The 184th Air Refueling Wing has a proud history and a wealth of tradition. The unit was activated to Federal service during WWII, the Korean Conflict, and the Viet Nam Conflict. The 184th ARW has been honored with four USAF Outstanding Unit Awards for exceptionally meritorious service.
Upon Federal recognition as the 127th Observation Squadron on 4 August 1941, the unit’s limited equipment included one BC-1A, one C-47, and four L-1 aircraft. On 6 October 1941, the unit was ordered to extended active duty and remained an integral part of the United States Army Air Corps until 6 October 1945, with duty assignments in Tennessee and Okinawa.
On 7 September 1946, the unit reorganized and was designated as the 127th Fighter Squadron with assignment of F-51 “Mustang” aircraft. The F-51 was flown until December 1949, when the unit received the F-84 “Thunder Jet”.
Outbreak of the Korean Conflict resulted in mobilization of the 127th Fighter Squadron into Federal service on 10 October 1950. Transferred to Alexandria, Louisiana the unit became part of the Fighter Bomber Wing and deployed with the wing to Chaumont, France. On 9 July 1952, after 21 months on active duty, the newly designated 127th FBS returned to Wichita. For the following year, the 127th FBS was again assigned F-51 aircraft due to the shortage of jets created by the Korean Conflict.
In June 1954, F-80 “Shooting Star” jet fighters were assigned, followed by designation of the unit to the 127th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, and assignment of the F-86 “Sabre Jet” in January 1958.
The unit converted to the F-100 “Super Sabre”, and was designated the 127th Tactical Fighter Squadron in April 1961. The unit was reorganized as the 184th Tactical fighter Group on 1 October 1962.
In January 1968, following the North Korea seizure of the USS Pueblo, the unit was ordered to extended active duty, and deployed to Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. The unit was assigned as part of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing until release from active duty and return to state control in June 1969.
On 25 March 1971, the 184th was designated the 184th Tactical Fighter Training Group and acquired the F-105 ” Thunderchief” aircraft. As the USAF Combat Crew Training School, the unit conducted pilot training in the F-105 for nine years.
On 1 October 1973, the 184th assumed the responsibility of operating and maintaining the Smoky Hill Weapons Range at Salina, Kansas. With over 36,000 acres, Smoky Hill is the Air National Guard’s largest weapons range.
On 7 August 1979, the unit received its first F-4D “Phantom”, and on 8 October 1979, was designated as the 184th Tactical Fighter Group, equipped with 50 F-4D’s.
In April 1982, the 184th was tasked to develop a F-4D Fighter Weapons Instructor Course to meet the needs of the Air Reserve Forces and the USAF Tactical Air Command.
The 134th Tactical Control Flight was established at McConnell on 15 September 1982, to provide much needed tactical radar control. A second flying squadron, the 177th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, was established on 8 February 1984, with responsibility for all conversion and upgrade training in the F-16. To meet F-4D training requirements, the 184th TFG achieved a 9600 sortie annual flying program, flying 45 sorties per day. In August 1985, the unit reached its first 1000 sortie month.
In January 1987, the 184th was tasked to activate a squadron of F-16A/B “Fighting Falcon” aircraft, and conduct conversion and upgrade training in the F-16. On 8 July 1987, the 161st Tactical Fighter Training Squadron was established as the third flying squadron at the 184th TFG. Formal activation ceremonies for the 161st occurred on 12 September 1987, with the unit flying 10 F-16s and conducting its first student training class.
In May 1988, the 184th Mission Support Flight was extended Federal recognition by the Air Force Communication Command.
In August 1988, the 127th Tactical Fighter Squadron graduated its final Fighter Weapons Instructor Course Class. The 127th TFS converted as the second F-16 training squadron. The last F-4D departed from the 184th TFG on 31 March 1990, and the 177th TFTS converted to the F-16.
On 19 October 1988, the 134th Tactical Control Flight was designated as the 134th Tactical Control Squadron.
The 161st TFTS began converting to the F-16 C/D when the first C/D model arrived at the 184th TFG in July 1990.
In March 1992, the 184th Tactical Fighter Group was designated as the 184th Fighter Group, and became part of the newly formed Air Combat Command in June 1992. In addition, each of the three flying squadrons dropped the word “Tactical” and were designated as Fighter Squadrons.
The 134th Tactical Control Squadron was designated as the 134th Air Control Squadron in June 1992.
In July 1993, the 184th Fighter Group changed gaining commands and became part of the new Air Education and Training Command.
In July 1994, the 184 Fighter Group was designated at the 184th Bomb Wing and again became part of the Air Combat Command, flying the B-1B Lancer. The 184th is the first Air National Guard unit to fly bombers.
The 184th was redesigned the 184th Air Refueling Wing on 16 September 2002, flying the KC-135R tanker. In addition to the tanker mission, the 184th also stood up an Information Operations Group comprised of a Network Operations Security Center (NOSC), 161st Intelligence Squadron (IS) and 177th Information Warfare and Aggressor Squadron (IWAS). The 184th “Flying Jayhawks” will continue to fulfill the responsibilities of it’s mission as we extend our proud heritage into the next century.
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