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305th Air Refueling Squadron
305th Air Refueling Squadron - SAC - Patch.png
Emblem of the 305th Air Refueling Squadron
Active 1951-1993
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Air Refueling
Role Aerial Refueling
Motto(s) We Will Be There

The 305th Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 305th Air Refueling Wing, stationed at McGuire AFB, New Jersey. It was inactivated on 20 August 1993. The motto of the 305th AREFS is appropriately enough, "Around the World, Around the Clock".


The unit was originally attached to the 305th Air Bombardment Wing at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Florida on 2 July 1951. At that time the squadron operated KC-97 Stratotankers that were based upon a variant of the C-97 Stratofreighter (which was itself based on the B-29 Superfortress bomber), greatly modified with all the necessary tanks, plumbing, and "flying boom."

When the 305th Bombardment Wing was moved in June 1959 to operate the Bunker Hill AFB (which was renamed Grissom AFB in 1968) in Peru, Indiana, the 305th AREFS was not part of the Wing. Later that same year, the first KC-135 Stratotankers were assigned to the Wing. At this time the 68th Air Refueling Squadron was assigned to Bunker Hill. Two years later in 1961, B-58s began replacing the B-47s for the bomber squadrons.

On 25 March 1965 the 305th AREFS was again assigned (replacing the 68th AREFS) to the 305th BW at Bunker Hill where it remained until it was inactiviated. The Wing also operated a B-58 combat crew training school, and gained an EC-135 post-attack command control system (PACCS) mission in mid-1966.

The 305th Bombardment Wing lost all of its bomber units in 1970 when SAC underwent a major reorganization. Thereafter the Wing concentrated on air refueling and PACCS support and was redesignated the 305th Air Refueling Wing on 1 January 1970. Throughout the 1970s until the 1990s, the 305th AREFW operational units consisted of the 305th AREFS, 3rd PACCS and the 70th AREFS.

Grissom AFB was re-aligned under the Air Mobility Command (AMC) in 1992 following the inactivation of SAC. The Wing was moved to McGuire AFB, New Jersey in 1994 and redesignated the 305th Air Mobility Wing. The 305th AREFS did not move with the Wing and became inactive. Today 305th Air Mobility Wing flies C-17 Globemaster III (cargo) and KC-10 Extender (refuel) aircraft to conduct strategic airlift and air refueling missions. Meanwhile, Grissom AFB became an Air Force Reserve facility. Today, the base is home to the 434th Air Refueling Wing.


From the early 1970s, the 305th AREFS supported worldwide tanker task forces and military operations by deploying KC-135 aircraft to Europe (e. g. Torrejon AB, Spain), Alaska, Greenland, Southeast Asia (e. g. U-Tapao RTNA, Thailand) and the Pacific (e.g. Kadena AB, Okinawa, Andersen AB, Guam and Hickam AFB, HA). The unit along with many others provided refuelling support for Operation Rolling Thunder and Operation Arc Light in SE Asia from 1965 to 1973. The unit later provided tanker refuelling support to units involved in the invasion of Grenada (October 1983) and the invasion of Panama (December 1989). Later in the 1990s the unit deployed personnel and aircraft to provide refuelling support for air operations to and in Southwest Asia and the Middle East. The squadron also delivered food to Kurdish Northern Iraq.

In the 1970s and 1980s Grissom was one of the largest tanker bases in the country. The 305th AREFS aircraft and crew participated every day in sustained alerts for SAC not only at Grissom AFB but in support of bomber squadrons assigned to other SAC bases throughout the USA and Canada, e.g. Goose Bay, McConnell AFB, Ellsworth AFB, Grand Forks AFB and others. Its crews provided the primary refuelling support for 3rd PACCS "Looking Glass" missions.

The typical crew consisted of a set pilot, co-pilot, navigator (officers) and boom operator (enlisted). Typical missions included refuelling for B-52s, EC-135s, F-4s, RF-4s, RC-135s, SR-71s, U-2s, F-104s, and F-105s. Missions oftentimes included passenger runs and cargo runs.


605th Bombardment Squadron

  • Constituted as the 605th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 15 February 1943
Activated on 1 March 1943
  • Disbanded on 31 March 1944[1]
  • Reconstituted on 19 September 1985 and consolidated with the 305th Air Refueling Squadron as the 305th Air Refueling Squadron[2]

305th Air Refueling Squadron

  • Constituted as the 305th Air Refueling Squadron, Medium
Activated on 2 Jul 1951
Redesignated 305th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 25 March 1965
  • Consolidated with the 605th Air Bombardment Squadron on 19 September 1985[2]
Redesignated 305th Air Refueling Squadron on 1 September 1991
Inactivated on 20 August 1993





  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Maurer, Maurer, ed (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 682. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 662q, 19 Sep 85, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Tactical Squadrons
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kane, Robert B., AFHRA Factsheet 305 Operations Group 10/28/2010 (retrieved September 23, 2013)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ravenstein, pp. 151-153
  6. Ravenstein, p, 272
  7. Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 352. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. 
  8. Mueller, p. 415
  9. Mueller, p. 214


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

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 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Air Force website

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