Travis Air Force Base

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Travis Air Force Base
Air Mobility Command.png

Part of Air Mobility Command (AMC)
Travis AFB CA - 12 June 1993.jpg
12 June 1993
SUU - FAA airport diagram.gif
FAA airport diagram
Summary
Airport type Military: Air Force Base
Owner U.S. Air Force
Location Fairfield, California
Built 1942
Commander Col Klien
Occupants 60th Air Mobility Wing
Elevation AMSL 62 ft / 19 m
Coordinates 38°15′46″N 121°55′39″W / 38.26278°N 121.92750°W / 38.26278; -121.92750
Website public.travis.amc.af.mil
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
3L/21R 11,001 3,353 PEM
3R/21L 10,992 3,350 Concrete
Sources: official web site[1] and FAA[2]

Travis Air Force Base (IATA: SUUICAO: KSUUFAA LID: SUU) is a United States Air Force air base under the operational control of the Air Mobility Command (AMC), located three miles (5 km) east of the central business district of Fairfield, in Solano County, California, United States.[2]

Situated in the San Francisco Bay Area and known as the "Gateway to the Pacific", Travis Air Force Base handles more cargo and passenger traffic through its airport than any other military air terminal in the United States. The base has a long and proud history of supporting humanitarian airlift operations at home and around the world. Today, Travis AFB includes approximately 7,260 active USAF military personnel, 4,250 Air Force Reserve personnel and 3,770 civilians.[3]

Travis AFB has a major impact on the community as a number of military families and retirees have chosen to make Fairfield their permanent home. Travis AFB is the largest employer in the City and Solano County as well, and the massive Travis workforce has a local economic impact of more than $1 billion annually. The Base also contributes a large number of highly skilled people to the local labor pool. [3]

The base’s host unit, the 60th Air Mobility Wing, is the largest wing in the Air Force's Air Mobility Command, with a versatile fleet of 26 C-5 Galaxies, 27 KC-10 Extenders, and 13 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.

In addition, the base's former Strategic Air Command Alert Facility is now a U.S. Navy complex that typically supports 2 transient Navy E-6B Mercury TACAMO aircraft assigned to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron THREE (VQ-3) Detachment and normally home-based at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma.

The base is also host to David Grant USAF Medical Center, a 265-bed, $200 million Air Force teaching hospital, which serves both in-service and retired military personnel.[3][4]

Museum

Travis AFB also plays host to the Jimmy Doolittle Air & Space Museum, one of the largest collections of military aircraft on the west coast.

Museum of Military Aviation History: The Museum has a representative collection of American military aircraft from various periods: fighters, bombers, trainers, cargo and liaison aircraft. Its exhibits showcase Jimmy Doolittle and the Tokyo Raiders, the 15th AF in WW II, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Consairways story, the Berlin Airlift, and the history of Travis AFB with special emphasis on the Korean war, the Vietnam war and other significant military missions.

Additional Attractions: Other exhibits include a space capsule for children, air force uniforms, the nose of a WWII glider, WWII aircraft recognition models, a Link Trainer, aircraft engines, and the cockpits of a T-28, a T-37, and an F-100.

History

Originally named Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base, construction began on Travis in 1942. Originally, medium attack bombers were supposed to be stationed at the base. The United States Navy had aircraft at the base for training, but this proved temporary. In October 1942, the War Department assigned the base to the Air Transport Command. The base's primary mission during World War II was ferrying aircraft and supplies to the Pacific Theater.

Following the end of World War II and the establishment of the U.S. Air Force as a separate service in 1947, the installation was renamed Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base.

On 1 May 1949, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) became the parent major command for Travis AFB, turning it into a major long-range reconnaissance and intercontinental bombing installation for the 9th Bomb Group/9th Bomb Wing. For the next nine years, airlift operations became secondary while Travis served as home for SAC bombers such as the B-29 Superfortress, B-36 Peacemaker, and eventually, the B-52 Stratofortress. During this period, new hangers appeared, runways were added and widened, and permanent barracks and family living quarters were built.[5]

The base was renamed Travis Air Force Base in 1951 for Brigadier General Robert F. Travis, who was killed when a B-29 Superfortress crashed on 5 August 1950. The ensuing fire caused the 10,000 pounds of high explosives in the plane's cargo — a Mark 4 nuclear weapon — to detonate, killing General Travis and 18 others. (The bomb's plutonium pit was being transported in a different plane.) [6]

The Military Air Transport Service (MATS) resumed command of Travis AFB on 1 July 1958, after SAC's new dispersal policy led to the transfer of the 14th Air Division to Beale AFB, California and the 1501st Air Transport Wing (Heavy) became the host unit. On 1 January 1966, MATS was redesignated as the Military Airlift Command (MAC) and on 6 January 1966, the 60th Military Airlift Wing (60 MAW) replaced the 1501st ATW as the host unit.

