455 AEW

455th Air Expeditionary Wing

The 455th Air Expeditionary Wing (455 AEW) is an air expeditionary wing of the U.S. Air Force assigned to Bagram AB in Afghanistan. Most of the wing personnel are located at the Air Force Village known as Camp Cunningham.


The wing's primary mission is to support the Global War on Terrorism by providing aerial support for U.S. and Coalition forces on the ground.

Activated in 2001, the 455th is the only Air Force wing in Afghanistan and has members deployed throughout the country supporting the Operation Enduring Freedom.


The wing consists of six groups:

  • 455th Expeditionary Operations Group

The operations group is responsible for all expeditionary flying and aeromedical evacuation operations for the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. The group oversees the day-to-day operations of one active-duty F-15E fighter squadron, one active-duty A-10 squadron, one National Guard C-130 airlift squadron, and an active-duty Navy electronic attack flying squadron. The EOG also has administrative control over an active-duty EC-130 electronic combat squadron. In addition, the operations group oversees a range of support functions such as airfield management and operations for both Bagram and Kabul, air traffic control, intelligence, weather, and a medical clinic that serves the wing.

  • 455th Expeditionary Mission Support Group

The group provides combat-ready aircraft and munitions to the air component commander in support of coalition forces throughout Afghanistan. The group is comprised of two squadrons responsible for on- and off-aircraft maintenance and sortie generation of F-15E fighter, A-10 attack and C-130 tactical airlift aircraft, as well as launch, recovery, and servicing support for military and commercial transient aircraft.

  • 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Group

The group provides a wide range of services for the air component commander in support of coalition forces throughout Afghanistan. The group is comprised of four squadrons responsible for personnel accountability, manpower resources, services for laundry, billeting, morale and welfare, communications, airfield management, security for aircraft and personnel, local national force protection escorts, fuels, vehicle maintenance, logistics planning, passenger terminal operations and air terminal operations.

  • 455th Expeditionary Medical Group

The group is the Air Force component for Task Force Med, which provides combat medical and combat medical support services to U.S. and coalition forces throughout Afghanistan. Along with the U.S. Army, the 455 EMDG staffs Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram.

  • 755th Air Expeditionary Group

The group supports Installation Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations across Afghanistan with essential resources to strengthen security and build a solid infrastructure. It provides Provincial Reconstruction Teams, Embedded Training Teams and Brigade Support Teams with services including security forces, explosive ordinance disposal, civil engineering, contracting, communications, medical, intelligence, legal and logistics support to train local officials and rebuild the country.

  • 451st Air Expeditionary Group

Located at Kandahar, Afghanistan
The group is responsible for air control of the southern region of Afghanistan, launch and recovery operations for the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper aircraft, the employment of combat search and rescue forces throughout the entire country and ground security and defense of the airfield. Also, the 451 AEG/CC serves as the Senior Airfield Authority, reporting to NATO and orchestrating the intentions of 11 NATO-ISAF allies operating over 100 additional aircraft. Included in the group are safety, logistics, communications, civil engineer, weather, services, and airfield management flights.

Aircraft Operated



  • Constituted as 455th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 May 1943

Activated on 1 Jun 1943
Inactivated on 9 Sep 1945

  • Redesignated 455th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy)

Activated on 25 Mar 1947
Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949

  • Established as 455th Fighter-Bomber Wing on 23 Mar 1953

455th Fighter-Day Group activated on 25 Jul 1956
Group inactivated 18 November 1956
Redesignated 455th Strategic Missile Wing (ICBM—Minuteman), and activated, on 28 Jun 1962
Organized on 1 Nov 1962.
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 Jun 1968

  • Redesignated 455th Air Expeditionary Wing in 2001

Activated in 2001


304th Bombardment Wing: 25 Jan 1944-9 Sep 1945

(ADC made a subordinate organization of Continental Air Command, 1 Dec 1948)
Fourth Air Force
25 Air Defense (later, 25 Air) Division, 25 Mar 1947 - 27 Jun 1949

Ninth Air Force, 25 Jul - 18 November 1956
455th Fighter-Day Group assigned to 342d Fighter Day Wing

810th Strategic Aerospace Division, 1 Nov 1962-25 Jun 1968.
Assigned to: Fifteenth Air Force, 1 Nov 1962 - 1 Jul 1963, 2 Jul 1966 - 25 Jun 1968
Assigned to: Second Air Force, 1 Jul 1963 - 2 Jul 1966

United States Central Command Air Forces (CENTAF)
Combined Joint Task Force-82/Regional Command-East



1943 - 1945; 1947 - 1949; 1956; 1962 - 1968

1943 - 1945; 1947 - 1949; 1956; 1962 - 1968

1943 - 1945; 1947 - 1949; 1956; 1962 - 1968

Aircraft and Missiles Assigned

Operational History

World War II

Constituted as 455th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 May 1943. Activated on 1 Jun 1943. Trained with B-24’s.

Moved to Italy, arriving in Jan and Feb 1944. Served in combat with Fifteenth AF from Feb 194 to Apr 1945. Engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets such as factories, marshalling yards, oil refineries, storage areas, harbors, and airdromes in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, and the Balkans.

Received a DUC for a mission on 2 Apr 1944 when the group contributed to Fifteenth AF’s campaign against enemy industry by attacking a ball-bearing plant at Steyr. Although meeting severe fighter opposition and losing several of its bombers on 26 Jun 1944, the group proceeded to attack an oil refinery at Moosbierbaum, receiving another DUC for this performance.

In addition to strategic missions in the Balkans, the group bombed troop concentrations, bridges, marshalling yards, and airdromes during the fall of 1944 to hamper the enemy’s withdrawal from the region. The group also supported ground forces at Anzio and Cassino in Mar 1944; knocked out gun positions in preparation for the invasion of Southern France in Aug 1944; and assisted the final Allied drive through Italy in Apr 1945 by hitting such targets as bridges, gun positions, and troop concentrations.

Inactivated in Italy on 9 SeP 1945.

Cold War

Redesignated 455th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Allotted to the reserve. Activated in the US on 25 Mar 1947 as B-29 Superfortress unit. Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949. Unclear if group was ever equipped or manned.

Assigned to Tactical Air Command. 455th Fighter-Day Wing established in 1953 but never activated. 455th Fighter-Day Group activated with assigned figher squadrons and assigned to 342d Fighter Day Wing at Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina on 25 Jul 1956 but never manned or equipped. Inactivated on 18 November 1956 along with 342d FDW with all assets being absorbed into 354th Fighter-Day Wing activated that date.

Reassigned to Strategic Air Command as the 455th Strategic Missile Wing and prepared for operational capability with intercontinental ballistic missiles from November 1962 to March 1964 at Minot AFB. The first Minuteman missile arrived on September 6, 1963, and was replaced three days later. The 150th, and final missile was replaced on February 26, 1964, and by late March the wing became combat ready. The 455th SMW maintained combat readiness until replaced by the 91st Strategic Missile Wing in June 1968. The 455th SMW was deactivated on June 25, 1968.


  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings: Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947-1977 (Washington: USGPO, 1984)
  • Rogers, B. (2006). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. ISBN: 1-85780-197-0
  • World Airpower Journal. (1992). US Air Force Air Power Directory. Aerospace Publishing: London, UK. ISBN: 1-880588-01-3

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