182d Airlift Wing

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182d Airlift Wing
C-130-Peoria-Illinois ANG.jpg
C-130 of the 182d Airlift Wing Taxiing at Peoria Air National Guard Base
Active 1962-Present
Country  United States
Branch US-AirNationalGuard-2007Emblem.svg  Air National Guard
Type Wing
Role Airlift
Part of Illinois Air National Guard
Garrison/HQ Peoria Air National Guard Base, Peoria, Illinois
Nickname(s) Defenders of Freedom
Tail Code "Peoria" Orange stripe
Colonel Daniel R. McDonough
182d Airlift Wing emblem 182d Airlift Wing insignia AFD-080128-056.svg

The 182d Airlift Wing (182 AW) is a unit of the Illinois Air National Guard, stationed at Peoria Air National Guard Base, Peoria, Illinois. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command.


The 182nd Airlift Wing's C-130 Hercules mission is to perform the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. The C-130 performs a diverse number of roles, including airlift support, Antarctic ice resupply, aeromedical missions, weather reconnaissance, aerial spray missions, firefighting duties for the U.S. Forest Service and natural disaster relief missions.


The 182d Airlift Wing consists of the following units:

  • 182d Operations Group
169th Airlift Squadron
  • 182d Maintenance Group
  • 182d Mission Support Group
  • 182d Medical Group
  • 182d Air Support Operations Group


169th TFS F-84F 51-9414
OA-37B Dragonfly aircraft from the 169th Tactical Air Support Squadron, 1984

On 15 October 1962, the Illinois Air National Guard authorized the 169th Tactical Fighter Squadron to expand to a group level, and the 182d Tactical Fighter Group was established by the National Guard Bureau on 15 October 1962. The 169th TFS became the group's flying squadron, equipped with F-84F Thunderstreaks. Other squadrons assigned into the group were the 182d Headquarters, 182d Material Squadron (Maintenance), 182d Combat Support Squadron, and the 182d USAF Dispensary.

During the 1960s the squadron continued to operate its F-84F Thunderstreaks, and the unit was not activated during the Vietnam War. In May 1969, the F-84Fs were retired and 182d TFG was re-designated as the 182d Tactical Air Support Group (TASG); flying Forward Air Control (FAC) missions. The 169th was equipped with light observation U-3A/B Blue Canoe and in January 1970, the O-2A Skymaster aircraft. The group's mission being to perform visual reconnaissance, as the FAC flew light aircraft slowly over the rough terrain at low altitude to maintain constant aerial surveillance over a combat area. By patrolling the same area constantly, the FACs grew very familiar with the terrain, and they learned to detect any changes that could indicate enemy forces hiding below. Members of the 182d TASG provided relief assistance during state active duty for the Canton tornado disaster in July 1975. In 1976, the 182d TASG was awarded its first Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

In 1979, the squadron received OA-37B Dragonfly jet FAC aircraft from the New York and Maine Air National Guard, continuing the FAC mission. The 182d TASG received an "Excellent" rating on its first Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) under the 12th Air Force, and the group was awarded its second Air Force Outstanding Unit award in 1985. In January 1991, 138 group personnel were called to active duty during the 1991 Gulf War and deployed to United States Central Command Air Forces (CENTAF).

Post Cold War era[edit]

In March 1992 the A-37s were finally retired. and the group received the Block 15 F-16A/B Fighting Falcon Air Defense Fighter (ADF). It was re-designated as the 182d Fighter Group on 15 March. In June 1993, members served on state active duty in response to the Mississippi River flooding of southern Illinois.

Due to government budget constraints and military restructuring after the Cold War, the 182d FG converted to the C-130E Hercules and was re-designated the 182d Airlift Wing (AW) effective October 1, 1995. In 1996, the wing began participation in ongoing flying missions for Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia. In 1997, the 182d AW celebrated its 50th anniversary and received an "Excellent" in its first Air Mobility Command (AMC) ORI.

Global War on Terrorism[edit]

C-130H3 at Kandahar, 2010

After the 9-11 terrorist attacks, members of the wing were called up to support the Air Force at various locations around the world. During a September 2002 deployment to Oman, wing aircraft flew combat supply missions into Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. On March 29, 2003, SSgt Jacob Frazier of the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) was killed in action while serving with Army Special Forces in Afghanistan. He was the first member of the wing to die in combat.

In March 2003, immediately following mobilization, six aircraft and over 350 personnel were deployed to Minhad, United Arab Emirates, for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These airmen returned in August after providing airlift support throughout the theater. Since that mobilization, smaller numbers of wing personnel and aircraft have continually supported Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. On December 28, 2003, a wing crew delivered earthquake relief supplies to Iran, becoming the first US aircraft to land there since 1981.

Beginning in January 2005, the wing converted from the C-130E to the newer H3 model. In October 2006, the wing received a rating of "Excellent" after serving as the lead wing during an AMC ORI. On February 3, 2007, the wing was awarded its third Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period from August 1, 2003 to July 31, 2005. Some personnel remain deployed to combat zones as part of Air and Space Expeditionary units while other members of the wing continue routine worldwide support to the Air Force.

In 2017, 182d deployed four C-130H3 aircraft together with maintenance and aircrew to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia for a four month Operation Inherent Resolve deployment, supporting U.S. and Iraqi forces in Iraq.[1][2]

July 2019 saw 182d participate in the annual Exercise Northern Strike 19 in Northern Michigan. Crew undertook missions included simulated attacks from surface to air missiles and cargo air drops coordinated with ground JTACs.[3] The wing's aircraft were operating from the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in Alpena, Michigan.[4]


  • Designated 182d Tactical Fighter Group, and allotted to Illinois ANG, 1962
Extended federal recognition and activated, 15 October 1962
Re-designated: 182d Tactical Air Support Group, 16 May 1969
Re-designated: 182d Fighter Group, 15 Mar 1992
Status changed from Group to Wing, 1 October 1995
Re-designated: 182d Airlift Wing, 1 October 1995


Gained by: Tactical Air Command
Gained by: Air Combat Command, 1 June 1992
Gained by: Air Mobility Command, 1 November 1997-Present



Designated: Peoria Air National Guard Base, Illinois, 1991-Present




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

  1. ^ "Supporting the fight and breaking records". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  2. ^ "History of the 182nd Airlift Wing". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  3. ^ "C-130 aircrew performs combat airdrops at Northern Strike 19". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  4. ^ August 2019 "Peoria C-130 crew performs integrated air drop training during Northern Strike 19" Check |url= value (help).
  5. ^ Air Force Personnel Center Awards Search (Post-1991) Archived 2 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]