98th Range Wing

98th Range Wing

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=98th Range Wing

dates= 28 January 1942 — present
country=United States
branch=Air Force
type=Rage Operation
command_structure=Air Combat Command
current_commander=Colonel [http://www.nellis.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?id=8576 Christopher Haave]
garrison=Nellis Air Force Base

* World War II: European Campaign (1942-1945)
* Korean Service (1951-1953)
The 98th Wing (98 RANW) is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada. The 98th RANW provides command and control of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). The commander coordinates, prioritizes and is the approval authority for activities involving other governmental agencies, departments and commercial activities on the NTTR. The 98th RANW integrates and provides support for test and training programs that have a direct effect on the war-fighting capabilities of the combat air forces.


* 98th Operations Group
The 98th OG commands two squadrons with 55 military and civil service personnel and has functional responsibility for approximately 300 contract personnel. It provides day-to-day control of the NTTR, directly supports Air Force, joint and multi-national test and training activities, and operates two Air Combat Command bombing ranges, NTTR and Leach Lake Tactics Range, near Barstow, Calif. It prioritizes and schedules all range activities for all range users, provides ground control intercept operations, flight-following safety deconfliction, simulated threat command and control operations, communications, data link operations, and range access control. It also assists test customers by coordinating support activities, and coordinates airspace issues with military and federal agencies.
* 98th Mission Support Group
The 98th MSG commands two squadrons with 70 military and civil service personnel, with functional responsibility for 507 contract personnel. It provides base operating support on the 3-million-acre Nevada Test and Training Range with contingents at several geographically separated locations, including Tonopah Test Range, Creech AFB, Point Bravo, Tolicha Peak Electronic Combat Range, and Range 63A. It operates a physical plant with two major airfields and 700 facilities, a 628-vehicle fleet, 1,214 bed spaces, one dining facility, one "all-ranks" club and three supply warehouses. It executes a $26-million budget to deliver range civil engineering, fire protection, security, dining, custodial, lodging, logistics, fuels and transportation services.

** 98th Northern Range Support Squadron
The 98th NRSS provides management oversight for Tonopah Test and Training Range airfield, Tolicha Peak and NTTR Northern Ranges and coordinates contractor support for tenant organizations. It also provides support to deployed forces, operates the airfield in support of deployed forces and as an emergency divert base for fighter, bomber and transport aircraft flying on the NTTR, authorizes airfield access, oversees NTTR Northern Range operational activities (1.8 million acres) and controls range access and provides initial response on-scene command for security, fire protection, environmental incidents and medical responses.

** The Tonopah Test Range Airfield-Northern Ranges
It's mission is to provide domestic support for internal and external range customers, provide a capability for emergency divert landing and serve as a forward-support location for various Nellis training, testing and tactics development activities.

** 98th Southern Range Support Squadron
The 98th SRSS provides range maintenance and support for the Nevada Test and Training Range - Southern Ranges as well as Leach Lake Training Range located near Fort Irwin, Calif. The squadron also provides base operating support for Creech Air Force Base, Angel's Peak and Point Bravo.



* Established as 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. : Activated on 3 Feb 1942. : Redesignated: 98th Bombardment Group, Heavy on 1 Jul 1943: Redesignated: 98th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy on 12 Jul 1945: Inactivated on 10 Nov 1945.
* Activated on 1 Jul 1947
* Established as 98th Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy on 24 Oct 1947.: Organized on 10 Nov 1947. : Discontinued on 12 Jul 1948. :: Consolidated (1 Oct 1984) with the 98th Bombardment Wing, Medium:: which was established on 28 May 1948. : Activated on 12 Jul 1948. : Redesignated 98th Strategic Aerospace Wing on 1 Feb 1964. : Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 Jun 1966.
* Redesignated 98th Strategic Wing, activated, and organized, on 25 Jun 1966. : Inactivated on 31 Dec 1976.
* Redesignated 98th Range Wing on 21 Sep 2001. : Activated on 29 Oct 2001.


