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The 305th Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 305th Air Refueling Wing, stationed at Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana. It was inactivated on 20 August 1993.

305th Air Refueling Squadron
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Air Force
RoleAir Refueling
Motto(s)We Will Be There (old) Around the World, Around the Clock (new)
DecorationsAir Force Outstanding Unit Award[1]
305th Air Refueling Sq emblem (new)305 Air Refueling Sq emblem.png
Patch with 305th Air Refueling Squadron emblem (old)305th Air Refueling Squadron - SAC - Patch.png



The unit was originally attached to the 305th Air Bombardment Wing at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida on 2 July 1951. At that time the squadron operated KC-97 Stratotankers that were based upon a variant of the C-97 Stratofreighter (which was itself based on the B-29 Superfortress bomber), greatly modified with all the necessary tanks, plumbing, and "flying boom."

When the 305th Bombardment Wing was moved in June 1959 to operate Bunker Hill Air Force Base (which was renamed Grissom Air Force Base]] in 1968), Indiana, the 305th AREFS was not part of the Wing. Later that same year, the first KC-135 Stratotankers were assigned to the Wing. At this time the 68th Air Refueling Squadron was assigned to Bunker Hill. Two years later in 1961, B-58s began replacing the B-47s for the bomber squadrons.

On 25 March 1965 the 305th AREFS was again assigned (replacing the 68th AREFS) to the 305th BW at Bunker Hill where it remained until it was inactivated. The Wing also operated a B-58 combat crew training school, and gained an EC-135 post-attack command control system (PACCS) mission in mid-1966.

The 305th Bombardment Wing lost all of its bomber units in 1970 when SAC underwent a major reorganization. Thereafter the Wing concentrated on air refueling and PACCS support and was redesignated the 305th Air Refueling Wing on 1 January 1970. Throughout the 1970s until the 1990s, the 305th AREFW operational units consisted of the 305th AREFS, 3rd PACCS and the 70th AREFS.

Grissom AFB was re-aligned under the Air Mobility Command (AMC) in 1992 following the inactivation of SAC. The Wing was moved to McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey in 1994 and redesignated the 305th Air Mobility Wing. The 305th AREFS did not move with the Wing and became inactive. Today 305th Air Mobility Wing flies C-17 Globemaster III (cargo) and KC-10 Extender (refuel) aircraft to conduct strategic airlift and air refueling missions. Meanwhile, Grissom AFB became an Air Force Reserve facility. Today, the base is home to the 434th Air Refueling Wing.


From the early 1970s, the 305th AREFS supported worldwide tanker task forces and military operations by deploying KC-135 aircraft to Europe (e. g. Torrejon AB, Spain), Alaska, Greenland, Southeast Asia (e.g. U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Air Station, Thailand) and the Pacific (e.g. Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam and Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii). The unit along with many others provided refuelling support for Operation Rolling Thunder and Operation Arc Light in SE Asia from 1965 to 1973. The unit later provided tanker refuelling support to units involved in the invasion of Grenada (October 1983) and the invasion of Panama (December 1989). Later in the 1990s the unit deployed personnel and aircraft to provide refuelling support for air operations to and in Southwest Asia and the Middle East. The squadron also delivered food to Kurdish Northern Iraq.

In the 1970s and 1980s Grissom was one of the largest tanker bases in the country. The 305th AREFS aircraft and crew participated every day in sustained alerts for SAC not only at Grissom but in support of bomber squadrons assigned to other SAC bases throughout the USA and Canada, e.g. Goose Bay Airport, McConnell Air Force Base, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Grand Forks Air Force Base and others. Its crews provided the primary refueling support for 3d Airborne Command and Control Squadron "Looking Glass" missions.

The typical crew consisted of a set pilot, co-pilot, navigator (officers) and boom operator (enlisted). Typical missions included refuelling for B-52s, EC-135s, F-4s, RF-4s, RC-135s, SR-71s, U-2s, F-104s, and F-105s. Missions oftentimes included passenger runs and cargo runs.




  • Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, 1 March 1943
  • Gowen Field, Idaho, 10 April 1943
  • Wendover Field, Utah, 17 April 1943
  • March Field, California, 1 December 1943 - 31 March 1944[2]
  • MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, 2 Jul 1951[8]
  • McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, 15 Jan 1960[9]
  • Bunker Hill Air Force Base (later Grissom Air Force Base), Indiana, 25 March 1965[10] - 20 August 1993



  1. ^ "Air Force Personnel Services: Unit Awards". Air Force Personnel Center. Retrieved 29 May 2017. (search)
  2. ^ a b c Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 682}
  3. ^ a b Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 662q, 19 Sep 85, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Tactical Squadrons
  4. ^ a b Kane, Robert B. (28 October 2010). "Factsheet 305 Operations Group (AMC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Ravenstein, pp. 150-151
  6. ^ a b Ravenstein, pp. 151-153
  7. ^ Ravenstein, p, 272
  8. ^ Mueller, p. 352
  9. ^ Mueller, p. 415
  10. ^ Mueller, p. 214


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

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