9th Air Refueling Squadron The 9th Air Refueling Squadron (9 ARS) mobilizes and deploys 12 KC-10 aircraft with over 140 combat-ready personnel and equipment to numerous worldwide forward operating locations. The 9 ARS ensures global reach for America by generating 24-hour-a-day strategic airlift and aerial-refueling missions that support U.S. and allied forces during contingency operations. The 9 ARS also provides training for 24 mission ready crews that are tasked to support and sustain Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed missions. HISTORY The predecessor to the 9th Air Refueling Squadron was organized in February 1942 at Mitchell Field, New York as the 9th Photographic Squadron. This unit conducted operations during World War II in the Pacific Theater until it was ultimately deactivated in December 1945. The unit was reactivated and designated the 9th Air Refueling Squadron on Aug. 1, 1951 under the 9th Bombardment Wing at Travis AFB, Calif. However, the squadron ﬂew its KB-29 tanker aircraft out of Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. until 1953. The squadron was next relocated to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, and received the ﬁrst KC-97G air refueling tankers on Sept. 15, 1954. During this period in the 1950s, the 9 ARS was indispensable to the Air Force’s Cold War operations, enabling Strategic Air Command’s (SAC) global reach. In this capacity, the 9 ARS’s crews deployed numerous times to far-ﬂung locations such as French Morocco and Guam. Briefly de-activated from 1965 to 1970, the 9 ARS then ﬂew the KC-135Q all-jet tanker out of Beale AFB, Calif and was one of only two squadrons to refuel the record-breaking Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. The 9 ARS KC-135 taskforce participated in several special operations in Southeast Asia, cementing the legacy of the KC-135 as the most capable aerial refueling tanker aircraft in the world…until the development of the McDonnell-Douglas KC-10A Extender. The 9 ARS was shortly deactivated early in 1982 in order to transition to the new tanker-cargo aircraft, and reactivated August 1st 1982, at March AFB, Calif. With the KC-10 in hand, the men and women of the 9 ARS answered their nation’s call to support numerous operations, including EL DORADO CANYON, DESERT STORM, and SOUTHERN WATCH. They also delivered vital food and aid to Somalia in Operation RESTORE HOPE. The 9 ARS subsequently moved to Travis Air Force Base in July 1994. There the 9 ARS made possible the projection of "GLOBAL REACH-GLOBAL POWER" by refueling during multiple high-visibility missions, including CENTRAZ BAT, the longest airdrop mission and ﬁrst sixteen-ship mixed-cell refueling formation in Air Mobility Command’s history. The 9 ARS crews also conducted PHOENIX BANNER (presidential support) missions for the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift and directly enabled air supremacy during Operation ALLIED FORCE in the Balkans and Operation DESERT FOX over Iraq simultaneously. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 the 9 ARS continuously deployed to Southwest Asia over the next two decades, providing millions of pounds of fuel to US and coalition aircraft in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, RESOLUTE SUPPORT, and INHERENT RESOLVE. When US troops departed Afghanistan, 9 ARS aircrews executed the first-ever use of KC-10s for non-combatant evacuations in 2021 during Operation ALLIES REFUGE, evacuating 3,396 refugees to safety. As Russian forces invaded Ukraine in 2022, 9 ARS crews deployed to Europe to ensure the security of allied NATO nations. The 9th Air Refueling squadron is prepared for the future transition to the KC-46 Pegasus and will continue to provide “Rapid Global Mobility” for Air Mobility Command for future operations. The 9 ARS patch logo, "UNIVERSAL”, is truly a suitable single-word summary that conveys the extensiveness and depth of the herculean efforts that fill the squadron’s rich history.