89th Airlift Wing
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleSpecial Air Mission Airlift
Part ofAir Mobility Command
Garrison/HQJoint Base Andrews, Maryland
Motto(s)Experto crede
(Latin: "Trust one who has had experience"[1])
Global War on Terrorism
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award[2]
Colonel Angela F. Ochoa[3]
Arthur Lichte
Jacqueline Van Ovost
89th Airlift Wing emblem (approved 15 September 1993)[2]
89th Military Airlift Wing emblem (approved 22 June 1989)[1]
Patch with 89th Military Airlift Wing emblem (approved 28 April 1966)[4][note 1]
Patch with 89th Fighter-Bomber Wing emblem (approved 12 March 1953)[5]

The 89th Airlift Wing of the United States Air Force is based at Joint Base Andrews and has an operational force of over 1,000 personnel. The 89th provides global Special Air Mission (SAM) airlift, logistics, aerial transport and communications for the president, vice president, combatant commanders, senior leaders and the global mobility system as tasked by the White House, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Air Mobility Command.



Activation in the reserve and Korean War mobilization

The wing was first activated as the 89th Troop Carrier Wing at Hanscom Field, Massachusetts in June 1949,[2] when Continental Air Command reorganized its reserve tactical units under the wing base organization. The wing drew its cadre from the 3d Air Division, which was simultaneously inactivated.[7]

The wing trained at Hanscom under the supervision of the 2234th Air Force Reserve Training Center[7] for troop carrier operations. Although its 89th Troop Carrier Group was assigned four squadrons, rather than the three authorized for active duty groups, it was only manned at 25% of its authorized strength.[8]

The 89th, along with all reserve combat units, was mobilized for the Korean war.[9] It was called to active duty on 1 May 1951 and its personnel and aircraft were distributed to other organizations to bring them to full strength.[10] The wing was inactivated on 10 May 1951.[2]

Reserve fighter operations

The reserve mobilization for the Korean War left the reserve without aircraft, and reserve units did not receive aircraft until July 1952.[11] Continental Air Command redesignated the wing the 89th Fighter-Bomber Wing and activated it at Hanscom, where it drew its personnel from the 913th Reserve Training Wing, a non-flying training organization, which had been activated at Hanscom in July 1951.[2][7] Although titled a fighter bomber unit, the wing initially had an air defense role, only later assuming a tactical fighter mission. [12] The wing initially equipped with propeller-driven North American P-51 Mustangs, but in 1953 began to equip with Lockheed P-80 Shooting Stars. By 1957 it began to receive North American F-86 Sabres.[2]

In the mid-1950s, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were pressuring the Air Force to provide more wartime airlift. At the same time, about 150 Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars became available from the active force. Consequently, in November 1956 the Air Force directed Continental Air Command to convert three reserve fighter bomber wings, including the 89th, to the troop carrier mission by September 1957. In addition, within the Air Staff was a recommendation that the reserve fighter mission given to the Air National Guard and replaced by the troop carrier mission.[13] Although the wing began to receive Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars in 1957, it was inactivated in November and its personnel and equipment were transferred to the 94th Troop Carrier Wing, which moved on paper to Hanscom from Dobbins Air Force Base, Georgia.[2][14]

Special Mission airlift

In January 1966, wing assumed the personnel and equipment of 1254th Air Transport Wing and served as a special mission airlift wing charged with providing worldwide airlift for the Executive Department and high-ranking dignitaries of the U.S. Government and of foreign governments, as directed. (In taking over the special airlift mission, it replaced the 1254th Air Transport Wing, which had previously undertaken the task at Andrews from 1 October 1948 to 1966.)[15] It assumed an additional mission of controlling all T-39 administrative airlift within the United States from 1975 to 1978 and continued maintenance support to 1984. It gained a helicopter squadron in July 1976 and added rescue and medical evacuation (in the Washington, D.C. area) to its mission. In October 1976, the wing began training C-12 pilots for units in Alaska and Germany, and for duty with defense attaché offices and military assistance units.

The 89th was reduced in size in 1977 through transfer of many aircraft and inactivation of units, and became a group on 30 September 1977. The 89th was redesignated in 1980 as a selectively manned wing. In addition to primary mission of airlifting the president, vice president, cabinet members, other high U.S. government officials, and foreign dignitaries, the wing frequently participated in humanitarian missions in the U.S. and abroad. It provided transport for personnel and supplies to Southwest Asia from 1990 to 1991. In 1991, the 89th airlifted home 20 former prisoners of war from Iraqi captivity. It became host wing of Andrews Air Force Base in July 1991 and subsequently relinquished that responsibility to the 316th Wing in 2006.


Activated in the reserve on 27 June 1949
Ordered to active service on 1 May 1951
Inactivated on 10 May 1951
Activated in the reserve on 14 June 1952
Inactivated on 16 November 1957
Organized on 8 January 1966
Redesignated 89th Military Airlift Group on 30 September 1977
Redesignated 89th Military Airlift Wing on 15 December 1980
Redesignated 89th Airlift Wing on 12 July 1991[2]



President Obama posing with members of the Presidential Logistics Squadron in 2015





Honors and awards

Service streamers:

Meritorious Unit Award:

Air and Space Outstanding Unit Awards:



Explanatory notes
  1. ^ When the 89th Wing replaced the 1254th Air Transport Wing in 1966, it adopted the emblem approved for the 1254th Wing on 8 September 1955.
  1. ^ a b Endicott, p. 207
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Lahue, Melissa (3 March 2022). "89 Airlift Wing (AMC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  3. ^ "Joint Base Andrews Leadership". Andrews Air Force Base. Retrieved 16 December 2023.
  4. ^ Ravenstein, pp. 122-123
  5. ^ Maurer, Combat Units, pp. 154-155
  6. ^ "Presidential Airlift Group (AMC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  7. ^ a b c See Mueller, p. 225
  8. ^ Cantwell, p. 74
  9. ^ Cantwell, p. 87
  10. ^ Cantwell, p. 137
  11. ^ Cantwell, p. 139
  12. ^ Cantwell, p. 152
  13. ^ Cantwell, p. 168
  14. ^ Ravenstein, pp. 132-133
  15. ^ "89th Airlift Wing". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
  16. ^ Lahue, Melissa (8 March 2022). "89 Airlift Support Group (AMC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  17. ^ Air Mobility Command Order GB-011 A1, 2019


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency