|61st Air Base Wing|
|Active||1948 — present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Space Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Los Angeles Air Force Base|
Distinguished Unit Citation |
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
|Colonel Frank Simcox|
The 61st Air Base Wing (61 ABW) is a wing of the United States Air Force stationed at Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo, California. The 61st is the host unit as Los Angeles AFB, and commands all the Air Force support groups and units assigned to the base. Much of its history and traditions stems from the wartime 61st Troop Carrier Group.
Its mission is to provide effective and efficient base operating support to improve wartime readiness and the quality of life of LAAFB customers.
The wing was activated by the United States Air Forces in Europe in 1948 to control USAFE C-47 Skytrain and C-54 Skymaster units. Was controlling organization at Rhein-Main Air Base, West Germany (1 July 1948 – 2 June 1951); Tempelhof Air Base, American Occupation Zone, Berlin (1 July-5 November 1948), and Tulln Air Base, American Occupation Zone, Austria (1 July-10 December 1948).
Its initial mission was to coordinate Berlin Airlift operations for USAFE in conjunction with units deployed from the United States and the Royal Air Force. With the end of Berlin Airlift operations in 1949, flew theater airlift missions within USAFE and participated in numerous exercises. With the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, wing deployed its operational component, the 61st Troop Carrier Group to Ashiya Air Base, Japan on 21 July 1950 to reinforce Far East Air Force transport units and perform combat transport operations within South Korea and Japan. With the group deployed to FEAF, the Wing component of the organization was inactivated in West Germany in June 1951.
Reactivated at Hickam AFB, Hawaii in 1966 under Military Airlift Command, replacing inactivated Military Air Transport Service 1502d Air Transport Wing in January 1966. Provided air transport and support functions for airlift operations in the entire Pacific Ocean area, Alaska to Antarctica, and the United States to Southeast Asia. Supported both scheduled and unscheduled airlifts, primarily in support of United States military forces in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The Hickam Aerial Port was a primary destination for United States military personnel on Rest and Recreation (R&R) leave from South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, the 61st MAW operating the aerial port and coordinating R&R flights by civilian contract airlines to and from bases in South Vietnam.
Assigned airlift squadrons were inactivated in 1968 and 1969, after which became a Military Airlift Support Wing for Military Airlift Command flights within Pacific Air Forces as well as Naval and Marine Transports supporting their respective organizations in Hawaii. Inactivated 1 July 1993 as a result of the reorganization of Air Mobility Command assets at the end of the Cold War, with equipment and most personnel being reassigned to the 15th Airlift Wing.
On 1 October 1994, the 61st Air Base Wing was reactivated as a non-flying unit at Los Angeles AFB under Air Force Space Command. It has supported the Space and Missile Systems Center from 1994 to the present.
Today its units include:
- Operates the base and supports the Space and Missile Systems Center.
- 61st Medical Group
- Provides responsive, quality, cost-effective healthcare in a competitive environment. It ensures mission readiness and healthy lifestyles through proactive healthcare programs.
- 61st Mission Support Group
- Provides personnel, family support, services, communications, contracting, civil engineering and security forces services for base organizations and personnel.
Lineage and assignments
- Established as 61st Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, and activated, on 1 July 1948
- Redesignated 61st Troop Carrier Wing, Heavy, on 15 August 1948
- Inactivated on 2 June 1951
- Redesignated 61st Military Airlift Wing, and activated, on 27 December 1965
- Organized on 8 January 1966, assuming equipment and personnel of 1502d Air Transport Wing
- Redesignated 61st Military Airlift Support Wing on 22 December 1969
- Inactivated 1 July 1993
- Redesignated 61st Air Base Wing and activated on 1 October 1994
- United States Air Forces in Europe, 1 July 1948
- Attached to: Berlin Airlift Task Force, 1–29 July 1948
- Attached to: Airlift Task Force [Provisional], 22 July-4 November 1948
- Attached to: 1st Air Lift Task Force, 5 November 1948 – 9 July 1949
- 1st Air Lift Task Force, 10 July 1949
- United States Air Forces in Europe, 26 September 1949
- Twelfth Air Force, 21 January-2 June 1951
- Military Air Transport Service, 27 December 1965
- Twenty-Second Air Force, 8 January 1966 – 1 July 1993
- Space and Missile Systems Center, 1 October 1994–present
- 60th Troop Carrier Group: attached 26 September 1949 – 2 June 1951
- 61st Group (Various designations): 1 July 1948 – 1 January 1951 (detached 5 November 1948 – 9 July 1949 and 21 July 1950 – 1 January 1951); 1 October 1994–present
- 65th Military Airlift Group: 8 January 1966 – 1 January 1972
- 513th Troop Carrier Group: attached 10 July-16 October 1949
- 1422d Air Transport Group, Provisional: attached 2 August-5 November 1948
- C-54 Troop Carrier Group, Provisional: attached 1 July-2 August 1948
- 6th Military Airlift: 8 January 1966 – 8 June 1968 (not operational, 16 May-8 June 1968)
- 50th Military Airlift: 8 January 1966 – 22 December 1969 (not operational, 1–22 December 1969)
- 61st Military Airlift Support Squadron, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
- 602d Military Airlift Support Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
- 603d Military Airlift Support Squadron, Kadena AB, Okinawa
- 604th Military Airlift Support Squadron, Clark AB, Philippines
- 605th Military Airlift Support Squadron, Andersen AFB, Guam
- 606th Military Airlift Support Squadron, Mactan AB, Philippines
- 607th Military Airlift Support Squadron, Henderson Field, Midway Island
- 608th Military Airlift Support Squadron, Cam Ranh AB, South Vietnam
- 609th Military Airlift Support Squadron, Tachikawa AB, Japan
- 611th Military Airlift Support Squadron, Osan AB, South Korea
- 616th Military Airlift Support Squadron, Tan Son Nhut AB, South Vietnam
- 617th Military Airlift Support Squadron, Da Nang AB, South Vietnam
- Det. 1 Pleiku Air Base, South Vietnam
- 618th Military Airlift Support Squadron, U-Tapao AB, Thailand
- 619th Military Airlift Support Squadron, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
- Det D, later Det 2, Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand
Military Airlift Support Squadrons were support units that had no aircraft of its own, but rather supported the forward operations of aircraft from other MAC units, principally from the CONUS. Furthermore, the support squadron was a consolidation of all the operations and maintenance functions that state-side airlift wings had organized as separate units.
- Rhein-Main AFB (later, AB), Germany (later West Germany), 1 July 1948 – 2 June 1951
- Hickam AFB, Hawaii, 8 January 1966 – 1 July 1993
- Los Angeles AFB, California, 1 October 1994–present
- Primarily C-47, 1948, C-54, 1948, 1949–1950; and C-82, 1949–1951; but also flew (in single or small numbers) B-17, 1948–1949
- C-47 Skytrain, 1949–1951
- C-119 Flying Boxcar, August 1950
- C-54 Skymaster, 1951
- C-121 Constellation, 1966
- C-124 Globemaster II, 1966–1969
- 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.
- Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
- A History and Memory of the 610th Military Airlift Support Squadron (610 MASS)
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