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Posted 10/13/2006 Printable Fact Sheet

Air Force's formal school for C-5 initial and advanced airland and aerial refueling qualification training. Provides select aircrew instructors to train and produce officer and enlisted aircrew members annually for Air Mobility Command, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard. Provides airlift support for peacetime, contingency, and wartime mobility operations.

A Brief History of the 56th Airlift Squadron
The 56th Airlift Squadron had its beginning on November 8, 1942. On that day, the 56th Troop Carrier Squadron was activated at Bowman Field, Kentucky, training in the C-47. The 56th TCS mission was to ferry troops and equipment to the Pacific Theater during World War II. The squadron moved to New Guinea and then the Philippines as the war progressed and ended up in Japan, where it was deactivated March 25, 1946.

Reactivated in 1947 at Greater Pittsburgh Airport, the now reserve unit 56th began flying the C-46. At the onset of the Korean Conflict, the 56th was called to active duty and moved to South Carolina and the C-82. In 1952, the squadron once again returned to reserve status at Pittsburgh where it trained in C-119s and C-124s before deactivation in 1957.

On December 27, 1965, the squadron was reactivated as the 56th Military Airlift Squadron and assigned to Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. It's mission was training crews in the C-124 Globemaster. In January 1969, it moved to Altus AFB, and in October of the same year became the first operational C-5 Galaxy flying unit with the first actual aircraft arriving on December17, 1969. Since then, the 56th has trained thousands of aircrew members and participated in many worldwide contingencies including Southeast Asia, the "7 Day War" in 1973, JUST CAUSE in 1989, Operations DESERT SHIELD & STORM in 1990/1991, Operation PROVIDE COMFORT in 1991/1992, and Operation PROVIDE HOPE in 1992, as well as operations in the former Yugoslavia.

The 56th Military Airlift Squadron was redesignated the 56th Airlift Squadron on August 27th, 1991. This change reflects the squadron's involvement in all worldwide airlift missions including training. In 1994, the 56th made history for bringing home the most first place trophies at Air Mobility Command's premier airlift event, Airlift Rodeo '94.

The 56th Airlift Squadron maintains its proud history and tradition of training highly qualified aircrew members to this day, honoring those airmen who have gone before.

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