407th Air Expeditionary Group
|407th Air Expeditionary Group|
407th Air Expeditionary Group emblem
|Active||1943–1944; 1953–1957; 17 April 2003–December 2011|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Type||Air Expeditionary Group|
|Garrison/HQ||Ali AB, Iraq|
|Colonel James M. Linder|
|Carroll W. McColpin|
The 407th Air Expeditionary Group (407 AEG) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the United States Air Forces Central 321st Air Expeditionary Wing. It is stationed at Ali Air Base, Iraq. The unit was inactivated with the closure of Ali AB on 16 December 2011.
The 407 AEG provides air operations support for coalition air dominance, battlespace control, and security to advance the stabilization of southern Iraq. It provides coalition tactical airlift support with aerial port operations. The 407 AEG was the first Air Force unit to stand up combat operations within Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The group traces its history back to the World War II 407th Bombardment Group (Dive) which was established 23 March 1943, at Drew Field, Florida. The air echelon was attached to Eleventh Air Force in Amchitka, Alaska, from 19 July to 15 August 1943, where it performed combat operations against the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands.
Approximately 500 active-duty Air Force, Guard and Reserve members are assigned to the 407 AEG during any given Air and Space Expeditionary Force rotation. It consists of the following squadrons:
- 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron
- 407th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron
- 407th Expeditionary Communications Squadron
- 407th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron
- 407th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron
- 407th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron
- 407th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron
In addition to its operational commitments, the 407 AEG is the Senior Airfield Authority at Ali Air Base, and is responsible for the defense, control, operations and maintenance of the airfield, land and facilities whose proximity affects airfield operations
World War II
The 407th AEG traces its history back to the 407th Bombardment Group (Dive) which was established 23 March 1943, at Drew Field, Florida. Its subordinate squadrons at that time included the 632d, 633d, 634th and 635th Bombardment (Dive) Squadrons. The air echelon was attached to Eleventh Air Force in Amchitka, Alaska, from 19 July to 15 August 1943, where it performed combat operations against the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands.
The 407th was redesignated the 407th Fighter-Bomber Group on 15 August 1943. At that time, the 632d, 633d and 634th were redesignated the 515th, 516th and 517th Fighter-Bomber Squadrons, respectively, and the 635th was disbanded. In 1943, the 407th flew the Douglas A-24 Banshee dive bombers; North American A-36 Invader dive bombers, P-51D Mustangs, and the P-47 Thunderbolt from 1943 to 1944 as part of the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics. In October 1943 the group moved the Lakeland Army Airfield, Florida, and then to Galveston Army Airfield, Texas in November where it trained for combat, and functioned as a replacement unit until 1 April 1944, when it was disestablished.
Strategic Air Command
The 407th was reactivated as the Strategic Air Command 407th Strategic Fighter Wing at Great Falls AFB, Montana in 1953. While it was established on 23 March 1953 it was not activated until 18 December 1953. The wing was assigned to the Fifteenth Air Force and composed of the 407th Air Refueling Squadron with KB-29 Superfortress tankers and the 515th, 516th and 517th Strategic Fighter Squadrons, equipped with the Republic F-84G Thunderjet. Also assigned to the wing in "attached" status was the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (20 December 1954 – 17 July 1955) with RF-84Ks. In 1955 KC-97s replaced the KB-29s.
Delays in delivery of the F-84Gs to the wing led to operational training not commencing until June 1954. Once operational, from August to November 1954, the 407th deployed to Misawa Air Base, Japan, where it provided air defense of northern Japan. In doing so, from 8 August to 10 November 1954 it was attached to the 39th Air Division (Defense). Returning to the United States, the wing sent its straight-winged F-84Gs to AMARC, and was re-equipped with newer and faster swept-wing F-84F Thunderstreaks. From Great Falls, the 407th provided long-range fighter escort and refueling for B-36 Peacemaker and B-50 Superfortress bombers.
The wing had a short life, as the strategic fighter doctrine was phased out of use beginning in 1956. The 407th SFW was inactivated on 1 July 1957.
The 407th was redesignated the 407th Air Expeditionary Group and later activated at Tallil Air Base (known as Ali Base), Iraq on 14 April 2003 as a subordinate to the 332d Air Expeditionary Wing, which was stationed at Al Jaber AB, Kuwait.
Throughout the summer of 2003, the mission at Ali Base (Tallil AB) expanded. The flightline became home to A-10s, C-130s and Predators. The 332d AEW then transferred from Al Jaber AB, Kuwait, to Ali Base on 5 August 2003. During that period, the wing's A-10s destroyed more than 1,100 targets during major combat operations of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was also here that U.S. Special Forces staged and planned the rescue of Army Private 1st Class Jessica Lynch, and where the private was flown out of Iraq.
Ali Air Base was fully vacated by all U.S. Forces on 16 December 2011, and the 407th AEG was inactivated.
- Constituted as 407th Bombardment Group (Dive) on 23 March 1943
- Activated on 28 March 1943.
- Redesignated 407th Fighter-Bomber Group in August 1943
- Disbanded on 1 April 1944
- Reestablished and consolidated with the 407th Strategic Fighter Wing, 23 March 1953
- Activated on 18 December 1953
- Inactivated on 1 July 1957
- Redesignated as 407th Air Expeditionary Group and converted to provisional status, 14 April 2003
- Inactivated on 16 December 2011
- 22d Bombardment Training Wing, 28 March 1943
- III Fighter Command, 15 August 1943
- 72d Fighter Wing, 9 March 1943
- Second Air Force, 21 March – 1 April 1944
- Fifteenth Air Force, 18 December 1953 – 1 July 1957
- Attached to the 39th Air Division (Defense), 8 August – 10 November 1954
- Allocated to Air Combat Command to activate or inactivate any time after 14 April 2003
- Attached to United States Air Forces Central, 14 April 2003-16 December 2011
- 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron: Attached December 1954 – July 1955
- 407th Air Refueling Squadron: 18 December 1953 – 1 July 1957
- 495th Bombardment Squadron: (Attached) 1944
- 515th (formerly 632d) Bombardment (later Strategic Fighter) Squadron: 1943–1944; 18 December 1953 – 1 July 1957
- 516th (formerly 633d) Bombardment (later Strategic Fighter) Squadron: 1943–1944; 18 December 1953 – 1 July 1957
- 517th (formerly 634th) Bombardment (later Strategic Fighter) Squadron: 1943–1944; 18 December 1953 – 1 July 1957
- 635th Bombardment Squadron: 1 Mar-15 Aug 1943
- Drew Field, Florida, 28 Mar 1943
- Operated from Amchitka Army Airfield, Alaska Territory, Jul-Aug 1943
- Lakeland Army Airfield, Florida, 2 Oct 1943
- Galveston Army Airfield, Texas, 9 Nov 1943-1 Apr 1944
- Great Falls AFB, Montana, 18 December 1953 – 1 July 1957
- Operated from Misawa AB, Japan, 8 August-10 November 1954
- Ali Air Base, Iraq, 14 April 2003 – 16 December 2011
- Reconnaissance squadron's Predators keep vigilant eye on Iraq, 407th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- 407th Air Expeditionary Group Factsheet