As Travis was an important SAC base, it received anti-aircraft defenses in the 1950s. The 436th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion was active by 1955. The 436th AAAB was redesignated as an antiaircraft artillery missile battalion on 5 January 1957 and subsequently occupied four Nike Ajax sites, which went to 1st Missile Battalion, 61st Artillery on 1 September 1958. Controlling the SAMs was the 29th Artillery Group (Air Defense).[7]

Over the next three decades, Travis would become known as the "Gateway to the Pacific" in its role as the principal military airlift hub in the western United States. Initially equipped with legacy C-124 Globemaster and C-133 Cargomaster aircraft from the 1501st, the year 1966 would also see the 60 MAW introduce the Air Force's new all-jet heavy airlifter, the C-141 Starlifter. In 1969, the 349th Military Airlift Wing (349 MAW) of the Air Force Reserve (AFRES) was also established as an "Associate" wing to the 60 MAW, with both units sharing the same aircraft and eventually seamlessly mixing flight crews, maintenance crews and other support personnel. In 1970, the 60 MAW and 349 MAW (Assoc) would also begin concurrently operating the Air Force's largest airlift aircraft, the C-5 Galaxy. In 1991, the 60 MAW was redesignated as the 60th Airlift Wing (60 AW) and the 349 MAW was redesignated as the 349th Airlift Wing (349 AW) the following year.

In 1992, with the reorganization of the Air Force following the end of the Cold War, Military Airlift Command (MAC) was inactivated and Travis came under the control of the newly-established Air Mobility Command (AMC). With the concurrent inactivation of Strategic Air Command (SAC) and the transfer of most of SAC's air refueling aircraft to AMC, the 60 AW gained KC-10 Extender aircraft that had been previously assigned to March AFB, California. With the inclusion of an aerial refueling mission into its long-time strategic airlift mission, the 60 AW and the 349 AW were redesignated as the 60th Air Mobility Wing (60 AMW) and the 349th Air Mobility Wing (349 AMW), the designations they continues to hold today. In 1997, the 349 AMW (Assoc) also became part of the newly-established Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) while remaining operationally "gained" by AMC.

In 1997, the 60 AMW also shed its C-141 aircraft, which were transferred to other Air Force, AFRC and Air National Guard (ANG) wings, while retaining its C-5 and KC-10 aircraft. In 2006, the 60 AMW and 349 AMW (Assoc) again acquired a third aircraft type in their inventory with the arrival of the C-17 Globemaster III.

Maintenance Squadrons at Travis AFB

60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Provides combat-ready maintenance personnel and organizational support to inspect, service, and repair 26 assigned C-5 aircraft, and maintenance support for Transient Alert. Generates 24-hour-a-day strategic airlift to support four flying squadrons and ensures readiness of personnel and equipment for deployment. Maintains mission ready aircraft capable of worldwide strategic airlift supporting AMC's global mission.

660th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Provides combat-ready maintenance personnel and organizational support to inspect, service, and repair all transient and 27 assigned KC-10A aircraft, 46% of DOD's inventory. Generates aerial refueling and strategic airlift to support flying activities of four aerial refueling squadrons. Ensures readiness of personnel and equipment for deployment. Maintains mission capable aircraft supporting AMC's global mission.

60th Equipment Maintenance Squadron

Provides organizational and field-level aircraft maintenance, repair, and manufacture capability for effective on- and off-equipment maintenance, inspection and refurbishment of 26 C-5 and 27 KC-10 aircraft. Inspects, services, and overhauls aerospace ground equipment worth over $8 million. Manages and stores all base munitions. Provides mission capable aircraft in direct support of AMC’s global mission.

60th Component Maintenance Squadron

Inspects, services, and overhauls aircraft fuel systems for 26 C-5, 13 C-17 and 27 KC-10 aircraft. Maintains avionic, hydraulic, electrical and environmental system components for C-5 and C-17 aircraft. Operates the west coast TF39 Engine Regional Repair Center. Calibrates and repairs over 8,800 items in a regional Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment Laboratory. Directly supports AMC’s global reach mission for AMC’s largest wing.

60th Maintenance Operations Squadron

Provides critical support for the maintenance, modification and scheduling of 26 C-5 and 27 KC-10 aircraft valued at $9B. Controls maintenance actions and manages all aircraft and mission statistics. Manages $340M in real property and provides group-level mobility support for AMC's largest wing. Develops and executes aircraft/ancillary training and provides aircraft maintenance training support for the Pacific Rim.

860th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Provides combat-ready maintenance personnel and organizational support to inspect, service, and repair 13 assigned C-17A aircraft, and maintenance support for Transient Alert. Generates 24-hour-a-day strategic airlift to support two flying squadrons and ensures readiness of personnel and equipment for deployment. Maintains mission ready aircraft capable of worldwide strategic airlift supporting AMC's global mission.


Hosted commands

See also

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  1. ^ Travis Air Force Base, official web site
  2. ^ a b FAA Airport Master Record for SUU (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-12-20
  3. ^ a b c Fairfield Economic Development: Travis AFB
  4. ^ David Grant USAF Medical Center
  5. ^ Travis AFB, California - SAC - Wing ? - B-29, B-36, B-52 - check web site
  6. ^ B29 Crash at Travis AFB
  7. ^ "Travis Defense Area". California Military Museum. Retrieved 2017-10-22. 

External links

  • Travis AFB Information (unofficial site)
  • Travis Air Museum (JDASM Foundation)
  • Jimmy Doolittle Air & Space Museum (JDASM Foundation)
  • FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective December 7, 2017
  • Resources for this U.S. military airport:
    • FAA airport information for SUU
    • AirNav airport information for KSUU
    • ASN accident history for SUU
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart for KSUU


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