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191st Air Refueling Squadron
KC-135R Stratotanker, 191st Air Refueling Squadron
Active 1943-Present
Country  United States
Allegiance  Utah
Branch US-AirNationalGuard-2007Emblem.svg  Air National Guard
Type Squadron
Role Air Refueling
Part of Utah Air National Guard
Garrison/HQ Salt Lake City Air National Guard Base, Salt Lake City, Utah
Nickname(s) Salty Guard, Ruddy Ducks
Tail Code Blue tail stripe, "Utah"
191st Air Refueling Squadron 191st Air Refueling Squadron emblem.jpg

The 191st Air Refueling Squadron (1191 ARS) is a unit of the Utah Air National Guard 151st Air Refueling Wing located at Salt Lake City Air National Guard Base, Utah. The 191st is equipped with the KC-135R Stratotanker.

History[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Activated in October 1943 as the 407th Fighter Squadron at Hamilton Field, California. During World War II, the squadron was an Operational Training Unit (OTU), equipped with second-line P-39 Aircobras and P-40 Warhawks. Its mission was to train newly graduated pilots from Training Command in combat tactics and maneuvers before being assigned to their permanent combat unit. Initially assigned to IV Fighter Command, then transferred to III Fighter Command in 1944, being re-equipped with P-51D Mustangs. It took part in air-ground maneuvers and demonstrations, participating in the Louisiana Maneuvers in the summer of 1944 and in similar activities in the US until after V-J Day.

Inactivated in November 1945.

Utah Air National Guard[edit | edit source]

The wartime 407th Fighter Squadron was re-activated and re-designated as the 191st Fighter Squadron, and was allotted to the Utah Air National Guard, on 24 May 1946. It was organized at Salt Lake City Municipal Airport, Utah and was extended federal recognition on 18 November 1946 by the National Guard Bureau. The 191st Fighter Squadron was entitled to the history, honors, and colors of the 407th Fighter Squadron. The squadron was equipped with F-51D Mustangs and was assigned to the Colorado Air National Guard 140th Fighter Group, although it was operationally under the control of the Utah Air National Guard at Salt Lake City. During its early years with the F-51D, the unit earned prominence as one of the Air Force's most respected aerial gunnery competitors.

Korean War activation[edit | edit source]

As a result of the Korean War, the 191st Fighter Squadron was federalized and brought to active duty on 1 April 1951 and assigned to the 140th Fighter Wing. The unit was ordered to the new Clovis Air Force Base, New Mexico, which arrived in October 1951. The federalized 140th was a composite organization of activated Air National Guard units, composed of the 191st, the 187th Fighter Squadron (Wyoming ANG) and the 120th Fighter Squadron (Colorado ANG). The 140th and its components were equipped with F-51D Mustangs, and were re-designated as Fighter-Bomber squadrons on 12 April 1951.

During their period of federal service, many pilots were sent to Japan and South Korea to reinforce active-duty units, 10 pilots flew over 100 missions, and two Utah pilots were killed in this conflict. One Utah ANG pilot, Capt. Clifford Jolley, flying an F-86 Sabrejet, shot down seven soviet made MIG-15 aircraft and became the first Air Guard "Ace" of the Korean Conflict.

At Clovis, elements of the 140th FBW took part in Operation Tumbler-Snapper - 1952, a nuclear bomb test in Nevada. On 15 November 1952, the elements of the 140th returned to Air National Guard control in their respective states.

Cold War[edit | edit source]

Upon return to Utah state control, the 191st was re-equipped by Tactical Air Command (TAC) with F-51D Mustangs. On 1 June 1955 it was transferred to Air Defense Command (ADC) and re-designated as the 191st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, and received its first jet aircraft, the F-86A Sabre which it used as a day-only interceptor for the air defense of Utah.

On 1 July 1958, the 191st was authorized to expand to a group level, and the 151st Fighter-Interceptor Group was established by the National Guard Bureau. The 191st FIS becoming the group's flying squadron. Other squadrons assigned into the group were the 151st Headquarters, 151st Material Squadron (Maintenance), 151st Combat Support Squadron, and the 1151st USAF Dispensary.

Also, in 1958, the 151st FIW implemented the ADC Runway Alert Program, in which interceptors of the 191st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron were committed to a five-minute runway alert. The F-86s were replaced by the F-86L Sabre Interceptor, a day/night/all-weather aircraft designed to be integrated into the ADC SAGE interceptor direction and control system.

