Happy Birthday 92nd Wing!

  • Published
  • By Dan Simmons
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing historian
Nov. 17, marks the 60th anniversary of the 92nd Wing. In September, Fairchild celebrated this year's diamond anniversaries of both the Air Force and the wing during the Air Force Ball and with special cake cutting and flag retreat ceremonies.

When the 92nd Bombardment Wing was established at Spokane Army Air Field (the current site of Fairchild Air Force Base) in November 1947, it was flying the most modern bomber of the day - the B-29 Superfortress.

The wing was forged from the famed 92nd Bomb Group that flew B-17s in Europe during World War II. This legacy unit of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing celebrated its 65th anniversary in March of this year.

The wing would have a number of different names during the six decades as a result of weapon system and mission changes. After being a bombardment wing for the first 15 years, in 1962 the wing added Atlas E intercontinental ballistic missiles to its mission. 

As a result, the 92nd was the first wing in the nation to have both aircraft and missiles in its strategic arsenal and was re-designated the 92nd Strategic Aerospace Wing -- a first for the Air Force.

With the removal of the Atlas missiles the wing went back to being a bombardment wing, then later had variations including "bomb wing" and even just "wing." Probably the single greatest change in the unit's history occurred on July 1, 1994, when the wing received its current name - 92nd Air Refueling Wing. This marked the end of a 47-year presence of bombers at Fairchild, and the mission of the wing became air mobility.

While the aircraft and the mission of the 92nd have changed dramatically over the last 60 years, the one thing that hasn't changed is the incredible dedication and accomplishments of 92nd personnel.

From operations in Korea and winning the Cold War, to current missions supporting the Global War on Terrorism, 92nd personnel have built a legacy of excellence.

(Editor's note: A video chronically the history of the 92nd wing at Fairchild will be shown on a regular rotation for the next few weeks on the Commander's Access Channel - channel 5 on the base cable system, and on IPTV - available on most office computers at http://92arwiptv.fairchild.af.mil.)