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931st Air Refueling Group
931st Air Refueling Group - Boeing KC-135R-BN Stratotanker 60-0336.jpg
931st Air Refueling Group - Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker 60-0336
Active 15 January 1963 — present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Group
Role Air Refueling
Part of AFR Shield.svg  Air Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQ McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas
Tail Code White tail stripe "McConnell" in red
931st Air Refueling Group emblem USAF - 931st Air Refueling Group.png
Aircraft flown
Tanker KC-135 Stratotanker

The 931st Air Refueling Group (931 ARG) is an Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the Fourth Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, stationed at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.

The 931st ARG is an associate unit of the 22d Air Refueling Wing, Air Mobility Command (AMC) and if mobilized the wing is gained by AMC.


The 931st ARG is an associate unit to the active-duty 22d Air Refueling Wing and currently has about 485 personnel. The host unit and the 931st ARG share responsibilities for maintenance, with flying operations conducted by both units, using the inventory of 48 KC-135R Stratotankers.

The group consists of the following units:

  • 18th Air Refueling Squadron
  • 931st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
  • 931st Maintenance Squadron
  • 931st Civil Engineer Squadron
  • 931st Operations Support Squadron
  • 931st Force Support Squadron
  • 931st Security Forces Squadron
  • 931st Aerospace Medicine Squadron
  • 931st Maintenance Operations Flight


Following the mobilizations in 1961 and 1962 for the Berlin Crisis and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Continental Air Command (ConAC) realized that it was unwieldy to mobilize an entire wing unless absolutely necessary. Their original Table of Organization for each Wing was a wing headquarters, a troop carrier group, an Air Base Group, a maintenance and supply group, and a medical group. In 1957, the troop carrier group and maintenance and supply groups were inactivated, with their squadrons reassigned directly to the wing headquarters - despite the fact that many wings had squadrons spread out over several bases due to the Detached Squadron Concept dispersing Reserve units over centers of population.

To resolve this, in late 1962 and early 1963, ConAC reorganized the structure of its reserve Troop Carrier Wings by establishing fully deployable Troop Carrier Groups and inserting them into the chain of command between the Wing and its squadrons at every base that held a ConAC troop carrier squadron. At each base, the group was composed of a material squadron, a troop carrier squadron, a tactical hospital or dispensary, and a combat support squadron. Each troop carrier wing consisted of 3 or 4 of these groups. By doing so, ConAC could facilitate the mobilization of either aircraft and aircrews alone, aircraft and minimum support personnel (one troop carrier group), or the entire troop carrier wing. This also gave ConAC the flexibility to expand each Wing by attaching additional squadrons, if necessary from other Reserve wings to the deployable groups for deployments.

As a result, the 931st Troop Carrier Group was established with a mission to organize, recruit and train Air Force Reserve personnel in the tactical airlift of airborne forces, their equipment and supplies and delivery of these forces and materials by airdrop, landing or cargo extraction systems. The group was equipped with C-119 Flying Boxcars for Tactical Air Command airlift operations.

The group was one of three C-119 groups assigned to the 434th TCW in 1963, the others being the 930th Troop Carrier Group, at Atterbury AFB, Indiana and the 932d Troop Carrier Group at Scott AFB, Illinois.

Tactical Air Support/Special Operations

The 930th performed routine reserve airlift operations until July 1969 when the Flying Boxcars were retired, and the unit was re-designated as a Tactical Air Support unit. The 72d TCS was re-designated as at Tactical Air Support Squadron (TASS), and was reequipped with U-3As and O-2A observation and close air support aircraft.

On 31 December 1969, in connection with the closing of Bakalar AFB, the Group and its squadron was moved to Grissom AFB, Indiana. First reassigned to the 403rd Composite Wing on 1 June 1970 and then on 15 January 1971 to the 434th Special Operations Wing, on 1 March 1971, group and squadron converted to A-37B Dragonfly counter-insurgency aircraft being returned from South Vietnam. The A-37s were primarily an export aircraft used for foreign military sales and the unit trained personnel from other Air Force Reserve squadrons and Latin American Air Forces in the use of the aircraft.

