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Langley Air Force Base History

The 633d Air Base Wing has a storied, historic and distinguished history.

Originally designated the 633d Combat Support Group, it was established and activated March 14, 1966, and organized April 8, 1966.

It was originally assigned to the 13th Air Force as part of the Pacific Air Forces at Pleiku Air Base, South Vietnam, and later at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

During the Vietnam War, Airmen of the 633d ABW participated in numerous campaigns, air offensives and Operations Arc Light, Bullet Shot and Linebacker.

On Oct. 1, 1989, the wing aligned under the 13th Air Force, and activated at Andersen AFB, Guam, becoming the host unit, providing services for various tenant units. This marked the transfer of Andersen AFB’s control from Strategic Air Command to PACAF.

In August 1990, 633d ABW personnel began shipping more than 37,000 tons of munitions to forces in the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm--more than 30,000 tons went by sealift, and more than 2,200 troops and 2,200 tons of cargo were processed aboard 200 aircraft.

Personnel assigned to the 633d ABW cared for more than 20,000 American evacuees and 1,100 pets, during Operation Fiery Vigil, following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines in 1991.

On Oct. 1, 1994, the 633d ABW was inactivated and the 36th ABW was activated in keeping with the policy of the Air Force Chief of Staff to maintain the most highly decorated and longest-serving Air Force units on active-duty. The 36th ABW was inactivated at Bitburg AB, Germany, that same day.

On Jan. 7, 2010, the 9th AF - now the 15th AF - reactivated the 633d ABW and declared it to be the host unit for Langley AFB, Va. Fifteenth Air Force activated Aug. 20, integrating wings and direct reporting units from 12th Air Force and Ninth Air Force to form a new numbered air force responsible for generating and presenting Air Combat Command’s conventional forces.

On Jan. 29, 2010, the 633d ABW became the link in the joint basing initiative between Langley AFB and the U.S. Army’s Fort Eustis, which we call today Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

In 2017, 633d ABW personnel supported Puerto Rico humanitarian relief efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Maria.

  • Founded in 1916
  • First mission was flown in 1917
  • Named after Samuel Pierpont Langley, aviation pioneer
  • The 27th Fighter Squadron is one of the oldest fighter squadrons in the United States
  • Eddie Rickenbacker, WWII's top flying ace, flew with the 94th Fighter Squadron
  • Retirees: Approx. 56,000
  • Active duty: Approx. 15,000
  • Guard/Reserve: Approx. 2,100
  • DOD employees: Approx. 5,000
  • Non-Appropriated Fund employees: Approx. 1,190
  • Family members: Approx. 27,256
  • Housing units: Langley AFB: Approx. 1,189; Fort Eustis: Approx. 880
  • Dormitory rooms: Langley AFB: Approx. 760; Fort Eustis: Approx. 3500
  • Runway length: 10,000 feet
  • Buildings: Langley AFB: Approx. 280; Fort Eustis: Approx. 795
  • Acres Langley AFB: 3,167 -- 600 of which are wetlands
  • Acres Fort Eustis: Approx. 7933
  • F-22s: Approximately 40
  • 1st Langley "FF tail" F-22 Raptor arrived in May 2005
  • 633d Air Base Wing commander: Col. Matthew R. Altman
  • 1st Fighter Wing commander: Col. Brandon J. Tellez

(as of 22 Aug 2023)