123rd Airlift Wing, Kentucky ANG   Right Corner Banner
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History

The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Airlift Wing is one of the most decorated units in the United States Air Force, with a proud history of global engagement and unsurpassed achievement. The wing's honors include 15 Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, three Curtis N. "Rusty" Metcalf Trophies, three 15th Air Force Solano Trophies, three Spaatz Trophies and six Distinguished Flying Unit Plaques.

The wing traces its roots to the 123rd Fighter Group and 165th Fighter Squadron, which were created on May 24, 1946, as part of a nationwide redesignation of World War II Army Air Corps units. Under War Department orders, the insignia, World War II battle credits and honors of the 359th Fighter Group and 368th Fighter Squadron were transferred to the Kentucky National Guard, and the new unit subsequently received federal recognition on Feb. 16, 1947. The "123rd" designation itself dates to the 123rd Cavalry Regiment, which can trace its lineage to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, a unit that fought in the Civil War.

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tabAir National Guard: A Short Story 
The Air National Guard as we know it today -- a separate reserve component of the United States Air Force -- was a product of the politics of postwar planning and interservice rivalry during World War II. The men who planned and maneuvered for an independent postwar Air Force during World War II didn't place much faith in the reserves, especially the state-dominated National Guard.

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