World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

85th Group

85th Group
Emblem of the 85th Group
Active 1942–1944, 1952–1993, 1994–2006
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Air Defense
Garrison/HQ Naval Air Station Keflavik
Motto Coup de Main[1] (WW II)
Guardians of the North (since 1952)
Decorations Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
57th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron F-15 Eagles over Iceland 1986

The 85th Group is an inactive United States Air Forces in Europe at Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, assigned as a unit of the 48th Fighter Wing whose home station is at RAF Lakenheath, UK. It was inactivated on 28 June 2006.


  • Overview 1
    • Units 1.1
  • History 2
    • World War II 2.1
    • Cold War 2.2
  • Lineage 3
    • Assignments 3.1
    • Components 3.2
      • Operational Components 3.2.1
      • Support Components 3.2.2
    • Stations 3.3
    • Aircraft 3.4
    • Awards 3.5
  • See also 4
  • Notes and references 5
  • External links 6


The 85th Group was the

  • USAF Press Release: Drawdown at Keflavik (May 25, 2006)

External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ "A sudden, unexpected attack."
  2. ^ a b c d e f 85th Group Archived April 3, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b USAF Press Release: Group Mission Inactivates at Keflavik, Iceland (30 Jun 2006)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 151.  
  5. ^ Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 602.  
  6. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 603
  7. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 604–605
  8. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 605
  9. ^ Abstract,, History of 85th Fighter-Bomber Group 1942 (accessed Nov 6, 2012)
  10. ^ Craven, Wesley F & Cate, James L, ed. (1955). "Introduction". The Army Air Forces in World War II. Vol. VI, Men & Planes. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. p. xxxvi.  
  11. ^ Maurer, Combat Units, p. 7
  12. ^ See Abstract, History Punta Gorda AAF May 1944 (accessed Nov 6, 2012)
  13. ^ Abstract, History Harris Neck AAF Jun 1944 (accessed Nov 6, 2012)
  14. ^ Craven & Cate, p. 75
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i AFHRA Factsheet, 85th Group (accessed Nov 6, 2012) Archived November 5, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Abstract, History 85th Fighter-Bomber Group Dec 1943 (accessed Nov 6, 2012)
  17. ^ Wilson, Art (2008). Runways in the Sand. Blythe, California: Art Wilson. p. 128.   LCC D769.85.C21 B598 2008

Notes and references

See also

1 July 1985 – 30 June 1987
1 July 1987 – 30 June 1988
1 July 1990 – 31 May 1992
  • Air Force Organizational Excellence Award




  • 85th Support Group, 1 October 1994 – 1 July 1995
  • 1400th Air Base Group, 1 April 1952 – 1 July 1960
  • 1400th Maintenance & Supply Group, 1 May 1959 – 1 July 1960
  • 1400th USAF Hospital, 1 July 1960 – 1 October 1961


Support Components

Located at Punta Gorda AAF, Florida after 3 December 1943 (detached to 337th Fighter Group).[16]
  • 306th Bombardment Squadron (later 500th Fighter-Bomber Squadron), 10 February 1942 – 1 May 1944
  • 307th Bombardment Squadron (later 501st Fighter-Bomber Squadron), 10 February 1942 – 1 May 1944
  • 308th Bombardment Squadron (later 502d Fighter-Bomber Squadron), 10 February 1942 – 1 May 1944
Located at Harris Neck AAF. Georgia after 11 December 1943.
  • 56th Rescue Squadron, 1 July 1995 – 28 June 2006
  • 57th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 13 November 1954 – 18 December 1955; 1 July 1960 – 31 May 1993
  • 85th Operations Support Squadron (later 85th Operations Squadron), 1 July 1985 – 28 June 2006
  • 305th Bombardment Squadron (later 499th Fighter-Bomber Squadron), 10 February 1942 – 1 May 1944


  • 85th Operations Group, 1 October 1994 – 1 July 1995
  • 1400th Operations Group, 18 December 1955 – 1 July 1960



Operational Components



Activated on 1 October 1994
Redesignated 85th Group on 1 July 1995
Inactivated on 28 June 2006.

Consolidated Unit

Redesignated Air Forces Iceland on 1 January 1960
Inactivated on 31 May 1993
Consolidated with 85th Tactical Fighter Wing on 29 September 1994 as 85th Wing
  • Designated as Iceland Air Defense Force and organized, on 1 April 1952

Air Forces Iceland

Activated on 10 February 1942
Redesignated as 85th Bombardment Group (Dive) on 27 July 1942
Redesignated as 85th Fighter-Bomber Group on 10 August 1943
Disbanded on 1 May 1944
Reconstituted on 31 July 1985 and redesignated as 85th Tactical Fighter Training Wing (not active)
Consolidated with Air Forces Iceland on 29 September 1994 as 85th Wing
  • Constituted as 85th Bombardment Group (Light) on 13 January 1942

85th Fighter-Bomber Group[4]


The 85th Group continued to support rotational deployments until it was inactivated during a one-hour, formal ceremony on 28 June 2006, as a result of the Air Force reduction in forces in Iceland. All rotational fighters left and the 56th Rescue Squadron ceased operation at the end of the fiscal year.

