Mission: The members of the 108th Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard, fill a multitude of missions at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. The 108th's service to the state and nation is diverse. The 204th Intelligence Squadron supports both the Air Mobility Command and the USAF Expeditionary Center, and the 150th Special Operations Squadron, operating the C-32, provides a dedicated rapid response airlift to the Department of Defense in support of U.S. Government crisis response to events abroad and domestically. The 140th Cyber Operations Squadron, activated in 2015, operates the cyber vulnerability assessment and the hunter weapon system. Add in the medical personnel, civil engineers, security forces, supply, operations, communications, personnel, finance and the other Airmen that make up the 108th; the wing continues to fulfill its missions and goals with excellence.
History: The tradition of the 108th Wing began with the September 1928 organization of the 119th Observation Squadron, Air Corps and New Jersey National Guard. The lineage of the 119th was transferred when it was redesignated the 490th Fighter Squadron in August 1943, and again in June 1945 when it became the 119th Fighter Squadron. In May 1949, the 141st Tactical Fighter Squadron was activated at Mercer Airport in Trenton. In the fall of 1957, both the Wing and the squadron moved to McGuire. The 141st dates back to 1917 and is one of the Air Force's oldest squadrons. The squadron's distinctive tiger patch depicts the Princeton University tiger in honor of Hobie Baker, who was a distinguished Princeton athlete and later became the first commander of the 141st. The 141st was later equipped with F-105B fighter-bombers and both F-4D and F-4E Phantom IIs. In October 1991, the squadron began its conversion to the KC-135E and was redesignated the 141st Air Refueling Squadron.
Deployments: In 1951, the 108th was activated for the Korean Conflict and again in 1961 for the Berlin Crisis. After the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, almost 700 "Guardians of Freedom" of the 108th Wing were mobilized and deployed around the globe in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle. In Feb. 2003, the 108th received a partial mobilization order authorizing the unit to activate more than 500 Guard members in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the continuing missions of Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the 108th Wing has filled slots to activate more than 6,075 Airmen in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle and Odyssey Dawn and others.
Aircraft: Eight KC-135R Stratotankers assigned to the 141st Air Refueling Squadron allow the wing to support the Air Mobility Command with in-air refueling and air bridge support to overseas contingency operations and homeland defense. The KC-135 is equipped with four turbofans, mounted under 35-degree swept wings that power the KC-135 to takeoffs at gross weights of up to 322,500 pounds. A cargo deck above the refueling system can hold a mixed load of passengers and cargo. Depending on fuel storage configuration, the KC-135 can carry up to 83,000 pounds of cargo. Nearly all internal fuel can be pumped through the flying boom, the KC-135's primary fuel transfer method. One crewmember, known as the boom operator, is stationed in the rear of the plane and controls the boom during in-flight air refueling.
Personnel: The 108th Wing has just over 1200 total personnel with a manning strength consistently over 100% for over eight years. There are about 330 personnel that work in the wing full time and the rest are traditional guardsmen that fulfil their commitment as part time personnel.