|516th Aeronautical Systems Wing|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Material Command|
|516th Aeronautical Systems Wing emblem|
|516th Troop Carrier Wing emblem (Approved 9 September 1954)|
The 516th Aeronautical Systems Wing is an inactive wing of the United States Air Force. It was last assigned to the Aeronautical Systems Center of Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The 516th was responsible for modernization, development, test, production, deployment and sustainment of new and existing aircraft systems to meet Air Mobility Command, Air Force Reserve Command, Air National Guard, and special operations forces in global mobility mission areas. The wing executed a $16.9 billion budget.
The wing was first activated at Memphis Municipal Airport, Tennessee in the reserve in June 1949. In 1951, it was mobilized for the Korean War. In January 1953, the wing was inactivated and its resources were transferred to the regular 463d Troop Carrier Wing, which was simultaneously activated and assumed its personnel and equipment. The wing was again organized in 1963, when it assumed the resources of the 64th Troop Carrier Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. It trained airlift crews, deployed squadrons to overseas locations and participated in military exercises until inactivating in June 1972.
Assigned to the reserves in the 1949 conversion to the Wing Base reorganization as the 516th Troop Carrier Wing, the wing performed reserve troop carrier training under the supervision of the 2584th Air Force Reserve Training Center at Memphis Municipal Airport, Tennessee until April 1951. Upon entering active duty in place that month the wing assumed responsibility for operating and maintaining the USAF portion of the Memphis airport and participated in tactical exercises and worldwide airlift. The wing converted from Curtiss C-46 Commando to Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar aircraft in 1952. It was replaced by 463d Troop Carrier Wing in January 1953.
The wing replaced the 64th Troop Carrier Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas in January 1963. Until it was replaced by 463d Tactical Airlift Wing in June 1972, it performed worldwide tactical airlift and participated in a constant stream of tactical exercises and operations. The wing frequently deployed squadrons overseas to Europe, the Far East, and the Canal Zone. It conducted de Havilland Canada C-7 Caribou combat crew training in addition to other missions from August 1969 to May 1972 for USAF personnel and for three months in 1971 for South Vietnamese crews. It was inactivated on 1 June 1972.
Three of the wing's groups focused on specific airlift aircraft. The 516th Aeronautical Systems Group directed the modernization, development, test, production, deployment and sustainment of C-17 aircraft, F117 engine, support, and training systems. This Department of Defense airlift program provides vital airlift capability in support of U.S. national interests. Its 716th Aeronautical Systems Group directed the modernization, development, test, production, deployment and plans for sustainment of C-5 aircraft, support and training systems. This Department of Defense airlift modernization program provides strategic airlift capability in support of U.S. national interests. And its 866th Aeronautical Systems Group directed the modernization, development, test, production, deployment and plans for sustainment of the C-130 aircraft, support, and training systems. This Department of Defense airlift program provides tactical airlift capability in support of U.S. national interests.
Its other group, the 836th Aeronautical Systems Group directed the development, test, production, deployment and sustainment of KC-10 Aircraft Modernization and KC-135 Replacement Tanker aircraft, support, and training systems programs. These programs provide strategic mobility and force enabling capability to Air Mobility Command in support of U.S. national interests and worldwide readiness support. Prior to June 2008, this mission was performed by the Tanker Systems Modernization Systems Squadron (later 653d Aeronautical Systems Squadron).
Two systems squadrons were also assigned directly to the group. The 654th Aeronautical Systems Squadron directed the development, test, production, deployment and plans for sustainment of the Large Aircraft Infrared Counter Measures system for both transport and tanker aircraft. This Department of Defense program develops advanced missile warning systems and countermeasures. Its 655th Aeronautical Systems Squadron directed the acquisition, modernization, deployment and sustainment of a fleet of leased and purchased aircraft for the operational support airlift/very important person special air mission (OSA/VIPSAM) that included the C-32A, C-37A/B, C-40B/C, and E-10. The program supports Air Mobility Command, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve missions providing support airlift and communications capability to our nation’s leaders.
516th Tactical Airlift Wing
516th Aeronautical Systems Wing