Air Force reductions and a new agreement with the Government of Iceland continued to affect Keflavik organizations. On 1 March 1995, the 57th Fighter Squadron was inactivated and the interceptor force was replaced by Regular Air Force and Air National Guard F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft rotating every 90 days to Iceland. The 85th Wing was reduced to a Group level in 1995 and supported rotational deployments. In 2002 jurisdiction of Air Force units in Iceland was transferred to the United States Air Forces in Europe.

Air Forces Iceland continued the air defense mission of Iceland as a tenant organization at Keflavik. it was transferred from MATS to Air Defense Command in 1962; Tactical Air Command in 1978 and Air Combat Command in 1992 until it was inactivated in 1993 and replaced by the 35th Wing. In 1994, it was consolidated with the 85th Tactical Fighter Training Wing and activated to replace the 35th Wing to serve again as the headquarters for Air Force units in Iceland, as the 85th Wing.[15] It assumed the operational management of fighter and tanker aircraft deployed to Iceland to protect the nation's airspace.[15] It defended U.S. national interests in the North Atlantic and provided in the Iceland area.[15] In 2003, its 56th Rescue Squadron deployed to Liberia as part of Joint Task Force Liberia. It provided a peacekeeping presence over the capital of Monrovia towards the end of the Second Liberian Civil War and saved lives by extracting people from the United States Embassy in Monrovia.[3]

The second predecessor of the 85th Group was the Iceland Air Defense Force, which replaced the NATO Iceland Defense Force. Keflavik Airport was transferred to the U.S. Navy on 30 June 1961, along with base support activities.

57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron McDonnell F-4E Phantom
57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron F-4C Phantom intercepting a Tu-95R "Bear B" bomber
USAF Iceland Emblem
See also: 57th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron; Naval Air Station Keflavik

Cold War

[14] The 85th returned to Third Air Force in Louisiana and re-equipped with

The earliest predecessor of the 85th Group was formed during World War II as the 85th Bombardment Group, a dive bomber unit equipped with Vultee V-72 Vengeance single-engine attack aircraft.[4] The group's original squadrons were the 305th,[5] 306th,[6] 307th,[7] and 308th Bombardment Squadrons.[8] It moved to Bowman Field, Kentucky to train for close air support and received its first aircraft there.[4][9] It converted to A-24 Banshee dive bombers in August 1942 and was reassigned to Fourth Air Force in California, taking part in training maneuvers at the Desert Training Center with Army ground units programmed for the Operation Torch landings in North Africa. It continued to participate in maneuvers in California during fall and winter of 1942–1943.[4]

World War II 85th Fighter-Bomber Group emblem

World War II


  • 56th Rescue Squadron (56th RS) performed the rescue function for the 85th Group. Using HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters, the 56th was responsible for combat rescue and reaction force response through insertion, extraction, and recovery of NATO combatants. Also known as "The Northern Lifesavers," the 56th provided continuous peacetime alert with long-range rescue capability for an area encompassing more than one million square miles and extending to the North Pole. More than 290 lives were saved since 1971 by the 56th and its predecessor, Detachment 14, 67th Aerospace and Recovery Squadron.[2]
  • 932d Air Control Squadron (932d ACS) was responsible for the detection and identification of all aircraft within the Iceland Military Air Defense Identification Zone. Using four ground-based radars and occasionally Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, the 85th Group's 932nd Air Control Squadron provided air surveillance of Iceland and the North Atlantic, referred to as the Military Air Defense Identification Zone (MADIZ). It controlled and coordinated the employment of assigned air defense forces to include fighter, tanker, and air/ground surveillance systems and coordinated with USACOM, NORAD and NATO command and control units and reported unidentified air traffic to the NCA.[2]
The vital air defense mission were carried out by F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft of deployed temporary duty units rotating every 90 days to Iceland. While deployed to Keflavik, the F-15s were under the operational control of the 85th Operations Squadron (OS). The 85th OS's Tanker Flight oversaw the operations of deployed KC-135 Stratotanker and HC-130 Hercules refueling aircraft.
  • 85th Operations Squadron (85th OS). Was the air arm of the Iceland Defense Force and sole provider of Iceland's air sovereignty. It executed USACOM tasking for rotational [2]


As the "Guardians of the North," the 85th Group was responsible for deterring aggression in the North Atlantic, protecting Iceland's airspace and supporting contingency operations. This was accomplished through surveillance, air superiority and the use of rescue assets. The 85th Group was responsible for deterring aggression in the North Atlantic and protecting Iceland's airspace. It also supported contingency operations through surveillance, air superiority and rescue forces.

(IDF) as part of Island Command Iceland. Iceland Defense Force Operationally, the group was assigned to the [3][2] Reactivated in 1952, the 85th Group was an Independent Group comprising seven squadrons and 13 staff agencies, with more than 1300 people assigned.[2]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.