Neha Patil (Editor)

87th Air Base Wing

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Country  United States
Role  Installation support
Type  Air base wing
Size  3,100 personnel
87th Air Base Wing
Active  1952–1953; 2009–present
Branch  United States Air Force

The 87th Air Base Wing is the host wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The wing provides installation support to commands at the former McGuire Air Force Base, Fort Dix, and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst. Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is the Department of Defense's (DoD) only tri-service joint base that consolidated Air Force, Army, and Navy installations. Base officials refer to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst as "JB MDL".


Before assuming host duties at JB MDL in 2009, the wing had been active as a reserve troop carrier wing during the Korean War. It was inactivated less than a year after it was formed, when the 434th Troop Carrier Wing was released from active duty and assumed the 87th Wing's personnel and equipment.

Facility and tenants

The wing headquarters is located on the McGuire Air Force Base portion of the joint base. The 42,000 acres (170 km2) large joint base is located 18 miles southeast of Trenton, New Jersey, and is home to 80 unique DoD mission commanders providing a wide range of combat capability. Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is also home to several federal agencies' offices: the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Agriculture.

87th Mission Support Group

The 87th Mission Support Group supports the wing mission by maintaining an expeditionary force posture. In garrison, the group prepares the wing to deploy, bed down and sustain forward operations. At JB MDL and in deployed locations the group provides facilities, services, logistics management, contracting, force protection, fire protection, crisis action planning and response, communications, passenger and cargo movement, and personnel management.


87th Medical Group

The 400-member 87th Medical Group operates a multi-specialty outpatient clinic. Its mission is to train mission-ready medics, deliver a medically-ready operational force and ensure a healthy base community. The group prepares service members to serve at their home station and on deployment, while meeting healthcare needs of nearly 17,000 Tricare Prime enrollees and over 42,000 DoD beneficiaries.


Air Force reserves

All Air Force reserve combat flying organizations were mobilized for the Korean War. The mobilization left the reserve without aircraft, and the reserve units did not receive aircraft until July 1952. In preparation for the return of reserve flying operations, the Air Force activated the 87th Troop Carrier Wing at Atterbury Air Force Base, where it absorbed the personnel of the 923d Reserve Training Wing. The wing began to train for troop carrier operations, primarily with Curtiss C-46 Commandos, under the supervision of the 2466th Air Force Reserve Training Center. The wing also flew a number of other aircraft possessed by the center.

In early 1953, the 434th Troop Carrier Wing, which had been the reserve flying wing at Atterbury until called to active duty in May 1951, was released from active duty and returned to the reserve. The 87th Wing was inactivated and transferred its mission, equipment and personnel to the 434th Wing.

Multiservice base support

The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended the combination of facilities of different armed services that were close to one another. As a result, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst was established in central New Jersey from the former McGuire Air Force Base, Fort Dix and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst. The Air Force was designated the lead service for support activities at the new base and organized the 87th Air Base Wing to carry out the mission. The wing's cadre was taken from the mission support and medical groups of the 305th Air Mobility Wing, which retained its operations group and became a tenant organization.

In addition to its two groups and one squadron, the wing has 14 staff agencies. Although the wing commander is an Air Force officer, its command structure includes an Army Joint Base Deputy Commander; and a Navy Joint Base Deputy Commander.

The wing has supported several significant operations and activities, including recovery operations for Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. It has earned four Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards.


  • Established as the 87th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium on 26 May 1952
  • Activated in the reserve on 15 June 1952 Inactivated on 15 February 1953
  • Redesignated 87th Tactical Airlift Wing on 31 July 1985 (remained inactive)
  • Redesignated 87th Air Base Wing on 19 February 2009
  • Activated on 3 March 2009


  • 2d Air Reserve District, 15 June 1952 – 1 February 1953
  • Eighteenth Air Force, 3 March 2009
  • United States Air Force Expeditionary Center, 7 January 2011 – present
  • Components

  • 87th Air Base Group (later 87th Mission Support Group): 15 June 1952 – 15 February 1953, 3 March 2009 – present
  • 87th Maintenance & Supply Group: 15 June 1952 – 15 February 1953
  • 87th Medical Group: 15 June 1952 – 15 February 1953, 3 March 2009 – present
  • 87th Troop Carrier Group: 15 June 1952 – 15 February 1953
  • Squadron
  • 87th Comptroller Squadron: 3 March 2009 – present
  • Stations

  • Atterbury Air Force Base, Indiana, 15 June 1952 – 1 February 1953
  • McGuire Air Force Base (later Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst), NewJersey, 3 March 2009 – present
  • References

    87th Air Base Wing Wikipedia

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