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89th Airlift Wing

The 89th Airlift Wing provides comfortable and reliable worldwide airlift and logistical support for the President of the United States, the vice president, cabinet members and other high ranking U.S. and foreign government officials. In addition, the 89th is the host wing of Andrews AFB and provides quality customer service to the men and women of Team Andrews.

The wing traces its roots to October 1, 1948, when the 1254th Air Transport Wing was established at Washington National Airport. However, special mission or VIP flying began even earlier. The first truly "special mission" aircraft were specifically designated to transport high ranking government officials in 1936 with the activation of the 1st and 2nd Staff Squadrons at Bolling Air Force Base, DC.

In 1961, the 1254th Air Transport Wing was moved from Washington National Airport to Andrews Air Force Base where it was later discontinued in January 1966. In its place, the 89th MAW Special Missions was activated and assigned to Andrews Air Force Base until the wing became a group on September 30, 1977. In December 1980, the unit was once again redesignated the 89th MAW. On July 12, 1991, the 89th MAW merged with the 1776th Air Base Wing to become the 89th Airlift Wing. The airlift wing is an Air Mobility Command asset directly assigned to 21st Air Force, headquartered at McGuire AFB, NJ.


1st Airlift Squadron


The 1st Airlift Squadron was constituted as the 1st Air Transport Squadron (Mobile) on 13 March 1944. Activated on 23 March 1944 at Homestead AAFld, FL, it was assigned to the Caribbean Wing, Air Transport Command.

Reassigned to the India-China Wing (later, India-China Division), Air Transport Command, c. 2 May 1944 (though attached to XX Bomber Command, 17 May–20 November 1944), the unit relocated to Kalaikunda, India, 3 May 1944 (though an air echelon operated from Kharagpur, India, from 7 May–4 August 1945). The squadron was reassigned to XX Bomber Command, on 21 November 1944 (though attached to 22d Air Depot Group, from November–December 1944).

Relocating to Naha AB, Okinawa, on 20 June 1945, the 1st was reassigned, around that time, to United States Army Forces, Pacific Ocean Areas (later, US Army Strategic Air Forces); to Eighth Air Force (31 July 1945); to the Okinawa Air Depot (10 September 1945); to Far East Air Service Command (9 January 1946); and to IV Air Service Area Command (15 January 1946). The squadron inactivated on 25 March 1946 and was disbanded on 8 October 1948. During the war, the squadron had been tasked with providing aerial transportation in CBI (May 1944–May 1945) and in the Western Pacific(c. September–December 1945) using the C–46 (1944–1946); C–87 (1944); and the C–47 (1945).

Reconstituted, the unit was redesignated 1st Air Transport Squadron, Medium, in September 1953 and activated on 18 November 1953 at Dover ADB, DE, as part of the 1607th Air Base Group and flying the C-54 aircraft which it flew until 1955. Reassigned to the 1607th Air Transport Group, on 1 January 1954, the squadron was redesignated 1st Air Transport Squadron, Heavy, on 8 September 1954. That same year, the unit added the C-124 to its aircraft inventory.

Transitioning to the C-133 in 1960, the squadron was again reassigned, this time to the 1607th Air Transport Wing, on 18 January 1963; and again on 8 January 1966, to the 436th Military Airlift Wing, at which point it was redesignated as the 1st Military Airlift Squadron. Prior to its inactivation on 30 June 1971, the 1st had been tasked with conducting worldwide airlift beginning November 1953, including transport of personnel and equipment to and from Southeast Asia, from 1966–1971.

The squadron reactivated on 12 September 1977 at Andrews AFB, MD, as part of the 89th Military Airlift Wing, Special Mission (later, 89th Military Airlift Group; 89th Military Airlift Wing). Aircrafts assigned to the 1st were the VC–6 (1977–1985); VC/C–9 (1977–1988); C–12 (1977–?); VC–135 (1977–1991); VC–140 (1977–1987); C–20 (1983–1988); VC–137 (1987-). The 1st was tasked with worldwide airlift support for the President and other high-ranking dignitaries of US and foreign governments. It was also tasked with C–12 training for personnel from all branches of the military (1977-?). The squadron provided transport of personnel to Southwest Asia, from August 1990 to April 1991.

