315th Airlift Wing Patch – Plastic Backing
A 4.1″W x 3.94″H squadron patch of the 315th Airlift Wing with plastic backing.
The 315th Airlift Wing (315 AW) is a wing of the United States Air Force Reserve. It is stationed at Joint Base Charleston, in the city of North Charleston, South Carolina, and operates the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. If mobilized, the unit would fall under control of Air Mobility Command.
The mission of the 315th Airlift Wing is to provide and deliver global combat-ready airlift, expeditionary combat support and aeromedical evacuation personnel as a source of augmentation for the active forces in any emergency expansion of the Air Force strategic and aeromedical airlift capabilities. Additionally, the Wing performs peacetime missions such as humanitarian airlift as part of the Denton Cargo Program and integrates with the active-duty 437th Airlift Wing and the 628th Air Base Wing in their normal Air Mobility Command operations and logistics missions. Both of these units are assigned to Joint Base Charleston, S.C.
For additional lineage and history, see: 315th Operations Group
Established as 315 Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, on 23 May 1952 under Far East Air Force in Japan. Activated on 10 Jun 1952. During the Korean War, the wing flew troop and cargo airlift and airdrop, leaflet drops, spray missions, air evacuation, search and rescue, and other aerial missions in theater as part of Far East Air Forces 315th Air Division. It remained in the Far East after the war to fly transport missions and paratroop training flights in Japan, Korea, French Indo-China, and other points until December 1954, after which it was again inactivated 18 Jan 1955.
Reactivated in 21 Feb 1966 under Pacific Air Forces, the unit was assigned to Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam. It engaged in special operations directly under Seventh Air Force in Saigon, operating C-123 Provider aircraft with Air Commando squadrons engaging in unconventional warfare. Moved to Phan Rang AB in 1967. Also operated UC-123 aerial spraying aircraft for Operation Ranch Hand defoliation missions over South Vietnam. Phased out special operations missions in 1970 and engaged in theater transport missions within South Vietnam. In 1971, became a training organization for Republic of Vietnam Air Force C-123 aircrews. Inactivated in March 1972.
Reactivated in 1973 as a heavy transport wing in the Air Force Reserve, operating the C-141 Starlifter aircraft, stationed alongside and using the same airframes as the active-duty 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. It has since trained Air Force Reserve aircrews for strategic airlift, including channel, special assignment, humanitarian, and combat airlift missions. In the 1980s and 1990s, personnel participated in contingency and humanitarian airlift operations and exercises worldwide. In 1994, the wing conducted the first C-17 Globemaster III flight with an all-Air Force Reserve crew. It also took part in the first combined U.S. – Russian exercise that year. The unit retired its last C-141 in 2001and has flown the C-17 exclusively since.