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437th Airlift Wing

C-17 of the 437th AW airdrops pallets of water and food to Mirebalais, Haiti, Jan 21, 2010 The 437th Airlift Wing (437 AW) is an active unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to 18th Air Force, Air Mobility Command. It is the mission wing at Charleston Air Force Base, Joint Base Charleston, in the City of North Charleston, South Carolina.

The 437 AW is responsible for flying and maintaining the C-17 Globemaster III jet cargo aircraft, the newest aircraft in the AMC airlift system. Its mission is to command assigned airlift and supporting units; provide for the airlift of troops and passengers, military equipment, cargo and aeromedical airlift and to participate in operations involving the airland or airdrop of troops, equipment and supplies when required.



437th Operations Group (437 OG)

  • 14th Airlift Squadron (14 AS)
  • 15th Airlift Squadron (15 AS)
  • 16th Airlift Squadron (16 AS)
  • 17th Airlift Squadron (17 AS)
  • 437th Operations Support Squadron (437 OSS)

437th Maintenance Group (437 MXG)

  • 437th Aerial Port Squadron (437 APS)
  • 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (437 AMXS)
  • 437th Maintenance Operations Squadron (437 MOS)
  • 437th Maintenance Squadron (437 MXS)


For additional lineage and history, see 437th Operations Group

Cold War

C-46Ds]] during the Korean War. The 437th stood up as a wing and trained in the reserve from June 1949 to August 1950 and June 1952 November 1957. After being called to active service and performing concentrated training in the United States, the 437th moved to Japan as part of the Far East Air Forces 315th Air Division and flew combat airlift missions from November 1950 to June 1952. During the Korean War the 437th helped evacuate personnel from threatened airfields, hauled gasoline, napalm, and other explosives, dropped cargo and paratroops, flew spraying missions to rid areas of insects, and also flew routine courier missions until replaced by another wing in June 1952.

The 437th replaced the 1608th Air Transport Wing, in 1966, as the Military Airlift Command host wing at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. It has since flown joint training missions with Army forces, aeromedical evacuation missions, mercy and humanitarian missions as needed, and airlifted personnel, cargo, and mail worldwide, primarily to Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but also to South America. It has participated in numerous tactical operations and exercises, particularly those of NATO. Wing aircrews have been augmented by attached Reserve aircrews from the 315th Airlift Wing. From 1966 to the early 1970s, the wing also flew numerous missions to the Far East and Southeast Asia. It added Russia as a special mission destination in 1988 and conducted humanitarian relief operations in Russia in 1992. The wing deployed support personnel and provided airlift of personnel and equipment for operations in Grenada, 24 October 19 December 1983; Panama, 18 29 December 1989; and Southwest Asia, August 1990 December 1991. It flew humanitarian missions to Somalia and other regions of Africa from 1992 to 1994.

Modern era

The 437th received its first C-17 in June 1993. It routinely supported humanitarian and contingency operations in the Balkans, 1993 1999. The wing has also conducted long range humanitarian air drops into Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom beginning in October 2001 and later regularly supported deployments to other Global War on Terrorism operations, as well as Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 2003. On 8 January 2010, the 437th was replaced as the host wing by the 628th Air Base Wing as part of Joint Base Charleston. It remains at Charleston Air Force Base as the supported Mission wing.


  • Established as 437th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, on 10 May 1949
Activated in the Reserve on 27 June 1949
Ordered to active service on 10 August 1950
Inactivated on 10 June 1952
  • Activated in the Reserve on 15 June 1952
Inactivated on 16 November 1957
  • Redesignated 437th Military Airlift Wing, and activated, on 27 December 1965
Organized on 8 January 1966, assuming personnel and equipment of 1608th Air Transport Wing (MATS) which was discontinued.
Redesignated 437th Airlift Wing on 1 October 1991.
Support functions incorporated into the 628th Air Base Wing on 8 January 2010.


  • Tenth Air Force, 26 June 1949
  • Tactical Air Command, 14 August 1950
  • Fifth Air Force, 8 November 1950
Attached to FEAF Combat Cargo Command, Provisional, 8 November 1950
  • 314th Air Division, 1 December 1950
Remained attached to FEAF Combat Cargo Command, Provisional, through 24 January 1951

  • 315th Air Division (Combat Cargo), 25 January 1951 10 June 1952
  • Tenth Air Force, 15 June 1952 16 November 1957
  • Military Air Transport Service (later, Military Airlift Command), 27 December 1965
  • Twenty-First Air Force, 8 January 1966 1 October 2003
  • Eighteenth Air Force, 1 October 2003 Present



  • 437th Troop Carrier (later, Operations) Group: 27 June 1949 10 June 1952; 15 June 1952 16 November 1957; 1 October 1991 present


  • 3d Military Airlift Squadron: 8 January 1966 1 August 1973
  • 17th Military Airlift Squadron: 8 January 1966 8 April 1969; 1 August 1987 1 October 1991
  • 20th Military Airlift Squadron: 1 August 1973 1 October 1991
  • 41st Military Airlift Squadron: 8 January 1966 1 October 1991
  • 76th Military Airlift Squadron: 8 January 1966 1 October 1991
  • 1300th Military Airlift Squadron: 1 March 1978 1 December 1982.


  • Chicago-Orchard Airport (later, O'Hare Field-Chicago International Airport), Illinois, 27 June 1949
  • Shaw AFB, South Carolina, 14 August 16 October 1950
  • Brady Air Base, Japan, 8 November 1950 10 June 1952
  • O'Hare International Airport, Illinois, 15 June 1952 16 November 1957
  • Charleston AFB, South Carolina, 8 January 1966 present


  • C-46 Commando, 1949 1952; 1952 1957
  • C-47 Skytrain, 1955 1957
  • C-119 Flying Boxcar, 1957
  • C-124 Globemaster II, 1966 1969

  • C-130 Hercules, 1966 1967
  • C-141 Starlifter, 1966 2000
  • C-5 Galaxy 1970 1973
  • C-17 Globemaster III, 1993 present


Unit shields

Image:437_OG.jpg|437 OG Image:437_OSS.jpg|437 OSS Image:14_AS.jpg|14 AS Image:15_AS.jpg|15 AS Image:16th Airlift Squadron.jpg|16 AS Image:16_AS_SOF.jpg|16 AS Alternate Image:17_AS.jpg|17 AS Image:437_APS.jpg|437 APS Image:437_MXG.jpg|437 MXG Image:437_AMXS.jpg|437 AMXS Image:437_MXS.jpg|437 MXS Image:437_MOS.jpg|437 MOS


External links

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