22nd airlift squadron celebrates its 70th anniversary Part II
By Mark Wilderman, 60th Air Mobility Wing Historian
/ Published March 29, 2012
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- On Feb. 8, 1972, the 22nd Military Airlift Squadron was reactivated and assigned to the 60th Military Airlift Wing at Travis as a C-5A Galaxy squadron. For more than 20 years, the 22nd MAS and its sister C-5 squadron, the 75th MAS, supported U.S. military combat and humanitarian operations throughout the world. From March 1972 to April 1975, the 22nd MAS flew strategic airlift missions to Southeast Asia. From Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 1983, the 22nd MAS supported combat operations in Grenada to remove a Communist-backed regime.
In December 1989, the 22nd MAS participated in Operation Just Cause, which ended the dictatorship of Panama's Gen. Manuel Noriega.
In August 1990, the 22nd MAS provided strategic airlift in support of the massive coalition forces buildup in Southwest Asia prior to Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Southern Watch. These operations helped contain the expansionist policies of Iraqi president Sadaam Hussein.
The 22nd MAS was redesignated the 22nd Airlift Squadron on Nov. 1, 1991. The squadron also provided support for Operation Provide Comfort (1991 to 1996) for Kurdish refugees threatened by Iraqi forces, Operation Fiery Vigil (1991), the evacuation of military personnel and their families from the Philippines following the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, and Operations Provide Relief and Restore Hope (1992 to 1993), aiding thousands of famine victims in Somalia.
Beginning in 1995, the 22nd AS provided airlift support to NATO Balkans peacekeeping missions in Operation Joint Endeavor, Joint Guard, and Joint Forge. Since 9/11, the 22nd AS has provided vital strategic airlift in support of allied forces in Southwest Asia participating in Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn. In July 2002, a crew from the 782nd Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, consisting of members of the 22nd AS and Dover Air Force Base, made history when they conducted the first deployment in a combat environment of a C-5 aircraft by extracting a Canadian Forces infantry regiment and their equipment from a combat zone near Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Since joining Travis in 1972, the 22nd AS has shared in earning 15 Air Force outstanding unit awards for the 60th Air Mobility Wing.