Redesignated 1st Airlift Squadron on 12 July 1991, it was reassigned to the 89th Operations Group.

99th Airlift Squadron [99th AS]


The 99th Airlift Squadron is the largest unit in the 89th Airlift Wing, measured by flying time, missions, and number of aircraft assigned. The history of the 99th Airlift Squadron began on 1 August 1943, when the 99th Troop Carrier Squadron was activated at Sedalia Army Airfield, Missouri. The unit primarily flew C-47 transport aircraft and CG-4 glider aircraft. Upon completion of training activities at several locations in the United States, the squadron deployed to Langer Field, England, in March of 1944.

On its first combat mission, 18 C-47 aircraft transported paratroops from the 101st Airborne Division over France in the initial assault of the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944. The squadron carried paratroops or used gliders loaded with troops and equipment to participate in many other combat operations. These operations included the invasion of Southern France, the invasion of Holland, the resupply of Bastogne, and the establishment of the Ruhr bridgehead. During this period, the squadron moved to Merryfield, England, then to St. Marceau, France, and then to Dreux, France where it was located when the war ended. With the cessation of hostilities, the unit acquired a large and great variety of aircraft. At one point the unit totaled 72 aircraft of at least 14 different types including a B-17, a B-29, several P-47s and P-51s. The squadron then made moves to Villacoublay, France and Wiesbaden, Germany as it assumed a new primary mission of providing air transportation for personnel of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe. On 15 February 1946, the 99th was relieved of its assignment to the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and was transferred to Bolling Field, DC, where the unit was inactivated on 27 March 1946.

The 99th Troop Carrier Squadron was activated on 27 June 1949 at Chicago-Orchard (O’Hare International) Airport, Park Ridge, IL, as an Air Force Reserve unit. The primary mission of the squadron was to train assigned pilots to fly the C-46. This was a long and arduous task because training was only conducted one weekend a month. Many of its personnel were reassigned to other organizations and called to active duty as they became qualified in their specialty, leaving the squadron in a constant cycle of attempting to rebuild unit strength and train new personnel. On 14 March 1951, all personnel were reassigned to other units as the 99th Troop Carrier Squadron was inactivated.

Redesigned the 99th Military Airlift Squadron, the unit was activated on 27 December 1965. On 8 January 1966, the squadron was officially organized at Andrews Air Force Base, MD. The mission was to “provide safe, reliable, and efficient transportation for the President and Vice President of the United States, Members of the Cabinet, Members of Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other high ranking domestic and foreign dignitaries.” The squadron was assigned six VC-140, five C-140, four VC-131 (Convair 580), four U-4, and one VC-6 aircraft. By October of 1969, all U-4 aircraft had been assigned to other units. November of 1970, VC-140 tail number 61-2492 was converted for presidential use. The first three VC-131 aircraft were transferred to another unit.

In January 1976, the squadron’s mission was restated to “Provide safe, comfortable, and reliable transportation of the President, Vice President, and Cabinet Members of the United States, and other high ranking domestic and foreign dignitaries as directed by the Office of the Vice Chief of Staff USAF.” The area of operation was also expanded from the Continental United States to include North America and the Caribbean. In May of 1977, five VC-140 aircraft were reassigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany. On 12 September 1977, the 99th Military Airlift Squadron was inactivated and its six VC-6 aircraft and all assigned personnel were transferred to the 1st Military Airlift Squadron. From activation in 1966 through inactivation in 1977, the squadron flew accident free as it carried heads of state and other dignitaries to include; President Nixon, President Ford, Chancellor Brandt of Germany, King Olav of Norway, Prime Minister Thorn of Luxembourg, Prime Minister Antreotti of Italy, Queen Elizabeth II of England, and many other dignitaries.

The return to the 99th Military Airlift Squadron began on October 1988, with personnel and VC-9 and C-20 aircraft reassigned from the 1st Military Airlift Squadron. Further reorganization in 1994 redesigned the squadron as the 99th Airlift Squadron. Today the 99th Airlift Squadron flies three C-9C (DC-9), five C-20B (Gulfstream III), two C-20H (Gulfstream IV), two new C-37A (Gulfstream V), and expects delivery of two additional C-37A aircraft soon.

