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Elmendorf Air Force Base
Air Force Base
(IATA: EDF, ICAO: PAED, FAA LID: EDF) is a United States
United States
military facility in Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. Originally known as Elmendorf Field, it became Elmendorf Air Force Base after World War II, and in 2010 it merged with nearby Fort Richardson to form Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The adjacent facilities were officially combined by the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment Commission. Its mission was to support and defend U.S. interests in the Asia Pacific region and around the world by providing units who are ready for worldwide air power projection and a base that is capable of meeting United States
United States
Pacific Command's theater staging and throughput requirements. It is the home of the Headquarters, Alaskan Command (ALCOM), Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR), Eleventh Air Force
Eleventh Air Force
(11 AF), the 673d Air Base Wing, the 3rd Wing, the 176th Wing
176th Wing
and other tenant units.

Contents

1 Units 2 Demographics 3 History

3.1 World War II 3.2 Cold War 3.3 From 1991

4 Major commands to which assigned 5 Base operating units 6 Major units assigned 7 Base realignment and closure, 2005 8 Aviation accidents 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

Units[edit] The installation hosts the headquarters for the United States
United States
Alaskan Command, 11th Air Force, U.S. Army Alaska, and the Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region. Major units assigned are:

673d Air Base Wing

Activated on 30 July 2010 as the host wing combining installation management functions of Elmendorf AFB's 3rd Wing
3rd Wing
and U.S. Army Garrison Fort Richardson. The 673d ABW comprises over 5,500 joint military and civilian personnel, supporting America's Arctic Warriors and their families. The wing supports and enables three AF total-force wings, two Army Brigades and 55 other tenant units. In addition, the wing provides medical care to over 35,000 joint service members, dependents, VA patients and retirees throughout Alaska. The 673d ABW maintains an $11.4B infrastructure encompassing 84,000 acres, ensuring Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
remains America's premier strategic power projection platform.

Alaskan Command

Responsible for maximizing theater force readiness for 21,000 Alaskan servicemembers and expediting worldwide contingency force deployments from and through Alaska
Alaska
as directed by the Commander, USNORTHCOM.

United States
United States
Army Alaska
Alaska
(US)

U.S. Army Alaska
Alaska
executes continuous training and readiness oversight responsibilities for Army Force Generation in Alaska. Supports U.S. Pacific Command Theater Security Cooperation Program. On order, executes Joint Force Land Component Command functions in support of Homeland Defense and Security in Alaska.

3d Wing
3d Wing
(USAF)

To support and defend US interests in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world by providing units who are ready for worldwide air power projection and a base that is capable of meeting PACOM's theater staging and throughput requirements.

176th Wing
176th Wing
(ANG)

Composite wing of the Alaska
Alaska
Air National Guard
Air National Guard
flying the C-17 Globemaster, C-130
C-130
Hercules, H C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
and HH-60 Pavehawk. Previously located at the former Kulis Air National Guard Base
Kulis Air National Guard Base
until relocated to Elmendorf per BRAC action.

477th Fighter Group
477th Fighter Group
(AFRC)

Air Force Reserve Command
Air Force Reserve Command
"Associate" unit to the active duty 3d Wing; operates and maintains the F-22
F-22
Raptor.

Alaskan Norad Region

The Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR) conducts aerospace control within its area of operations and contributes to NORAD's aerospace warning mission.

Eleventh Air Force

Provide ready warriors and infrastructure for homeland defense, decisive force projection, and aerospace command and control

Demographics[edit]

Historical population

Census Pop.

1970 6,018

U.S. Decennial Census[3]

Elmendorf Air Force Base
Air Force Base
appeared once on the 1970 U.S. Census as an unincorporated area. Because it was located within the confines of the Anchorage
Anchorage
Census Division, it was consolidated into the City of Anchorage
Anchorage
in 1975. History[edit]

Elmendorf Air Force Base
Air Force Base
sign outside of Government Hill Gate

A C-17 Globemaster
C-17 Globemaster
III takes off from Elmendorf Air Force Base
Air Force Base
on 26 March 2010

The 19th Fighter Squadron's F-15 Eagle
F-15 Eagle
flagship takes off for the final time at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, 13 May 2010

31st Fighter Interceptor Squadron Convair F-102A-75-CO Delta Dagger 56-1281, 1965. Aircraft crashed 12/27/67.

