The 5th Combat Communications Group is a specialized unit of the United States Air Force. The 5th Mob (referred to as such by its former designation as the 5th Mobile Communications Group) is currently based at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia. Its current structure is made up of two active duty Combat Communications Squadrons (51st & 52nd) and the 5th Combat Communications Support Squadron, which handles such activities as the group's Mobility Training Program (known as Mob School).
The 5th Combat Communications supports United States United States Air Forces Central Command and Joint Chiefs of Staff worldwide. It also responds to contingencies, emergencies and natural disasters. The group also deploys to a variety of sites around the southeastern United States during training exercises. It has participated in more than five hundred deployments to locations that include Iceland, Egypt, Ecuador, Panama, Virgin Islands, Wake Island, Somalia, Kenya, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Honduras in recent years. The unit has approximately 500 people and can be a self-supporting combat unit. The group can provide its own site security, electrical power and vehicle maintenance. The 5th has more than 100 of its members deployed to remote locations of the world at any given time in support of ongoing operations, typically for 180 days at a time. In addition, the group advises two Air National Guard Combat Communications Groups composed of more than 2,300 people in units throughout the Eastern U.S. from Maine to the Virgin Islands.
The unit also participated in the ongoing war on drugs by supplying communications support, providing personnel and equipment which allows the Drug Enforcement Administration access to secure data and voice services from classified locations.
The group was first organized in July 1964 as the 5th Mobile Communications Group, a component of Air Force Communications Service (later Air Force Communications Command). It has had its current name since 1976, except for the period from 1984 to 1986 when Air Force Communications Command units were designated as "Information Systems" units.
Group air traffic controllers and air traffic control maintenance personnel were included in the force deployed for Operation Eagle Claw, the failed 1980 attempt to rescue the hostages held by the government of Iran in the Tehran embassy. Their mission was to establish and operate air navigation systems at "Desert One", the base of operations within Iran. When civilian government air traffic controllers walked off their jobs the following year, practically the entire air traffic control division of the 5th, along with controllers from the other combat control groups of the Air Force, deployed to civilian airports to maintain the flow of traffic within the United States. The controllers remained deployed until new civilian controllers were trained to replace those who had been dismissed.
During the 1980s until the end of the Iran–Iraq War, the Air Force maintained a deployed Airborne Warning and Control System maintaining surveillance of the Persian Gulf. The deployment was referred to as "ELF One." 5th Mob personnel rotated to ELF One during this period to provide communications support for the operation.
In September 1988, the group reorganized, transferring its people into three combat communications squadrons. Each squadron is assigned approximately 180 persons. The 51st Combat Communications Squadron provides communications and air traffic control support to an Air Force Headquarters. The 52d and 53d Squadrons provide communications and air traffic control support for deployed bases.
In 1990, when Air Force Communications Service was disestablished as a major command, the 5th Group became part of Tactical Air Command, which was replaced by Air Combat Command in 1992. In 2009, combat communications units, including the group, were made part of Air Force Space Command.
The 5th also lent its communications expertise to the Operation Bright Star in Egypt in 1995. More than 120 members of the 52d Combat Communications Squadron, along with augmentees from the group's other squadrons, participated in the largest multinational exercise of its kind.
During Operation Desert Storm, the 5th deployed more than 600 people to a dozen locations. It was the first communications unit in theater. The group's squadrons provided air traffic control and communications support to six deployed wings and Central Command Air Forces headquarters. Group personnel remained deployed to Southwest Asia for an additional three years to support the Cease Fire and maintaining United Nations resolutions.
In 1993, the group added the 5th Combat Communications Support Squadron to train and assist the combat communications squadrons for deployment. Later that year, the group added the 54th Combat Communications Squadron, whose mission mirrored that of the 52d and 53d Squadrons.
Members of the unit deployed to the Southwest Asia area of responsibility in March 1996 to support an Air Expeditionary Force. The communicators helped Air Force and multinational forces already in Saudi Arabia and other nearby countries patrol the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. When terrorists attacked Khobar Towers that year, the group was called upon again to deploy to the Persian Gulf. More than 140 members of the 5th, along with 250 tons of equipment, left Robins for Prince Sultan Air Base, where they established a complete communications network beside a bare airfield.
The 5th again received orders to deploy in early February 2003 to the Central Command theater of operations. They were part of a larger action by the United States to reposition some of its military forces to support the Global War on Terrorism and to prepare for future contingencies. The deployment marked the first time the Air Force's first total force wing, composed of both National Guard and active duty, Air Force and Army, would deploy.Constituted as the 5th Mobile Communications Group on 20 May 1964 and activated (not organized)
Organized on 1 July 1964
Redesignated 5th Combat Communications Group
on 24 March 1976
Redesignated 5th Combat Information Systems Group
on 15 August 1984
Redesignated 5th Combat Communications Group
on 1 Oct 1986
Air Force Communications Service, 20 May 1964 (not organized)
Tactical Communications Region (later Tactical Communications Area), 1 July 1964
12th Tactical Communications Region, 1 December 1969
Tactical Communications Area (later Tactical Communications Division, Tactical Information Systems Division, Tactical Communications Division), 30 June 1971
507th Tactical Air Control Wing (later 507th Air Control Wing), 1 October 1990
347th Fighter Wing, 28 May 1992
Ninth Air Force, 1 March 1994
689th Combat Communications Wing, 5 October 2009
Twenty-Fourth Air Force, 1 October 2013
5th Combat Communications Support Squadron, 15 June 1992 – present
51st Combat Communications Squadron, 15 July 1988 – present
52d Combat Communications Squadron, 15 July 1988 – present
53d Combat Communications Squadron, 15 July 1988 – 2015 (Redesignated as an Air Control Squadron and realigned under the active duty 461st Air Control Wing (ACW), also at Robins.)
54th Combat Communications Squadron, 18 June 1993 - 2014
Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, 1 July 1964 – present
USAF Communications AwardsMajor General Harold M. McClelland Award for Best USAF Large Communications Unit 1973, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2012
Best Large Communications-Computer Systems Unit in Air Combat Command 1993 and 1997
Top honors at Combat Challenge '94, a biennial command, control, communications and computer competition sponsored by Air Combat Command
During Operation DESERT STORM the 5 CCG deployed over 600 airmen to the Persian gulf region at more than a dozen locations. To start the trend, the 5 CCG was the first tactical communications unit in theater. The 5 CCG provided air traffic control and communications support to six deployed wings as well as USCENTAF (now AFCENT) deployed headquarters. The group maintained steady deployments in support of Operations NORTHERN WATCH and SOUTHERN WATCH.
Operations in progress
Operations in progress
2001 – 2011