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404th Air Expeditionary Group
404th Air Expeditionary Group.PNG
404th Air Expeditionary Group Emblem
Active 1943–1945; 1955–1957; 1958–1959; 2003; 2005; 2007; 2008–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Air Expeditionary
Role Combat Support
Part of United States Air Forces in Europe
Garrison/HQ Ramstein AB, Germany
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Colonel Phillip S. Fallin

The 404th Air Expeditionary Group (404 AEG) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe. It is attached to Seventeenth Air Force [Air Forces Africa], stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

The 404 AEG may be activated or inactivated at any time. Last activated on 1 October 2008, it currently provides intertheater airlift in support of US Africa Command (USAFRICOM) taskings since 1 October 2008. The 404 AEG added, in provisional status, the 459th Expeditionary Air Medical Squadron.[1]

During contingency operations, the group forward-deploys to facilitate air and support operations for varied missions, ranging from humanitarian airlift to presidential support. The 404th AEG deployed to Rwanda in January 2009 to provide airlift for peacekeeping equipment in support of the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur. In July 2009, the 404th AEG deployed to Ghana to provide aerial port and aircraft maintenance teams, along with forward communications, early warning, and air domain safety and security elements for U.S. President Barack Obama's visit.[2]


World War II

Established as the 100th Fighter Wing and organized in England in late 1943. Assigned to the European Theater of Operations (ETO), IX Fighter Command, Ninth Air Force. Began operational missions in April 1944, mission of the Wing was to receive operational orders from Headquarters, IX Fighter Command and direct subordinate groups in attacking enemy targets in Occupied France and the Low Countries in preparation for the Normandy Invasion in June 1944. Targets included bridges, roads, railroads and enemy interceptor aircraft both on the ground as well as in air-to-air combat.

After the D-Day invasion, was reassigned to IX Tactical Air Command (IX TAC) and directed to provide ground support for advancing United States First Army forces in France, attacking enemy targets initially in the Cotentin Peninsula, then supported Operation Cobra, the breakout of Normandy and attacked enemy forces in the Falaise-Argentan Gap. Wing headquarters and subordinate units operated primarily from liberated airfields and newly built temporary Advanced Landing Grounds in France, moved into north-central France, its groups attacking enemy targets near Paris then north-west into Belgium and the southern Netherlands. In December 1944/January 1945, engaged enemy targets on the north side of the Battle of the Bulge, then moved eastward into the Northern Rhineland as part of the Western Allied invasion of Germany.

Supported First Army as it crossed the Rhine River at Remagen then moved north to attack ground targets in the Ruhr, providing air support as Allied ground forces encircled enemy forces in the Ruhr Pocket, essentially ending organized enemy resistance in Western Germany. First Army halted its advance at the Elbe River in late April 1945, the wing engaging targets of opportunity in enemy controlled-areas until combat was ended on 5 May 1945.

Remained in Europe after the war as part of United States Air Forces in Europe, performing occupation duty and the destruction or shipment to the United States of captured enemy combat equipment. Inactivated in Germany, August 1945.

Strategic Air Command

Emblem of the 704th Strategic Missile Wing (1957–1958)

The 704th Strategic Missile Wing activated on 1 July 1957 at Vandenberg AFB, California, but was not operational until mid-November 1957. Trained (SM-65 Atlas, PGM-19 Jupiter, PGM-17 Thor), November 1957 – April 1959. Not operational 6 April – 1 July 1959. The wing then redesignated as the 404th Tactical Missile Wing on 31 July 1985, but never activated in any capacity.

In the modern era, the Air Expeditionary unit has been activated and inactivated on several occasions by USAFE as part of the Global War on Terrorism (2003–2008)

Operations and Decorations

  • Combat Operations: Combat in European Theater of Operations (ETO), 15 April 1944-May 1945.
  • Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
  • Decorations: None


  • Established as 100th Fighter Wing on 8 November 1943
Activated on 24 November 1943
Inactivated on 7 November 1945
Disestablished on 15 June 1983
  • Reestablished, and consolidated (31 July 1985) with the 704th Strategic Missile Wing
Established on 20 May 1957
Activated on 1 July 1957
Redesignated 704th Strategic Missile Wing (ICBM) on 1 April 1958
Inactivated on 1 July 1959
  • Redesignated: 404th Tactical Missile Wing on 31 July 1985 (Remained inactive)
  • Redesignated: 404th Air Expeditionary Group and converted to provisional status on 24 March 2003
Activated on 16 June 2003; Inactivated on 8 July 2003
Activated on 27 August 2003; Inactivated on 19 September 2003
Activated on 27 May 2005; Inactivated on 22 June 2005
Activated on 28 June 2007; Inactivated on 30 July 2007
Activated on 14 March 2008; Inactivated on 30 April 2008
Activated on 21 August 2008; Inactivated on 15 September 2008
Activated on 1 October 2008.


Under operational control of IX Fighter Command, 15 April – 31 July 1944
  • First Air Force, 6 September – 7 November 1945
  • Air Research and Development Command, 1 July 1957
Attached to Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, 1–31 July 1957

Attached to Third Air Force, 16 June – 8 July 2003
Attached to Sixteenth Air Force, 27 August – 19 September 2003
Attached to Sixteenth Air Force, 27 May – 22 June 2005
Attached to Third Air Force [Air Forces Europe], 28 June – 30 July 2007
Attached to Third Air Force [Air Forces Europe], 14 March – 30 April 2008
Attached to 48th Fighter Wing, 21 August – 15 September 2008
Attached to Seventeenth Air Force [Air Forces Africa], 1 October 2008–present


World War II Groups

  • 354th Fighter Group: (P-51 Mustang), 27 November-2 December 1943; 15 April 1944 – 4 July 1945
Under operational control of 70th Fighter Wing, 22 June-19 August 1944
Attached to XIX Tactical Air Command entire period
Re-designated as 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Group 4 September 1944

Attached to XIX Tactical Air Command entire period
Attached to XIX Tactical Air Command entire period
Attached to XIX Tactical Air Command entire period



Known aircraft and missiles


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

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
  • 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.
  • 404th Air Expeditionary Group Factsheet
  • 404th AEG gets new commander

External links

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