* Third Air Force, 3 Feb 1942
* US Army Middle East Air Force, c. 25 Jul 1942;
* Ninth Air Force, 12 Nov 1942
* Twelfth Air Force, 13 Sep 1943 : XII Bomber Command, 19 Sep 1943 : 47th Bombardment Wing, 24 Sep-1 Nov 1943
* Fifteenth Air Force: 5th Bombardment Wing, 1 Nov 1943: 47th Bombardment Wing, 17 Nov 1943 - 19 Apr 1945
* Continental Air Forces: Second Air Force, c. 29 Apr-10 Nov 1945
* Strategic Air Command, 1 Jul 1947: Fifteenth Air Force, 24 Sep 1947:: Attached to 92d Bombardment Wing, 17 Nov 1947-15 Apr 1950: Second Air Force, 16 May 1950:: Attached to 92d Bombardment Wing, 16 May 1950-: Fifteenth Air Force, 28 Jul 1950:: Remained attached to 92d Bombardment Wing through 31 Mar 1951:: Attached to FEAF Bomber Command, Provisional, 1 Apr 1951-:: Rear echelon attached to 92d Air Base Group, 1 Apr 1951-:: 57th Air Division, 16 Apr 1951::: Remained attached to FEAF Bomber Command, Provisional,::: with rear echelon attached to 92d Air Base Group to 25 Jul 1952: Fifteenth Air Force, 25 Nov 1953:: Remained attached to FEAF Bomber Command, Provisional, through 17 Jun 1954:: Attached to Twentieth Air Force, 18 Jun-25 Jul 1954:: 818th Air Division, 11 Oct 1954::: Attached to 7th Air Division, 11 Nov 1955-29 Jan 1956:: 810th Air Division, 25 Mar 1965-25 Jun 1966
* Strategic Air Command, 25 Jun 1966-31 Dec 1976
* Air Combat Command:: Redesignated: USAF Weapons and Tactics Center:: Redesignated: United States Air Force Warfare Center, 29 Oct 2001 - Present

Bases stationed

*MacDill Field, Florida (1942)
*Barksdale Field, Louisiana (1942)
*Ft. Myers, Florida (1942)
*Drane Field, Florida (1942)
*Ramat David Airbase, Palestine (1942)
*Fayid, Egypt (1942 – 1943)
*Libya (1943)
*Hergla, Tunisia (1943)
*Italy (1943 – 1945)
*Fairmont Army Airfield, Nebraska (1945)
*McCook Army Airfield, Nebraska (1945)
*Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington (1947 – 1953)
*Yokota Air Base, Japan (1953 – 1954)
*Lincoln Air Force Base, Nebraska (1954 – 1966)
*Torrejon Air Base, Spain (1966 – 1976)
*Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada (2001 – Present)


* 98 Bombardment (later, 98 Air Refueling; 98 Operations): 10 Nov 1947-16 Jun 1952:: Detached 10 Nov 1947-15 Apr 1950 and 2 Aug 1950-31 Mar 1951:: Not operational, 1 Apr 1951-16 Jun 1952: 1 Aug 1992-30 Sep 1994: 29 Oct 2001-.

* 25 Reconnaissance (later, 415 Bombardment): 3 Feb 1942-3 Jul 1945
* 78 Air Refueling: 1 Oct 1987-1 Aug 1992
* 98 Air Refueling: 16 Aug 1950-16 Jun 1952 (detached): 16 Jun 1952-1 Jul 1953 (detached): 18 Feb 1954-15 Apr 1963
* 307 Air Refueling: attached 8 Nov 1954-1 Feb 1955
* 343 Bombardment (later, 343 Strategic Aerospace): 3 Feb 1942-10 Nov 1945: 1 Jul 1947-25 Jun 1966 (detached c. 1 Apr 1951-16 Jun 1952)
* 344 Bombardment (later, 344 Strategic Aerospace): 3 Feb 1942-10 Nov 1945: 1 Jul 1947-25 Jun 1966 (detached c. 1 Apr 1951-16 Jun 1952)
* 345 Bombardment (later, 345 Strategic Aerospace): 3 Feb 1942-10 Nov 1945: 1 Jul 1947-25 Jun 1966 (detached c. 1 Apr 1951-16 Jun 1952)
* 380 Air Refueling: 1 Aug-8 Nov 1954
* 415 Bombardment: 1 Sep 1958-1 Jan 1962
* 515 Strategic Missile: 1 Jan 1964-25 Jun 1965

