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435th Air Ground Operations Wing
435th AGOW.jpg
Emblem of the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing
Active 1943 - present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Administrative
Part of United States Air Forces in Europe
Garrison/HQ Ramstein Air Base Germany
Mascot(s) Thunderbolt
Decorations Streamer PUC Army.PNG Distinguished Unit Citation
AFOUA Streamer.JPG Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Col John S. Shapland [1]

The 435th Air Ground Operations Wing (435 AGOW) is an active unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe. It is stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.[1]

The current commander is Colonel John S. Shapland, USAF.[2]

Previous Commanders: Colonel Thomas Gould, 16 Jul 09 - 13 Dec 10


The 435 AGOW is the first USAFE wing solely dedicated to supporting battlefield Airmen. It consolidates the tactical air control party and battlefield weather specialties of the 4th ASOG, the contingency communications support of the ACOMG, and the expeditionary support to assess, prepare and operate airfields for air expeditionary forces of the CRG. Both of the groups from the 86th AW will now perform their mission under the 435th AGOW.


The 435 AGOW comprises 3 groups. Each groups supports a specific portion of the wing's multifaceted mission.

  • The 4th Air Support Operations Group
  • The 435th Contingency Response Group
The group is tasked with establishing airfield and aerial port operations and providing force protection at contingency airfields. The unit was activated as the 86th Contingency Response Group at Hangar 3 at Ramstein Air Base on February 26, 1999, and was the first unit of its kind in the Air Force. The CRG incorporates more than 30 different jobs into one organization. It is a rapid-deployment unit designed at the initiative of Air Force leadership to be a "first-in" force to secure an airfield and establish and maintain airfield operations. The CRG consists of three subordinate squadrons:
The CRG's Air Mobility Squadron provides airfield command and control, loads and unloads aircraft and essentially sets up an aerial port where none existed.
The CRG's Security Forces Squadron provides force protection in the opening stages of a deployment and also provides protection for any follow-on forces. The Security Forces Squadron is capable of overland airlift, air assault, or airborne insertion into crisis situations.
The CRG's Construction & Training Squadron provides Mission Essential Equipment Training (MEET) concentrates on specialized or unique mission-essential equipment civil engineers do not use in their day-to-day operations. MEET provides hands-on training to students for proper certifications in their CFETP and ACES PR. MEET is SORTS reportable under CAT II training. Individuals will be trained to the proficiency level prescribed in the approved MEET curriculum to set up, operate, troubleshoot, maintain and reconstitute equipment IAW Prime BEEF/Contingency Training Panel-approved objectives.
  • The 435th Air and Space Communications Group


For additional history and lineage, see 435th Operations Group
Note: As the 435th Operations Group is currently inactive, The wing is authorized to display the honors earned by the Group prior to 26 June 1949

Cold War

Emblem of the 435th Tactical Airlift Wing

The 435th Troop Carrier Wing (435th TCW) was established and activated as a wing in the Air Force Reserve (AFRES) at Miami International Airport on May 10, 1949. Trained in the Air Force Reserve as a troop carrier wing from July 1949 to February 1951, and again from December 1952-December 1958.

The 435th was called to active duty with Tactical Air Command (TAC) in 1951 to train aircrews on C-46 Commandos for duty in Korea, though the wing itself was not tasked to deploy for the conflict there. The 435th was replaced by the 456th Troop Carrier Wing (456 TCW) in December 1952 and the 456th TCW was later replaced by the 482nd TCW as the Miami-based Air Force Reserve wing. By 1956, the 435th TCW was capable of flying overseas missions, particularly in the Caribbean area to Central America. In 1960, the wing moved to Homestead Air Force Base, Florida.

Over the many years of serving in Florida, the 435th Troop Carrier Wing came to be known as the Flamingo Wing - a name still used today by the 435th's veterans association.[3]. Two squadrons converted to the C-124 Globemaster in 1961 just before being ordered to active service. After training to become combat ready, participated in worldwide airlift and tactical exercises. Returned to reserve status in August 1962 and regained its C-119 Flying Boxcar squadron that had not been on active duty. Switched completely to C-119s in 1963. Inactivated in 1965.

Reactivated first at RAF High Wycombe, England, 24 December 1968, then reassigned to Rhein-Main AB, West Germany on 1 July 1969, the 435th served as a support wing of Military Airlift Command, providing deployed airlift control elements and aircraft maintenance at aerial ports in portions of Europe, the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and Africa.

