65th Air Base Group


The 65th Air Base Group is a group of the United States Air Force based at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal.

65th Air Base Group
Lajes Airmen medevac US Navy Sailor 140411-F-NJ944-052.jpg
65th Medical Squadron Airmen medevac US Navy Sailor
Active1952–1953, 1982–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
TypeBase Support
Part of86th Airlift Wing
Garrison/HQLajes Air Base
DecorationsAir Force Outstanding Unit Award
Colonel Daniel Furleigh
65th Air Base Group emblem65 Air Base Group.png
65th Air Base Wing emblem (Approved 15 June 2007)[1]65th Air Base Wing.png

The group provides base and en route support for Department of Defense, allied nations and other authorized aircraft in transit, including those from the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Colombia, Germany, Venezuela and Great Britain.


  • 65th Civil Engineer Squadron
  • 65th Communications Squadron
  • 65th Logistics Readiness Squadron
  • 65th Operations Support Squadron
  • 65th Security Forces Squadron
  • 65th Comptroller Flight
  • 65th Force Support Flight
  • 496th Air Base Squadron[2]


The 65th was first organized at Mitchel Air Force Base, New York as the 65th Troop Carrier Wing in 1952. It conducted "reserve training toward proficiency with troop carrier aircraft from 1952–1953. However, the wing was never fully manned or equipped."[1]

The 1605th Military Airlift Support Wing replaced the 1605th Air Base Wing as the Military Airlift Command unit managing facilities at Lajes Field in January 1982. Ten years later, the two units were consolidated as the 65th Support Wing.[1]

It has "provided en route support for aircraft transiting Lajes Air Base from 1982 to the present." Its commander also serves as Commander, United States Forces Azores. The unit also "provided base support to elements of the United States Army and U.S. Navy in the area." The 65th "supported deployment of personnel and equipment through Lajes during operations in the Persian Gulf from August 1990 – April 1991"[1] and in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom since 2001 and 2003 respectively.

On 14 August 2015, the wing was redesignated as a group and reassigned to the 86th Airlift Wing.[3]

On 21 August 2015, Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, a medical technician of the 65th Medical Operations Squadron was one of 6 passengers, including three Americans who thwarted the attack on a high speed train travelling from Brussels to Paris by an armed gunman by tackling and subduing him, then helping to provide medical aid to a wounded passenger.[4] On 16 September 2015, he received the Airman's Medal and a Purple Heart medal from U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter at the Pentagon.[5]


65th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing

  • Established as the 65th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium on 26 May 1952
Activated in the Reserve on 14 June 1952
Inactivated on 1 April 1953
  • Redesignated 65th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Medium on 1 April 1953
  • Consolidated with the 1605th Military Airlift Support Wing as the 1605th Military Airlift Support Wing on 1 January 1992[1]

65th Air Base Group

  • Established as the 1605th Military Airlift Support Wing and activated on 1 January 1982
  • Consolidated with the 65th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on 1 January 1992
Redesignated 65th Support Wing on 27 January 1992
Redesignated 65th Air Base Wing on 1 October 1993[1]
Redesignated 65th Air Base Group 11 August 2015[3]



  • 65th Troop Carrier Group, 14 June 1952 – 1 April 1953[1]
  • 65th Air Base Group (later 1605th Air Base Group, 65th Support Group, 65th Mission Support Group), 14 June 1952 – 1 April 1953, 1 January 1982 – 14 August 2015
  • 65th Logistics Group, 27 January 1992 – c. 1997
  • 65th Medical Group (later USAF Hospital, Lajes, 65th Medical Group), 14 June 1952 – 1 April 1953, 1 January 1982 – present
  • 65th Civil Engineer Squadron, 14 August 2015 – present
  • 65th Comptroller Squadron (later 65th Comptroller Flight), 1 February 1996 – present
  • 65th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 14 August 2015 – present
  • 65th Security Forces Squadron, 14 August 2015 – present
  • 1605 Military Airlift Support Squadron (later 65 Military Airlift Support Squadron): 1 January 1982 – 1 October 1993[1]
  • 1936th Communications Squadron (later 1605th Communications Squadron, 65th Communications Squadron), 1 September 1990 – 1 September 1997, 14 August 2015 – present
  • 496th Air Base Squadron, 1 April 2019 – present [6]
  • 65th Comptroller Flight (see 65th Comptroller Squadron)
  • 65th Force Support Flight, 14 August 2015 – present





  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Robertson, Patsy (24 November 2009). "Factsheet 65 Air Base Wing (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  2. ^ Rumbaugh, Devin M. (3 April 2019). "496th ABS realigns under 65th ABG". Ramstein Air Base. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Trobe, 1 Lt Alexandra (14 August 2015). "65th ABW redesignates at Lajes Field". USAFE/AF Africa Public Affairs. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Lajes Field Airman, fellow travelers stop attack on French train". Usafe.af.mil. 22 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Pentagon to give medals to three U.S. train heroes". digitaljournal.com. Digital Journal. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  6. ^ "496th ABS realigns under 65th ABG".


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.

External linksEdit

  • Lajes Field Home Page