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Globemaster tails
172nd airlift Wing (Ang)  /  183rd Airlift sqdn (ANG)
Allen C. Thompson Field, MS.

Mississippi ANG's 172nd Airlift Wing is scheduled to replace their 8 C-141C's with 8 C-17's through 2004. The 172nd will receive their first C-17A "The Spirit of the Mississippi Minutemen" on December 17 2003.



The freshly painted tail of "Mississippi One" is pictured here with the unit tailflash and Air National Guard Shield.

172nd airlift Wing


  • June 1941 - Hawkins Field, Jackson MS was designated an Army Air Base

  • The facility served its country well as a pilot training center through January 1949; then reverted to civil aviation status.

  • Summer 1953 -The military returned when the Mississippi Air National Guard began utilizing certain facilities of Hawkins Field. This use continued until early 1963 when the 172d moved to the Jackson International Airport facility in Rankin County MS.

  • The 172d's original designation was the 183d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (Night Photo).

  • The unit was assigned eighteen (18) B-26 aircraft. (The RB-26 was a modified twin-engine bomber, first seeing service in World War II.)

  • Originally designated the Douglas A-26 Invader it was used in combat over Europe. The B-26 saw combat again in Korea, was retired, but revived briefly for Vietnam as a special operations aircraft. In addition to the B-26s, the squadron had C-47s which were called into their first emergency duty when a 1953 tornado struck Vicksburg. The C-47 was used to fly medical and emergency equipment into the river city.

  • 1957 - 183rd TRS became the 183rd Aeromedical Transport Squadron (Light).

  • The C-119was the first conversion aircraft assigned to the 183d. Six (6) Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars replaced the RB-26. The C-119 widened the mission of the unit.

  • 1961 - Plans for a new airport were on the drawing board. The Government leased 64 acres of land in Rankin County from the City of Jackson for the new Air Guard complex.

  • 15 April 1961Construction of the present base began.

  • 1 July 1962 - the C-121 Lockheed Super Constellation aircraft arrived in Mississippi. They were sleek, four-engine propeller driven aircraft.

  • 1 June 1963 - , The beginning of the unitís world mission was marked by a flight to Germany in the C-121.

  • 1964 - A reorganization of the unit took place a year after its move to Thompson Field.
    The 183d was upgraded from squadron to group status and redesignated the 172d Air Transport Group. The reorganization increased unit manning to a total of 927 officers and airmen, and retained the 183d Air Transport Squadron as its flying squadron.

  • 1966 - The C-124 Globemaster was assigned to the Mississippi Air Guard.
    Nicknamed "Ole Shakey" because of the constant vibration of the airframe in flight.
    The C-124 was capable of carrying a wider range of outsized cargo than any other aircraft in the Air Force inventory at that time.

  • June 1967 - Air Guard transport units were staying busy in the mid-60s flying missions in support of American forces in Vietnam. The 172d was singled out to fly the 1000th support mission into South Vietnam.

  • 17 August 1969- Hurricane Camille hurled its far-reaching impact from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to Jackson. Within hours after Camille struck, the C-124s were in the air headed for Gulfport ANG Training Site. The dramatic, suspense filled days following the hurricane saw the 172d's response to the emergency:

- the unit flew 20 missions into the area

- evacuated 670 Gulf Coast citizens, including 264 hospital litter patients.

- hauled over 60,000 pounds of cargo into the disaster area and transported other elements of the 172d to participate in relief operations.

  • 9 October 1969 - Less than two months after the destruction visited by Hurricane Camille, the unit launched an ambitious and unprecedented mission with a maximum force airlift to Southeast Asia. The airlift included one mission a day for seven days to supply equipment and material for American troops in the war zone.

  • 13 December 1971 - The 172d converted to the C-130E Hercules aircraft.

  • September 1974 - Hurricane Fifi struck Honduras. Two of the unitís aircraft carried emergency supplies to the storm victims.

