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3918 STRATEGIC WING
STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND

From The HEYFORDIAN December 1964

Submitted by John Murphy, 3918 CAMS, 1964 - 1965. Submitted by John Murphy, 3918 CAMS, 1964 - 1965.

Submitted by John Murphy, 3918 CAMS, 1964 - 1965.

Half Century Of Flying Marks Heyford's History
From The Heyford Observer May 13, 1967

Submitted by Gary Cecil, 66th TRW, 18TRS, July 1966 - Nov 1967. Submitted by Gary Cecil, 66th TRW, 18TRS, July 1966 - Nov 1967. Submitted by Gary Cecil, 66th TRW, 18TRS, July 1966 - Nov 1967.

Submitted by Gary Cecil, 66th TRW, 18TRS, July 1966 - Nov 1967.


Here's a great read from the June, 1977 edition of Aircraft Illustrated. Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request).

Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request). Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request). Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request). Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request). Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request). Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request). Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request).


Submitted courtesy of Jonathan (last name witheld by request), Webmaster, RAF Greenham Common - 'The Complete History 1941 - 1992.' Submitted courtesy of Jonathan (last name witheld by request), Webmaster, RAF Greenham Common - 'The Complete History 1941 - 1992.' Submitted courtesy of Jonathan (last name witheld by request), Webmaster, RAF Greenham Common - 'The Complete History 1941 - 1992.' Submitted courtesy of Jonathan (last name witheld by request), Webmaster, RAF Greenham Common - 'The Complete History 1941 - 1992.'

Submitted courtesy of Jonathan (last name witheld by request).
Webmaster, RAF Greenham Common - "The Complete History 1941 - 1992"

www.greenham.greatnow.com


3rd Air Force History
"Throughout the 1950s, Strategic Air Command bomber units deployed on a regular rotational basis from the United States to the United Kingdom. The B-47 Stratojet was a familiar sight in the skies over RAF Mildenhall and RAF Upper Heyford at this time, as entire wings deployed on 90-day rotations, Even the massive B-36 deployed to UK bases.

In 1958, the U.S. and UK reached agreement about basing intermediate range Thor missiles, and four strategic missile squadrons deployed to East Anglia. Thor missiles remained in the United Kingdom five years, until 1963, when long range intercontinental ballistic missiles based in the U.S. superseded the intermediate range Thor. Overseas deployment of the Thor was no longer needed.

The 1960s saw continuous fluctuations in the U.S. Air Force presence in the United Kingdom. In 1961, some bases were returned and numbered air force activities merged. Support squadrons were eliminated at South Ruislip, West Ruislip, Bovingdon, Bushy Park, and Denham. In 1963, project Clearwater halted large scale rotational bomber deployments to Britain. RAF Fairford, RAF Chelveston, RAF Greenham Command, and RAF Sculthorpe were returned to the Air Ministry.

During the 1960s, Third Air Force has four to five combat wings and major changes occurred in the types of aircraft deployed in the United Kingdom. F-100s, F-101s, and F-4s replaced older fighter aircraft. KC-135 Stratotankers replaced older refueling aircraft.

In June 1972, daily operational control of tactical units in the United Kingdom was transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein AB, Germany. Third Air Force still retained command of the units, but as a result of the change, the headquarters was reorganized, reduced in personnel strength, and moved to Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom.

In 1979, NATO ministers decided to deploy Ground Launched Cruise and Pershing II missiles to counter the growing Soviet SS-20 intermediate range ballistic missile threat. RAF Greenham Common and RAF Molesworth were selected as the beddown sites for the GLCM. The 501st Tactical Missile Wing (TMW) was activated at RAF Greenham Common in July 1982 and the 303rd TMW at RAF Molesworth in December 1986. In June 1987, Headquarters USAFE delegated tactical control of Third Air Force units to the Third Air Force commander.

On April 15, 1986, F-111 aircraft based at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Upper Heyford were launched against suspected terrorist targets in Libya, as part of Operation Eldorado Canyon.

