The 501st Combat Support Wing ensures two Air based groups spread across the UK and Norway are resourced, sustained, trained and equipped to exacting command standards in order to provide mission support that enables US and NATO war fighters to conduct full spectrum flying operations during expeditionary deployments, theater munitions movements, global command and control communications to forward deployed locations, support for theater intelligence operations and joint/combined training.
The wing was reactivated May 12, 2005, at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom, to provide better support to seven geographically-separated units in the U.K. and Norway. The 501st CSW relocated to Royal Air Force Alconbury, United Kingdom, May 1, 2007, to provide greater accessibility between the wing staff and its geographically-separated units.
422nd Medical Squadron
420th Air Base Squadron, RAF Fairford, UK
423rd Air Base Group, Headquartered at RAF Alconbury, UK
420th Munitions Squadron, RAF Welford, UK
423rd Force Support Squadron
423rd Communications Squadron
423rd Civil Engineer Squadron
423rd Security Forces Squadron
423rd Medical Squadron
426th Air Base Squadron, Stavanger, Norway
421st Air Base Squadron, RAF Menwith Hill, UK
The 501st Combat Support Wing traces its lineage and heritage back to the 501st Bombardment Group, Very Heavy, established May 25, 1944, and activated on June 1, 1944, at Dalhart Army Airfield, Texas. The unit moved to Harvard Army Airfield, Neb., on Aug. 22 and started training with the B-29, equipped with the APQ-7 radar for precision high-altitude all-weather bombing. Along with the other three groups of the 315th Bomb Wing, their mission was to finish taking out the Japanese oil refining, distribution and storage network. Deploying in April 1945 to new airfields built on Guam, crews flew 15 combat missions before the war ended, earning a Distinguished Unit Citation for attacks on the Maruzen oil refinery at Shimotsu, the Utsubo oil refinery at Yokkaichi, and the petroleum center at Kawasaki. 501st BG crews then flew numerous missions airdropping food and supplies for Allied prisoners in POW camps across Japan, Korea, Manchuria and China. The unit was inactivated on June 10, 1946.
The 701st Tactical Missile Wing was established Aug. 3, 1956, and activated on Sept. 15, 1956, at Hahn Air Base, Germany; the history and heritage of the 701st TMW and 501st TMW was consolidated in 1982. The first tactical missile wing in the U.S. Air Force when activated, it replaced the 738th Guided Missile Group (Tactical) and controlled three tactical missile groups, each with TM-61 Matador-equipped missile squadrons. In turn, the wing was inactivated on June 18, 1958, and replaced by 38th Tactical Missile Wing.
Redesignated the 501st Tactical Missile Wing on Jan. 11, 1982, it was activated on July 1, 1982 at RAF Greenham Common, UK as the first of what would be six Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) wings across USAFE operating the BGM-109G Gryphon GLCM. They performed this mission through signing of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1988, which resulted in their inactivation on May 31, 1991. They were redesignated as the 501st Combat Support Wing on March 22, 2005.
Distinguished Unit Citation (Japan)
July 6-13, 1945
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamers
Air Offensive, Japan
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Sept. 15, 1956-April 30, 1958
July 1, 1982 - June 30, 1984
July 1, 1987 - May 31, 1989
June 1, 1989 - May 31, 1991
Jan. 1, 2006 -Dec. 31, 2007
Capt. Harry L. Young - June 27, 1944
Lt. Col. Arch G. Campbell, Jr. - July 6, 1944
Col. Boyd Hubbard, Jr. - Aug. 11, 1944
Col. Vincent M. Miles, Jr. - April 15-May 20, 1946
Not filled -- May 21-June 10, 1946
Lt. Col. Robert F. Zachmann - Sept. 15, 1956
Col. Theodore H. Runyon -- Jan. 7, 1957-June 18, 1958
Col. Robert M. Thompson - July 1, 1982
Col. John Bacs - Jan. 25, 1985
Col. William E. Jones - June 2, 1987
Col. Richard P. Riddick - July 21, 1988
Col. Wendell S. Brande - Jan. 7-May 31, 1991
Col. Blake F. Lindner -- May 12, 2005 -June 20, 2007
Col. Kimberly K. Toney -- June 21, 2007 - May 14, 2009
Col. Timothy Cashdollar -- May 14, 2009 - March 17, 2011
Col. Brian T. Kelly -- March 17, 2011 - July 12, 2013
Col. Angela Cadwell -- July 12, 2013 - May 28, 2015
Col. Kevin P. Cullen -- May 28, 2015 - July 12, 2017
Col. William H. Kale IV -- July 12, 2017 - Present
B-29B Superfortress, 1944 -1946; TM-61C Matador, 1956 - 1958; BGM-109G Gryphon, 1982 - 1991
2,635 US/UK/Norway personnel - 893 active duty USAF - no assigned aircraft
Approved on July 27, 2005.
Quartered Or and Azure, in the second quarter, griffin counterchanged, langued and eyed Gules; in the third a torch between two laurel branches, all counterchanged, all within a diminished bordure Or.
(Current as of August 2017)