USAF Patch Air Refueling USAFE c 306 Strategic Wing Mildenhall c
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USAF Patch Air Refueling USAFE c 306 Strategic Wing Mildenhall c

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USAF Patch USAFE 306 Strategic Wing SW RAF Mildenhall 1980s Reconnaissance Air Refuelling ETTF KC 135 RC 135 Fully embroidered cut edge 76mm by 80mm three inches by three and one eighth inches

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Wing History 

306 Strategic Wing was reactivated at Ramstein AB West Germany on 15 August 1976 by Strategic Air Command SAC becoming operational in October 1976 to be responsible for SAC liaison with USAFE and European Command SAC RC 135 reconnaissance missions and air refuelling support for SAC operations in Europe replacing 98 Strategic Wing which had been inactivated at Torrejon AB Spain and Detachment 1 98th Strategic Wing inactivated at RAF Upper Heyford and RAF Mildenhall UK. 98 SWs Spanish Tanker Task Force was renamed European Tanker Task Force with 306 SW as HQ ETTF to continue the provision of air refuelling support for the operational alert and exercise Bomb and Reconnaissance commitment of SAC Tactical Air Command USAFE and NATO using attached temporary duty TDY Boeing KC 135 Stratotankers and crews rotationally deployed by US based SAC wings.  

306 SW relocated to RAF Mildenhall UK on 1 July 1978 and was assigned 922 Strategic Squadron at Hellenikon AB Greece and was assigned 34 Strategic Squadron at Zaragoza AB Spain ZAB in August 1978 deploying a number of the Wings ETTF KC 135 Stratotankers to the forward operating locations at Hellenikon AB and Zaragoza AB aswell as to Lajes Field Azores and Sigonella NAS Italy.  

306 Wings ETTF provided refuelling for all RC 135 U 2 and SR 71 Blackbird reconnaissance operations over Europe Middle East Africa and west Asia and supported air refuelling requirements for a variety of aircraft in or transiting the European Theatre including USAF EC 135 Silk Purse aircraft USAF and NATO E 3A AWACSs USAF F 111 Aardvark fighter bombers F 4 Phantoms C 141 Starlifter and C 5 Galaxy transport aircraft KC 10 Extender air refuelling aircraft MC 130 Combat Talon and Combat Shadow Special Operations aircraft B 52 Stratofortress Buff B 1 Lancer bombers and RAF Lightning F6 aircraft.  

306 Strategic Wing took over RAF Fairford based 11 Strategic Groups ETTF duties at Keflavik AB Iceland in the early 1980s and deployed ETTF KC 10A Extender air refuelling aircraft to Zaragoza AB in 1985. The Wings 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 mission at RAF Fairford with operating locations at Zaragoza AB Spain ZAB and Riyadh AB Saudi Arabia was transferred to 306 Strategic Wing at RAF Mildenhall in July 1990. ETTF undertook a major role supporting Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. 306 Strategic Wing was inactivated at RAF Mildenhall on 31 March 1992 and responsibility for managing ETTF and its forward operating locations was transferred to the recently activated 100 Air Refuelling Wing with its ability to utilise its own 351 Air Refuelling Squadron KC 135R Stratotanker aircraft as well as rotating TDY air refuelling units from the US.


This patch dates from the 1980s.








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