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9th Air Refueling Squadron

The 9th Air Refueling Squadron mobilizes and deploys 12 KC-10 aircraft with over 140 combat-ready personnel and equipment to worldwide forward operating locations. Ensures global reach for America by generating 24-hour-a-day strategic airlift and aerial-refueling sorties supporting U.S. and allied forces during contingency operations. Provides training for 24 aircrews tasked to support and sustain Joint Chiefs of Staff directed missions. Executes an 8,000+ flying hour program and $580,000 budget. The world's "peerless" air refuelers off-loaded more than 70 million pounds of fuel on 1,420+ sorties last year flying strategic airlift for the Travis Team effort and delivery of over 64,000 tons of critical cargo and passengers.

The 9th Air Refueling Squadron was initially activated on Aug. 1, 1951, under the 9th Bombardment Wing at Travis AFB, Calif. However, the squadron actually flew its KB-29 tanker aircraft out of Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., until 1953. The squadron then relocated to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. On Sept. 15, 1954, the squadron received its first KC-97G air refueling tankers. During this period in the 1950’s, the 9th helped thrust the Air Force and Strategic Air Command (SAC) into the early stages of global air capability. Consequently, the 9th’s history included numerous deployments to such far-flung locations as French Morocco and Guam.

Following a deactivation period from 1965 to 1970, the 9th flew the KC-135Q all jet tanker at Beale AFB, Calif. It was one of only two squadrons to refuel the record-breaking Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. With its KC-135s, the 9th participated in several special operations involving flights to Southeast Asia. The KC-135 was the most capable tanker aircraft in the world for over 20 years until the development of the McDonnell-Douglas KC-10A Extender.

In order to transition to the new tanker-cargo aircraft, the 9th went through a short deactivation period early in 1982. The 9th relocated to March AFB, Calif., and was reactivated on Aug. 1, 1982. Since that time, the 9th was called upon to protect our national interests in Operations ARID FARMER, EL DORADO CANYON, GIANT SCALE, JUST CAUSE, DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, and PROUD RETURN. During SOUTHERN WATCH, the 9th has been vital to enforcing the no-fly zone over Iraq. By escorting and refueling Marine aircraft to Aviano AB, Italy, the 9th has assisted in Operation DENY FLIGHT. The 9th demonstrated another Air Force mission, humanitarian relief, by delivering desperately needed food and supplies to Somalia in Operation RESTORE HOPE.

With its move to Travis AFB in July 1994, the 9th continues to support its mission of "GLOBAL REACH-GLOBAL POWER". In September 1996, 9th aircrews were called upon to provide fuel to the B-52s supporting DESERT STRIKE, the cruise missile attack on Iraq. Recently, the 9th mobilized in support of Operations PHOENIX SCORPION I II, III, & IV, the rapid movement of forces into Southwest Asia. In 1997, the 9th orchestrated the first sixteen-ship mixed-cell refueling formation in Air Mobility Command’s history for Operation CENTRAZ BAT, the longest airdrop mission in aviation history, projecting eight C-17s delivering 540 paratroopers and equipment nearly 8,000 miles. In 1998, the 9th supported numerous PHOENIX BANNER (presidential support) missions while celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, by recreating the German flyby. The year 1999 past as 9th aircrews led the first ever “air power” dominated victory in Operation ALLIED FORCE in the former Yugoslavia and continued and simultaneous operations in Operations DESERT FOX in over Iraq.

The 9th ARS patch logo, "UNIVERSAL," is truly appropriate for the squadron, as is its motto, "Proud To Serve" represents a heritage rich in total involvement and huge successes!