Fort Eustis, VA (Joint Base Langley-Eustis)

The Joint Base Langley-Eustis was formed and unified in January 2010. The two military facilities were joined together only recently but each one has existed for quite some time already. The 633rd Air Base Wing and Joint Base Langley-Eustis was formed to conform to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

633rd Air Base Wing

The 633rd Air Base Wing goes all the way back to March 14, 1966, when it was first established. It was then part of the 13th Air Force that was part of the Pacific Air Forces designated in South Vietnam and Guam. The 633rd Air Base was very active in the campaigns and air offensives during the Vietnam War. It was very visible in Operations Arc Light, the deployment of bombers from US bases to Guam. The Operation Arc Light was mobilized to support the heated war in Vietnam. The conventional bombs were initially deployed at around June 18, 1965. Operation Bullet Shot was executed in 1972 to counter the influx of North Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam. Operation Linebacker was also conducted around the same time, to deter the flow of supplies needed to invade South Vietnam.

The 633rd Air Base Wing aligned under the 13th Air Force in October 1, 1989 and moved on to become the host unit. Its personnel were involved in shipping at least 37,000 tons of munitions to the Persian Gulf as part of the Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Operation Desert Shield was launched to prevent the invasion of Saudi Arabia in Kuwait. Desert Storm was a U.S.-led operation to help Kuwait from the invasion for forces of Iraq. The 633rd Air Base Wing successfully shipped more than 30,000 tons of munitions and sent 2,200 of cargo aboard at least 200 aircraft.  633rd Air Base Wing was also involved in helping out in the relief operations in the Philippines in 1991, when Mt. Pinatubo erupted. They helped about 20,000 American citizen evacuees and 1,100 pets.

The 633rd Air Base Wing as inactivated in 1994 but was reactivated in 2010 by the 9th AF to become a host unit for Langley AFB in Virginia The 633rd Air Base Wing played a major role in joining Langley Air Force Base and U.S. Army Fort Eustis. It is the link of the Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

Interesting Link between Langley AFB and Fort Eustis

A bright future was brewing ahead when Langley Air Force Base and Fort Eustis were combined to become Joint Base Langley-Eustis. The Joint Base Langley-Eustis accommodates more than 18,000 people from the Air Force and Army. They are responsible for various missions involving, transportation, fighting, and training missions.

However, even before 2010, there was already a prominent link between Langley AFB and Fort Eustis. According to historical records, Langley used Fort Eustis as a bombing range. Langley AFBs AAF Antisubmarine Command dropped bombs in Fort Eustis (located north of Langley). There were some casualties in the Second World War that threatened to disrupt the populate sections of Eustis. One entry in a World WII diary stated that in November 15, 1945, some bombers dropped several 100-lb. bombs near the storage section of ammunitions. There were some bombs that exploded near a farm along the outskirts of the post. Bombs were also dropped accidentally from a Langley plane on a particular Barracks T418 and Tactical Motor Pool. Frequent bomb runs caused damages to several buildings in Fort Eustis. This compelled Fort Eustis post commander Col. A.C. Gardner to ask commanding officer Col. Eugene A. Lohman of Langley field to stop the bombing runs. The bombing finally stopped in 1944. Currently, a restoration program is surveying the munition areas in Fort Eustis to do a clean-up of the almost 70-year old remains of the bombs and their remnants.

Organization of Joint Base Langley-Eustis

The support unit of the 633rd Air Base Wing is accommodated by the Mission Support Groups and Medical Group. They also support units on the base such as the 1sr Fighter Wing, 192D Fighter Wing, and the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnoissance Wing.

The 633rd Air Force Base is answerable to both Air Force and Army units. The responsibilities of this Air Force Base are a product of the joint-basing initiative by the congress. It has its own staff, medical group (e.g. medical operations squadron, dental squadron), mission support group (e.g. civil engineering squadron, contracting squadron, logistics readiness squadron, force support squadron), and the 733rd mission support group.

The Joint Base Langley-Eustis also has a 1st Fighter Wing, which was a host unit at the Langley Air Force Base from June 30, 1975 to Jan. 7, 2010. The 1st Fighter Wing is responsible for maintaining the F-22 Raptor, a fighter aircraft with versatile capabilities. The Wing stands by their mission to: Train, organize, and equip expeditionary Airmen; deploy, fight, and win; provide world class support to Team Langley. It has two groups: the 1st Operations Group and the 1st Maintenance Group. You will find eight squadrons that are divided into two 1 FW groups. the 27th Fighter Squadron (Fighting Eagles) and the 94th Fighter Squadron (Hat-in-the-Ring Gang).

The 480th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing, or the 480 ISR Wing, is considered the Air Force leader in ISR operations. This wing operates the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System or AF DCGS. It has at least 45 networked sites that are separated geographically. They are responsible for processing, analysis, and dissemination of data in their area of responsibility. However, weaponry can be maneuvered outside the area of responsibility accurately too. The ISR group has several units in the country and in some parts of the globe Virginia, Georgia, California, Hawaii, Germany, and South Korea.

The 192D Fighter Wing flies the F-22 Raptor in the base. They have four main groups 192D Operations group, 192D Maintenance group, 192D Medical group, and 192 Mission Support Group.  Finally, there are different subgroups for the Langley Associate Units Air Combat Command, Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 201 (criminal and counterintelligence services), and Langley Composite Squadron.

Speak Your Mind