5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing
5th Bomb
ardment Wing

Motto: "Guardians of the Upper Regions"


Based at: Mountain Home AFB,  Travis AFBMinot AFB
Aircraft: B-29, RB-29, B-36, RB-36, B-52, KC-135, EC-135
Status: Active
Squadrons 23 BS, 31 BS, 72 BS, 129 BS, 347 BS, 906 AR, 916 AR
Links: Minot AFB 

     Established as 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on 1 Jul 1949 and activated on July 16,1949 at Mountain Home AFB.  On November 12, 1949, it moved to Fairfield-Suisun (later, Travis) AFB, California  It flew B29s and RB29s.  It was redesignated the 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Heavy on November 14, 1950.  The wing performed long-range strategic reconnaissance from July 1949 to October 1955, and some limited reconnaissance to September of 1958.  It was fully integrated with 9th Strategic Reconnaissance (later, 9th Bombardment) Wing from November 12, 1949 to February 10, 1951.  It maintained a manned headquarters, but had no operational control over assigned it's units.  From February 1, 1950 to February 10, 1951, it shared a commander in common with the 9th Wing. 
B-36 Peacemaker  
     In 1951, it received the new B-36 Peacemaker bombers and the RB-36 reconnaissance versions.  It began maintaining proficiency in strategic bombardment in July 1953 but was not redesignated as a bombardment wing until October 1, 1955.  It's planes were flown by the 23rd, 31st and 72nd Squadrons until 1958 when replaced by B-52s.
   Don Stout wrote, "The last RB-36 of the 5th Wing departed Travis AFB on 30 Sept 1958. The 5th received it's first B-52G on 15 Feb 1959, and received it's 30th B-52G on 4 June 1959."

Air Refueling
     Added air refueling to other missions in Dec 1959. It flew KC-135s until relieved of it's air refueling mission in June 1992.

B-52 Stratofortress
B-52 wings had 45 bombers and a squadron of tankers.  The success of the Soviet Missile program in the late 1950's made it obvious that they were fat targets.  This led to SAC dispersing them.  Two of the 5th Bombardment Wing's B-52 squadrons were used to form Strategic Wings.   This left the wing with one squadron of fifteen Stratofortresses.  
     In 1968, the 5th Bomb Wing p
hased down at Travis and moved without personnel or equipment to Minot AFB, North Dakota, where it absorbed the B-52s, KC-135 and other aircraft and personnel of the 450th Bombardment Wing, Heavy.  Flying EC-135s, it supported the post-attack command and control system (PACCS) from July 1968 to December 1969.  Continued global strategic bombardment training and air refueling operations.
     The 5th Bomb Wing loaned B-52 and  KC135 aircraft and crews to SAC organizations involved in combat operations in Southeast Asia between 1968 and 1975. 
Later Years
During Desert Shield and Desert Storm, personnel and KC135 aircraft were deployed in support of operations in the mid-east, 19901991.  Redesignated the 5th Wing on 1 September 1, 1991and the 5th Bomb Wing on June 1, 1992.
  The wing became the first unit to deploy B-52s to Iceland in exercise Northern Viking in July 1995.  It has since had deployments to Mighty Force, Coalition Flag and Coronet Aquarius, and non-combat tasks flown directly from Minot. In the winter of 1995, the wing became home to the first female combat-qualified B-52 crew member.  In June 1996, the wing flew a Global Power mission with the secretary of the Air Force. It was the first time any SECAF has flown on a Global Power mission. The flight gave the secretary first-hand knowledge of the capabilities of the B-52 to support American’s global interests.
The 5th Bomb Wing currently maintains and flies B-52H's from Minot AFB under the Combat Air Command.  It also supports the mission of the 91st Space Wing.
5th Bombardment: July 16, 1949 - June 16, 1952  (Detached 12 Nov. 1949 -10 Feb. 1952;
       Not operational 10 Feb. 1951-16 June 1952)
 23 BS: Attached Feb. 10, 1951 - June 15, 1952; Assigned June 16, 1952 -   Equipped with B-52G
       from Feb. 1959 and utilized them until 1968.  Transferred to Minot AFB, ND on July 25,1968 and
       acquired the B-52H previously flown by the 720 BS, 450 Bomb Wing.  Currently active with the
       5th Bomb Wing
 31 BS: Attached Feb. 10, 1951-June 15, 1952; Assigned June 16, 1952- Oct 1, 1949.  
       Attached Oct 2, 1959 - Jan 18-1960.  Equipped with B-52G in 1959, before being transferred
       to the 4126th Strategic Wing.  However planes remained assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing until 
       Oct 1, 1959; then they were attached to the 5th Bomb Wing from Oct 10, 1959 to Jan 18, 1960
       while moving from Travis to Beale.  Full control of the squadron and aircraft passed to the
       4126 Strategic Wing on Jan 18, 1960.
 72nd Attached Feb. 10-1951-June 15, 1952; Assigned June 15, 1952 - July 1, 1958.  
       Assigned July 1, 1958 to the 4134th Strategic Wing at Mather AFB, California.
       Returned on June1, 1995 as par of consolidation process that concentrated the B-52H at two bases.  
       Assigned to 5th Bomb with immediate effect.  Currently on duty with the wing.
129 BS: Attached Oct 14, 1952-Jan 1, 1953
347 BS: Attached Jan 1 - Sept 12, 1953 (not operational Aug 20 - Sept 12,1953)
906 AR: Assigned July 24, 1968 -
916 AR: Assigned  Sept 1 -1959 - July 25, 1968