Moody Air Force Base, Georgia
The 23rd Wing organizes, trains and employs combat-ready A-10, HC-130, HH-60, pararescuemen and force protection assets and personnel consisting of approximately 6,100 military and civilian personnel including geographically separated units in Nevada, Arizona and North Carolina. The wing executes worldwide close air support, force protection, and combat search and rescue operations in support of humanitarian interests, United States national security and the global war on terrorism.
The wing's aircraft include the A-10, HH-60G and HC-130P. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. The twin-engine jet aircraft can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles. The HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter provides a combat search and rescue platform for the USAF through its ability to operate in a vast array of rescue scenarios. The HC-130P flies low-level missions into hostile territory to effect rescues and to provide air refueling for our rescue helicopters.
The 23rd Wing is the host unit at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Ga. The wing is comprised of seven groups; five located at Moody AFB, Ga., one located at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., and one at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
The 23rd Mission Support and Medical Groups consist of 10 squadrons at Moody AFB, GA. The 23rd Maintenance Group consists of seven maintenance squadrons located at all three geographic locations.
The 23rd Fighter Group - Flying Tigers - at Pope Air Force Base, N.C. consists of two A-10 squadrons, two maintenance squadrons, and an operational support squadron. The 23rd Fighter Group became part of the 23rd Wing at Moody AFB, Ga., in a ceremony Aug. 18, 2006 at Pope. Comprised of A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, the group is scheduled to begin relocating to Georgia in 2007.
The 347th Rescue Group is based at Moody AFB and consists of one HH-60G rescue squadron, one HC-130P rescue squadron, one pararescue squadron and one operational support squadron.
The 563rd Rescue Group is based at Davis-Monthan, Ariz., and an Operating Location at Nellis AFB, Nev. The group consists of one HC-130 squadron, two HH-60 squadrons, two pararescue squadrons, and one operational support squadron.
The base has approximately 4,278 military and 375 civilian employees. Population impact on the local community:
Military and family 8,283
Civilians and family 3,000 (est)
Retirees and family 15,000 (est)
This number is even more significant when compared to the Valdosta population of 48,000 and Lowndes County with 85,000.
In FY 03, Moody generated a $197.8 million dollar payroll for the local economy. Construction, services and commodities contracts totaled almost $81.1 million. Other expenditures such as pay from the 1,797 secondary jobs created totaled $43.9 million. TOTAL - $323 million.
The base was named in memory of Maj. George Putnam Moody, an early Air Force pioneer killed in May 1941 while serving with the Beech Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kan. At the time of his death, the major was working on the inspection board for AT-10 transitional trainers which were later sent to Moody.
The base had its beginning in 1940 when a group of concerned Valdosta and Lowndes County citizens began searching for a way to assist the expanding defense program. The citizens rallied interest in the War Department for a 9,300 acre tract known as the Lakeland Flatwoods Project, northeast of Valdosta. On May 14, 1941, the War Department was granted exclusive use of the land by the Agriculture Department.
On Feb. 19, 1942, the Moody Field Advanced Pilot Training School began training 50 Army Air Corps cadets in the Beech AT-10. Following World War II, Moody was placed on inactive status in November 1947, but was reactivated in May 1951 when the Korean conflict created a need for more Air Force pilots.
The base's primary mission in its early years was to meet the requirements of the Air Force Pilot Instrument School and Instrument Flying School.
In September 1975, the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing, belonging to Tactical Air Command, relocated from Thailand to Moody.
In December 1975, the 347th TFW formally replaced the 38th Flying Training Wing, flying the F-4E Phantom II.
Moody won the Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award for 1991, and the 1994 Verne Orr Award, which is presented by the Air Force Association to the unit that most effectively uses human resources to accomplish its mission. In June 1997, the wing was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the eighth time in its illustrious history.
On July 1, 1994, the Air Force converted the 347th Fighter Wing to the 347th Wing, a force projection, airland composite wing.
On May 8, 2001, the 347th Wing converted again to the 347th Rescue Wing, becoming the Air Force's only active-duty combat search and rescue wing.
On Oct 1, 2003, the 347th RQW was realigned from ACC to AFSOC in an effort to bring all CSAR assets under the same command.
On April 3, 2006, the 347th RQW was realigned from AFSOC to ACC to ensure CSAR assets are directly linked to the combat air forces and the personnel they support.
On Sept 29, 2006, the 347th RQW was redesignated to the 23rd Wing. Along with accepting the 23rd Wing designation, the base will accept the responsibility of carrying on the historic Flying Tiger's heritage.
479th Flying Training Group - Air Education and Training Command
336th Recruiting Squadron - Air Education and Training Command
373rd Training Squadron, Det. 17 - Air Education and Training Command
(Current as of August 2006)