582nd Helicopter Group
582nd Helicopter Group

582nd Helicopter Group

The 582d Helicopter Group was activated in January 2015 at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming to provide a unified headquarters for the helicopter squadrons located on the intercontinental ballistic missile bases of Air Force Global Strike Command. The group was first activated in 1943 as the 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron at Hamilton Field, and after training, moved to the South Pacific Theater, where it served until the end of World War II, earning two Distinguished Unit Citations and a Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation for combat search and rescue and special operations missions. Following the end of the war, the squadron served as part of the occupation forces at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa from 1947 until 1950. In May 1950 the squadron, now designated the 2d Rescue Squadron moved to Clark Air Base in the Philippines.

Air Rescue Service SH-19
Air Rescue Service SH-19

Although combat search and rescue during the Korean War was the responsibility of the 3d Air Rescue Squadron, the 2d Air Rescue Squadron was tasked with providing escort coverage with its SB-29s for bombers based in Okinawa striking targets in North Korea. In 1952, the unit was expanded to group level as the 2d Air Rescue Group and its lettered flights became air rescue squadrons. The group provided rescue support for units of Thirteenth Air Force and the southwest Pacific until 1955, when it moved to Wheeler Air Force Base, where it became the headquarters for all rescue units in the Pacific. The group was inactivated at Wheeler in June 1958 and its component squadrons were assigned directly to Air Rescue Service.
582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey
582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey

On 1 August 2014, the 20th Air Force Helicopter Operations Group (Provisional) stood up at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming to support the three USAF intercontinental ballistic missile wings. Prior to the activation of the provisional group, helicopter units supporting Minuteman missile wings were assigned to the missile wing’s operations group; the 37th Helicopter Squadron at F. E. Warren to the 90th Operations Group, the 40th Helicopter Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana to the 341st Operations Group, and the 54th Helicopter Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota to the 91st Operations Group.
582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey
582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey

The formation of the group followed a recommendation from the Air Force Global Strike Command Force Improvement Program. It created an aviation-focused headquarters to support the missile mission for the first time. One hoped-for side effect was to improve morale in the helicopter crews that have been performing the nuclear support mission with the Bell UH-1 Huey since 1969. UH-1s would be used for by missile support units for the foreseeable future due to the cancellation of the Common Vertical Lift Support Platform in 2013. In 2015, the 2d Group was redesignated to its current name and activated at F. E. Warren, and the 37th, 40th, and 54th Helicopter Squadrons were relieved of attachment to the provisional group and became the new group’s first units.
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