"Bombers 'R' Us" 1999

8th Air Force 75th Anniversary

8th Air Force 75th Anniversary

The B-52 Stratofortress: End of an Era

The B-52 Stratofortress: End of an Era

Andersen Air Force Base history


In a tent on Pati Point in 1944, four men of the 854th Airfield Construction Battalion stood at a draftsman's table drawing lines on a blueprint that would become runways, taxiways and parking aprons for World War II B-29 operations. North Field's first runway became operational Feb. 3, 1945. The first combat mission from North Field took place Feb. 25.

After World War II, the Army Air Forces in the Pacific closed many airfields, leaving the 19th Bomb Group at North Field as the only bombardment unit of the Far East Air Forces.

In the fall of 1946, construction began for permanent structures. When the Air Force became a separate service in 1947, North Field became North Guam Air Force Base. The installation was renamed Andersen AFB on Oct. 7, 1949, in honor of Brig. Gen. James R. Andersen, who was presumed lost at sea in the crash of his B-24 Liberator, Feb. 26, 1945, on a flight from Kwajalein to Hawaii.

During the Korean War, Andersen served in an administrative and logistical capacity, operating ammunition dumps and providing maintenance to transient aircraft. Following the war, Andersen began supporting bomber and aerial refueling units on rotational deployments from the United States. During this time, Andersen was home to the B-36, B-47, B-50, B-52, B-29, KC-97 and KC-135.

Andersen's role in Vietnam is legendary, starting on June 18, 1965, when 27 B-52 bombers were launched from its runway. These flights began Operation Arc Light, bombing missions against Viet Cong base operations, troop concentrations and supply lines. In early 1972, 153 B-52s lined the airfield in a surge of Arc Light missions titled Bullet Shot. It took five miles of ramp space to park them and an expert to ensure their orderly movement since a blocked taxiway could prove a mission-crippling impasse.

Later that year Operation Linebacker II got underway when, on December 18, 1972, 87 B-52s were launched from Andersen in one hour and 43 minutes. Throughout the 11-day operation, Andersen-based B-52s flew 379 of the 729 sorties. Often called the "11-day war," Linebacker II led to the renewal of the Paris Peace Talks and, on January 28, 1973, the signing of a cease-fire agreement with the government of North Vietnam.

Two years after U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War ended Andersen participated in Operation New Life, becoming home to thousands of Vietnamese refugees until officials could process them into the United States. In the end, 109,553 refugees departed Andersen for the United States aboard 518 aircraft.

The post-Vietnam period brought a return to routine operations at Andersen, with B-52s on the ramp throughout the 1980s and the base remaining a vital overseas platform for carrying out the USAF's mission of global deterrence.

In support of the Gulf War in 1991, Andersen aided in transporting and deploying 200 aircraft, 2,200 troops and 2,212 tons of cargo. In addition, Andersen munitions specialists shipped more than 75 million pounds of bombs to the Gulf.

During Operation Fiery Vigil in June 1991, more than 21,000 people and their pets evacuated from Clark Air Base in the Philippines, came through Andersen following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo.
The Air Force inactivated 633rd Air Base Wing Oct. 1, 1994, and activated the 36th Air Base Wing, in keeping with the Air Force chief of staff's policy of keeping the most highly decorated and longest serving Air Force units on active duty. The Air Force had inactivated the 36th Fighter Wing at Bitburg Air Base, Germany, Oct. 1, 1994.

In October 1994, the U.S. Navy Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Five relocated to Andersen from the now closed Naval Air Station, Guam.

Today, with its huge fuel and munitions storage facilities and dual runways, Andersen is an important forward-based logistics support center for contingency forces deploying throughout the southwest Pacific and Indian oceans. Andersen's ideal flying conditions, relatively unlimited airspace and nearby air-to-ground range make this an ideal training area for the U.S. military and militaries of nearby countries.

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A B-1B Lancer which caught fire on Andersen September 2005 had its wing, nacelle and landing gear parts removed for repair. The aircraft will then be returned to fully mission capable status and ready for combat in summer of 2008. (Courtesy photo) Andersen, Tinker rebuild B-1
In September 2005 a B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., landed at Andersen and burst into flames
0 12/03
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley, then Pacific Air Forces Command Chief in this January 2006 photo, takes a moment out of his busy schedule to view the F-4E Phantom he launched from Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines in April 1991. Chief McKinley said he has a special place in his heart for the F-4 Phantom and even keeps a model of one on his desk at the Pentagon. This historical aircraft recently received an updated paint scheme to reflect Andersen’s current mission. (Courtesy photo/Office of the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Public Affairs Advisor) CMSAF recalls legacy of Andersen's F-4
A piece of Vietnam-era and Cold War history is resting here as a tangible legacy for all Pacific Air
0 11/29
Airmen offload cargo from a C-17 Globemaster III Nov. 26 at Zia International Airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A 37-person team from the 36th Contingency Response Group from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, will establish relief supply transload operations in the wake of a Nov. 15 tropical cyclone that devastated much of the southern part of the country. The C-17 and crew are from the 535th Airlift Squadron at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Michael Boyer) 
Airmen support Bangladesh relief operations
Pacific Air Forces units are providing relief in Bangladesh in the wake of a tropical cyclone which
0 11/27
OVER THE PACIFIC OCEAN -- A B-2 Spirit bomber refuels from a KC-135 Stratotanker here during a deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.  The bomber deployed as part of a rotation that has provided U.S. Pacific Command officials a continuous bomber presence in the Asia-Pacific region, enhancing regional security and the U.S. commitment to the Western Pacific.  The Spirit is from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo.  The Stratotanker is assigned to the Illinois Air National Guard's 126th Air Refueling Wing at Scott AFB.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Val Gempis) Spirits begin to soar
Residents here can soon expect to see more of the distinctive triangular visage marking America's
0 10/15
The B-2 Spirits from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., arrive here under cloudy skies and a rainy evening 7 Oct. This stealth bomber is parked on the tarmac at Andersen Air Force Base and is immediately serviced by maintenance crews after its arrival. The Spirit is a two-person aircraft and is equipped with stealth technology. These airframes are replacing the B-52 Stratofortresses deployed here from Barksdale Air Force Base, La. (Air Force Photo/Capt. Bryan Florio)

