History of the 105th Airlift Wing

Stewart Air National Guard Base located in Newburgh, NY, is the home of the 105th Airlift Wing, an Air Mobility Command (AMC) gained unit of the New York Air National Guard. The unit has served New York State and Orange County for decades and has been involved in a myriad of humanitarian, wartime and peacetime operations ranging from Vietnam and Desert Storm to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina.
Stewart Airfield was originally named in honor of Scottish-born sea captain, Lachlan Stewart,who skippered schooners and other sailing vessels in the years 1850 to 1870. The original tract of land, whereby the installation now sits on some 250 acres, was donated by his son, Samuel L. Stewart, to the City of Newburgh in 1930 for use as a municipal airport. It was at this time that plans were first laid to establish a flying facility for the Air Corps detachment stationed at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Stewart's military history began in 1948 when the 137th Fighter Squadron of the New York Air National Guard received Federal recognition and officially began military operations at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY. The unit was initially equipped with the F-47 "Thunderbolt" aircraft and provided many years of loyal service to the Nation flying missions both state side and overseas.

In September 1952, the unit was redesignated the 137th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and received the F-51 "Mustang" aircraft, as well as a new air defense mission. In 1953, the unit entered the "jet age" when it received the F-9 "Starfire," a versatile all-weather interceptor. The unit subsequently retained its air defense mission until 1958 when it converted to the famed F-86 "Saber Jet" and was reorganized as the 105th Tactical Fighter Group.

In February 1961, the unit was again redesignated as the 105th Aero Medical Transport Group and received its first C-119 "Flying Boxcar" aircraft. The unit converted to the C-97 "Stratocruiser" in 1963. The Stratocruiser was a four-engine strategic transport aircraft that gallantly and reliably participated in worldwide military airlift missions to include numerous Southeast Asia operations.

A more recent phase of the unit's history began in 1970 with its redesignation as the 105th Tactical Air Support Group. The unit's goal was now focused on completing forward air controland communications missions flying the small but vitally important 0-2A "Skymaster" aircraft for the Tactical Air Command. In May of 1983, the unit relocated to its current home at Stewart International Airport. It was redesignated the 105th Military Airlift Group in May of 1984, and then in July of 1985 became the first Air National Guard unit to fly Lockheed Martin's C-5A "Galaxy." In October of 1995, the unit was named the 105th Airlift Wing.

On November 16, 2010 Stewart Air National Guard Base was named the as the U.S. Air Force's preferred choice for a C-17 mission pending a February 2011 environmental study completion and final selection and announcement.

March 10, 2011 Air Force officials announced that the 105th Airlift Wing had been chosen as the final basing decision for 8 C-17 Globemaster III's. The initial C-17 assigned to Stewart ANGB, tail number 50105, arrived on July 18, 2011. The 105AW C-17 Rollout ceremony was held Aug. 6, 2011.

From Oct 31st - Nov 4th, 2012 the 105AW operated an aerial port of debarkation in support of the 18th Air Force's Operation Lean Forward Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts for the Northeast United States.

ANG: A Short Story

The Air National Guard as we know it today -- a separate reserve component of the United States Air Force -- was a product of the politics of postwar planning and interservice rivalry during World War II. The men who planned and maneuvered for an independent postwar Air Force during World War II didn't place much faith in the reserves, especially the state-dominated National Guard.