Ninth Air Force
World War Two
On 28 June 1942, Ninth Air Force was created out of a need to have a headquarters for the various air units continuing to arrive in North Africa. . After North Africa stabilized, it moved into tactical support in the Italian theater, and then to Britain.
In the U.K., the medium bombers of the Eighth Air Force transferred to the Ninth, which, before the Battle of Normandy, concentrated on attacking German field infrastructure, sharpening its tactical support skills while the Eighth concentrated on the strategic bombing of Germany. As the XIX Tactical Air Command, it worked extremely closely with Third United States Army under GEN George Patton, who had an excellent working relationship with the XIX's commander, Elwood "Pete" Quesada.
The Ninth's commander, Chuck Horner, had the dual role of heading AFCENT, including the coordination of U.S. Navy and multinational air forces, as well as the 9th Air Force. Beginning with the air campaign planning, AFCENT directed an unprecedented series of attacks against Iraq, at a far higher technological level and intensity yet seen in warfare.
As well as remaining AFCENT under CENTCOM is also an intermediate headquarters under Air Combat Command and is responsible for five active-duty flying wings, as well as overseeing the operational readiness of 18 designated units of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.
In CENTCOM, its units include:
- 379th Air Expeditionary Wing
- 380th Air Expeditionary Wing
- 386th Air Expeditionary Wing
deployed at bases including:
- Bagram AB, Afghanistan
- Ali AB, Iraq
- Al Asad AB, Iraq
- Joint Base Balad, Iraq
- Kirkuk AB, Iraq
- Sather AB, Iraq
- Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan
- 33rd Fighter Wing (F-15C/D), Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
- 18th Air Support Operations Group, Pope Air Force Base, N.C.
- 820th Security Forces Group, Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
- 823d RED HORSE Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
- 5th Combat Communications Group, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
deployed at bases including"
- Langley Air Force Base, Va. -- Headquarters Air Combat Command, 1st Fighter Wing: F-15C/D, selected as first operational F-22A wing
- Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. -- 4th Fighter Wing: F-15E.
- The 23rd Fighter Group at Pope AFB (A-10/OA-10) is part of the 4th Fighter Wing.