During the 1980s Scott renovated many older structures and built new ones. A new precision Measurement Equipment Lab was completed in March 1981.
To provide Military Airlift Command with dedicated communications to ensure rapid response during crises, Air Force Communications Command activated the Airlift Communications Division at Scott on June 1, 1981.
In 1983 operations began in the new $6.1 million Consolidated Computer Facility and on Oct. 19, 1983 a dedication ceremony officially opened the $3.5 million Dental Clinic. Scott’s Dental Clinic was the first in the Air Force arranged in a modular concept.
On March 1, 1983, MAC activated 23rd Air Force at Scott Air Force Base. The new numbered Air Force’s responsibilities included worldwide missions of special operations, combat rescue, weather reconnaissance and aerial sampling, security support for intercontinental ballistic missile sites, training of USAF helicopter and crewmen, pararescue training, and medical evacuation.
In October 1983, the 23rd AF helped rescue Americans from the island nation of Grenada. During the seven-day operation, centered at Point Salines Airport, the 23rd AF furnished MC-130s, AC-130s, aircrews, maintenance, and support personnel.
In 1984, the Wherry military family housing was renamed Cardinal Creek Village and underwent a multi-million renovation.
On Jan 1, 1984, the 23rd Air Force added the operational support airlift and worldwide aeromedical evacuation missions when the 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing was assigned to it. The USAF medical Center at Scott, one of the six medical centers became part of the 23rd Air Force on July 1, 1985.