1970 - Present

On 15 Jan 1971 the 434th was reactivated at Grissom AFB, Peru, Indiana as a Special Operations Wing, flying A-37 aircraft. Two years later the Wing was redesignated as the 434th Tactical Fighter Wing with a new tactical air operation mission. In April 1981, the 434th received the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. The wing maintained its A-10 fighter mission until July 1987 when the unit was redesignated the 434th Air Refueling Wing (ARW).

The 434th was recalled to active duty for the Gulf War in 1990 and helped form one of the world's largest tanker forces. Operating out of western Saudi Arabia, the 434th and its partners flew more than 7,000 refueling missions, offloading fuel to more than 25,000 receiver aircraft. During the Gulf War, 434th "Hoosier Wing" members earned three bronze stars and 29 Air Medals in addition to numerous commendation medals.

In June, 1992, the 434th Air Refueling Wing and the 930th Fighter Group (another Air Force Reserve unit located at Grissom AFB), merged to form the very first reserve composite wing. The new unit, the 434th Wing, consisted of KC-135 Stratotanker and A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft and was responsible for aerial refueling and close air support missions. Changes in the Air Force mission led to the unit being reorganized once again. In 1994, the unit's A-10 squadron was deactivated and the unit designation reverted back to the 434th Air Refueling Wing.

More recently, the 434th ARW traveled to such countries as Panama, Iceland, England, France, Italy, Australia, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Venezuela to participate in exercises and front-line operations. During the December 1993 to May 1996 time period, the Wing staged three separate deployments to Europe to support Operation Decisive Endeavor, the United Nations' enforcement of the no-fly zone over war-torn Bosnia. Deployment sites included Istres, France; Aviano, Italy, and Piza, Italy. During one such 30 day deployment, the unit flew 178 aerial refueling missions and offloaded 8,970,000 pounds of fuel to 1,237 receiver aircraft.

The 434th ARW is currently composed of two Air Refueling Squadrons, the 72nd and 74th, each with KC-135R Stratotankers. The wing is the largest air refueling wing in the Air Force Reserve.

9th Troop Carrier Command | Evolution of the 434th in WW II | Korea 1950 - 1953

Cuban Missile Crisis | Vietnam 1968 - 1969 | 1970 - Present

Lineage of the 434th | Guest Book

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History of the the 434th