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Scott History: 1970s

  • Published
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

From 1967-70, a total of 75,000 battlefield casualties were brought to the United States. Throughout that same period, the 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing’s domestic aeromedical evacuation system moved an average of 60,600 patients a year.

During the 1970s, Scott Air Force Base and the 375th AAW continued their involvement in aeromedical airlift.

In 1973, Military Airlift Command took responsibility for the planning of Operation Homecoming. Overall, 591 American prisoners of war were transported back to their home

The Patient Airlift Center at Scott AFB coordinated 61 aeromedical missions to bring 357 former Vietnam War POWs back to the U.S.

The 375th AAW’s mission continued to grow into the mid-1970s. On May 31, 1973, the 1400th Air Base Wing inactivated, passing Scott AFB host wing responsibilities back to the 375th.

In Oct. 1973, the wing established a centralized aeromedical evacuation center on Scott AFB, assuming functions of three smaller centers.

By the time the war in Vietnam concluded in 1975, Air Force plans were in progress to improve aeromedical evacuation by further consolidating command and control, equipment and resources under the 375th. The 375th 1970s gained responsibility for the worldwide aeromedical evacuation system.

The 375th gained another mission in 1978; Operational Support Airlift.

On March 15, 1978, Military Airlift Command realigned the three squadrons (1400, 1401, 1402) and 12 detachments, dispersed across 15 locations, to the 375th AAW and gave the Wing management and operational control responsibilities for the OSA mission within the continental U.S.

Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James assumed duty as vice commander of MAC on Sept. 1, 1974.

Just after becoming vice commander of MAC, the MAC consolidated Tactical Air Command’s airlift resources which increased the number of planes, personnel and other resources under MAC’s control. This meant more responsibility for the command.

During James’ tenure, MAC carried out both operations New Life and Baby Lift. These two operations airlifted 31,155 Vietnamese refugees to the Philippines and Guam, and 1,794 Vietnamese and Cambodian orphans to the continental U.S.