The History of the 184th Wing
The 184th Wing began in August of 1941 and was the last Kansas National Guard unit to be organized before World War II. The unit originated as the 127th Observation Squadron with Lt. Paul Flanary as its commander. The unit became known as the “Flying Jayhawks” in honor of its Kansas heritage.
In November, 1944, the squadron was called to its first overseas combat role from Kalaikunda Air Base, India. From there they supported the British Army during the Burma offensive and the invasion of Rangoon in 1945. Following the victory in the Pacific, the unit was deactivated in October 1945.
The unit reorganized in September 1946, and was redesignated the 127th Fighter Squadron with the F-51 “Mustang” as its main aircraft. The unit quickly grew to 250 Guardsmen including two full-time personnel. The unit would subsequently fly fighters for the next 48 years and serve all over the world including two combat tours, one in France during the Korean Conflict and one in Korea during the Vietnam War.
In October 1962, the unit was converted to the 184th Tactical Fighter Group, making room for new squadrons and 160 more personnel. The 127th Tactical Fighter Squadron then became the flying organization assigned to the group.
In March 1971, the unit was redesignated as the 184th Tactical Fighter Training Group. The new mission was to conduct combat aircrew academic and flight training in the tactics, techniques and operations of fighter aircraft and associated equipment. The group carried out this mission until July 1994, when the 184th Bomb Group became the first unit in the Air National Guard to fly B-1B Lancers.
The following year, in 1995, the unit expanded from a group to a wing and was known as the 184th Bomb Wing. The new mission came with many changes as the wing was no longer a training unit. It became completely operational and fully deployable. Readiness was the primary focus of the wing during a time when rapid global strikes were expected anytime, anywhere.
In June 2001, the Air Force announced the “drawdown” of the B-1B fleet and removal of all bombers from the Air National Guard. With the future of the unit in doubt, the wing’s leadership, along with the adjutant general and congressional leaders, worked with the secretary of the Air Force to solve the dilemma.
The unit’s future was secured with the announcement of the conversion from a bomb wing to the 184th Air Refueling Wing. Ten KC-135s were assigned to the unit and to avoid manning losses, the wing received new missions including cyber warfare and cyber security, as well as various other missions.
In 2007, the unit was informed that it would lose its flying mission altogether and reorganize as the 184th Intelligence Wing. The unit increased its presence in cyber combat and obtained other ground-based combat support missions including command and control operations, munitions storage and air support operations. Domestic operations and support to state emergency services became one of the main focuses of the unit. The current manpower strength is approximately 1,300 personnel.
With the loss of its aircraft, the unit changed its name to the “Fighting Jayhawks,” representing the same dedication to the state it serves while providing warfighter capabilities abroad.
Although the unit was named the 184th Intelligence Wing, the word "intelligence" only scratched the surface of the diverse mission sets assigned to the wing. To avoid over-representing one section of the wing, the unit was officially renamed the 184th Wing on Aug. 1, 2019.