The redesignated 435th Tactical Airlift Wing had host responsibilities for Rhein-Main AB, beginning July 1975, which included operating the busiest U.S. air terminal in Europe and supporting CONUS-based strategic airlift transiting Rhein-Main AB. While continuing to function as a tactical and support wing, the 435th TAW gained the mission of aeromedical evacuation in Europe and the Middle East. Provided airlift support for United States European Command (EUCOM) and Headquarters, United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), from March 1977 until June 1978.

Provided airlift for the theater, first with rotational C-130 forces until early 1978, and afterward with a permanently assigned C-130 airlift squadron. Participated in joint and combined paratroop training and exercises, as well all manner of theater humanitarian airlift, including relief for natural disasters, evacuation of civilians from hostile situations, and aeromedical evacuation from combat areas.

During Operation Desert Shield/Storm, the wing's 37th Tactical Airlift Squadron, plus additional wing personnel, deployed to Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, from mid-August 1990 to late March 1991 to provide theater airlift during the Persian Gulf War.

On 1 April 1992, the wing was again redesignated as the 435th Airlift Wing and implemented USAF's objective wing concept. With the disestablishment of Military Airlift Command (MAC) in 1992, the wing and Rhein-Main AB returned to United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) control, while an Air Mobility Command (AMC) airlift support group was activated to take over operation of the air terminal and support transiting air mobility (i.e., strategic airlift, theater airlift, and air refueling) aircraft.

Modern era

From July 1992 through September 1994, the wing controlled the massive airlift effort (Operation Provide Promise) to provide airland and airdrop humanitarian airlift to war-torn areas of the former Yugoslavia.

On 1 October 1993 the 55 AAS and 58 AS were inactivated as part of the general drawdown of USAF units and installations in Europe at the end of the Cold War. In February 1994, USAF began returning portions of Rhein-Main AB to German control and the wing's remaining airlift squadron was reassigned to the 86th Wing (86 WG) at Ramstein AB. The 86 WG was redesignated as the 86th Airlift Wing (86 AW) on 1 October 1994. The 435 AW was inactivated effective 1 April 1995 and its responsibilities turned over to the 469th Air Base Group (469 ABG) under USAFE and the 626th Air Mobility Support Squadron (626 AMSS) under AMC. The last commander of the 435th Airlift Wing was Col Donald A. Philpitt, USAF.

The 435 AW was converted to a provisional expeditionary wing between February 2003 and December 2003 in preparation for, and execution of, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, but was never activated.

In late 2003, the wing was reactivated as the 435th Air Base Wing (435 ABW) and assumed the overall host base support responsibilities at Ramstein AB, Germany as a non-flying unit.

In mid 2009, the 435th Air Base Wing was redesignated as the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing (435 AGOW), the second wing of its kind in the USAF. The 435 AGOW assumed mission areas previously performed by two 86th Airlift Wing units - the Contingency Response Group and the Air and Space Communications Group - along with the 4th Air Support Operations Group out of Heidelberg, Germany. The 431st Air Base Group was officially inactivated during an earlier ceremony. The remaining mission areas of the 435 ABW merged with the 86th Airlift Wing.


  • Established as 435th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium on 10 May 1949
Activated in the Reserve on 26 June 1949
Ordered to Active Service on 1 March 1951
Inactivated on 1 December 1952
  • Activated in the Reserve on 1 December 1952
Redesignated as 435th Troop Carrier Wing, Heavy on 18 September 1961
Ordered to Active Service on 1 October 1961
Relieved from Active Duty on 27 August 1962
Redesignated as 435th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium on 1 July 1963
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 1 December 1965
  • Redesignated as 435th Military Airlift Support Wing on 25 November 1968
Activated on 24 December 1968
Redesignated as: 435th Tactical Airlift Wing on 1 July 1975
Redesignated as: 435th Airlift Wing on 1 April 1992
Inactivated on 1 April 1995
  • Redesignated as 435th Air Expeditionary Wing, and converted to provisional status, on 5 February 2001
  • Returned to permanent status on 10 December 2003
Re-designated as 435th Air Base Wing on 15 December 2003
Activated on 15 January 2004
Redesignated as 435th Air Ground Operations Wing on 16 July 2009.






  • Miami International Airport, Florida, 26 June 1949 – 1 December 1952; 1 December 1952
  • Homestead AFB, Florida, 25 July 1960 – 1 December 1965
  • RAF High Wycombe, England, 24 December 1968
  • Rhein-Main AB, West Germany (later Germany), 1 July 1969 – 1 April 1995
  • Ramstein AB, Germany, 15 January 2004–present



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



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