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65th Air Base Wing

65th Air Base Wing
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Active 26 May 1952 – present
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Type Base Support
Part of United States Air Forces in Europe
Garrison/HQ Lajes Air Base
Decorations AFOUA
Chris Bargery

The 65th Air Base Wing (65 ABW) is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of Lajes Air Base, Azores, Portugal.


The wing provides base and en route support for Department of Defense, allied nations and other authorized aircraft in transit, including those from the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Colombia, Germany, Venezuela and Great Britain.

Subordinate Organizations

65th Mission Support Group (65 MSG)

  • 65th Contracting Squadron (65 CONS)
  • 65th Communications Squadron (65 CS)
  • 65th Civil Engineering Squadron (65 CES)
  • 65th Force Support Squadron (65 FSS)
  • 65th Logistics Readiness Squadron (65 LRS)
  • 65th Operations Support Squadron (65 OSS)
  • 65th Security Forces Squadron (65 SFS)

65th Medical Group (65 MDG)

  • 65th Medical Operations Squadron (65 MDOS)
  • 65th Medical Support Squadron (65 MDSS)


Supported ground units during the Carolina Maneuvers in the fall and winter of 1941. Flew antisubmarine patrols off the east coast after Pearl Harbor in 1941–42. Served as a training organization for crews that changed from observation aircraft to B-25's, 1943.

The 65th conducted reserve training toward proficiency with troop carrier aircraft from 1952–1953. However, the wing was never fully manned or equipped.

It has provided en route support for aircraft transiting Lajes Air Base from 1982 to the present. The wing also provided base support to elements of the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy in the area. The 65th supported deployment of personnel and equipment through Lajes during operations in the Persian Gulf from August 1990 – April 1991 and in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom since 2001 and 2003 respectively.


  • Constituted as 65th Observation Group on 21 Aug 1941
Activated on 1 Sept 1941.
Inactivated on 18 Oct 1942
  • Activated on 1 Mar 1943
Redesignated 65th Reconnaissance Group in Apr 1943
Disbanded on 15 Aug 1943
  • Reconstituted, allotted to the reserve, and activated, on 27 Dec 1946
Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
  • Redesignated 65th Troop Carrier Group (Medium) and allotted to the reserve
Activated on 14 Jun 1952
  • Established as 65th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, on 26 May 1952
Activated in the Reserve on 14 Jun 1952
65th Troop Carrier Group assigned as subordinate unit upon activation
Inactivated on 1 Apr 1953
  • Redesignated 65th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Medium, on 1 Apr 1953
  • Consolidated (1 Jan 1992) with the 1605th Military Airlift Support Wing, which was established, and activated, on 1 Jan 1982
Redesignated: 65th Support Wing on 27 Jan 1992
Redesignated: 65th Air Base Wing on 1 Oct 1993.




Aircraft operated

  • O-38, 0–47, 0–49, 0–52, AT-6 1941–1942
  • C-46 Commando (1952–1953)



  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

External links

  • Lajes Field Home Page
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