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The United States Air Force's 506th Air Expeditionary Group is a unit located at Kirkukmarker, Iraqmarker. The 506th AEG facilitates the reconstruction, operation, maintenance and defense of the base.


The 506th Air Expeditionary Group's mission is to facilitate the reconstruction, operation, maintenance and base defense of Kirkukmarker Regional Air Base in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and other U.S. Central Command contingency plans.


Approximately 900 active-duty Air Force, Guard and Reserve members are assigned to the 506th AEG during any given Air Expeditionary Force rotation. About 3,000 Soldiers are assigned to FOB Warrior.

The group's forces are organized under seven squadrons:

  • 506th Expeditionary Medical Services Squadron
  • 506th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron
  • 506th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron
  • 506th Expeditionary Logistic Readiness Squadron
  • 506th Expeditionary Communications Squadron
  • 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron
  • 506th Expeditionary Services Squadron

The 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron, Detachment 1 is also located at Kirkuk AB.



  • 506th Air Expeditionary Group
  • 506th Tactical Fighter Group
  • 506th Tactical Fighter Wing
  • 506th Fighter-Bomber Wing
  • 506th Fighter-Day Wing
  • 506th Strategic Fighter Wing
  • 506th Fighter Group

World War II

The 506th AEG traces its history back to the 506th Fighter Group, Single Engine, which was established on October 5, 1944 and activated on October 21, 1944, at Lakeland Army Air Field/Drane Fieldmarker, Florida. Flying the P-51 Mustang, the group trained in fighter formation flying, long range navigation and gunnery prior to deploying to Guam in March 1945. The group consisted of three squadrons: 457th, 458th and the 459th Fighter Squadrons.

The 506th served in the Western Pacific from March 1945 to December 1945. The group was assigned to the Twentieth Air Force VII Fighter Command, 301st Fighter Wing.

The group was stationed at North Field, Iwo Jima, from April 25, 1945 to December 3, 1945. From March 23, 1945, to May 11, 1945, the group's air echelon operated from West Field, Tinian. From Tinian the air echelon flew combat patrol missions under the control of Air Defense Command, Saipan, from March 28, 1945 to April 28, 1945. The air echelon joined the ground echelon at Iwo Jima in May 1945.

From Iwo Jima, the 506th's squadrons attacked airfields, antiaircraft emplacements, shipping, barracks, radio and radar stations, railway cars, and other targets in the Bonin Islands and Japan. The group also provided air defense of Iwo Jima and escorted B-29s bombers in raids against Japan.

In December 1945 the group moved to Camp Anza, California, and was inactivated December 16, 1945.

Cold War

The 506th Strategic Fighter Wing was established November 20, 1952, and activated January 20, 1953, at Dow Air Force Basemarker, Maine. It was redesignated three times - 506th Fighter-Day Wing, 506th Fighter-Bomber Wing and 506th Tactical Fighter Wing - between 1957 and 1959.

As a fighter wing, the 506th provided air defense from Dow AFB between 1953 and 1955 and from Tinker Air Force Basemarker, Oklahoma, starting in March 1955. The 506th flew the F-84 Thunderjet from 1953 to 1957. From August to November 1953, the 506th provided air defense of northern Japan while deployed to Misawa Air Base, Japan. The group started flying the F-100 Super Sabre in 1957. From 1957 to 1958 the 506th participated in tactical exercises and rotated squadrons to Europe. It was inactivated on April 1, 1959.

The 506th was redesignated the 506th Tactical Fighter Group on May 4, 1972 and activated in the Air Force Reserve on July 8, 1972 at Carswell Air Force Basemarker, Texas. During that time, the 506th trained in F-105 Thunderchief fighter operations. The group was inactivated on March 25, 1973.

506th Strategic Fighter Wing

  • Established on: 20 November 1952.
  • Activated on: 20 January 1953.
  • At: Dow AFB, ME.
  • Assigned to: Strategic Air Command, Eighth Air Force, (Attached to 39th Air Division (Defense) from 13 August to 7 November 1953)
  • Equipment: F-84s.
  • Changed equipment in: 1954 to F-84s, KB-29s.
  • Moved to: Tinker AFB, OK on 20 March 1955.
  • Reassigned to: Second Air Force on 1 April 1955.
  • Changed equipment in: 1955 to F-84s.
  • Reassigned to: Ninth Air Force on 1 July 1957.

Trained as a strategic fighter wing, charged with providing air defense and escort, Apr. 1953-Jun. 1957.

Global War On Terrorism

The 506th was redesignated the 506th Air Expeditionary Group and converted to provisional status on April 22, 2003, and assigned to Kirkuk AB. The group has been supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom ever since.

The 506th Air Expeditionary Group was assigned to Kirkuk Regional Air Base on April 23, 2003, nearly one month after Operation Iraqi Freedom started. At that time, the group flew A-10 Thunderbolts, which flew close air support and focused intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The last A-10 departed the base in the Spring of 2004.

See also


  • Endicott, Judy G. (1999) Active Air Force wings as of 1 October 1995; USAF active flying, space, and missile squadrons as of 1 October 1995. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. CD-ROM.
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.
  • 506th Air Expeditionary Group at

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