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303rd Aeronautical Systems Wing
Emblem of the 303rd Aeronautical Systems Wing
Active 1951–1964; 1986–1989; 2005–present
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Type Aeronautical Systems
Part of Air Force Material Command
Garrison/HQ Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

The 303rd Aeronautical Systems Wing, sometimes written as 303d Aeronautical Systems Wing, (303 ASW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Force Material Command Aeronautical Systems Center. It is stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio as a tenant unit.

The wing is the successor organization to the World War II Eighth Air Force 303rd Bombardment Group. The group was one of the first VIII Bomber Command B-17 Flying Fortress units in England. The "Hell's Angels" were the first B-17 group to complete 25 combat missions in June 1943, going on to fly more than 300 combat missions, more than any other group. The 359th BS B-17F 41-24605 "Knock-out Dropper" was the first aircraft in Eighth Air Force to complete 50, then 75 missions.

During the Cold War, the Strategic Air Command 303rd Bombardment Wing was a B-47 Stratojet medium bomber wing in the 1950s, and in the 1980s became a Tactical Missile Wing assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The 303 ASW has responsibility for program execution to develop, acquire, field and modernize capabilities; and support for life-cycle management for the United States and coalition partners.

Wing responsibilities also include identifying, coordinating and implementing horizontal integration/capability planning across weapons systems in support of the Global Strike and Global Persistent Attack concept of operations.

History[edit | edit source]

For additional history and lineage, see 303d Bombardment Group

Emblem of the 303d Bombardment Wing (Medium)

303d Tactical Missile Wing Emblem

Trained for strategic bombardment and air refueling operations to meet Strategic Air Command's global commitments, equipped with B-29 Superfortresses. Deployed to Sidi Slimane AB, French Morocco, 5 Oct-6 Nov 1952.

Replaced the propeller-driven B-29s with new B-47E Stratojet swept-wing medium bombers in 1953, capable of flying at high subsonic speeds and primarily designed for penetrating the airspace of the Soviet Union. Flew numerous training missions and participated in various SAC exercises and deployments with the Stratojet, deploying to Greenham Common RAF Station, England, 17 Mar-28 Apr 1954; Fairford RAF Station, England, 28 Apr-5 Jun 1954; and Anderson AFB, Guam, 4 Jul-4 Oct 1956 and 5 Apr-5 Jul 1958.

In the early 1960s, the B-47 was considered to be reaching obsolescence, and was being phased out of SAC's strategic arsenal. Began sending its stratojets to AMARC in 1963, the last being retired in 1964. Wing was inactivated on 15 June 1964 after the last B-47 was retired.

Reactivated as a BGM-109G Gryphon Cruise Missile wing in August 1986. Maintained 64 operational missiles in a combat-ready state. Inactivated in January 1989 as a result of the INF treaty and the elimination of the BGM-109G missile from service.

As part of the Aeronautical Systems Center, the 303d designs, develops and delivers dominant aerospace weapon systems and capabilities for U.S. Air Force, other U.S. military, allied and coalition-partner warfighters, in support of Air Force leadership priorities.

Lineage[edit | edit source]

  • Established as 303d Bombardment Wing, Medium, on 27 August 1951
Activated on 4 September 1951
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 15 June 1964
  • Redesignated 303d Tactical Missile Wing on 19 August 1986
Activated on 12 December 1986
Inactivated on 31 January 1989
  • Consolidated (23 Jun 2006) with the 303d Reconnaissance Systems Wing, which was established on 23 November 2004.
Activated on 18 January 2005
Redesignated 303d Aeronautical Systems Wing on 14 July 2006.
Inactivated on 1 July 2010 as it was re-stood up as ASC/WI (Aeronautical Systems Center, ISR Directorate) on the same date.

Assignments[edit | edit source]

Attached to: 5th Air Division, 5 Oct-6 Nov 1952
Attached to: 7th Air Division, 4 Mar-5 Jun 1954
Attached to: 3rd Air Division, 4 Jul-4 Oct 1956 and 5 Apr-4 Jul 1958

Components[edit | edit source]



Detachments: Det, 96th Air Refueling Squadron: attached c. 4 Jul-c. 4 October 1956.

Stations[edit | edit source]

BGM-109G Missile site located at: 52°22′55″N 000°25′41″W / 52.38194°N 0.42806°W / 52.38194; -0.42806 (303d TMS)

Aircraft and missiles[edit | edit source]

See also[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/.

External links[edit | edit source]

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