Aircraft & Missile Systems Operated

*B-24 Liberator (1942 – 1945)
*B-29 Superfortress (1945, 1947 – 1954)
*KC-97 Stratotanker (1954 – 1963)
*B-47 Stratojet (1955 – 1965)
*Atlas (1964 – 1965)
*KC-135 Stratotanker (1966 – 1976)

Operational History

World War II

The 98th trained for bombardment missions during the first half of 1942. In the summer of that year, the group deployed to Palestine for action in World War II. It entered combat on 1 August 1942 with an attack on Mersa Matruh, Libya. It supported the British Eighth Army in its westward advance from Egypt into Libya and Tunisia. It bombed shipping and harbor installations in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Crete, and Greece to cut enemy supply lines to Africa and to prepare for the Allied invasion of Italy. The 98th earned a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for action against the enemy in the Middle East, North Africa, and Sicily from August 1942 to August 1943. It received a second DUC for participation in a low-level bombing raid on enemy-held oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, on 1 August 1943.

The group was reassigned to the Fifteenth Air Force and moved to Italy in November 1943. It flew many long-range missions to France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania to bomb enemy heavy industries, airdromes, harbors, oil fields, and communication centers. It participated in the invasion of southern France, assisted in the Soviet advance into theBalkans, and supported the partisans and guerrillas in Yugoslavia and neighboring countries.

After returning to the United States as the war was ending in Europe, the group trained in preparation for movement to the Pacific Theater, but the war with Japan ended before redeployment.

The group was not manned from, July 1947-September 1947. From November 1947 to July 1954, wing headquarters was often manned as a "paper" unit with most of its components attached to other establishments for long periods. For example, the operations group was deployed to Okinawa in August-December 1948 and England, May-August 1949.

Korean War

On 1 April 1951, after the outbreak of the Korean War, wing headquarters deployed to Japan to assume control over combat operations of three tactical squadrons. Combat missions included interdiction of enemy communications, support of United Nations ground forces, and striking marshalling yards at Pyongyang, North Korea. Targets included rail facilities, oil centers, bridges, roads, troop concentrations, airfields, and military installations. The wing flew its last combat mission on 25 July 1953. It dropped propaganda leaflets on day of truce two days later. It remained in Japan in combat-ready status for another year.

Operational Units:
* 98th Bombardment Group, Medium (August 1950 - April 1951)
(Control of squadrons passed to wing (April 1951 - July 1953)
** 343d Bombardment Squadron
** 344th Bombardment Squadron
** 345th Bombardment Squadron

Cold War

Meanwhile, wing components not deployed in Japan moved to a reopened base in Nebraska to supervise construction in preparation for movement there of deployed wing components. In July 1954, wing components concentrated at Lincoln Air Force Base, Nebraska. Air refueling operations were already underway by then. During next decade, it participated in Strategic Air Command's worldwide bombardment training and air refueling commitments. From January 1964 to April 1965, the wing also controlled an Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) squadron. It replaced the 3970 Strategic Wing in Spain on 25 June 1966. For the next decade, the wing had no tactical components assigned, but it used attached KC-135 tankers and crews furnished by other Strategic Air Command wings to provide air refueling support to meet operational commitments of various commands in the eastern Atlantic, most of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Post Cold War

In October 2001, the wing began operating the range facilities of the Air Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

ee also

* United States Air Force In South Korea


* Futrell, Robert Frank (1983) The United States Air Force In Korea, 1950-1953, Maxwell AFB, Alabama Office of Air Force History, ISBN 0912799714
* Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
* Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell
* [http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/rso/rso_index.html] Air Force Historical Research Agency

External links

* [http://www.Pyramidiers.com Official Website of the 98th Bomb Group Veteran's Association]
* [http://www.nellis.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4099 98th Range Wing's official factsheet]
* [http://www.nellis.af.mil/ Nellis AFB Home Page]

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