Strategic Air Command
SAC Bases:  McGuire Air Force Base
Location: New Jersey. 18 miles south of Trenton.
Home of: 91st Bomb Wing,  305th Bomb Wing
Status:  Home of 305th Air Mobility Wing
Links:  McGuire AFB, Team McGuire Photo Library

    McGuire Air Force Base, the only Air Force base in New Jersey, is located 18 miles south of Trenton, the state capital, in Burlington County and is the home of the 305th Air Mobility Wing.  The base is named in honor of the late Major B. McGuire Jr., of Ridgewood, N.J., a Medal of Honor recipient who was the second leading air ace in World War II before being killed in action in January 1945.
      In 1937, the base began as a single dirt-strip runway with a few maintenance and administrative buildings assigned to the Army at Fort Dix, N.J. By 1942, the airfield was supporting World War II efforts. Anti-submarine patrols originated there, and aircraft were crated and flown from the field to European destinations. At one time, parachutists were trained and a secret mission for the development of guided missiles and ground control approach equipment was carried out.
      In 1945, it was the western terminus for the return of the wounded from Europe and for the separatees, who were then flown to separation centers throughout the United States.  In 1949, title and function of the base changed as it officially became McGuire AFB. The 91st Reconnaissance Wing, Strategic Air Command arrived with RB-29 and B-50 bombers. Later, Air Defense command and the 52nd Fighter Interceptor Wing took over with F-94 and F-86 jet fighters.
      In 1954, the 1611th Air Transport Wing and its C-118 transports arrived, under the command of Military Air Transport Service.   In 1962, C-135 jet transports were assigned, and C-130s by 1968. During the Vietnam War, McGuire transported troops and supplies to south Vietnam and, in 1973, airlifted prisoners of war from North Vietnam.
     During the 1980s, Team McGuire participated in the Beirut Marine barracks bombing airlift, Grenada rescue effort and the invasion of Panama to oust dictator Manual Noreiga.  Beginning in August 1990, McGuire units supported Operation Desert Shield, the defense of Saudi Arabia. Aircrews and deployed support members began supporting Operation Desert Storm in January 1991. Combat ceased in February, followed by the massive withdrawal of troops and equipment beginning in March. In May 1991, McGuire aircrews began delivering food and supplies to Turkey under Operation Provide Comfort, supplying Iraqi refugees in southern Turkey and northern Iraq.
     On June 1, 1992, McGuire became a major part of the newly activated Air Mobility Command, made up of the former Military Airlift Command and Strategic Airlift Command tanker units.  From December 1992 to May 1993, McGuire supported Operation Restore Hope, setting up operations and controlling the flow of aircraft in the peace keeping humanitarian effort in famine-stricken Somalia. In addition, aircrews back at McGuire began airlifting the bulk of the 28,000 military troops and equipment to Somalia.
      For the next several months, McGuire people played a critical role in resupply operations, troop movements and eventual redeployment of troops in May 1993.  In July 1993, the base was selected to become the East Coast Mobility Center. In conjunction with this announcement, the base received McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender tanker/cargo aircraft and close to 1,000 additional people.  In December 1993, AMC officials selected McGuire as the site for the new Air Mobility Warfare Center, which opened in June 1994. In September 1994, the 438th AW inactivated, and the 305th Air Mobility Wing was formed.  Today, the 305th AMW, along with the 514th AMW (AFRES), the 108th Air Refueling Wing (NJANG), and other tenant units combine to form Team McGuire, an installation with "One Team, One Theme...Mobility."