Ninth Air Force

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A major United States Air Force command, which forms United States Central Command air component (AFCENT). Its headquarters in the U.S. are located at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina.

World War Two

On 28 June 1942, Ninth Air Force was created out of a need to have a headquarters for the various air units continuing to arrive in North Africa. [1]. After North Africa stabilized, it moved into tactical support in the Italian theater, and then to Britain.

In the U.K., the medium bombers of the Eighth Air Force transferred to the Ninth, which, before the Battle of Normandy, concentrated on attacking German field infrastructure, sharpening its tactical support skills while the Eighth concentrated on the strategic bombing of Germany. As the XIX Tactical Air Command, it worked extremely closely with Third United States Army under GEN George Patton, who had an excellent working relationship with the XIX's commander, Elwood "Pete" Quesada.


It was briefly deactivated, but returned to a largely training and unit readiness role during the Korean War and Vietnam War.

Gulf War

The Ninth's commander, Chuck Horner, had the dual role of heading AFCENT, including the coordination of U.S. Navy and multinational air forces, as well as the 9th Air Force. Beginning with the air campaign planning, AFCENT directed an unprecedented series of attacks against Iraq, at a far higher technological level and intensity yet seen in warfare.

Iraq War

Current operations

As well as remaining AFCENT under CENTCOM is also an intermediate headquarters under Air Combat Command and is responsible for five active-duty flying wings, as well as overseeing the operational readiness of 18 designated units of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.[2]

Field Deployments

In CENTCOM, its units include:

  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing

deployed at bases including:

  • Bagram AB, Afghanistan
  • Ali AB, Iraq
  • Al Asad AB, Iraq
  • Joint Base Balad, Iraq
  • Kirkuk AB, Iraq
  • Sather AB, Iraq
  • Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan

U.S. resources

deployed at bases including"