811th Operations Group
The proud professionals of the 811th Operations Group provide continuous rotary-wing contingency response capability to the National Capital Region while simultaneously supporting regional and global customers with critical airfield infrastructure and aviation services. The group consists of two squadrons of highly skilled, experienced, and motivated aircrew and support personnel. The 1st Helicopter Squadron executes the Air Force District of Washington’s only flying mission and conducts distinguished visitor airlift missions. The 811th Operations Support Squadron supports the no-fail contingency airlift mission and provides aviation related services to joint customers and aircrew world-wide.
811th Operations Support Squadron
The 811th Operations Support Squadron delivers world-class aviation equipment, services, support, and training across the NCR. Support elements to the airlift mission include: helicopter maintenance, flying hour program management, formal aircrew syllabus training, simulator program management, aircrew flight equipment and development of tactics and plans. Additionally, the 811 OSS houses the Host Aviation Resource Management, which services the NCR and the AFDW world-wide mission for over 2,300 airmen. Finally, the squadron provides first-line weather maintenance on five geographically separated airfields.
The 811 OSS was stood up in 2010 with the creation of the 811th Operations Group. The services provided by the 811 OSS continued those provided by the inactivated 316th Operations Support Squadron, which supported the 1st Helicopter Squadron as well as the 89th Airlift Wing’s Special Airlift Missions under Air Mobility Command.
1st Helicopter Squadron
The 1st Helicopter Squadron is the Air Force's largest operational helicopter squadron. The 1 HS operates the UH-1N Iroquois “Huey” conducting high-priority airlift missions and provides contingency response in the NCR. The squadron traces its helicopter heritage back to 1955, serving as the first Air Force rotary-wing squadron within the Washington, D.C. area. The unit also maintains the capability to provide defense support to civilian authorities in the event of a disaster.
The 1st Helicopter Squadron’s original lineage can be traced back to the early 1940s. It was first constituted as the 1st Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron on April 11, 1944 and activated on April 20, 1944. The 1st Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron operated out of Lakeland Airfield, Fl., under the Third Air Force, flying the P-51 Mustang.
On April 22, 1944, the squadron was reassigned to the 2nd Air Commando Group and was redesignated the 1st Fighter Squadron (Commando) on June 2, 1944. The squadron then deployed overseas to Kalaikunda, India on Dec. 14, 1944; Cox’s Bazaar, India on Feb. 13, 1945; and back to Kalaikunda, India on May 10, 1945. While in India, the unit served in combat in the China-Burma-India Theater from Feb. 14 to May 9, 1945. The squadron converted to the F-6 Mustang, a reconnaissance variant of the P-51 World War II fighter, in 1945, before returning to the United States to Camp Kilmer, NJ, between October and November 1945. The squadron was inactivated on Nov. 12, 1945, and disbanded on Oct. 8, 1948.
On July 1, 1969 the United States Air Force activated the 1st Helicopter Squadron to assume control of a proud past of helicopter operations at Bolling AFB and Andrews AFB dating back to Aug. 5, 1955 from the inactivated 1001st Helicopter Squadron. This included a long history of accident free hours and presidential airlift support for former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Although the Air Force did not directly link the lineage of the 1001st Helicopter Squadron, it did consolidate the linage of the 1st Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron and 1 HS on Sept. 19, 1985.
Since its activation as the 1 HS, the unit has provided local airlift for senior military and civilian leaders, high-ranking dignitaries and distinguished visitors; Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA); and emergency medical evacuation.
One year later, August 1970, the 1402nd Test Squadron from Dover Air Force Base, Del., was integrated into the squadron, bringing along its CH-3E “Jolly Green Giant” aircraft. Over the next year, UH-1Fs were transferred, the CH-21s were retired and the unit received six more UH-1N “Twin Huey” helicopters in April 1971.
On July 1, 1976, the squadron was reassigned to the 89th Military Airlift Wing, Special Mission (later the 89th Military Airlift Group, 89th Military Airlift Wing); and to the 89th Operations Group on July 12, 1991. Through the 80s, the squadron personnel increased while the unit continued to maintain safe and professional flying operations. On Sept. 30, 1980, the squadron became the only helicopter squadron to reach 100,000 accident-free flying hours.
The 1st HS entered the 1990s equipped with 21 UH-1N helicopters and in 1991, the unit reached its 150,000th accident-free flying hour. The unit reached another milestone on March 30, 2001 when former U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney honored the squadron’s 200,000th accident-free flying hour.
In June 2006, the 1st HS was assigned under the 316th Wing, which became the host unit of Andrews Air Force Base. On Oct. 1, 2009, Andrews Air Force Base became Joint Base Andrews, and one year later, in October 2010, the 316th Wing was inactivated and the 11th Wing, formerly the host wing at Bolling Air Force Base, transferred as the host wing to JBA. Since then the 1st HS has fallen under the 11th Wing.
On Sept. 13, 2010, the squadron received the U.S. Air Force Verne Orr Award, which is presented annually to a unit or organization that most effectively uses its resources to accomplish the Air Force mission.
Third Air Force, April, 20, 1944
2nd Air Commando Group, April 22, 1944 – Nov. 12, 1945
1st Composite Wing, July 1, 1969
89th Military Airlift Wing, Special Mission, July 1, 1976
89th Operations Group, July 12, 1991
316th Wing - 2006-2010
11th Wing – Present
Lakeland Airfield, FL, April 20, 1944
Cross City Airfield, FL, June 12, 1944
Alachua Airfield, FL, June 21, 1944
Drew Field, FL, Aug. 17, 1944
Lakeland Airfield, FL, Aug. 22 – Oct. 23, 1944
Kalaikunda, India, Dec. 14, 1944
Cox’s Bazaar, India, Feb. 13, 1945
Kalaikunda, India, May 10 – Oct. 22, 1945
Camp Kilmer, NJ, Nov. 11 – 12, 1945
Bolling AFB, DC, Oct. 1, 1957 – June 30, 1969
Andrews AFB, MD, July 1, 1969 – Present