An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

97th Air Refueling Squadron

The 97th Air Refueling Squadron, located at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, is an Air Mobility Command air refueling squadron fueling America's global reach. The 97 ARS plans, schedules, and directs 100 aircrew with support staff and 12 aircraft in support of combat air refueling, airlift, and aeromedical evacuation operations around the world.

Mission: Provide premier in-flight refueling, in support of peacetime, contingency and USSTRATCOM OPLAN 801X operations around the world.

Vision: Set the standard of excellence

History: Constituted 20th Reconnaissance Squadron (Light) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Redesignated: 97th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 14 Aug 1941; 97th Bombardment Squadron, Light, on 20 Aug 1943. Inactivated on 31 Mar 1946. Consolidated (19 Sep 1985) with the 97th Air Refueling Squadron, Medium, which was constituted on 2 Feb 1949. Activated on 1 Mar 1949. Discontinued, and inactivated, on 15 Mar 1964. Redesignated 97th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, and activated, on 8 Oct 1964. Organized on 23 Oct 1964. Redesignated 97th Air Refueling Squadron on 1 Sep 1991. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1992. Activated on 1 Oct 1992. Moved to Fairchild AFB, Washington to continue supporting contingency missions in 1994, and was reactivated in 2019 under the 92d Air Refueling Wing.

Assignments: General Headquarters Air Force (later, Air Force Combat Command), 15 Jan 1941 (attached to the 17th Bombardment Group, 15 Jan-7 May 1941; 47th Bombardment Group, 8 May-13 Aug 1941); 47th Bombardment Group, 14 Aug 1941-31 Mar 1946. 97th Bombardment Group, 1 Mar 1949 (attached to the 97th Bombardment Wing, 12 Jul 1950-15 Jun 1952); 97th Bombardment Wing, 16 Jun 1952 (attached to Fifteenth Air Force, c. 31 May-10 Jul 1955); 4061st Air Refueling Wing, 1 Sep 1957; 9th Bombardment (later, 9th Strategic Aerospace) Wing, (attached to 341st Combat Support Group), 15 Jul 1961; 28th Bombardment Wing, 1 Jul 1962-15 Mar 1964. Strategic Air Command, 8 Oct 1964; 97th Bombardment Wing, 23 Oct 1964; 97th Operations Group, 1 Sep 1991-1 Apr 1992. 43d Operations Group, 1 Oct 1992; 453d Operations Group, 1 Apr 1994; 92d Operations Group, 1 Jul 1994-30 Sep 2004 and 1 Oct 2019-Present.

Aircraft: B-18, 1941-1942; B-24, 1941-1942; DB-7, 1942; A-20, 1942-1945; A-26 (later, B-26), 1945-1946. B-29, 1950; KB-29, 1950-1954; KC-97, 1954-1964. KC-135, 1964-Present.

Operations: Antisubmarine patrols, Dec 1941-Jan 1942. Combat in MTO, 28 Dec 1942-30 Apr 1945. Air refueling operations, 1951-1964 and 1964-Present.

Campaign Streamers. World War II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Algeria-French Morocco; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; North Apennines; Po Valley; Air Combat, EAME Theater.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Po Valley, 21-24 Apr 1945. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Jun 1955-1 Sep 1957; 2 Jul-3 Nov 1957; 1 Jul 1975-30 Jun 1977; 1 Jul 1977-30 Jun 1978; 1 Jul 1978-30 Jun 1980; 1 Jul 1980-30 Jun 1982; 1 Jul 1986-30 Jun 1988.