130th Airlift Wing

The men and women of the 130th Airlift Wing, located at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston, strive to achieve the unit’s vision of “Citizen Airmen providing unsurpassed worldwide airlift, striving for excellence and continuous improvement, serving the state and nation.”

With nearly 1,100 Airmen assigned, the Wing actively executes its mission to organize, train, equip, develop, and deploy forces capable of conducting effective and sustained operations. The conversion of the unit’s fleet to eight new C-130J-30 Super Hercules started in June 2021 and is expected to be completed in early 2024. Each of these aircraft is valued at approximately $90 million. Although the J model is larger than its predecessor, it requires two fewer aircrew members.

Despite this, the unit successfully retained more than 80% of its flying members. Additionally, the 130th Airlift Wing has executed 7,660 workdays, amounting to $2,108,0917 in pay and allowance, $579,233 in travel funds, and $244,784 in supplies and equipment to achieve initial operating capability. This conversion will enable the unit to contribute to the local economy, serve the state of West Virginia, and align with the National Defense Strategy.

This achievement undoubtedly empowers the unit to further strengthen its commitment to providing airlift and aeromedical evacuation missions within the United States and abroad.

In January, 2023, the 130th AW achieved a significant milestone by launching its first ever all-female aircrew sortie aboard the wing’s new C-130J-30. In that same month, the Wing retired its RC-26B detachment after 20 years of service, flying intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions in support of national and state directives.

The 130th deployed seven members to support Air Expeditionary Forces (AEF) and Contingency missions based in Germany, UAE, Djibouti, and Qatar. For non-AEF missions, the Wing also sent 912 members to Antarctica, Ramstein AB (Germany), Vogelweh (Germany), Sigonella (Italy), Lima (Peru), Texas and Mississippi. Additionally, 54 Airmen were deployed for the State of the Union and domestic operations training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).

The 167th Airlift Wing, based in Martinsburg, operates eight C-17A Globemaster III aircraft. A team of approximately 1,000 men and women carry out the mission of the Wing – to provide citizen Airmen for rapid global mobility to support and defend the nation and the state of West Virginia.

Under the direction of the Wing commander and command staff, the unit is organized into four Groups: Operations, Maintenance, Mission Support and Medical.  In 2023 aircrews flew more than 850 sorties and aircraft maintainers logged more than 50,000 work hours supporting a wide range of regularly scheduled training flights, channel missions and operational necessity airlift missions.

Approximately 48 Airmen worked with the Division of Corrections to alleviate staffing shortages. Fifty Airmen supported the National Scout Jamboree. Seven Airmen departed for overseas deployments. More than 400 Airmen supported local, national, and international exercises to include, Peruvian-hosted Cooperacion IX and German-led Air Defender 2023, Neptune Hawk, Red Flag and Unicorn Thunder. Airmen supported West Virginia’s Greatest Airshow and welcomed more than 600 community members for base tours. Additionally, orientation flights were provided for nearly 250 cadets in DoD sanctioned programs and 89 employers through the ESGR Bosslift program. The 167th Operations Group aircrews provided critical airlift across the globe, totalling more than 850 sorties and 2,600 flying hours, moving nearly 3,400 passengers and over 2,600 tons of cargo.

In addition to rapid global mobility operations, the 167th Operations Group participated in seven exercises, including Cooperacion IX and Air Defender 2023 where West Virginia’s C-17 aircraft played a pivotal role flying over 220 hours and moving 250 tons of cargo, more than any other Air National Guard wing.

The 167th Operations Group remains on the cutting edge of Agile Combat Employment developments such as Multi-Capable Airmen, specialized fueling operations, forward arming and refueling points, and unlit landing operations. The group continues to evolve its readiness for near-peer challenges by focusing on realistic training and exercises with a focus on integration of joint, allied, and partner forces.

History of the WVANG


On May 24, 1946, the United States Army Air Forces, in response to dramatic postwar military budget cuts imposed by President Harry S. Truman, allocated inactive unit designations to the National Guard Bureau for the formation of an Air Force National Guard. These unit designations were allotted and transferred to various State National Guard bureaus to provide them unit designations to re-establish them as Air National Guard units.

The West Virginia Air National Guard was the last ANG unit to be equipped with the Mustang in service. The last F-51 (44-72948) was retired to serve as a museum piece at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on January 27th, 1957.

The West Virginia Air National Guard origins date to March 7, 1947 with the establishment of the 167th Fighter Squadron, which is oldest unit of the West Virginia Air National Guard. Originally equipped with F-51D Mustangs (the new name of the P-51 Mustang after 1947), the 167th Fighter Squadron was federally recognized and activated at Kanawha Airport, Charleston with a primary mission of air defense of the state. However, September 18, 1947 is considered the West Virginia Air National Guard's official birth, which is concurrent with the establishment of the United States Air Force as a separate branch of the United States military under the National Security Act of 1947.

 On October 10, 1950, the 167th FS and all personnel were sworn in for 21 months of active duty during the Korean War. Most personnel and all aircraft became part of the 123d Fighter-Bomber Wing, located at Godman Army Airfield, Kentucky. Some members transferred to RAF Manston near London, England, flying F-84 Thunderjet aircraft. Other seasoned (experienced) pilots transferred to Far East Air Force for combat duty in the Korean War. Released from active duty on July 9, 1952, the 167th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (167th FIS) returned to Charleston, West Virginia and resumed flying the F-51 Mustang aircraft.

In the early 1950s, Kanawha Airport could not accommodate jet aircraft, so Shepherd Field in Martinsburg received approval as the new site for the 167th FIS on September 21, 1955. The official move came on December 3, 1955, when the 167th FIS officially relocated from Kanawha Airport to Shepherd Field.

The West Virginia Air National Guard was authorized to expand to two separate aircraft squadrons in 1955 by the National Guard Bureau. On October 1, 1955, the 130th Troop Carrier Squadron (130th TCS) was created at Kanawha Airport, Charleston and was extended federal recognition. This squadron was assigned to Tactical Air Command, which placed it under the Eighteenth Air Force. Equipped with Grumman HU-16 Albatross amphibious aircraft and Curtiss C-46 Commando troop transport aircraft, the primary mission of the 130th TCS was Air Commando special operations missions. On July 1, 1960, the HU-16 and C-46 were replaced by C-119 Flying Boxcar and U-10D Super Courier combat observation aircraft. In 1975, both of these aircraft were replaced by the far more capable C-130E Hercules transport aircraft, with a second upgrade to the C-130H Hercules completed in 1986.

Today, the 130th Airlift Wing provides tactical airlift support to through the use of the C-130J Super Hercules.

The 167th Airlift Wing provides global airlift to Air Mobility Command, with its C-17 Globemaster III transports operating globally in support of the active-duty missions of the Air Force.

After the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, elements of every Air National Guard unit in West Virginia has been activated in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Flight crews, aircraft maintenance personnel, communications technicians, air controllers and air security personnel were engaged in Operation Noble Eagle air defense overflights of major United States cities. Also, West Virginia ANG units have been deployed overseas as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq as well as other locations as directed.