The 72d SOS was inactivated on 1 October 1973, and was replaced by the 46th Tactical Fighter Squadron in a reorganization. The 46th TFS was assigned directly to the re-designed 434th Tactical Fighter Wing, and the 931st SOG was placed in a non-operational status. On 1 July 1975 it was inactivated.

Air Refueling

In May 1977 the group was re designated as a Strategic Air Command KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling unit, and activated as part of the 452d Air Refueling Wing at Grissom AFB. The 931st was the third Air Force Reserve unit formed to provide air refueling support for SAC.

On 1 October 1978, the "Flying Hoosiers" achieved operational status 72 days ahead of schedule. That was the shortest time period ever recorded for an aerial refueling unit from activation to combat readiness. In the ensuing years, the 931st established more records of achievement including the Carl Spatz Memorial Trophy, the Rousher Memorial Trophy for two consecutive years, the Golden Tanker Trophy and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. The unit flew the KC-135 from 1978, until its inactivation in 1987.

Reactivated in 1995 under Air Mobility Command at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. This activation brought with it the unique distinction of being the first associate tanker unit in the Air Force. The 931st ARG began flying operations in May 1995, refueling the christened B-2, "Spirit of Kansas". With the activation, the 18th Air Refueling Squadron provided air operations for the group.

The 18th was redesignated a "super squadron" on 1 October 1997, doubling its size to 32 flying crews. The 931 ARG was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for exceptionally meritorious service from 1 November 1995, to 31 October 1997. The 931st also won the Kansas Award for Excellence on 21 October 1997, becoming the first military unit to win this quality award. And, in recognition of meritorious service, the 931st received its second Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, for its performance between 1 November 1997, and 31 October 1999.

From April to July 1999, more than 70 members of the 931st were activated under a Presidential Selected Reserve Call-Up, also known as a PSRC. In support of Operation Allied Force, members deployed to Morón Air Base, Spain and Naval Air Faciity Souda Bay, Crete. In support of Operation Northern Watch, members deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

In March 2003, more than 100 members of the 931st were mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Most of the mobilized individuals were KC-135 aircrew members.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Unit's Security Forces deployed a team to Kirkuk AB, Iraq (FOB Warrior). This was the first "boots on the ground" combat mission since the unit's stand-up. The Security Forces team was integrated with various active-duty units, which formed the 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron (506 ESFS). The 506 ESFS was tasked with providing Base perimeter security, entry-control and exterior/interior mobile patrols.


  • Established as 931st Troop Carrier Group, Medium, and activated, on 15 Jan 1963
Organized in the Reserve on 11 Feb 1963
Re-designated: 931st Tactical Airlift Group on 1 Jul 1967
Re-designated: 931st Tactical Air Support Group on 25 Jun 1969
Re-designated: 931st Special Operations Group on 1 Mar 1971
Re-designated: 931st Tactical Fighter Group on 1 Oct 1973
Inactivated on 1 Jul 1975
  • Re-designated 931st Air Refueling Group, Heavy on 18 May 1977
Activated in the Reserve on 1 Jul 1978
Inactivated on 1 Jul 1987
  • Re-designated 931st Air Refueling Group on 9 Sep 1994
Activated in the Reserve on 1 Jan 1995.





Exercises And Deployments

Members of the 931st have participated in a number of operations, to include:

Operation Desert Fox, Phoenix Scorpion II, Operation Southern Watch, JTF-6, Silver Flag, Iceland Tanker Task Force, Geilenkirchen Tanker Task Force, Trailblazer 97, Joint Forge, Phoenix Duke, Deny Flight, Deliberate Guard, Operation Northern Watch, Operation Allied Force, Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.


 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.
  • Mueller, Robert, Air Force Bases Volume I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982, Office of Air Force History, 1989
  • Cantwell, Gerald (1987), Citizen Airmen, A History of the Air Force Reserve, 1946-1994. Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program: GPO, 1997 ISBN 0-16049-269-6
  • 931st Refueling Group Factsheet
  • AFHRA history 931st Refueling Group

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