C-130H
Air Park Home Page Air Park History Air Park Location Air Park Foundation Air Park Aircraft Air Park Joining Information Air Park Contact Information

126TH AIR REFUELING WING
1927

July 1st the 108th Observation Squadron, 33rd Division Aviation was formed.  16 officers, 74 enlisted and PT-1 “Trusty” were assigned.

1930 Douglas O-2H biplanes are assigned to the 108th Observation Squadron.
1935 Douglas O-38 biplanes are assigned to the 108th Observation Squadron.
1937

Performed levee reconnaissance missions, food and medicine drops over flood ravaged Southern Illinois.

1940

4,800 members of the 108th mobilized for war.  North American O-47 biplanes are assigned to the 108th Observation Squadron.

1941 Ordered to active service in February.  Missions included anti-submarine patrols, search and rescue  over the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, mail delivery to troops in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.
1943

108th Observation Squadron was deactivated and its members were assigned to active duty units.

1947

56th Fighter Wing is succeeded by the 66th Fighter Wing and with it came the 344th bombardment Group later redesignated to the 126th Bombardment Group.

1950 66th Fighter Wing is redesignated to the 126th Composite Wing.
1951

126th Composite Wing becomes the 126th Bombardment Wing with assigned units 126th Bombardment Group, the 168th Bombardment Squadron and the reactivated 108th Bombardment Squadron.  Martin B-26 “Maurauder” and Douglas C-47 “Sky Train” are assigned.

1951 126th Bombardment Wing activated to support the Korean Conflict at Merignac Air Base in Bordeaux, France then later relocated to Laon Air Base, in France.
1953

The 126th Bombardment Wing becomes the 126th Fighter-Bomber Wing equipped with F-51 “Mustang” aircraft. 

1955

The F-84 “Thunderstreak” replaces the F-51 and the wing and its assigned units becomes the 126th Fighter-Interceptor.

1957 The 108th Interceptor Squadron converts from F-84’s to F-86L “Sabrejet”.
1958 The 126th Fighter-Interceptor Wing is redesignated to the 126th Air Defense Wing.
1961 The 126th Air Defense Wing, later redesignated to the 126th Air Refueling Wing, flies the first Air National Guard air-refueling mission.  KC-97 “Stratotanker” is assigned. 
1963

The 126th Air Refueling Wing is the first to mid-air refuel the elite Air Force Thunderbirds.

1964 Operation READY GO was the first non-stop flight of Air National Guard fighters across the Atlantic Ocean. 
1967 Operation Creek Party kicks off to provide air refueling to the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) aircraft from Rhein-Main Air Base in West Germany. 
1968 200 members of the 126th Air Refueling Wing ordered to federal active duty to aid federal troops to quell civil disturbances in response to the Vietnam War.
1976

KC-135A “Stratotanker” is assigned to the 126th Air Refueling Wing.

1983

KC-135E “Stratotanker” is assigned to the 126th Air Refueling Wing.

1990, Aug Colonel Harold E. Keistler assumed command over 700 guard, active duty and reserve personnel in Moron Air Base, Spain in support of Operation Desert Shield.
1990, Dec The entire fleet of KC-135’s and 260 personnel from the 126th formed the 1712 Air Refueling Wing (Provisional) in the United Arab Emirates commanded by Colonel Harold E. Keistler in support of Operation Desert Storm. 
1993 Over 700 personnel from the 126th Air Refueling Wing served on active duty to support the Illinois National Guard’s flood control mission in Southern Illinois. 
1997 The 126th Air Refueling Wing picks up host responsibility at O’Hare Air Reserve Station after the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision to disband the 928th Airlift Wing and relocate the 126th Air Refueling Wing to Scott Air Force Base in July of 1999.
1999 On July 28th the last KC-135E ”Stratotanker” departed for the last time from O’Hare Air Reserve Station to its new home at Scott Air Force Base.  More than 2.5 million tons of cargo was moved over the road and in the air without any major accidents.
2000 The 126th Air Refueling Wing became the first E-model KC-135 unit in the Air National Guard to complete the Pacer CRAG conversion.
2001 The entire 126th Security Forces was activate to provide base and airport security.  The 126th Maintenance and Operations Squadrons were activated to support Combat Air Patrols and alert missions.
2003 250 members and eight aircraft were deployed to Lajes Air Base in Portugal to form the 492nd Air Expeditionary Group commanded by Brigadier General Harold E. Keistler to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.
2004 Deployed Expeditionary Combat Support (ESC) personnel from Security Forces, Transportation, Civil Engineering and Chaplain to CENTCOM to support ongoing war on terrorism.
2005 Deployed approximately 50 personnel to Middle East to support the Global War on Terrorism.
2005

Deployed approximately 250 personnel to the Gulf Coast region to support Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

2006, Aug

Deployed approximately 250 personnel in support of the Pacific Tanker Task Force.  Deployed members in support of OPERATION JUMP START, border patrol missions.

2006, Nov

Deployed approximately 230 personnel to EUCOM in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM.  Deployed Expeditionary Combat Support (ECS) personnel from Civil Engineering, Security Forces, Services and Communications to CENTCOM to support ongoing war on terrorism.

2007 Deployed to Manta, Ecuador in support of USSOUTHCOM Counter- drug and Humanitarian Missions.  Deployed Operations and Maintenance and Logistics personnel.

ILLINOIS - Mile After Magnificent Mile
©Copyright 2015 Scott Field Heritage Air Park All Rights Reserved
For more information feel free to Contact Us
Webmaster: Geno Carvotta