World War II[edit] Construction on Elmendorf Field began on 8 June 1940, as a major and permanent military airfield near Anchorage. The first Air Corps personnel arrived on 12 August 1940. On 12 November 1940, the War Department formally designated what had been popularly referred to as Elmendorf Field as Fort Richardson. The air facilities on the post were named Elmendorf Field in honor of Captain Hugh M. Elmendorf, killed on 13 January 1933, while flight testing the experimental Consolidated Y1P-25, fighter, 32-321, near Wright Field, Ohio.[4][5] After World War II, the Army moved its operations to the new Fort Richardson and the Air Force assumed control of the original Fort Richardson and renamed it Elmendorf Air Force Base. The first Air Force unit to be assigned to Alaska, the 18th Pursuit Squadron, arrived in February 1941. The 23d Air Base Group was assigned shortly afterward to provide base support. Other Air Force units poured into Alaska
Alaska
as the Japanese threat developed into World War II. The Eleventh Air Force
Eleventh Air Force
was formed at Elmendorf AFB in early 1942. The field played a vital role as the main air logistics center and staging area during the Aleutian Campaign and later air operations against the Kurile Islands. Cold War[edit] Following World War II, Elmendorf assumed an increasing role in the defense of North America as the uncertain wartime relations between the United States
United States
and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
deteriorated into the Cold War. The Eleventh Air Force
Eleventh Air Force
was redesignated as the Alaskan Air Command (AAC) on 18 December 1945. The Alaskan Command, established 1 January 1947, also headquartered at Elmendorf, was a unified command under the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff
based on lessons learned during World War II when a lack of unity of command hampered operations to drive the Japanese from the western Aleutian Islands
Aleutian Islands
of Attu and Kiska. The uncertain world situation in late 1940s and early 1950s caused a major buildup of air defense forces in Alaska. The propeller-driven F-51s were replaced with F-80 jets, which in turn were replaced in succession by F-94s, F-89s, and F-102s interceptor aircraft for defense of North America. The Air Force built an extensive aircraft control and warning radar system with sites located throughout Alaska's interior and coastal regions. Additionally, the Air Force of necessity built the White Alice Communications System
White Alice Communications System
(with numerous support facilities around the state) to provide reliable communications to these far-flung, isolated, and often rugged locales. The Alaskan NORAD Regional Operations Control Center (ROCC) at Elmendorf served as the nerve center for all air defense operations in Alaska. The U.S. Air Force Security Service (USAFSS) activated the 6981st Security Group tasked with monitoring, collecting and interpreting signals intelligence of concern to the region, including installation of an AN/FLR-9
AN/FLR-9
antenna array as part of a worldwide network known collectively as "Iron Horse." Air defense forces reached their zenith in 1957 with almost 200 fighter aircraft assigned to six fighter interceptor squadrons located at Elmendorf AFB and Ladd AFB. Eighteen aircraft control and warning radar sites controlled their operations. Elmendorf earned the motto "Top Cover for North America." AAC adopted the motto as its own in 1969. The late 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s brought about a gradual, but significant decline in air defense forces in Alaska
Alaska
due to mission changes and the demands of the Vietnam War. The Air Force inactivated five fighter squadrons and closed five radar sites. In 1961, the Department of Defense consigned Ladd AFB
Ladd AFB
to the Army which renamed it Fort Wainwright. The Alaskan Command was disestablished in 1975. Elmendorf began providing more support to other Air Force commands, particularly Military Airlift Command C-5 and C-141
C-141
flights to and from the Far East. Despite a diminished number of personnel and aircraft, a turning point in Elmendorf's history occurred in 1970 with the arrival of the 43d Tactical Fighter Squadron in June 1970 from MacDill AFB, Florida. The squadron gave AAC an air-to-ground capability which was further enhanced with the activation of the 18th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf (also with F-4Es) on 1 October 1977. The strategic importance of Elmendorf AFB was graphically realized during the spring of 1980 when the 18th Tactical Fighter Squadron deployed eight of its F-4Es to Korea to participate in exercise Team Spirit. It was a historical first and underlined an increasing emphasis AAC placed on its tactical role. The strategic location of Elmendorf AFB and Alaska
Alaska
made it an excellent deployment center, a fact that validated the contention of Billy Mitchell who, in 1935, stated that " Alaska
Alaska
is the most strategic place in the world." Deployments from Elmendorf AFB and Eielson AFB
Eielson AFB
to the Far East are now conducted on a routine basis. The 1980s witnessed a period of growth and modernization of Elmendorf AFB. During 1982, the 21st Tactical Fighter Wing converted from F-4Es to F-15A/Bs. The 18th Tactical Fighter Squadron was assigned to Eielson AFB
Eielson AFB
where it was equipped with A-10s. The 54th Tactical Fighter Squadron, of Aleutian Campaign fame, activated once again in 1987. Operating two F-15 Squadrons (43rd and 54th TFS), the F-15s were housed next to the 5021st Tactical Operations Squadron's T-33 Shooting Stars. Rounding out the modernization program was the construction of an enhanced Regional Operations Control Center (completed in 1983), and the replacement of the 1950s generation aircraft control and warning radars with the state of the art AN/FPS-117 Minimally Attended Radars. The integrated air warning and defense system became fully operational in mid 1985. Alaska's air defense force was further enhanced with the assignment of two E-3As to Elmendorf AFB in 1986. The Alaskan Command was reestablished at Elmendorf in 1989 as subunified joint service command under the Pacific Command in recognition of Alaska's military importance in the Pacific region. The Elmendorf AFB is a site of one of the now decommissioned FLR-9 Wullenweber-class antennas, a node of the now obsolete High Frequency SIGINT direction finding system. From 1991[edit]

