We are The 908th: The 908th Airlift Wing

  • Published
  • By Bradley J. Clark
  • 908th Airlift Wing

(Editor’s note: "We are The 908th" is a 16 part series, running biweekly, detailing the workings of the various units in the 908th Airlift Wing. This is part one, introducing the series and giving insight on the wing as a whole.)

The 908th Airlift Wing is the only U.S. Air Force Reserve Command wing in the state of Alabama.

The wing’s parent headquarters is the 22nd Air Force located at Dobbins Air Reserve Base near Atlanta, Georgia.

The 908th has approximately 1,200 members, most of whom serve one weekend a month and two weeks of training every year. Day-to-day operations are handled by 200 full-time government employees, consisting of civilians, Air Reserve Technicians (civilian employees with Reserve status), and Active Guard/Reserve members.

The unit is composed of a headquarters element plus: the 908th Operations Group and its subordinate units; the 357th Airlift Squadron, the 908th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, the 908th Operations Support Squadron; The 908th Maintenance Group and its subordinate units; the 908th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, the 908th Maintenance Squadron; The 908th Mission Support Group and its subordinate units; the 25th Aerial Port Squadron, the 908th Civil Engineering Squadron, the 908th Force Support Squadron, the 908th Logistics Readiness Squadron, the 908th Security Forces Squadron, and lastly a standalone squadron; The 908th Aeromedical Staging Squadron.

The wing currently operates a fleet of nine C-130H2 Hercules cargo aircraft. Known as the "workhorse of the Air Force," this plane can carry 42,000 pounds of cargo and can fly up to 386 mph with a range of 5,200 miles.

The 908th has the only flying mission stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base. There are only 2 aircraft that are based in the River Region, the 908th’s C-130s and the 187th Fighter Wing’s F-16Cs based at Dannelly Field near Montgomery’s airport.

There are multiple ways to differentiate between the two aircraft. If it is small, fast, loud, and has a red tail, then it is the 187th’s F-16s. If it is big, has four propellers, is kind of slow and has Maxwell written across the tail in white lettering on a blue background, then it is the 908th’s C-130s.

While the aircraft is how most people will know the 908th, there are tons of other ways to know the unit or someone in it. Because the wing is a Reserve unit, majority of the members also have full time jobs in the civilian communities. The 908th’s members also happen to be doctors, firefighters, paramedics, law enforcement, lawyers, business owner, cooks, construction workers, airline pilots, bankers, grocers, and students not only in Montgomery and the River Region, but throughout Alabama, the South, and across the rest of America.

Over the next 15 articles in this series we will take a deep dive into each of the 908th’s three groups and 11 squadrons along with the wing staff agencies in order to explain and highlight the various missions that members of the 908th have so that you can better understand the difference between the 908th Airlift Wing, and any other unit in the River Region, to include the Alabama Air National Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing, and the Active Duty mission of Air Education and Training Command’s Air University and its subordinate schools for Air Force members.


Located at Maxwell Air Force Base and operating a fleet of nine C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft, the 908th is Alabama’s only Air Force Reserve wing. The wing has approximately 1,200 Reserve Citizen Airmen, serving in more than 20 career fields, with Air Reserve Technicians, civilian employees and Reservists on active duty tours conducting day-to-day operations. Over the spring and summer of 2021, the 908th will engage in the largest deployment in wing history - sending more than 300 Airmen to locations around the globe.