Since it’s inception, the 99th has accumulated over 363,000 hours of accident free flight time while maintaining at or above a 99% reliability rate. These hours include countless mission into thousands of the world’s smallest and largest airfields, from the busiest international aerodromes to those in the most remote regions without any established instrument approaches. The addition of the C-37A, the military variant of the Gulfstream V, gives the squadron even greater flexibility with its increased range.

Individuals of the 99th also helped support the many worldwide missions of the U.S. military, sending personnel to Italy for JOINT GUARD and Saudi Arabia for SOUTHERN WATCH, just to name a few. As of early 2001, the squadron had completed a nine-month deployment of a C-20H and supporting crews to Chievres, Belgium in support of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, during and after the hostilities in Kosovo. The 99th was honored as the 89th Airlift Wing’s 1999 Gen Smith Trophy nominee as the Best Airlift Squadron in AMC.

The mission of the 99th Airlift Squadron is to "Provide unsurpassed safe, comfortable, and reliable DV airlift for our nation’s leaders and foreign dignitaries; anytime, anywhere".

The squadron operates specially configured C-9 and C-20 aircraft on Special Air Missions (SAM) directed by HQ USAF supporting the President, Vice President, and other US and foreign senior diplomats. Selectively manned aircrews are responsible for the detailed planning and execution of sensitive missions of national and international consequence. The crew establishes direct coordination with numerous agencies to include Headquarters United States Air Force, embassies, and Congressional offices. Crews conduct these global missions isolated from normal supply and command and control structures. The aircrews accomplish Special Air Missions (SAM) into unfamiliar airfields, in all weather conditions, with 99.5% reliability and often while the world is literally watching. The crews obtain diplomatic clearances and coordinate all enroute support requirements essential to mission accomplishment.

Typical missions include supporting Congressional delegations sent to monitor election results in Haiti, shuttle diplomacy missions in the Balkans, missions flown in support of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations, and the V-E and V-J Day celebrations. The 99th Airlift Squadron routinely conducts First Lady and Air Force Two missions and provides aircrew members to augment Air Force One missions.

1st Helicopter Squadron [1st HS]


The 1st Helicopter Squadron was constituted as the 1st Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron on 11 April 1944. Activated on 20 April 1944 as Lakeland AAFld, it was assigned to Third Air Force, flying the P-51 aircraft.

Reassigned to the 2d Air Commando Group, on 22 April 1944, it was redesignated 1st Fighter Squadron, Commando, on 2 June 1944. It then deployed overseas to Kalaikunda, India (14 December 1944); Cox’s Bazaar, India (13 February 1945); and to Kalaikunda, India (10 May–22 October 1945). The squadron saw combat in CBI, from 14 February–9 May 1945. It converted to the F-6 in 1945, before returning to the United States to Camp Kilmer, NJ, on 11 November 1945, where it inactivated on 12 November. The squadron was later disbanded on 8 October 1948.

The squadron was reconstituted, and consolidated on 19 September 1985 with the 1st Helicopter Squadron, which was constituted on 9 May 1969 and activated on 1 July 1969 at Andrews AFB, MD, as part of the 1st Composite Wing, flying the CH-21 and TH-1, both until 1970 when they were replaced by the CH-3. The squadron also began operating the UH-1 in 1969. The squadron was reassigned to the 89th Military Airlift Wing, Special Mission (later, 89th Military Airlift Group; 89th Military Airlift Wing), on 1 July 1976; and to the 89th Operations Group, on 12 July 1991.

From 1969, the 1st HS has provided local airlift for the Executive Department, high-ranking dignitaries, and distinguished visitors, as well as support for emergency evacuation of key government officials. It is also tasked with search and rescue and emergency medical evacuation.

Presidential Pilot's Office


The Presidential Pilot's Office is based at Andrews AFB, MD, and flies the VC-25A aircraft - Air Force One.

Its mission is to provide air transport for the president of the United States.

The presidential air transport fleet consists of two specially configured Boeing 747-200B's -- tail numbers 28000 and 29000 -- with the Air Force designation VC-25A. When the president is aboard either aircraft, or any Air Force aircraft, the radio call sign is "Air Force One".