The 99th Air Refueling Squadron (99 ARS) is part of the 6th Air Mobility Wing at Birmingham Air National Guard Base, Alabama. It is an Active Associate Unit; an active duty component assigned with the 117th Air Refueling Wing. The 99th Air Refueling Squadron works with, supports and flies the 117th Air Refueling Wing's KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft.
Established in early 1942 initially as a long-range B-17 Flying Fortress reconnaissance squadron, later being redesignated as a heavy bomb squadron before activation in July. Was assigned to II Bomber Command as a heavy bomber Operational Training Unit (OTU). The squadron was assigned primarily to airfields in the Pacific Northwest under II BC; performing training of new units, then becoming a Replacement Training Unit (RTU). Reassigned to III Bomber Command in November 1943 when Second Air Force began to exclusively train B-29 Superfortress aircrews. Continued as a B-17 RTU until the end of heavy bomber training of replacement aircrews in May 1944; was inactivated.
Reactivated in 1957 as a KC-135 Stratotanker squadron under Strategic Air Command. It conducted Theater and overseas aerial refueling, beginning in 1958, including support of operations in Southeast Asia between 1965 and 1973.
Upon inactivation of the EB-47 units supporting SAC's Post-Attack Command and Control System (PACCS) in 1964 and 1965, the 99th received EC-135C aircraft to operate SAC's Eastern Auxiliary Command Post's airborne element. The 99th continued to operate PACCS aircraft until 1 April 1970, when SAC reorganized its airborne command post aircraft and withdrew them from more vulnerable bases near the coasts to bases closer to the heartland of North America.
It has flown worldwide aerial refueling missions since 1983 and airborne command post mission between 1984 and 1991.
The 99th supported operations in Grenada, 23–24 Oct 1983, Panama, 18–21 Dec 1989, Southwest Asia, Aug 1990 – Mar 1991, and over Bosnia, Jan–Feb 1995 and Aug 1996. It Provided personnel and aircraft for refueling aircraft enforcing no-fly zones over Iraq in 1996. In 1997 and 1998, unit resources refueled airplanes flying continuing missions along the border of Iraq in Southwest Asia. In 1998 and 1999, the squadron also supported operations over the former Yugoslavia. The squadron also refueled aircraft involved in antidrug operations over the Caribbean Sea in 1998. After the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., on 11 September 2001, the squadron supported Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the transportation of Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and counter-drug operations in South America.
In 2008, the squadron was inactivated at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. In 2009, it was activated at Birmingham Air National Guard Base, AL under the Chief of Staff of the Air Force's Total Force Integration initiative. The squadron and its personnel remain an active duty Air Force unit with administrative control falling to the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill Air Force Base, FL. Operational direction for day-to-day taskings come from the 117th Air Refueling Wing at Birmingham, AL.
399th Bombardment SquadronConstituted as the 9th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
Redesignated 399th Bombardment Squadron
(Heavy) on 22 Apr 1942
Activated on 15 July 1942
Inactivated on 1 May 1944
Consolidated with the 99th Air Refueling Squadron as the 99th Air Refueling Squadron on 19 September 1985
99th Air Refueling SquadronConstituted as the 99th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 12 February 1957
Activated on 1 July 1957
Inactivated on 30 September 1973
Activated on 1 October 1983
Consolidated with the 399th Bombardment Squadron on 19 September 1985
Redesignated 99th Air Refueling Squadron
on 1 September 1991
Inactivated on 1 September 2008
Activated on 1 October 2009
88th Bombardment Group, 15 July 1942 - 1 May 1944
4050th Air Refueling Wing, 1 July 1957
499th Air Refueling Wing, 1 January 1963
99th Bombardment Wing, 1 January 1966 - 30 September 1973
19th Air Refueling Wing, 1 October 1983
19th Operations (later, 19th Air Refueling) Group, 1 September 1991 - 1 September 2008
6th Operations Group, 1 October 2009 – Present
Operationally controlled by the 117th Air Refueling Wing
B-17 Flying Fortress (1942–1944)
KC-135 Stratotanker (1957–1973, 1983 – Present)
EC-135 (1965–1970, 1984–1997)