  • 18 February to 1 April 1978 - The 172d participated in Operation Volant Oak, an Air Force-sponsored deployment to the Panama Canal Zone. Under Volant Oak, the cargo mission of the Air Force Southern Command would eventually be turned over to units from the Air National Guard and the USAF Reserve, on a rotating basis, relieving regular AF units assigned to Howard Air Force Base in the Canal Zone

  • 1980 - The 172d became the first Air National Guard unit to win the John J. Pesch trophy for sustained outstanding performance in flying safety.

  • The 172d received the latest version of the Hercules, the C-130H, the ultra-modern model. After 27 years in the business, the 172d finally received a brand new, factory-fresh aircraft.

  • 12 July 1986 - The first C-141B Starlifter to be released from Air Force control arrived at Thompson Field to begin its new mission with the Mississippi Air National Guard. With a total of eight (8) aircraft, the unit began a new mission in strategic airlift that greatly expanded its global range.

  • 1988 - The 172d again wins the John J. Pesch trophy for sustained outstanding performance in flying safety.

  • March 1988 - The 172d took part in the airlift of approximately 3200 troops and almost 1000 tons of cargo on an exercise to Palmerola Air Base, Honduras. The 172d had the distinction of being the only Air National Guard unit in the United States which participated in the airlift of troops to Honduras.

  • 6 December 1988 - The Soviet Republic of Armenia suffered a powerful earthquake. The first Air Guard aircraft to fly to Armenia was a C-141B from the 172d.
    Before relief missions ended, the 172d would fly six missions with its planes and crew and additionally would furnish a crew to fly a U.S. Air Force C-141 whose crew had reached maximum flying hours.

  • September 1989 - A devastating hurricane struck the tiny island of St. Croix, leaving the island crippled, the 172d flew eleven emergency relief missions, hauling 465 tons of cargo and 472 passengers and encompassing 165 hours of flying time.

  • 20 December 1989 to 12 January 1990 - The 172d flew 21 sorties in support of Operation Just Cause in Panama.

  • The total amount of cargo transported during the support of Operation Just Cause was 403.6 tons

  • Total number of passengers was 1,274.

  • 7 August 1990 - The 172dís support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm began when aircrew members began voluntary missions.
    Approximately 98 aircrew members flew missions on a volunteer basis

  • 24 August 1990 - The 183d Airlift Squadron was activated by Presidential Directive.

  • August 1990 to May 1991 - The 148 members of the 183d:

  • Flew 2,880 sorties which transported 15,837 passengers and 25,949.2 tons of cargo.

  • January 1994 - A cattle truck full of Southern Baptist missionaries rolled off the edge of the roadway in Honduras. Since the majority of the group of 37 were Mississippians, and the local Honduran airline had gone bankrupt, Governor Kirk Fordiceís office was called by the American Embassy and immediately the Mississippi National Guard was contacted.
    Since the situation was life threatening, and proper medical facilities were not available locally, a C-141B Starlifter crew of the 172 Airlift Wing was alerted along with a medical team from the 183 Air Evacuation Squadron, a unit of the 172d. Within 24 hours, the aircraft left Jackson MS for Honduras.

  • 1 September 1995 - The 172d amassed 175,000 accident free flying hours, proving the ability of the Air National Guard to fulfill its role in the Total Force concept.

  • 1 October 1995 - The 172 Airlift Group was redesignated the 172 Airlift Wing

  • 20 November 1995 - Congressman G. V. ďSonnyĒ Montgomery announced that six operational C-17 aircraft will be assigned to the 172d Airlift Wing, Jackson, Mississippi.

  • February 2003 - The 172d looses it's last C-141C Starlifter in preparation for the arrival of the wings first C-17 Globemaster III.

  • On December 17 2003,  Lt. Gen. Daniel James III, Director, Air National Guard, hands off the "keys" to the first C-17 Globemaster (S/N 02-1112) to Maj. Gen. James H. Lipscomb III, adjutant general for the Mississippi National Guard. C-17A -1112 is also the first Globemaster assigned to the    Air National Guard .

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