USAF Patch Air Refueling USAFE d 7020 ABG Air Base RAF Fairford
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USAF Patch Air Refueling USAFE d 7020 ABG Air Base RAF Fairford

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  • Item #: 1P 02US 4USA 05GRP 2OP 7020BG 03
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USAF Patch USAFE 7020 ABG Air Base Group RAF Fairford Air Refuelling European Tanker Task Force ETTF 1979 KC 135 KC 10 UK made Fully embroidered cut edge 75mm by 70mm two and fifteen sixteenth inches by two and three quarter inches.

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History 

7020 Air Base Group was activated at RAF Fairford on 1 February 1979 assigned to 3 Air Force as base host unit responsible for the support of the flying mission of the 11 Strategic Group 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 for 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. 

7020 ABG undertook base security finance administration supply maintenance of base facilities morale and recreational activities with 7020 Headquarters Squadron 7020 Security Police Squadron 7020 Supply Squadron and 7020 Transportation Squadron. The Group was also assigned 66 Contingency Hospital based at RAF Little Rissington. 7020 ABG activated 7020 Civil Engineering Squadron at RAF Fairford on 5 November 1981.

RAF Fairfords runway is rated with an unrestricted load bearing capacity allowing it to support any aircraft with any type of load and was USAFs only European airfield for heavy bombers. RAF Fairford was alocated as one of NASAs TransOceanic Abort Landing site for Space Shuttle as it had a sufficiently long runway for a shuttle landing and NASA trained fire and medical crews were stationed on the airfield. NASAs Shuttle Carrier carrying the Enterprise landed at RAF Fairford on its way to the Paris Air Show in 1983 and the US President landed at RAF Fairford in Air Force One. RAF Fairford was frequently visited by transient U 2 reconnaissance aircraft.

7020 ABG hosted the International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford for the first time in 1985 and RAF Fairford KC 135 and KC 10 supported Operation El Dorado Canyon against Libya in 1986. The Group hosted IAT 1987 and IAT 1989. 

With the end of the Cold War and subsequent reduction in USAF forces in Europe 7020 ABG was inactivated in 1989 and 11 Strategic group was inactivated on 7 August 1990.

7020 Air Base Group was reactivated at RAF Fairford on 1 October 1990 for Operation Desert Shield following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait to provide support and host unit as a forward operating location for US based bomber and air refueling Wing deployments for long range bombing missions during Operation Desert Storm the first Gulf War in February to March 1991 with B 52 bombers and KC 135 tankers from Eaker AFB in Arkansas. With the return of RAF Fairford to standby status 7020 ABG was inactivated in 1995.  

 

This patch dates from 1979.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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