Allen C. Thompson Field ANGB Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport

The 172nd Airlift Wing is located on Allen C. Thompson Field (Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport) 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 longtime member and pilot in the 172nd. The base covers about 97 acres of land and contains 33 facility buildings.

The 172nd Airlift Wing has a primary strategic airlift mission and secondary aerial evacuation mission with their two flying squadrons, the 183rd Airlift Squadron and 183rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. Each unit flies in the C-17 Globemaster III to accomplish these missions. The Wing is complemented by support units, including maintenance, logistics, personnel, finance, medical, communications, security police, and civil engineering. The 172nd is a component of the 21st Air Force and is ultimately under the Air Mobility Command. The unit has significantly grown from the 102 officers and enlisted airmen that began the unit in 1953.

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, now known as Hawkins Field, was a part of Delta Air Lines' inaugural flight on June 17, 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, when it reverted to civilian aviation status. In 1953, the Mississippi Air National Guard returned to specific facilities at Hawkins Field. The 172nd original designation was the 183rd 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-Medgar Wiley Evers 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 183rd was reorganized and redesignated as the 172nd Air Transport Group. In 1966, the C-124 Globemaster was assigned to Mississippi Air Guard. In 1967, the 172nd flew the 1000th support mission into South Vietnam. In 1969, the ANG responded to the emergency created by Hurricane Camille. Also, in 1969, the unit provided a maximum force airlift in Southeast Asia.

In 1971, the 172nd converted to the C-130E Hercules aircraft, and in 1980, after 27 years in the business, the 172d received a brand new, factory-fresh version of the Hercules, the C-130H, the ultra-modern model.

In 1986, the first C-141B Starlifter to be released from Air Force control arrived at Thompson Field to begin its new mission with the Mississippi Air National Guard. With eight aircraft, the unit started a new mission in strategic airlift that greatly expanded its global range.

On October 1, 1995, the 172nd Airlift Group was designated the 172nd Airlift Wing. 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 would require the Jackson ANG to acquire 39 more acres of leased land at the airport and construct new facilities by 2004 to support the C-17 planes.

In February of 2002, the 172nd lost its last C-141C Starlifter in preparation for the arrival of the Wing's first C-17 Globemaster III. In December later that year, Lt. Gen. Daniel James III, Director of the Air National Guard, handed off the "keys" to the first C-17 Globemaster III to Maj. Gen. James H. Lipscomb III, adjutant general for the Mississippi National Guard. Which was the first Globemaster assigned to the Air National Guard and named the "Spirit of the Minutemen."