The 15th Airlift Squadron, "Global Eagles", provides air refueling, combat-ready C-17 aircrews for strategic airlift missions worldwide.
The 15th AS also maintains a JCS-directed alert force which supports global contingencies including support of unconventional warfare. Other missions with which the squadron is tasked include emergency nuclear airlift, Presidential support and humanitarian relief efforts.
The 15th Airlift Squadron was originally constituted as the 15th Transport Squadron on 20 November 1940. It activated on 4 December 1940 at Duncan Field, TX, and was assigned to the 61st Transport (later, 61st Troop Carrier) Group, flying the C-33 (1941) and the C-39 (1941-1942).
In 1942, the squadron transitioned to the C-47 aircraft and was redesignated as the 15th Troop Carrier Squadron on July 4th. The squadron took part in airborne assaults on Sicily, Normandy, Holland, and Germany and provided aerial transportation in MTO and ETO, operating from locations in Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, France, England and Trinidad. The squadron inactivated on 31 July 1945.
The 15th reactivated on 30 September 1946 at Eschborn AB, Germany. Assigned to the 61st Troop Carrier Group, the squadron operated the C-47. Having relocated to Rhein-Main AB, Germany, on 9 February 1947, it was redesignated as the 15th Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium, on 1 July 1948; and as the 15th Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy, on 15 August 1948. The unit converted to the C-54 in 1948. It took part in the Berlin Airlift, from 1948-1949.
The 15th moved to McChord AFB, WA, on 26 July 1950, before relocating to Ashiya AB, Japan on 13 December 1950. It provided aerial transportation from the US to Japan, during the Korean War, from August-December 1950, and between Japan and Korea, from 13 December 1950-November 1952. The squadron relocated from Tachikawa AB, Japan, where it had moved to on 26 March 1952, to Larson AFB, WA, on 21 November 1952. 1952 also saw the 15th transition to the C-124 aircraft, and the following year, the squadron was tasked was tasked with providing worldwide airlift.
The squadron moved to Donaldson AFB, SC on 25 August 1954, before being reassigned to the 63rd Troop Carrier Group on 8 October 1959, and to the 63rd Troop Carrier (later, 63rd Military Airlift) Wing, on 18 January 1963. The unit relocated to Hunter AFB, GA, on 1 April 1963. The squadron was redesignated as the 15th Military Airlift Squadron on 8 January 1966.
The 15th relocated to Norton AFB, CA, on 1 April 1967. That same year, it transitioned to the C-141. It was reassigned to the 63rd Military Airlift Group, on 1 October 1978; and to the 63rd Military Airlift Wing, on 1 July 1980. The squadron provided airlift to Southeast Asia, 1966-1973; and to Grenada, from October-November 1983; to Panama, from 18 December 1989-8 January 1990; and to Southwest Asia, from August 1990-January 1991.
Redesignated as the 15th Airlift Squadron on 1 January 1992 under the 63rd Operations Group, the 15th inactivated on 26 July 1993.
It reactivated on 1 October 1993 at Joint Base Charleston, SC, and was assigned to the 437th Operations Group.