9th Reconnaissance Wing shield9th Reconnaissance Wing Fact Sheets

The 9th Reconnaissance Wing is responsible for providing national and theater command authorities with timely, reliable, high-quality, high-altitude reconnaissance products. To accomplish this mission, the wing is equipped with the nation's fleet of U-2 and RQ-4 reconnaissance aircraft and associated support equipment. The wing also maintains a high state of readiness in its expeditionary combat support forces for potential deployment in response to theater contingencies. The 9th Reconnaissance Wing is composed of more than 4,500 personnel in four groups at Beale and multiple overseas operating locations.




History of Beale Air Force Base

Beale Air Force Base not only has a unique mission, but it was named for a unique individual. Unlike most other bases that were named for aviators, Beale was named after Edward Fitzgerald Beale (1822-1893), The nineteenth-century pioneer. Beale graduated from the Naval Academy, served in the California militia and let the experiment to replace Army mules with camels.

black and white photo of Edward Fitzgerald Beale

940th Air Refueling Wing

940th Air Refueling Fact Sheet

History of the 940th Air Refueling Wing

The 940th Air Refueling Wing has a long and distinguished history dating back to 1963. Beginning as a troop carrier unit, the mission transitioned to air transport, military airlift, tactical airlift, air refueling, C2ISR (command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) mission, and back to air refueling over the years. Fundamentally, the 940th has been a "flex" organization for the nation and has been willing to do whatever the nation required.

Activated in 1963, the 940th Troop Carrier Group (940 TCG) flew the C-119G "Flying Boxcar" with the Tactical Air Command as its gaining command. 940 TCG trained for and participated in air transport, airdrop, and airlanding operations in conjunction with U.S. Army airborne forces, primarily the 101st Airborne Division. 940 TCG also provided air evacuation missions as needed.

The 940th converted to the C-124C "Globemaster II" aircraft in 1965 and became the 940th Military Airlift Group (940 MAG). Its missions shifted to augmentation of worldwide Military Airlift Command operations. 940 MAG participated in the long effort of keeping the U.S. forces in Vietnam supplied during the war there.

940 MAG converted to the C-130 "Hercules" aircraft in 1972 and returned to a mission of air transportation of airborne forces, airdropping equipment and supplies, extraction, and airlanding as the 940th Tactical Airlift Group (940 TAG). 

In Dec 1976, 940 TAG received its first KC-135 "Stratotanker" aircraft in preparation for becoming an air refueling unit. The 940th Air Refueling Group (940 ARG, later 940 AR Wing) performed air refueling missions worldwide from 1977 to 2008. 940 ARG maintained a Cold War alert responsibility for the Strategic Air Command until September 1991. 940 ARG deployed six KC-135 aircraft and 187 unit Reservists to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the first 2 weeks of Operation Desert Shield in August 1990. Throughout Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (Persian Gulf War), 940 ARG delivered aerial refueling and air transport missions from Saudi Arabia, Europe, and the USA.

In 1994, the 940 ARG became the 940th Air Refueling Wing (940 ARW). 940 ARW periodically deployed personnel and aircraft in support of NATO operations in the Balkans in the late 1990s. Notably, during Operation Allied Force, USAFE commanders recognized the 940th ARW as the most productive tanker unit in the Kosovo air war. After terrorists attacked the USA on 11 September 2001, 940 ARW participated in homeland defense and Global War on Terror operations around the world. The unit also supported Operations IRAQI FREEDOM/NEW DAWN, ENDURING FREEDOM, and RESTORE HOPE.

In 2009, 940 ARG converted to the 940th Wing (940 Wg) and to a C2ISR (command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) mission. 940 Wg flew the RQ-4 "Global Hawk"and managed intelligence gleaned from it and other ISR aircraft. As a classic associate wing to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, 940 Wg participated in ISR missions around the world from 2009 to 2016. The Operations supported included TOMODACHI, PACIFIC PASSAGE and ODYSSEY DAWN.

In 2016, 940 WG reverted to its air refueling mission and became the 940 ARW again. It continues its worldwide support mission from its base in northern California.

The Air Force has recognized the success of the 940th Air Refueling Wing by awarding the unit eleven Outstanding Unit Awards.




A KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to Beale Air Force Base flies over snowy mountains.KC-135R Stratotanker Fact Sheet

The KC-135 Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. This unique asset enhances the Air Force's capability to accomplish it's mission of global reach. It also provides aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft. The KC-135 is also capable of transporting litter and ambulatory patients using support pallets during aeromedical evacuations.


Air Force Reserve Command shield

940th Air Refueling Wing reports to

Air Force Reserve Command

headquartered at

Robins Air Force Base, Georgia

The Air Force Reserve Command became the ninth major command of the Air Force on Feb. 17, 1997, as a result of Title XII - Reserve Forces Revitalization - in Public Law 104-201, the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 1997. Before this act, the Air Force Reserve was a field operating agency of the Air Force established on April 14, 1948.

The mission of the Air Force Reserve Command is to provide combat ready forces to fly, fight and win.

Air Force Reserve Command provides the U.S. Air Force about 14 percent of the Total Force for about 4 percent of the manpower budget.

Numbered Air Force

Fourth Air Force shield

940th Air Refueling Wing reports to

4th Air Force

headquartered at

March Air Reserve Base, California

Fourth Air Force Commands and Advocates
 to Ensure Readiness of Assigned Strategic Mobility Forces

Answering the nation’s call to be the foremost Strategic Mobility Total Force Partner. Citizen Airmen…Ready, Willing and Able.

Fourth AF directs the activities and supervises the training of more than 30,000 Airmen across 15 wings and two groups.