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151st Air Refueling Squadron
KC-135R Tennessee ANG head on view.jpg
A 151st ARS KC-135R Stratotanker.
Active 15 December 1957-Present
Country  United States
Allegiance  Tennessee
Branch US-AirNationalGuard-2007Emblem.svg  Air National Guard
Type Squadron
Role Air Refueling
Part of Tennessee Air National Guard
Garrison/HQ McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Knoxville, Tennessee
Tail Code White tail stripe, "Tennessee" in orange letters
151st Air Refueling Squadron emblem 125px

The 151st Air Refueling Squadron (151 ARS) is a unit of the Tennessee Air National Guard 134th Air Refueling Wing located at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Knoxville, Tennessee. The 151st is equipped with the KC-135R Stratotanker.


Authorized by the National Guard Bureau in 1957 to replace the active-duty 469th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at McGhee Tyson Air Force Base, Knoxville, Tennessee. Extended recognition as a new unit on 15 December 1957 and assigned to the new 134th Fighter-Interceptor Group.

Air Defense

A 151st Fighter Interceptor Squadron F-86D, in the 1950s.

The third Tennessee Air National Guard unit was equipped with F-86D Sabre Interceptors with a mission of air defense over the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the strategic Alcoa aluminum manufacturing facilities in the area. The active-duty Air Force 469th FIS was inactivated on 8 January 1958, with the 151st taking over the ADC daytime readiness alert mission in October, a status that was estimated to take two years. The F-86Ds were replaced by supersonic F-104A Starfighter interceptors in 1960.

Was federalized in November 1961 as a result of the 1961 Berlin Crisis, deployed to Ramstein Air Base, West Germany, and assigned to the USAFE86th Air Division. In May 1962 while still deployed to Ramstein AB, the unit set an All-Time US Air Force jet fighter flying record of 836 hours 5 minutes. In addition, the unit had the highest flying time per aircraft assigned ever recorded in the Air Force for a jet fighter in any one month to that date. Following the defusing of the Berlin crisis, the 151st was returned to Knoxville in August 1962 and reverted to Tennessee state control.

Air Refueling

In April 1964 the F-104s were transferred to active ADC squadrons, the 319th and 331st FIS at Homestead AFB, Florida as part of the 32d Air Division. The parent 134th was transferred from Air Defense Command to Tactical Air Command and was equipped with the Boeing KC-97G Stratotanker, and assumed an air refueling mission. With no previously qualified aircrew or maintenance personnel assigned, the 134th was still the first Air National Guard flying unit equipped with KC-97's to achieve operational status. They did so in eight months, the previous "normal" time for the conversion was two years. In 1966 the squadron began a rotational deployment to Ramstein Air Base in support of Operation Creek Party. which provided USAFE an air refueling capability. The Creek Party deployment rotations lasted until 1976, and over the decade the 151st saw millions of pounds of jet fuel off-loaded and millions of miles flown, all accident free.

In July 1976 the KC-97s were retired and the parent 134th was transferred to Strategic Air Command, receiving jet KC-135A Stratotankers. Once again the 134th achieved combat operational status in record time. These aircraft were later upgraded to "E" models in 1982 and finally replaced with "R" models in 2006.

The Volunteer spirit has always been alive and well in east Tennessee. This spirit was highlighted by former base commander Gen. Frederick H. Forster (Ret.) when he noted that at the beginning of the call up for Operation Desert Shield we had more volunteers than we needed. The unit has also played an enormous part in Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom by deploying numerous times to several CONUS and Middle East locations including a deployment for the 572d Band. This deployment marks the first time a Traditional Air Guard band has been tasked to deploy.


Legacy 151st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron emblem

  • Designated 151st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron and allotted to Tennessee ANG in 1957
Extended federal recognition on 15 December 1957
Federalized and placed on active duty, 1 November 1961
Released from active duty and returned to Tennessee state control, 15 August 1962
Re-designated: 151st Air Refueling Squadron, 1 April 1964-Present



Operated from: Ramstein AB, West Germany, Nov 1961-15 Aug 1962
Designated: McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee, 1991-Present



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

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