- McGuire Air Force Base
name = McGuire Air Force Base
nativename = Part of Air Mobility Command (AMC)
image-width = 300
caption = Airphoto of base, taken 16 April 1995
image2-width = 250
caption2 = Map of McGuire AFB in Burlington County
IATA = WRI
ICAO = KWRI
FAA = WRI
type = Military
U.S. Air Force
commander = Col Balan Ayyar, USAF
location = Wrightstown,
website = http://www.mcguire.af.mil
McGuire Air Force Base airport codes|WRI|KWRI|WRI is a
United States Air ForceBase under the operational control of the Air Mobility Command(AMC).
McGuire Air Force Base is home to the
305th Air Mobility Wing(305 AMW) and the Air Force Reserve Command's 514th Air Mobility Wing(514 AMW) which comprises C-17 Globemaster IIIand KC-10 Extenderaircraft. The C-17A is the Air Force's newest heavy airlifter, capable of delivering over 170,000 pounds (77 metric tons) of cargo. Combined with the KC-10, the largest tanker aircraft in the Air Force fleet, the C-17 can fly refueled anywhere in the world. McGuire is also home to the 108th Air Refueling Wing(108 ARW) - an Air Mobility Command-gained unit of the New Jersey Air National Guard, flying the KC-135 Stratotanker. This makes McGuire the only base in both the Air Mobility Command and the entire U.S. Air Forcehosting three AMC-gained flying wings of the Regular Air Force, Air Force Reserveand Air National Guard.
McGuire is also host to:
* [http://www.expeditionarycenter.af.mil/ United States Air Force Expeditionary Center] (USAF EC) - physically located on Fort Dix, but is considered a tenant unit to McGuire AFB.
21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force[http://www.mcguire.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=3892] (EMTF)
621st Contingency Response Wing[http://www.mcguire.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=3893] (CRW)
*373rd Training Squadron (373 TRS), Detachment 1
*AMC Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES)
One of the critical jobs McGuire Air Force Base accomplishes is hosting the flying needs of next-door neighbor Fort Dix Army installation. For years, Fort Dix has been a gateway for U.S. Army personnel shipping out to overseas locations. Air Force and civilian AMC-contracted aircraft use McGuire's two
runways to facilitate this mission. Many hundreds of thousands of Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel have left the United Statesfor overseas locations from McGuire Air Force Base.
McGuire Air Force Base is part of the
Navy Lakehurst / Fort Dix / McGuire AFB Complex.
Flight operations to support Camp Dix at an adjacent airfield, carved from pasture land, took place as early as 1926. Facilities and runways to adequately support an ongoing air mission began in 1937 as a Civilian Conservation Corps project on newly acquired land for the great Army Air Forces expansion approved by the Roosevelt Administration. This nascent airfield and accompanying wooden structures was named "Rudd Field." To meet the requirements for a possible World War, Rudd Field was renamed Fort Dix Army Air Base in 1939, and underwent massive expansion from 1940-1941. This base had its first permanent
Army Air Forceoccupant by June 1941. The base closed in February 1946, and for two years it remained on the inactive installations list until the Cold Warcaused the newly created USAF to reopen many former Army Air Force installations to meet its burgeoning operational requirements.
As the Air Force prepared to reopen by the installation as a
Strategic Air Command(SAC) installation, Fort Dix AAB was renamed McGuire AFB in January 1948 in honor of USAAF Maj. Thomas B. McGuire, Jr., a World War II P-38pilot, fighter ace, and Medal of Honorrecipient, The U.S. Air Forceofficially reopened McGuire AFB as a primary installation 29 August 1948.
While initially a combat base, operating primarily bombers and fighters of SAC and the
Air Defense Command(ADC), the strategic airlift mission and the Eastern Division of the Military Air Transport Service(MATS) (later the 21st Air Forceand today's 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force) transferred to McGuire from Westover AFB, MA, in 1954. Under MATS (later Military Airlift Command (MAC) and Air Mobility Command(AMC)), McGuire became the "Gateway to the East," serving the U.S. Military and its allies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa with cargo and transportation. Over the years McGuire's mission aircraft have been dominated by the greatest air mobility aircraft of their day: the C-54, C-118, C-135(McGuire was the first base to operate the world's first all-jet strategic airlifter), C-130, C-141and C-17 airlifters, as well as KC-97, KC-135and KC-10tanker aircraft. From 1967 through 2004, McGuire was the best known C-141 base in the world, possessing up to a quarter of AMC's fleet of that historic aircraft.
