Allen C. Thompson Field ANGB Jackson International Airport
Published July 01, 2008
The 172d Airlift Wing is located at Allen C. Thompson Field (Jackson IAP) in Jackson, Mississippi. Thompson Field is in Rankin County, Mississippi. The Air National Guard facility is named after Charles L. Sullivan, the former Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi and long time member and pilot in the 172d. The base covers about 97 acres of land and contains 33 facility buildings.
The 172d Airlift Wing has a primary strategic airlift mission and secondary aerial evacuation mission with their two flying squadrons, the 183d Airlift Squadron and 183d Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. The C-141B Starlifter is flown by each unit to accomplish these missions. The Wing is complemented by support units including maintenance, logistics, personnel, finance, medical, communications, security police, and civil engineering. The 172d is a component of the 21st Air Force and is ultimately under the Air Mobility Command. The unit has grown from 102 officers and airmen in 1953 to 1,140 today.
To establish Jackson's first airport, 151 acres of land was purchased in February 1928 for the sum of $53,500. Davis Field was dedicated later that year. Davis Field is now known as Hawkins Field. Delta Air Lines' inaugural flight was in 1929.
In June of 1941, Hawkins Field at Jackson, MS was designated an Army Air Base. The facility was used as a pilot training center through January 1949, at which time it reverted to civilian aviation status. In 1953, the Mississippi Air National Guard returned to certain facilities at Hawkins Field. The 172d original designation was the 183d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. The unit was assigned eighteen B-26 aircraft as well as a few C-47s. In 1957, Six Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars replaced the B-26.
In April of 1961, construction of the present ANG base began. In July 1962, the C-121 Lockheed Super Constellation arrived in Jackson.
In 1963 a new military and commercial air facility was dedicated in Rankin County, known as Allen C. Thompson Field. Even though it is still referred to as Thompson Field, the name has officially been changed to the Jackson International Airport. Along with this International status, the United States Customs office is now located within the facility and there is a Foreign Trade Zone.
In 1964, the 183d was reorganized and redesignated the 172d Air Transport Group. In 1966, the C-124 Globemaster was assigned to Mississippi Air Guard. In 1967, the 172d flew the 1000 th support mission into South Vietnam. In 1969, the ANG responded to the emergency created by Hurricane Camille. Also in 1969, the unit provided maximum force airlift in Southeast Asia.
In November of 1995, it was announced that six operational C-17 aircraft would be assigned to the 172d Airlift Wing. This new aircraft assignment will require the Jackson ANG to acquire 39 more acres of leased land at the airport, as well as construct new facilities by 2004 to support the C-17 planes.
The future land use plan includes the Mississippi ANG after future expansion needed to implement short term and long range mission objectives. In the short term MANG is slated for delivery of the new C-17 Globemaster to replace the existing C-141 Starlifter in service at the base. Land required for the expansion of the apron and associated safety zones, maintenance and operations facilities and the small arms range will require an additional 55 acres of land on airport property. This acquisition is proposed to occur in two stages, one during a short term and the other during long term.
The Long Range Plan provides for future accommodation of 16 C-17 aircraft. The projects included in the long-range plan are: Construct Aircraft Generation Unit/Extend Starlifter Road; Construct Flight Simulator; Construct Squadron Operations; Alter Building 129 for Aeromed Evacuation; Apron Expansion, Phase II; Expand Hangar 102; Construct Maintenance Hangar/AGE Shop; Construct Fuel Cell Dock; Addition to Supply; Extend Globemaster Road; Construct Fire Training Area; and Construct Mobility Complex/Truck Scale.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Key Field Air Guard Station, MS. It would move the 186th Air Refueling Wing's fire fighter positions to the 172d Air Wing at Jackson International Airport.