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McConnell AFB Area Insight

  • McConnell AFB KS plays host not only to the 22nd Air Refueling Wing and the 931st Air Refueling Group, but also the Kansas Air National Guard's 184th Intelligence Wing.
    Nicknamed "The Flying Jayhawks", the 184th has had a long and proud history. The unit was Federally recognized as the 127th Observation Squadron on 4 Aug 1941. Their equipment included one BC-1A, one C-47 and four L-1 aircraft. In 1946 they were reorganized as the 127th Fighter Squadron and assigned the F-51 Mustang aircraft. They flew these until 1949 when they received the F-84 Thunder Jet.
    With the outbreak of the Korean Conflict, the 127th was mobilized and for the next 21 months became part of the Fighter Bomber Wing in Alexandria, LA. At the end of the conflict they were redesignated the 127th Fighter Bomber Squadron, but because of the shortage of jets created by the conflict, they were once again assigned the F-51.
    In 1954 came the F-80 Shooting Star jet fighters, followed by the F-86 Sabre Jet in 1958. In 1961, they were redesignated as the 127th Tactical Fighter Squadron and converted to the F-100 Super Sabre, closely followed by reorganizing as the 184th Tactical Fighter Group in 1962.
    Once again the unit was activated following the seizure of the USS Pueblo by North Korea in 1968. The unit was assigned as part of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing in Kunsan Air Base, South Korea until being released back to state control in 1969.

    There have been many changes through the years since, both in designations and missions:
    They conducted pilot training as the USAF Combat Crew Training School for 9 years in the F-105 Thunderchief. In 1979, the unit received the first of 50 F-4D Phantoms and redesignated as the 184th Tactical Fighter Group. They were tasked with developing a F-4 Phantom Fighter Weapons Instructor Course to meet the needs of the Air Force Reserves and the USAF Tactical Air Command in 1982.
    Additional flying squadrons were added over the next few years to facilitate pilot training classes on the F-16A/B Fighting Falcon. In 1994, the 184th was designated as the 184th Bomb Wing flying the B-1B Lancer, the first Air National Guard unit to fly bombers.
    More changes came in 2002 with the redesignation as the 184th Air Refueling Wing, flying the KC-135R tanker.
    Then in 2008, the "Flying Jayhawks" became the "Fighting Jayhawks" with the loss of it's flying mission. They were redesignated the 184th Intelligence Wing, making it the first Intelligence Wing in Air National Guard history.

    Through all the changes and the turmoil that ensues, the unit has stood strong, proud and dedicated to being the best at whatever's thrown their way. I am proud to say that I was a member of this great organization from 1982 until my retirement in 2003, but will be "Forever Jayhawk".

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