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386th Air Expeditionary Wing

The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, headquartered at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, serves as the primary airlift hub and gateway for delivering combat power to joint and coalition forces in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility (AOR).

Ali Al Salem and Cargo City are the busiest aerial ports in the AOR supporting ongoing Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel with a yearly average of 600 monthly missions, delivering approximately 54,000 tons of cargo and 180,000 personnel. The wing also supports more than 4,000 joint and 8,500 coalition forces.

The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing is comprised of the 386th Expeditionary Air Base Group, Wing Special Staff, A-Staff, and the Mission Generation Force Element located at both Ali Al Salem and Ahmed Al Jaber Air Bases, and the 387th Air Expeditionary Group located at Cargo City and Ali Al Salem Air Base.

Many of the wing's Airmen are filling Joint Expeditionary Taskings and Individual Augmentees (JET/IA). These Airmen fill and support requirements for more than 60 different specialties and unique skillsets operating at locations throughout Southwest Asia.


​WE Partner - Deliver - Support to provide combat power an​d increase regional stability


Deliver decisive, combat power and unrivaled capability through USCENTCOM's Theater Gateway


Project Combat Power, People, Partnerships

History of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing

The history of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing dates back to the early days of World War II. On December 1, 1942, the Army Air Forces activated the 386th Bombardment Group (Medium) at MacDill Field, Florida. Although only in existence less than three years, the men of the 386th attained the most outstanding record of all B-26 Groups in the European Theater of Operations in terms of number of successful sorties flown, tonnage of bombs dispatched and enemy aircraft destroyed while maintaining the highest bombing accuracy score. More than 3,000 Airmen served with the 386th during the war, flying 409 missions. One hundred and ninety three Airmen made the ultimate sacrifice. After World War II the 386th was inactivated.

The 386th was redesignated the 386th Fighter-Bomber Group on October 31, 1955, and activated April 8, 1956 at Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Indiana. The F-86 was the primary airframe for the unit until its conversion to the F-100 in 1957. The 386th was inactivated on July 8, 1957.

In 2002, the 386th Air Expeditionary Group replaced the 9th Air Expeditionary Group at Ali Al Salem Air Base. The 386th Air Expeditionary Group’s mission was to provide combat search and rescue, theater airlift, aeromedical evacuation, air surveillance and control, theater ballistic missile defense, as well as force protection, combat support, and the ability to survive and operate for coalition air, ground and other operations.

Airmen assigned to the 386th Air Expeditionary Group, during Operation Southern Watch, monitored air traffic in southern Iraq. The radar site served as the sole mechanism for monitoring Iraqi airspace when the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft were not patrolling the skies.

Effective Aug. 12, 2002, a few months prior to the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 386th Air Expeditionary Group was redesignated the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing and aligned under the 9th Expeditionary Task Force.

(UPDATED 18 July 2024)