Team McGuire has provided key support in almost every major American contingency operation from 1955 through the present day, including Operation SAFE HAVEN, Vietnam, NICKEL GRASS, the Grenada rescue effort, Operation DESERT SHIELD/STORM in 1990, and Operation DESERT CALM following the first gulf war. In 1992, McGuire AFB became a major part of the newly activated
Air Mobility Command(AMC). A newly created concept, an air mobility wing (AMW) possessing both tankers and airlift aircraft, activated on McGuire in 1994. The storied 305th Air Refueling Wing, "Can Do!" moved to McGuire to become the host 305 AMW on 1 October 1994. The 21st Air Force, coupled with the stand up of the 621st Air Mobility Operations Group (621 AMOG) and its later reorganization to the 621st Contingency Response Wing(621 CRW), partnered with the 305 AMW and spear-headed virtually every contingency over the past 14 years, from Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR in the Balkans to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. McGuire itself, through its support organizations, has also been a key component in the onward transport of materials and personnel to crisis points all over the world: in 1999, McGuire served as the lead staging base for the evacuation of Kosovo refugees in Operation OPEN ARMS; McGuire was the rally and staging point for FEMA operations in New York City after the September 11, 2001 attacks; in 2005, the base lent key support for Hurricanes Kartrina and Rita. In 2006, McGuire AFB hosted over 1,800 Lebanese Americans evacuated from the battles there between Israel and Hezbollah insurgents. In 2008, McGuire assumed responsibility for the no-fail "Red Ball Express" aerial port mission, supplying and re-supplying coalition efforts in ENDURING FREEDOM. Today the men and women of McGuire AFB continue to be in the forefront of high visibility operations with regular deployments of airlift and aerial refueling aircraft as well as support elements for combat operations. McGuire hosted a rapidly assembled STRATCOM Joint Task Force satellite recovery team with no prior notice in February 2008, winning praise for its flexibility and support. Team McGuire remains heavily engaged in providing direct combat support to two regional conflicts and provided personnel, resources and aircraft.
The future of McGuire is bright-indeed, as part of a Department of Defense (DoD) initiative, McGuire will be the lead service in the first ever tri-service Joint super-base, combining its infrastructure support with the support of Fort Dix (Army) and
Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst(Navy). Additionally, the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission(BRAC) commission identified several units to be added to Team McGuire over the next few years, including contingents from every service branch. Construction of many new facilities, an intense beautification effort, and rapidly proliferating, new and spacious privately owned contract family housing, make McGuire one of the premier Air Force installations.
Base Realignment and Closure is a congressionally authorized process the Department of Defense has previously used to reorganize its base structure to more efficiently and effectively support the US forces, increase operational readiness and facilitate joint basing. The current process began with a threat assessment of the future national security environment, followed by the development of a force structure plan and basing requirements to meet these threats. BRAC law set into effect the Joint Base initiative which will establish
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. McGuire will receive assets and support functions from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove, which will be closed by BRAC.
Under BRAC law, McGuire and Fort Dix, will be host to a multitude of Army, Navy and Marine Corp assets and will build new structures to support these additions in accordance with the BRAC initiative. New support facilities will include; Navy Fleet Logistics Operations Facility, C-130 flight simulator, Marine Air Group Headquarters and helicopter hangar, Aviation Support Division/ Aviation Intermediate Maintenance division facility, munitions facility and a joint use reserve training center.
Once the BRAC initiative is complete, McGuire will be home to 37 new aircraft including; C-130s, C-9s, C-12s, AH-1 Cobras, CH-53 Super Stallions and UH-1 Hueys. The initiative will also bring over 1,700 joint support personnel.
Under a BRAC-directed Joint Base initiative, Fort Dix and NAES Lakehurst will be combined with McGuire AFB to support the three installations as a single entity. While each installation will maintain its own operational identity, the consolidation will streamline installation support, while increasing mission effectiveness in supporting the war-fighter.
Although the installation management functions will consolidate, the missions of each of the three installations will continue. The Air Force will still provide global mobility and expeditionary combat support; the Army will mobilize and train soldiers; and the Navy will continue to assure fixed and vertical wing aircraft operate safely and effectively worldwide. McGuire has a long history of providing a total force global mobility capability. BRAC and Joint Basing provide the opportunity to grow this into a joint capability. The Joint Base initiative will make McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst the world’s premier tri-service joint base.
In July 2007, the
United States Environmental Protection Agencyissued an order to the US military to clean up the contaminants at McGuire AFB. Areas that need cleanup include landfills, fire training areas, pesticidemixing shops, fuel storage and leak areas, underground tanks and fuel lines, a PCB ( polychlorinated biphenyl) spill site, and a wastewater treatment plant sludge disposal area. [http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,142338,00.html?ESRC=airforce-a.nl]
North Hanover Township School Districtserves children in public school for grades K - 6 from North Hanover Township and from McGuire Air Force Base. Schools are located on the base and in Jacobstown.
Northern Burlington County Regional School Districtserves children in public school for grades 7 through 12. Students are served from Chesterfield Township, Mansfield Township, North Hanover Township and Springfield Township, along with children of USAF personnel based at McGuire Air Force Base. [ [http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc07/narrative/05/3690/05-3690-000.html Northern Burlington County Regional School District 2007 Report Card Narrative] , New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed April 24, 2008. "The Northern Burlington County Regional School District is an important part of its growing community. The Northern Burlington County Regional Middle School and High School are located in Mansfield Township. Its constituent elementary districts are Chesterfield, Mansfield, North Hanover, and Springfield Townships. In addition, the district serves the children of United States Air Force personnel stationed at McGuire Air Force Base."]
New Jersey World War II Army Airfields
Eastern Air Defense Force(Air Defense Command)
* [http://www.mcguire.amc.af.mil/ McGuire Air Force Base] (Official Web site)
* [http://www.mcguire.af.mil/library/rao.asp McGuire AFB - Retiree Activities Office] (Official Web site)
* [http://www.amc.af.mil Air Mobility Command] (Official Web site)
* [http://www.lastgreatace.com "The Last Great Ace" book written about Maj. Thomas B. McGuire written by Charles A. Martin]
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