The 513th Air Control Group is an Air Reserve Component unit of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the Tenth Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, and is stationed at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
The group's mission is to provide theater and Air Force commanders with trained aircrews and maintenance personnel and systems for airborne surveillance, warning and control of U.S. and allied military aircraft.
The 513th is an associate unit of the 552d Air Control Wing, Air Combat Command (ACC) and if mobilized, the group is gained by ACC.
Its World War II predecessor, the 3d Combat Cargo Group was a United States Army Air Forces combat organization. It served primarily in the China Burma India Theater and Pacific Ocean Theater of World War II. In 1948, the group was redesignated as the 513th Troop Carrier Group.
Constituted and activated in India in 1944. Supported ground forces during the battle for northern Burma and the subsequent Allied drive southward. Flew Allied troops and materiel to the front, transporting gasoline, oil, vehicles, engineering and signal equipment, and other items that the group either landed or dropped in Burma. Also evacuated wounded personnel to India. Moved to Burma in June 1945. After the liberation of Burma, the group hauled critical supplies such as gasoline to China. From late 1945, it continued airlift missions as needed in China until April 1946 when inactivated.
Redesignated 513th Troop Carrier Group (Special). Activated in Germany on 19 November 1948. Assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe. Using C-54's, transported food, coal, and other supplies during the Berlin airlift, Operation Vittles. Inactivated in Germany in October 1949.
Activated in the continental United States on 8 November 1955. Assigned to Tactical Air Command and equipped with C-123 aircraft. From November 1955 to November 1958, participated in numerous tactical exercises and operations, including troop drops and airlift in support of construction of the Distant Early Warning Line stations in the Canadian Arctic regions.
From April 1966 to January 1976, the group provided intra-theater airlift in support of US Air Forces in Europe, European Command, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization operations and exercises, using C-130s and crews rotating to Europe from Tactical Air Command and Military Airlift Command wings based in the United States and C-124s and crews from Air Force Reserve groups. Maintained and operated EC-135s as an airborne command post and acted as host organization for American units at RAF Mildenhall to February 1992. In addition, the group collected samples from the atmosphere for the purpose of detecting and identifying nuclear explosions.
In March 1996 the Air Force re-activated the 513th Air Control Group (513th ACG) as an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) Reserve associate command and control unit in concert with active-duty Airmen. From March 1996 to April 1997, the group was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Reserve's 507th Air Refueling Wing. It took part in worldwide contingency operations and counter-drug missions. In 1997, the group was reassigned under the command of the active duty 552nd Air Control Wing, while remaining a part of the Air Force Reserve. It is currently the only reserve unit to fly the Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft.
The 513th ACG's subordinate units include the 970th Airborne Air Control Squadron, the 513th Operations Support Squadron, the 513th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the 513th Maintenance Squadron.
The Air Force's fiscal year 2015 budget request called for the inactivation of the 513th ACG and the retirement of seven E-3 Sentrys. The House Armed Services Committee passed an amenedment in May 2014 to block the inactivation of the group and save three E-3s slated for retirement.