Feb. 23, 2007
The Air Force men's and women's basketball teams will honor the six Air and Space Expeditionary wings in the Air Force by wearing patches from each unit on their uniforms beginning with this weekend's action.
The Air and Space Expeditionary Force concept is the Air Force's vision for the 21st century to organize, train, equip and deploy forces for contingency operations while remaining ready to meet national crises. AEF also helps create a mindset and culture that embraces the unique characteristics of air and space power - range, speed, flexibility and precision. A typical AEF consists of a full spectrum of air and space capabilities and is balanced, flexible and sustainable. It is also tailored to meet combatant commander requirements. Military personnel that are deployed become a part of one of these six wings.
A detailed listing of each wing follows.
380th Air Expeditionary Wing: Located in the Southwest Asia Area of Responsibility, serves as both the enabler and force multiplier for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom to wage America's global war on terrorism.
455th Air Expeditionary Wing: Located in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan is responsible for flying airlift and strike missions from Bagram Airfield for Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit also provides 24-hour support and maintains the infrastructure necessary to conduct combat operations in Afghanistan.
379th Air Expeditionary Wing: Transitioned from a predominately fighter-based wing during Operation Iraqi Freedom to a multi-purpose wing. Once touted as "the largest concentration of coalition airpower in history," the wing now supports a wider range of missions including bomber, airlift, refueling and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as humanitarian airlift and aeromedical evacuation. The specific location of the wing is not releasable due to host-nation sensitivities.
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing: Located at Balad Air Base, in the southeastern corner of the Sunni Triangle. The mission of the wing is combat airpower for America - right here, right now. The wing is the most forward deployed Air Force Wing in the Iraq war and uses advanced weapons systems such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for close air support, traditional and non-traditional intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The heritage of the 332nd AEW is tied to the famous 332nd Fighter Group led by the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II.
376th Air Expeditionary Wing: Located in Manas International Airport, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, the wing is made up of 1,000 airmen representing more than 85 bases and covering every aspect of the Total Force: active duty, Guard, Reserves, civilians and contractors. The wing is responsible for providing air combat power projection throughout the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility, including tactical airlift and air refueling, principally in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
386th Air Expeditionary Wing: Located in Southwest Asia and can trace its roots to the deactivated 386th Bombardment Group. The wing has a diverse mission which canvases the CENTCOM AOR. The wing is the primary aerial hub for Operation Iraqi Freedom and provides airlift support for Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Horn of Africa. The wing is comprised of the 386th Expeditionary Maintenance, Mission Support, Medical and Operations Groups and the 586th Expeditionary Mission Support Group.