Air Force Bases

934th Airlift Wing

Mission: The 934th Airlift Wing, also known as the “Flying Vikings,” is Minnesota’s only Air Force Reserve unit. It is a combat-ready Air Force Reserve Command flying unit at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station, Minn. The wing’s mission is to fly C-130H cargo aircraft, both airdropping and airlanding cargo and people. Aeromedical evacuation of patients within the theater of operations is another facet of the mission. The 934th Airlift Wing supports the Air Force mission on a daily basis, providing airlift both in the United States and around the world. Members of the wing train according to Air Force regulations and are inspected by active duty Air Force members. Upon mobilization orders, the 934th Airlift Wing would deploy to become part of the active duty Air Force’s Air Mobility Command.

Units: To accomplish its mission, the 934th Airlift Wing is made up of 14 units, including a headquarters section. They are: the 96th Airlift Squadron, 934th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, 27th Aerial Port Squadron, 934th Civil Engineer Squadron, 934th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 934th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 934th Maintenance Squadron, 934th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, 934th Services Squadron, 934th Security Forces Squadron, 934th Communications Flight, 934th Maintenance Operations Flight, 934th Mission Support Flight and 934th Operations Support Flight.

Command: The 934th Airlift Wing reports to 22nd Air Force at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command is located at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. The 934th Airlift Wing’s gaining active-duty force is Air Mobility Command’s 15th Air Force at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The wing serves as the Department of Defense host command for all military operations at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station. It is responsible for more than 300 acres around the airport, and it directly or indirectly supports approximately 5,000 members of the Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, Minnesota Air National Guard, Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Civil Air Patrol.

People: To assist the wing commander in his day-to-day responsibilities, the base has both air reserve technicians and federal civil service employees assigned to various wing units. Approximately 1,300 reservists from primarily a five-state area are assigned to the 934th Airlift Wing.

Impact: In fiscal year 2003, the 934th Airlift Wing provided $40,735,450 in salaries and $24,617,226 in construction, services, supplies, equipment, travel and per diem. The wing has an estimated $90 million economic impact annually in the Twin Cities area.

Aircraft: In January, 1970, the first C-130 Hercules cargo transport aircraft were delivered to the 934th Airlift Group. The present aircraft, the C-130H2, are flown by reservists of the 96th Airlift Squadron and maintained by reservists of the 934th Maintenance Squadron.

History: The Air Force Reserve Command has had active units at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport since 1948. In June 1970, the unit moved to its present location on the north side of the airport. The 934th Tactical Airlift Group was activated on Feb. 11, 1963, at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Before that time, it was called the 934th Troop Carrier Group and had a material squadron, a combat support squadron and the 96th Troop Carrier Squadron. The group was under the 440th Troop Carrier Wing, headquartered at Milwaukee, Wis. The 96th Airlift Squadron has served under the designations of troop carrier, fighter-bomber and airlift squadron since it was constituted on May 25, 1943, at Baier Army Air Field, Ind.

On April 1, 1978, the 934th Tactical Airlift Group was placed under the command of the 442nd Tactical Airlift Wing, Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Mont. On Oct 1, 1981, the 934th Tactical Airlift Group was transferred to the 433rd Tactical Airlift Wing, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. On April 1, 1985, the 934th Tactical Airlift Group was placed under the command of the 302nd Tactical Airlift Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. On Dec 31, 1987, the 934th Tactical Airlift Group was placed under the command of the 403rd Tactical Airlift Wing, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The 934th Tactical Airlift Group was placed under the 302nd again on June 1, 1992. Finally, the unit was designated a wing effective Oct 1, 1994.

The 934th Airlift Wing has been actively in support of the Air Force mission over the last two decades. Aircraft and people from the wing deploy for Operation Coronet Oak to perform missions from Puerto Rico to the entire SOUTHCOM theater on a regular basis. Wing members were involved in Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989. In August 1994, the unit provided one of the first aircraft for airlift of Cuban refugees from Guanatanamo Bay, Cuba, to Howard Air Force Base, Panama, in support of Operation Safe Haven. The wing was also involved in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia in 1993 and Operation Joint Guard in 1996 and 1997.

The wing took part in rotations in support of Operation Southern Watch in Saudi Arabia in 1996, during the first period of exclusive management by the Reserve. The wing participated in Operation Provide Promise for nearly five months in 1992, United Nations-sponsored humanitarian airlift into Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993 and 1994 and Operation Southern Watch in 1998. The wing had both people and aircraft mobilized and deployed for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Aircrew, aeromedical, aircraft maintenance, medical squadron, aerial port and support people deployed to the Persian Gulf, England, Spain and other parts of the United States in 1990 and 1991.

The wing is part of the Air Expeditionary Force, deploying personnel from every squadron on base to locations around the world as part of the total force. It continues to provide support for Operations Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom.

Awards: The 934th Airlift Wing earned its fifth Air Force Outstanding Unit award in 2004. Its earlier awards recognized accomplishments during service from 1988-1990, 1981-1983, 1994-1996 and 1999-2000. The wing also received the AFRC Installation Excellence Award in 2003. A large number of wing members have received countless awards and recognition for their support of various operations around the world, including Operations Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom.

(Current as of January 2005)