Six Blue Angels
Blue Angels
F/A-18 Hornets, fly in delta formation into the rainy mists surrounding Elmendorf AFB during Arctic Thunder, August 2006

That importance was further recognized when the F-15E
F-15E
Strike Eagle equipped 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron was reassigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base
Air Force Base
from Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base
in the Philippines
Philippines
in May 1991. The Pacific Regional Medical Center moved from Clark to Elmendorf and construction of a new, greatly expanded hospital began in 1993. The early 1990s also saw major organizational changes and an expansion of Elmendorf's importance. In 1991, the 21st Tactical Fighter Wing was reorganized as an objective wing and all the major tenant units on Elmendorf were placed under it. The 21st Wing was inactivated and the 3d Wing
3d Wing
was reassigned from Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base
to Elmendorf Air Force Base on 19 December 1991. This was in keeping with the Air Force's policies of retaining the oldest and most illustrious units during a period of major force reductions. It was also an alternative landing site for the Space Shuttle. The base also contains the headquarters of the Alaska
Alaska
Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.[6] Major commands to which assigned[edit]

Alaskan Defense Force, (June 1940 – February 1941) Alaskan Defense Command, (February – May 1941) Air Field Forces, Alaskan Defense Command, (May – December 1941) Alaskan Air Force, (December 1941 – February 1942) Eleventh Air Force, (February – September 1942) Alaskan Air Command, (December 1945 – August 1990) Pacific Air Forces, (August 1990 – present)

Base operating units[edit]

1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, US (June 1940 – February 1941) (initial base complement) 23d Air Base Group, (February 1941 – July 1942) 23d Service Group, (July 1942 – January 1948) 23d Air Service Group, (January – April 1948) 57th Airdrome Group, (April – September 1948) 57th Air Base Group, (September 1948 – January 1951) 39th Air Depot Wing, (January 1951 – April 1953)

5039th Air Base Wing, (April 1953 – October 1957) 5040th Air Base Wing, (October 1957 – February 1959) 5040th Air Base Wing, (August 1960 – July 1966) 21st Air Base Group, (July 1966 – January 1980) 21st Combat Support Group, (January 1980 – December 1991) 3d Wing, (December 1991 – July 2010) 673d Air Base Wing
673d Air Base Wing
(July 2010 – present)

Major units assigned[edit]

28th Bombardment Group
28th Bombardment Group
(Composite) (February 1941 – March 1943) 343d Fighter Group
343d Fighter Group
(September 1942 – March 1943) 93d Air Depot Group (May 1944 – September 1946) 28th Bombardment Group
28th Bombardment Group
(June 1946 – June 1948) 57th Fighter Group
57th Fighter Group
(March 1947 – April 1953) 64th, 65th, 66th Fighter-Interceptor Squadrons (June 1947 – November 1957) 5039th Air Depot Wing (September 1948 – January 1951) 39th Air Depot Wing (January 1951 – April 1953) 5039th Air Base Wing (April 1953 – June 1957)

5040th Air Base Wing (June 1957 – July 1966) (Under 10th Air Division
10th Air Division
until August 1960) 5070th Air Defense Wing AAC (1 August 1960 – 1 October 1961) with 317th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
317th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
(25 August 1960 – 1 October 1961) 602d Military Airlift Support Squadron (62MAW, McChord AFB, WA) (about 1966–1970 – exact dates unknown at this time) 21st Tactical Fighter Wing (May 1966 – December 1991) 343d Tactical Fighter Wing (November 1977 – January 1980) 381st Intelligence Squadron
381st Intelligence Squadron
(1955–present) (6981st with various unit designations under USAFSS) 3d Wing
3d Wing
(December 1991 – present)