B-2s arrive for deployment to Western Pacific
Four B-2 Spirits from the 393rd Bomb Squadron, deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, M.O., arrived
0 10/09
A Fireball F-16 taxies behind a B-52 here on Andersen. Even though this is the last deployment for the Fireballs, they conducted some very valuable and jointly integrated training here with airframes like the B-52. The unit itself is being deactivated but the people that comprise it are not. Because of the intense training conducted by the 522 EFS here, its members are leaving as highly technical and skilled to their respective gaining units. (Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. Mahmoud Rasouliyan) 
Last deployment for Fireballs, 27th Fighter Wing
The 522 Expeditionary Fighter Squadron deployed here from Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., is wrapping
0 10/01
A B-52 bomber, deployed at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., takes off for September’s Koa Lightning exercise.  For the first time, B-52 crews dropped inert munitions on Pele Bombing Range, Hawaii.  The munitions are made from concrete and have GPS guidance, which make them safe for the environment. This training provides valuable simulated combat experience for the aircrews and translates into raw global combat power against the continuing war on terrorism. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. Mahmoud Rasouliyan) Inert weapons dropped for first time in Koa Lightning exercise
The 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron here went "wheels up" for exercise Koa Lightning Sept.16 and
0 9/19
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam - Brig. Gen. Doug Owens, 36th Wing
commander, and Col. Joel Westa, 36th WG vice commander, stand at
attention as Airmen from Andersen's Honor Guard perform the flag folding
ceremony during the plaque rededication ceremony held at 4:45 p.m. today
at the 36th WG Headquarters Building.  The base held the rededication
ceremony to unveil the original plaque that named Andersen after its
namesake Brig. Gen. Roy Andersen.  General Andersen was a former chief
of staff of the Army Air Forces in the Pacific who died in an aircraft
accident over the Pacific Ocean in 1945.  The plaque was originally
dedicated in 1949 when North Field was renamed Andersen Air Force Base.
The event was one of many held during Guam's Air Force Week to honor the
Air Force's 60th Anniversary. (Photo by Senior Airman Sonya Padilla/
36th Wing Public Affairs)
Rededication ceremony brings plaque home
In 1950, North Field was renamed Andersen Air Force Base in honor of Brig. Gen. James Roy Andersen,
0 9/11
A B-52 Stratofortress takes off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam to participate in an exercise scenario.  The aircraft, aircrew and maintenance personnel are deployed from Barksdale AFB, La., as part of the continuous bomber presence in the Pacific region. During their deployment here, the bomber squadron's participation in exercises will emphasize the U.S. bomber presence, demonstrating U.S. commitment to the Pacific region. 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mahmoud Rasouliyan) Stratofortresses test operational skills in Koa Lightning
Deployed B-52 bombers and aircrews demonstrated the Air Force's global reach and global power by
0 8/21
Airman deployed from Beale Air Force Base, Calif., prepare to weigh the Global Hawk before refueling in a hangar July 19 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The aircraft has a wing span of 116 feet and is designed to cruise at extremely high altitudes. This marked the first time a Global Hawk deployed in support from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Miranda Moorer)                     Global Hawk deploys through Andersen

0 7/30
Default Air Force Logo An unsinkable aircraft carrier: Andersen as a wartime platform is key to security and deterrence in the Pacific region
In May 2007, the U.S. Air Force deployed 18 F-16s, six B-52s and four KC-135s in support of Theater
0 7/20
Default Air Force Logo Ask Joyce: What role does its pre-liberation history play in its culture?
The taotaomonas (first people) were people of simplicity and resiliency on a lush island yet
0 7/20
20th Expeditionary Bomber Squadron Airmen discuss the B-52 Stratofortress and the bomber presence in the Pacific region during a visit to K-57 news talk radio recently. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Art Webb) Expeditionary Airmen talk live on radio show
Airmen from the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron were on a different mission July 3 when they
0 7/09
B-52s from the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron fly in support of Operation Green Lightning recently. The mission consisted of 10 B-52 bombers flying more than 4,500 nautical miles to the Delamere Bombing Range in Australia where they dropped four  750-pound general purpose bombs and then flew non-stop back to Andersen. (Courtesy photo)
10 B-52 bombers gear up for Australia
B-52 aircrews assigned to Team Andersen, from the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron took their
0 7/09
Default Air Force Logo Ask Joyce: Can you explain what happened on Guam on July 21, 1944?
Let's visualize, hear and feel the presence of American battleships, cruisers and destroyers
0 7/09
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