With the signing of the INF Treaty in December 1987, GLCMs deployed to RAF Molesworth were removed to the U.S. and the 303rd TMW inactivated Jan. 30, 1989. The last GLCMs at RAF Greenham Common were removed in March 1991, and the 501st TMW inactivated June 4, 1991.

When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Third Air Force, like many other U.S. military units, received their trial by fire. However, for Third Air Force, the scenario was not similar to any which had been practiced in the past. Desert Shield and Desert Storm were not classic East-West confrontations in Europe that Third Air Force had been trained for.

Thousands of miles removed from the Kuwait theater of operations, Third Air Force played a major support role, deploying half its combat aircraft, several thousand vehicles, approximately 50,000 tons of munitions, and many more tons of supplies and material. Third Air Force also provided 2,250 hospital beds by activating three of its contingency hospitals and was ready in the event of a large number of casualties were received.

Partnership with our host nation at this time could not have been more evident. In virtually every activity, expeditious cooperation and assistance from the government and people of the United Kingdom spelled success for these operations.

The end of the Cold War with the former Soviet Union left in its wake many new military challenges, tensions and emerging conflicts. It also drew attention to the need for American military forces to operate in ways and locations outside the traditional NATO construct. The shift in East-West relations and the increasing focus toward Eastern Europe, the southern region and the Middle East led to a changing of the focus of Third Air Force as well.

Recognizing that the threat to NATO was significantly reduced with the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Congress mandated large reductions in the American military budget and American military troop strength based in Europe. From a Cold War high of 450,000 in the late 1980s, American troop strength in Europe was reduced to 100,000 by the mid-1990s.

In recent years, the U.S. Air Force has restructured itself to meet the emerging needs of the new world order, and stay at the forefront of airpower. While Third Air Force reduced its manpower by more than 40 percent, and the number of permanently based fighter aircraft by about 80 percent, the headquarters element for Third Air Force was also streamlined to reflect a shift in emphasis from management to operational command. Several Third Air Force units returned to the U.S., and several more were inactivated. Third Air Force returned many of its bases to the British Ministry of Defence, and scaled down operations at other places."

Source: 3rd Air Force Fact Sheet at http://www.usafe.af.mil/3affc.htm


Submitted by Lamar Terry, MSgt/USAF Ret. Monday, September 14th, 1970
"...the 1st F-111 to arrive at Upper Heyford. (2 arrived). Tsgt. Paul Day is parking it and I am standing to the right of him."

Submitted by Lamar Terry, MSgt/USAF Ret.


Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request).

Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request)
Webmaster, RAF Greenham Common - "The Complete History 1941 - 1992"


Welcome To Britain '82 - '83
Submitted by John Double, MSgt, 20th CRS/Automatic Test Stations, Jul 1983 - Sep 1990. webmaster's note: To conserve web space, virtually all of the advertisment pages have been omitted.

Beginning of UH insert; specific to Upper Heyford...

End of UH insert; specific to Upper Heyford


Duane:
Here is a bit of history of Upper Heyford that I got from the Mighty 8th Museum.

Regards,
Jerry Szyperski (U.H. 55-58)

	Dear Mr. Szyperski, 

    	During World War II, Upper Heyford was a training base for the RAF and 
	no American units were stationed there permanently.  After the War the 
	US Air Force leased RAF Upper Heyford as a bomber and fighter base, and 
	during the Cold War SAC bombers on TDY flew from there.  Some of these 
	planes would have been permanently assigned to the Eighth Air Force, 
	even though they would have been under operational control of USAFE 
	while in Europe.  This may be the origin of the Eighth Air Force 
	insignia at the base -- a representation of units that were hosted, if 
	not assigned.  It is also possible that the Eighth was included as a 
	tribute to the American aviation presence in the UK during World War 
	II. 

	Sincerely, 
	Mr. Rusty Bloxom 
	Chief Historian 
		


AIR FORCE BASES OUTSIDE THE U.S. A PDF file.

Air Bases Outside the United States of America by Harry R. Fletcher.
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This page was last updated on 21 February 2014.