Base realignment and closure, 2005[edit] The Department of Defense proposed a major realignment of the base as part of the Base Realignment and Closure program announced on 13 May 2005. Currently, under the plan, one F-15E
F-15E
and one F-15C
F-15C
squadron have been replaced with the F-22, and the C-130
C-130
fleet has been replaced with the C-17 Globemaster
C-17 Globemaster
III. Aviation accidents[edit] On December 26, 1968, a commercial Pan American 707 landed at Elmendorf AFB instead of Anchorage
Anchorage
International Airport because of weather conditions. Clearance was delayed several times to accommodate other traffic. When they finally got clearance, the crew didn't lower their wing flaps as required to achieve successful takeoff because the pre-takeoff checklist lacked a vital item to lower flaps, and the captain had raised flaps during the taxiing phase to prevent icing as required by the carrier's cold weather operations procedures. The jet crashed just off the west end of the runway, killing all crew members. Cargo consisting of mail and food packages was largely consumed by ground fire following impact. NTSB's report found the probable cause to be (a) the defective checklist, (b) the 707's defective takeoff warning hardware, (c) ineffective implementation of Boeing's Service Bulletins, and (d) stress caused by a rushed flight schedule.[7] On 22 September 1995, a Boeing E-3 Sentry
E-3 Sentry
Airborne early warning and control aircraft with 22 USAF personnel and two Canadian air crew members crashed after ingesting a flock of Canada
Canada
geese, killing all on board.[8][9] On 28 July 2010, a Boeing C-17 Globemaster
C-17 Globemaster
III cargo aircraft practicing for an upcoming airshow crashed into a wooded area within the base, killing all four air crew members; three from the Alaska
Alaska
Air National Guard and one from the USAF.[10][11] The cause of the accident has been reported to be pilot error. The pilot performed an aggressive righthand turn and ignored the aircraft's stall warning, continuing the turn until the aircraft stalled due to lack of airspeed. The low altitude of the turn made it impossible for the crew to recover from the stall in time to avoid impacting the ground.[12] On 16 November 2010, a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
F-22 Raptor
took off for a training mission. At approximately 1900 hrs., the base reported that the aircraft was overdue and missing. Air Force rescue teams were reported to be concentrating their search for the missing plane and pilot in Denali National Park. The F-22's crash site was found about 100 miles north of Anchorage
Anchorage
near the town of Cantwell, Alaska. The pilot, of the US Air Force's 525th Fighter Squadron, was killed in the crash.[13] See also[edit]

United States Air Force
United States Air Force
portal United States
United States
Army portal Military of the United States
United States
portal World War II
World War II
portal Alaska
Alaska
portal

Alaska
Alaska
World War II
World War II
Army Airfields Arctic Thunder Air Show United States
United States
Pacific Air Forces

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

^ FAA Airport Master Record for EDF (Form 5010 PDF), retrieved 2007-03-15 ^  This article incorporates public domain material from the United States
United States
Government document "Elmendorf Air Force Base". ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.  ^ "1930–1937 USAAS Serial Numbers". Joebaugher.com. Retrieved 2011-11-22.  ^ "1933 USAAC Accident Reports". Aviationarchaeology.com. Retrieved 2011-11-22.  ^ "Contact". Alaska
Alaska
Wing Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol
Official Website. Retrieved 7 November 2015.  ^ Aircraft Accident Report: Pan American World Airways, Inc. Boeing 707-321C N799PA Elmendorf Air Base Anchorage, Alaska, December 26, 1968 (PDF). Washington, DC.: National Transportation Safety Board. 1969.  ^ "Cargo plane crashes and burns on Elmendorf". adn.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ "AWACS crash kills 24 crew members". cnn.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ "Four Dead in Alaska
Alaska
Air Force Base
Air Force Base
Crash". cbsnews.com. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ "Military plane crashes on training mission in Alaska, killing 4 airmen". cnn.com. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-29.  ^ D'Oro, Rachel (December 13, 2010). "Pilot error blamed in July C-17 crash". Anchorage
Anchorage
Daily News. Archived from the original on December 13, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2010.  ^ " Alaska
Alaska
Military Base Searching for Overdue F-22". cbsnews.com. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 

Endicott, Judy G. (1999) Active Air Force wings as of 1 October 1995; USAF active flying, space, and missile squadrons as of 1 October 1995. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. CD-ROM. Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4. Mueller, Robert (1989). Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. USAF Reference Series, Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6 Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force
United States Air Force
Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elmendorf Air Force Base.

Elmendorf AFB Installation Overview[permanent dead link] from AirForceUSA.org. Elmendorf Air Force Base
Air Force Base
at GlobalSecurity.org BRAC 2005: Closings, Realignments to Reshape Infrastructure Elmendorf AFB FamCamp Information FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective March 29, 2018 FAA Terminal Procedures for EDF, effective March 29, 2018

Resources for this airport:

FAA airport information for EDF AirNav airport information for PAED ASN accident history for EDF FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker NOAA/NWS latest weather observations for PAED SkyVector aeronautical chart for EDF

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Support Airfields

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