Strategic Air Command Air Forces


Strategic Air Command Air Forces

Second Air Force

See Second Air Force
*Activated in: 1949 at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana
*Deactivated in: 1975.
*Reactivated in: 1991 at Beale AFB, California
*Reassigned to: Air Combat Command on 31 May 1992.

Formed in the United States to provide air defense and train personnel of newly formed units in World War II, the Second was briefly part of Air Defense Command after the war. From 1949 to 1975, as part of the Strategic Air Command, it engaged in training for strategic warfare.

Established as Northwest Air District on 19 October 1940. Activated on 18 December 1940 at McChord Field, Washington, initially assigned to Central Defense Command, U.S. Army, and later to Western Defense Command, U.S. Army. Redesignated 2d Air Force on 9 April 1941 and Second Air Force on 18 September 1942. Moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, on 13 June 1943. Assigned to Army Air Forces in September 1943, and to Continental Air Forces (1ater Strategic Air Command), on 16 April 1945 Inactivated on 30 March 1946. Activated on 6 June 1946 at Fort Crook, Nebraska, assigned to Air Defense Command. Inactivated on 1 July 1948. Activated on 1 November 1949 at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, assigned to Strategic Air Command. Inactivated on 16 September 1950 and organized the same day with no change in station or assignment. Inactivated on 1 January 1975. Assigned to Strategic Air Command~ on 29 August 1991, and activated at Beale AFB, California on 1 September 1991. Relieved from assignment to Strategic Air Command and assigned to Air Combat Command on 31 May 1992.

Eighth Air Force

*Activated in: 1946 at MacDill AFB, Florida
*Moved to: Fort Worth AAF, Texas in 1946.
*Moved to: Westover AFB, Massachusetts in 1955.
*Moved to: Andersen AFB, Guam in 1970.
*Moved to: Barksdale AFB, Louisiana in 1975.
*Reassigned to: Air Combat Command in 1992.

The initial Eighth Air Force became the United States Air Forces in Europe. Established as VIII Bomber Command on 19 January 1942. Activated on 1 February 1942 at Langley Field, Virginia assigned to Air Force Combat Command. Moved to Savannah AB, Georgia, about 10 February 1942. Moved Daws Hill, England, on 23 February 1942, joining Eighth Air Force. Moved to High Wycombe, England, on 15 May 1942. Redesignated Eighth Air Force on 22 February 1944, when the original Eighth Air Force became United States Strategic Air Force (USSTAF). Moved without personnel or equipment to Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, on 16 July 1945, assigned to U .S. Army Strategic Air Forces. Moved without personnel or equipment to MacDill Field Florida, on 7 June 1946, joining Strategic Air Command, moved to Fort Worth Army Air Field, Texas, 1 November 1946. Moved to Westover AFB, Massachusetts, on 13 June 1955. Moved without personnel or equipment to Anderson AFB, Guam on 1 April 1970, absorbing resources of 3rd Air Division. Moved with personnel or equipment to BarksdaIe AFB, Louisiana, on 1 January 1975, absorbing resources of Second Air Force. Relieved from assignment to Strategic Air Command and assigned to Air Combat Command on 31 May 1992.

Fifteenth Air Force

*Activated in: 1946 at Ent AFB, Colorado
*Moved to: March AFB, California in 1949
*Reassigned to: Air Combat Command in 1992

World War II was well underway when the Fifteenth Air Force was established in the Mediterranean theater as a strategic air force. The new air force drew its operational forces from existing air forces in the European and Mediterranean theaters, and commenced combat operations the day after it was formed. In the postwar years it became one of Strategic Air Command's primary numbered air forces.

Established as Fifteenth Air Force on 30 October 1943. Activated on 1 November 1943 at Tunis, Tunisia, assigned to Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Moved to Bari, Italy, on 1 December 1943. Assigned to United States Strategic Air Forces about February 1944. Inactivated on 15 September 1945. Activated on 31 March 1946 at Colorado Springs, Colorado, assigned to Strategic Air Command. Moved to March AFB, California, on 7 November 1949. Relieved from assignment to Strategic Air Command and assigned to Air Mobility Command on 31 March 1992.

Sixteenth Air Force

*Activated in: 1957 at Madrid, Spain.
*Moved to: Torrejon AB, Spain in 1958.
*Reassigned to: USAFE in 1966.

Originated as a separate operating agency, this postwar numbered air force served both Strategic Air Command and United States Air Forces in Europe. Established as Joint United States Military Group, Air Administration (Spain), on 20 May 1954. Activated on 20 May 1954 at Madrid, Spain, as a separate operating agency (SOA) of the United States Air Force. Redesignated Sixteenth Air Force on 15 July 1956. Assigned to Strategic Air Command on 1 July 1957, losing SOA status. Moved to Torrejon AB, Spain, on 1 February 1958. Assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe on 15 April 1966. Moved from Torrejon AB, Spain to Aviano AB, Italy, on 10 August 1992

Twentieth Air Force

*Activated in: 1991 at Vandenberg AFB, California
*Reassigned to: Air Combat Command on 31 May 1992

Twentieth Air Force was formed exclusively as a heavy strategic bombardment organization. Headquartered in the United States, under command of General Henry H. Arnold, with direction from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, its B-29 components operated in the China-Burma-India and Pacific theaters, carrying the air war to the Japanese. Operations climaxed with atomic attacks on Japan in August 1945. Following the war, Twentieth Air Force remained in the Pacific and served in combat for a short time during the Korean War. Later it was involved primarily in air defense of the Ryukyu Islands.

Established as Twentieth Air Force, and activated on 4 April 1944 at Washington D.C., assigned to Army Air Forces. Moved to Harmon Field, Guam, Mariana Islands, on 16 July 1945 and assigned to U.S. Army Strategic Air Forces. Assigned to Pacific Air Command, U.S. Army, (later Far East Air Forces), on 6 December 1945. Moved to Kadena AB, Ryukyu Islands, Japan, on 16 May 1949. Inactivated on 1 March 1955. Assigned to Strategic Air Command on 29 March 1991. Activated at Vandenberg AFB, California, on 1 September 1991. Relieved from assignment to Strategic Air Command and assigned to Air Combat Command on 31 May 1992.


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