The 144th Airlift Squadron is one of the first Air National Guard units in the nation to be organized under the "Associate" organizational construct. Under this model, two or more components of the Air Force (Regular Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve) associate and operationally integrate, but retain separate chains of command. The 144th Airlift Squadron is organized under the "Active Association" version of the model where the Air National Guard host, the 144th Airlift Squadron, retains principal responsibility for the weapon system (C-17A) and shares it with the 517th Airlift Squadron, the Regular Air Force associate. The host and associate each retain command authority of their own forces, separate organizational structures and chains of command; however, they operationally and functional integrate based upon mutual agreement. This innovative concept endeavors to capitalize on the inherent strengths of each component, enhance combat capabilities, and achieve operational efficiencies.
The 144th Airlift Squadron falls under the command of the 176th Operations Group. The 176th Operations Group, in turn, is one of the four groups (the others being the 176th Maintenance Group, the 176th Medical Group, and the 176th Mission Support Group) that together make up the 176th Wing.
The unit began C-17 operations as the 249th Airlift Squadron in the summer of 2007 as a detachment of the 176th Operations Group, flying the C-17A "Globemaster III" in association with the 517th Airlift Squadron of the 3rd Wing. The 249th Airlift Squadron was officially constituted and allocated to the State of Alaska for activation and assigned to the 176th Operations Group, with the Pacific Air Force as its gaining Major Command, on 1 September 2009. The 249th Airlift Squadron declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) on 17 September 2009 and Full Operational Capability the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2012. The C-17 mission was transferred to the 144th Airlift Squadron Aug. 4, 2018.
The mission of the 144th Airlift Squadron is to recruit, train and provide combat-ready C-17A aircrews for global mobility missions that supply and sustain America's armed forces. It conducts the rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases and/or direct-delivery to forward locations throughout the world. Global mobility mission sets performed include intercontinental and theater airlift, aeromedical evacuations, humanitarian assistance, and tactical airdrop. All aircrews maintain a high state of mission readiness in air refueling, low-level contour navigation, Night Vision Goggles (NVG), and airland operations to support wartime taskings.
The 144th Airlift Squadron operates eight C-17A "Globemaster III" aircraft in association with the 517th Airlift Squadron. The C-17 is the newest, most technologically advanced and versatile airlift aircraft in the Air Force's inventory. The C-17 is a four-engine turbofan aircraft capable of airlifting large payloads over intercontinental ranges with or without in-flight refueling. Maximum payload capacity is 170,900 pounds and maximum gross takeoff weight is 585,000 pounds. Cargo is loaded onto the C-17 through a large aft, ventral door and ramp that accommodates rolling stock and palletized cargo. It can carry virtually all of the Army's air-transportable, outsized combat equipment, including the 70-ton M-1 Abrams main battle tank and heavy-lift CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Its unique "powered-lift" system design allows it to deliver outsize combat cargo and equipment directly into small, austere airfields as short as 3,000 feet long and 90 feet wide. The aircraft can be operated by a crew of only three (pilot, copilot, and loadmaster), thereby reducing manpower requirements and long-term operating costs.
The 144th Airlift Squadron's authorized unit manning consists of 70 total personnel with 34 officers and 36 enlisted members, mostly comprising C-17 aircrew members.
COM: 907-551-0249 / DSN: 317-551-0249
Director of Operations:
COM: 907-551-5219 / DSN: 317-551-2519
COM: 907-551-5229 / DSN: 317-551-5229
COM: 907-551-5217 / DSN 317-551-5217
17508 Airlifter Drive
JBER, AK 99506