USAF Patch Air Refueling USAFE b 11 Strategic Group RAF Fairford
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USAF Patch Air Refueling USAFE b 11 Strategic Group RAF Fairford

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  • Item #: 1P 02US 4USA 05GRP 2OP 0011SG 01
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USAF Patch USAFE 11 Strategic Group SG Grey Geese RAF Fairford Air Refuelling European Tanker Task Force ETTF 1984 KC 135 KC 10 UK made Fully embroidered cut edge 85mm by 84mm three and three eighth inches by three and five sixteenth inches.

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11 Strategic Group was activated at RAF Fairford in September 1978 to provide air refuelling capability in addition to 306 Strategic Wing at RAF Mildenhall for the European Tanker Task Force ETTF to support operational alert and exercise Bomb and Reconnaissance commitment of Strategic Air Command SAC Tactical Air Command USAFE and NATO using attached temporary duty TDY Boeing KC 135 Stratotankers crews and crew chiefs rotationally deployed by US based SAC wings with operations staff and maintenance personnel permanently assigned.  

11 SG deployed ETTF tanker flights from RAF Fairford to its forward operating locations at Zaragoza AB Spain ZAB Riyadh AB Saudi Arabia Keflavik AB Iceland as well as undertaking missions from RAF Fairford and to ETTF forward OLs at Lajes Field Azores Sigonella NAS Italy and Hellenikon AB Greece providing air refuelling support for all USAF operations deployments and redeployments as well as participating in NATO exercises. 306 SW took over OL duties at Keflavik AB Iceland in the early 1980s and added KC 10 Extender tankers to its available fleet in 1984.  

The Wings assets to ETTF undertook a major role in the success of Operation El Dorado Canyon the US attacks on Libya in 1986 supporting the UK F 111 bombing fleet with a 14 hour radio silence rendezvous mission deploying the largest number of refuelling aircraft ever flown over Europe and the largest fleet of KC 10 Extender aircraft airborne at one time. In addition ETTF supported the reconnaissance flights before and after the attacks. 

With the end of the Cold War 11 Strategic Groups air refuelling role at RAF Fairford was transferred to 306 Strategic Wing at RAF Mildenhall in 1990 with 11 SGs last RAF Fairford refuelling sortie on 27 June 1990. 11 Strategic group was inactivated on 7 August 1990. 

This patch dates from 1984.








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