The 18th Air Force, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., was reactivated Oct. 1, 2003, as the operational component of Air Mobility Command. It is AMC's only Numbered Air Force and the Air Force's largest NAF.
18th Air Force's mission is to present air mobility forces to combatant commanders and it is charged with carrying out AMC's operational role as Air Forces Transportation (AFTRANS), the air component of U.S. Transportation Command.
18th Air Force's mobility aircraft include the C-5 Galaxy, KC-10 Extender, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130 Hercules, and KC-135 Stratotanker. Operational Support Aircraft include the VC-25 (Air Force One), C-21, C-20, C-32, C-37, C-40, and UH-1.
18th Air Force has an assigned Active, Reserve and civilian workforce of more than 39,000 people.
18th Air Force, commanded by a three-star general, is charged with executing air mobility missions worldwide. Active duty units reporting to 18th Air Force include the following:
Joint Base Andrews, Md. - 89th Airlift Wing
Joint Base Charleston AFB, S.C. - 437th Airlift Wing
Dover AFB, Del. - 436th Airlift Wing
Dyess AFB, Texas - 317th Airlift Wing
Fairchild AFB, Wash. - 92nd Air Refueling Wing
Incirlik AB, Turkey - 317th Airlift Group
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash - 62nd Airlift Wing
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. - 305th Air Mobility Wing
Little Rock AFB, Ark. - 19th Airlift Wing
MacDill AFB, Fla. - 6th Air Mobility Wing
McConnell AFB, Kan. - 22nd Air Refueling Wing
Scott AFB, Ill. - 375th Air Mobility Wing
618th Air Operations Center
Travis AFB, Calif. - 60th Air Mobility Wing
The 618th Air Operations Center serves as AFTRANS' air operations hub, planning and directing tanker and transport aircraft operations around the world.
Organized on March 28, 1951, at Donaldson AFB, S.C., and assigned to Tactical Air Command, the primary mission of the 18th Air Force (Troop Carrier), was the training of troop carrier crews. Immediately after activation, it began to provide trained troop carrier crews and other personnel for the Korean War.
Redesignated as 18th Air Force on June 26, 1951, it quickly became involved with numerous activities including troop movements in the continental United States, Defense Early Warning (DEW) line operations in numerous allied nations, and support of US efforts at the South Pole in Antarctica.
During this period, there were 16 troop carrier wings assigned to 18th Air Force flying C-45, C-46, C-47, C-54, C-82, C-119, C-122, C-124 and C-130 aircraft. Additionally, some wings flew H-19 and H-21 helicopters as well as the L-5, L-16, and L-20.
As part of the implementation of the Single Manager Airlift Service concept for the Air Force, 18th Air Force moved on Sept.1, 1957, to Waco, Texas, transferred its troop carrying aircraft to the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) and received other combat units as it assumed command responsibilities for all TAC bases and organizations in the south central and western states. During the short time 18th Air Force was in Waco, assigned wings flew KB-29, KB-50, F-84, F-100 and F-101 aircraft.
Eighteenth Air Force had hardly settled into its new home and mission when it was inactivated. On Jan. 1, 1958, 18th Air Force was inactivated and all personnel and equipment were transferred in place to the newly reactivated 12th Air Force.
Since its reactivation in 2003 as AMC's only Numbered Air Force, the 18th Air Force has led the global mobility enterprise in a vast array of missions with global impact. Besides playing a prominent role in Iraq and Afghanistan airlift, air drop, air evac and air refueling missions, the command conducted humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in Haiti, Pakistan, and Japan, as well as refueling operations supporting the United Nations' No Fly Zone over Libya.
As they have throughout the command's history, the people and aircraft of the 18th Air Force continue to work hard to deliver the promise of global reach for America.
(Current as of April 2012)