Transport mission[edit | edit source]

On 1 April 1961, the 151st was transferred from Air Defense Command to the Military Air Transport Service (MATS), and re-equipped with C-97 Stratofreighter. The 151st Air Transport Group expanded its military airlift role to worldwide mission capabilities. Entering the realm of Southeast Asia and the Vietnam War, the Utah Air National Guard flew its first mission into the Southeast Asia theater combat zone in late 1964, and continued to do so throughout the Vietnam War years. In January 1966, the unit became the 151st Military Airlift Group (151 MAG), under the Military Airlift Command [MAC]. In 1969, the C-97s were retired and replaced by the C-124C Globemaster II. During the Vietnam War, Utah Air Guard crews flew 6,600 hours of support missions for American forces.

Air Refueling[edit | edit source]

The 151st Military Airlift Group was transferred to Strategic Air Command (SAC) on 1 July 1972 and was equipped with second-line KC-97L Stratotankers. In 1978, the squadron received KC-135A Stratotankers; a newer and faster jet tanker. In January 1979 the unit began the 24 hour per day Strategic Air Command (SAC) alert commitment. This commitment would be maintained for the next 12 years until President George Bush ended the SAC Alert Force in 1991.

The 1980s found the squadron involved in many training exercises as well as "real World" flying missions. In 1982 the unit converted to a newer version model aircraft—the KC-135E. In April 1983 the 191st Air Refueling Squadron was involved in the first Pacific Tanker Task Force, with flights to Guam, South Korea and Australia. Spring of 1984 brought a very large "first" for the 1191st Air Refueling Squadron. The unit participated in Coronet Giant, an exercise which entailed a direct flight from the United States to West Germany by 12, A-10 Thunderbolt II attack fighters, refueled along the way by three KC-135's from the 191st The route spanned 3600 miles, and was the largest mission of this type ever undertaken by a guard force.

During Operation Desert Shield, the squadron received orders for a partial activation on 20 December 1990. All aircraft, aircrews and a number of support personnel were dispatched to the newest forward operating base at Cairo West Airport, Egypt on 27–29 December 1990. They became the basis for the 1706th Air Refueling Wing (Provisional). Other unit personnel were mobilized for use as stateside "backfill" (replacing troops sent forward) or sent to overseas destinations.

On 30 April 1999, the 151st ARG was tasked for a Presidential Reserve Call Up due to the crisis in Kosovo. President William Clinton authorized the call up of 33,000 reserve personnel for up to 270 days. The 191st deployed to Europe to support Operation Allied Force.

Global War on Terrorism[edit | edit source]

Following the terrorist's attacks on the United States the squadron was tasked to provide aerial refueling support for the countless fighter combat air patrols performed over major U.S. cities. Dubbed Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), the 191st ARS flew their first ONE mission on 12 September 2001. The highest sortie production occurred in November when fighter combat air patrols occurred every four hours over most of the major U.S. cities.

In addition to supporting ONE, the 191st ARS also provided support for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), deploying aircraft and personnel to Spain to support combat air operations from late Sep 2001 until the spring of 2002.

At home, local communities see many benefits from the Utah ANG. Many opportunities exist to meet legitimate military training needs while serving the community. Activities include Sub-for-Santa, Blood Drives, highway cleanup, and the 2002 Winter Olympics. The Utah ANG also maintains a state of readiness should Utah need support during an earthquake, flood, civil disturbance, or major disaster, and was involved in assisting evacuees in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Lineage[edit | edit source]

191st Air Refueling Squadron - Legacy Emblem

Legacy 191st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron Emblem

  • Constituted 407th Fighter Squadron on 12 October 1943
Activated on 15 October 1943
Re-designated: 407th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 5 April 1944
Re-designated: 407th Fighter Squadron on 5 June 1944
Inactivated on 7 November 1945
Re-designated: 191st Fighter Squadron, and allotted to Utah ANG, on 24 May 1946
Extended federal recognition on 18 November 1946
Federalized and placed on active duty, 1 April 1951
Re-designated: 191st Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 12 Apr 1951
Released from active duty and returned to Utah state control, 15 November 1952
Re-designated: 191st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 1 June 1955
Re-designated: 191st Air Transport Squadron on 1 April 1961
Re-designated: 191st Military Airlift Squadron on 8 January 1966
Re-designated: 191st Air Refueling Squadron on 1 July 1972

Assignments[edit | edit source]

Stations[edit | edit source]

Designated: Salt Lake City Air National Guard Base, 1991-Present

Aircraft[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, AL: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Rogers, B. (2006). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. ISBN 1-85780-197-0
  • official website history

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