Military Wiki
315th Airlift Wing
315th Airlift Wing.png
Active 1952-present
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Type Airlift
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQ Joint Base Charleston
Motto(s) Advenium – I Will Come
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KSMRib.svgVietnam Service Ribbon.svg Southwest Asia Service ribbon.svg
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  • World War II
European Campaign (1943-1945)
  • Korean Service (1952-1953)
  • Vietnam Service (1966-1972)
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2011)
  • Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-Present)
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg PUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA w/ V Device
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg ROK PUC
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg RVGC w/ Palm
Colonel Steven Chapman

Members of the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings, Joint Base Charleston, S.C., participated in the International Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France, 18 June 2009.

An F-15 Eagle from the 60th Fighter Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., escorts a C-17 Globemaster III from the 14th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, S.C., as they fly over the USS Yorktown and the Arthur J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge in the Charleston, S.C., area during a local training mission

A C-123K of the 19th ACS, 315th ACW, Phan Rang, Vietnam, 1968.

The 315th Airlift Wing (315 AW) is a wing of the United States Air Force Reserve. It is stationed at Joint Base Charleston, in the City of North Charleston, South Carolina. If mobilzed, the unit would be a component of Air Mobility Command.


The mission of the 315th Airlift Wing is to provide trained personnel to be a source of augmentation for the active forces in any emergency expansion of the Air Force strategic and aeromedical airlift capability. Additionally, the Wing performs peacetime missions and integrates with the active-duty 437th Airlift Wing and the 628th Air Base Wing in their normal Air Mobility Command operations and logistics missions. Both of these units are assigned to Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

Subordinate organizations

315th Operations Group (315 OG)

315th Maintenance Group (315 MXG)

  • 315th Maintenance Squadron (315 MXS)
  • 315th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (315 AMXS)
  • 315th Maintenance Operations Squadron (315 MOS)

315th Mission Support Group (315 MSG)

  • 38th Aerial Port Squadron (38 APS)
  • 53d Aerial Port Squadron (53 APS)
  • 81st Aerial Port Squadron (81 APS)
  • 84th Aerial Port Squadron (84 APS)
  • 315th Mission Support Squadron (315 MSS)
  • 315th Security Forces Squadron (315 SFS)
  • 315th Services Flight (315 SVF)
  • 315th Logistics Readiness Flight (315 LRF)


For additional lineage and history, see: 315th Operations Group

Established in 1953 under Far East Air Force in Japan. During the Korean War, the wing flew troop and cargo airlift and airdrop, leaflet drops, spray missions, air evacuation, search and rescue, and other aerial missions in theater as part of Far East Air Forces 315th Air Division. It remained in the Far East after the war to fly transport missions and paratroop training flights in Japan, Korea, French Indo-China, and other points until December 1954, after which it was again inactivated.

Reactivated in 1966 under Pacific Air Forces, assigned to Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam. Engaged in special operations directly under Seventh Air Force in Saigon, C-123 aircraft with Air Commando squadrons engaging in unconventional warfare. Moved to Phan Rang AB in 1967. Also operated UC-123 aerial spraying aircraft for Operation Ranch Hand defoliation missions over South Vietnam. Phased out special operations missions in 1970 and engaged in theater transport missions within South Vietnam. In 1971, became a training organization for South Vietnamese Air Force C-123 aircrews. Inactivated in March 1972.

Reactivated in 1973 as a heavy transport wing in the Air Force Reserve, being stationed with and used airframes of the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. It has since trained Air Force Reserve aircrews for strategic airlift, including channel, special assignment, and combat airlift missions. In 1980s and 1990s, personnel participated in contingency and humanitarian airlift operations and exercises worldwide. In 1994, the wing conducted the first C-17 Globemaster III flight with an all-Air Force Reserve crew. It also took part in the first joint U.S. – Russian exercise that year. Last C-141 retired in 2001; flying exclusively C-17s afterward.


  • Established as 315th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, on 23 May 1952
Activated on 10 June 1952
Inactivated on 18 January 1955
  • Redesignated 315th Air Commando Wing, Troop Carrier, and activated, on 21 February 1966
Organized on 8 March 1966
Redesignated: 315th Air Commando Wing on 1 August 1967
Redesignated: 315th Special Operations Wing on 1 August 1968
Redesignated: 315th Tactical Airlift Wing on 1 January 1970
Inactivated on 31 March 1972
  • Redesignated 315th Military Airlift Wing (Associate) on 29 January 1973
Activated in the Reserve on 1 July 1973
Redesignated: 315th Airlift Wing (Associate) on 1 February 1992
Redesignated: 315th Airlift Wing on 1 October 1994


Attached to 2d Air Division, 8–31 March 1966
Attached to Seventh Air Force, 1 April-15 October 1966



  • 315th Troop Carrier (later, 315 Operations): 10 June 1952 – 18 January 1955; 1 August 1992–present





Unit shields


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

  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.

External links

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