kept a strong close air support vigilance and remained ready to perform their mission in a contingency situation. The 511 TFS deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM from December 1990 to June 1991. The wing's A-10s played an important part in the air phase of the Gulf War, attacking tanks, Scud missiles, and other ground positions.

10th Air Base Wing

The 10 TFW again went through dramatic changes in the early 1990s. The wing drew down its A-10 mission, September 1991 – March 1992. Without its aircraft, the 10 TFW continued to support the RAF Alconbury community. The wing was finally redesignated as the 10th Air Base Wing in March 1993, and inactivated October 1994.

The 10th Air Base Wing was reactivated on 1 November 1994 as the support wing for the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado.


10th Tactical Fighter Wing emblem

10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing emblem

  • Established as 10th Reconnaissance Wing on 14 November 1947
Organized on 3 December 1947
Re-designated 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing on 25 August 1948
Inactivated on 1 April 1949
  • Activated on 10 July 1952
Re-designated: 10th Tactical Fighter Wing on 20 August 1987
Re-designated: 10th Air Base Wing on 31 March 1993
Inactivated on 1 November 1994
Activated on 1 November 1994







Awards and decorations

Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards:

  • 12/31/1959 - 1/01/1962[6]
  • 6/01/1972 - 6/01/1973[7]
  • 11/15/1977 - 11/14/1979[8]
  • 6/01/1985 - 5/31/1987[9]
  • 6/01/1989 - 5/31/1991[10]
  • 6/01/1991 - 5/30/1992[11]

  • 6/01/1992 - 5/31/1994[12]
  • 11/01/1994 - 10/31/1995[13]
  • 11/01/1995 - 10/31/1996[14]
  • 11/01/1996 - 10/31/1998[15]
  • 11/01/1998 - 10/31/2000[16]
  • 1/01/2010 - 12/31/2010[17]

  • Subordinate components of the wing:
  • 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Headquarters, 7/15/1968 - 7/15/1969[18]
  • 10th Tactical Fighter Wing Clinic, 6/01/1989 - 5/31/1991[19]
  • 10th Tactical Fighter Wing, Detachment 3, 6/01/1989 - 5/31/1991[20]
  • 10th Tactical Fighter Wing Clinic, 6/01/1991 - 5/30/1992[21]
  • 10th Air Base Wing Logistics Division, 11/01/1995 - 10/31/1996[22]


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

  1. "Colonel Thomas L. Gibson". 
  2. USAFA Mission Statement
  4. "USAFA 10th ABW History Sheet". Archived from the original on 2 Aug. 2009. Retrieved 31 Jul. 2009. 
  5. "10th TRW History". Archived from the original on 2 Aug. 2009. Retrieved 31 Jul. 2009. 
  6. DAF G-92, 1962
  7. DAF GB-821, 1973
  8. DAF GB-106, 1981
  9. DAF GB-149, 1987
  10. USAFE GA-319, 1991
  11. USAFE GA-117, 1992
  12. USAFE GA-21, 1994
  13. DAF GB-113, 1996
  14. DAF GB-125, 1997
  15. USAFA GQ-003, 1999
  16. USAFA GQ-008, 2001
  17. USAFA G-059, 2011
  18. DAF GB-779, 1969
  19. USAFE GA-319, 1991
  20. USAFE GA-319, 1991
  21. USAFE GA-117, 1992
  22. DAF GB-125, 1997
  • Endicott, Judy G. Active Air Force wings as of 1 October 1995; USAF active flying, space, and missile squadrons as of 1 October 1995. Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1999. CD-ROM.
  • Fletcher, Harry R. Air Force Bases Volume II, Active Air Force Bases outside the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1989. ISBN 0-912799-53-6.
  • Martin, Patrick. Tail Code: The Complete History of USAF Tactical Aircraft Tail Code Markings. Schiffer Military Aviation History, 1994. ISBN 0-88740-513-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947–1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.

External links

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