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302nd Airlift Wing

302nd Airlift Wing unit shield

302nd Airlift Wing unit shield

The 302nd Airlift Wing, one of several Air Force Reserve C-130 wings with an airdrop and airlift mission located throughout the nation, is a tenant organization at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. More than 1,000 Reserve Citizen Airmen are assigned, of which roughly 200 are full-time, dual status federal civil service/Air Force Reserve employees as Air Reserve Technicians.

The wing is assigned C-130 Hercules aircraft, which are flown by the wing's 731st Airlift Squadron.

MISSION:  The mission of the 302nd AW is to train, equip and employ airlift forces in worldwide support of the nation's vital interests. The primary operational mission of the 302nd AW is tactical airlift and airdrop. The wing also has the C-130 special mission of aerial firefighting employing the U.S. Forest Service's Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS), as well as an aeromedical evacuation mission.

Units assigned to the 302nd AW can be activated and deployed from the United States to any location in the world.

ORGANIZATION:  The 302nd AW comes under the operational control of the Air Force Reserve Command, headquartered at Robins AFB, Georgia, through its numbered Air Force, 22nd Air Force, based at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia, When called to active duty through presidential order, the wing would become an active duty unit under the command of Air Mobility Command, based at Scott AFB, Illinois.

There are three groups and a medical squadron assigned to the 302nd AW. These include the 302nd Operations Group, the 302nd Maintenance Group and the 302nd Mission Support Group. The 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron.

302nd Operations Group: 34th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, 302nd Operations Support Squadron and 731st Airlift Squadron
302nd Maintenance Group: 302nd Maintenance Squadron and 302nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
302nd Mission Support Group: 39th Aerial Port Squadron, 302nd Civil Engineer Squadron, 302nd Communication Flight, 302nd Force Support Squadron, 302nd Logistics Readiness Squadron and 302nd Security Forces Squadron

ECONOMIC IMPACT: In Fiscal Year 2017 the value of 302nd AW jobs created, annual payroll and construction services and procurements totaled $61.8 million dollars.

HISTORY:  Established as the 302nd Troop Carrier Wing on May 16, 1949, the 302nd AW was first activated by the Air Force Reserve on June 27, 1949. In the mid-1950s, the wing flew airlift operations in the United States and overseas.

The 302nd AW was called to active duty during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. During the 1960s, wing aircraft and crews performed worldwide airlift missions and participated in numerous tactical exercises. The unit was deactivated on April 1, 1981. In mid-1983, the unit, then designated the 901st Tactical Airlift Group, moved to its newly constructed facilities at Peterson AFB and was reactivated as the 302nd Airlift Wing on April 1, 1985.  (Additional 302nd Airlift Wing history can be found on the 302nd AW's HISTORY fact sheet.)

SPECIAL MISSION (MAFFS): The 302nd AW is the only Air Force Reserve wing trained and equipped for the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) mission, which involves air dropping fire retardant in an effort to aid in the suppression of wildland fires. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service-owned MAFFS systems can be loaded and installed on a C-130 Hercules aircraft within hours. The wing has flown firefighting missions throughout the Western United States since the 302nd AW took on the Reserve portion of the MAFFS mission in 1993.

The MAFFS-equipped C-130s are operated by four military airlift wings: The 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard; 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air National Guard; the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard; and the 302nd Airlift Wing, U.S. Air Force Reserve Command.

MAFFS is a mission that highlights interagency cooperation. The 302nd AW is a federal force belonging to the Department of Defense, yet works in concert with the National Interagency Fire Center, and the US Forest Service. NIFC determines firefighting needs and strategies. When it is determined MAFFS will be utilized, NIFC through U.S. Northern Command requests the DOD, U.S. Air Force resources.  (Additional, MAFFS-specific information on the 302nd Airlift Wing's MAFFS mission can be found on the 302nd AW MAFFS Fact Sheet.)

(Current as of August 2018)