Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson's 3rd Wing celebrates 100th anniversary

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Emily Farnsworth
  • 673 Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is holding a celebration for the 3rd Wing’s 100th anniversary July 25-27.


“The 3rd WG’s contribution to air power has passed the test of time by enduring since its first day in 1919,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Davis, 3rd WG commander.


Originally known as the Army Surveillance Group, the 3rd WG was activated July 1, 1919 by the War Department as a response to Battle of Juarez during the Mexican Revolution.

In the century since its creation, the 3rd WG has been renamed five separate times. Throughout the era, it has been known as the 3rd Attack Group, the 3rd Bombardment Group, the 3rd Bombardment Wing, Light and the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing before being re-designated into what is now the 3rd WG.


Since its humble beginning, the 3rd WG has continued to adapt and overcome obstacles amid the subsequent advances in both technology and in aerial warfare to become the lethal, ready force it is today. 

“In over 100 years, the 3rd WG’s purpose remains unchanged,” Davis said. “Our purpose has been and remains today to deliver military power from the air. The 3rd WG’s members are highly effective at achieving our purpose.”

To display the 3rd WG’s proficiency in its current mission of supporting the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, an F-22 Raptor demonstration and an F-22 weapons load crew competition are scheduled to take place during the anniversary celebration.

The 3rd WG provides the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command with with agile air capabilities, global mobility, and command and control to support the command’s objectives of uniting allies and partners to enhance regional stability and security.

As part of the celebration, the 3rd WG is holding a traditional roll call and piano burning to honor those in the wing who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Fighter wings took the piano burning tradition from the British Royal Air Force at the end of World War II to use in remembrance of their fallen.

Due to constant advancements in aerial warfare, the 3rd WG continues to adapt its abilities to posture itself for the next 100 years of mission readiness.

“We are part of a historical legacy of airpower excellence,” Davis said. “Our nation needs 3rd WG now more then ever. We will continue to be innovative, lethal and heroic as we stand together to fly, fight and win.”