April 2, 1951: Air Research and Development Command Established

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) was created, and was assigned responsibility for all USAF research and development (R&D) programs. Edwards Air Force Base was transferred from Air Materiel Command (AMC) to the newly created ARDC and officially designated as its flight testing center. This began a 41-year separation of the Air Force’s R&D and logistics functions.

Air Materiel Command (AMC) was a United States Army Air Forces and United States Air Force command. Its headquarters was located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. In 1961, the command was redesignated the Air Force Logistics Command with some of its functions transferred to the new Air Force Systems Command.  In 1946 AAF Technical Service Command was redesignated Air Materiel Command, and the air technical service commands were reorganized as Air Materiel Areas:

  • Marianas Air Materiel Area (Harmon Field, Guam)(active as Provisional formation by 17 Aug 1948; active 1 February 1949)  Under the command of the 19th Bombardment Wing from August 1948 to October 1949.
  • Middletown Air Material Area (Middletown, Pennsylvania)
  • Mobile Air Material Area (Brookley Air Force Base, Mobile, Alabama)
  • Ogden Air Materiel Area (Hill Field, Utah)
  • Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area (Tinker Field, OK)
  • Philippine Air Material Area (Nichols Field)
  • Rome Air Material Area (Rome, New York)(February 1, 1943 – June 25, 1947)
  • Sacramento Air Material Area (Sacramento, California)
  • San Antonio Air Material Area (San Antonio, Texas)
  • San Bernardino Air Materiel Area (1949–66), at Norton Field, CA
  • Warner Robins Air Material Area (1951–61) at Robins AFB and redesignated Warner Robins Air Logistics Center

Two further Air Materiel Areas were established in the late 1940s and early 1950s:

  • Japan Air Material Area (JAMA, 1947-9), at Tachikawa Air Base, replaced by the Far East Air Materiel Command (FEAMCOM).
  • Central Air Material Area, Europe (CAMAE, 1956–67), at Chateauroux Air Depot in France

The functions of research and development and logistics were operated separately during World War II until they were reunited for several years in the late 1940s under Air Materiel Command. Among its forces was the Air Materiel Force, European Area, which was transferred from USAFE in on 1 January 1956. Air Materiel Force, European Area, at Chateauroux Air Depot, France, and Air Materiel Force, Pacific Area, at Tachikawa Air Base, Japan, were of Numbered Air Force status.  Often these formations supervised Air Depot Wings, for example the 75th Air Depot Wing which was based at Chinhae Air Base in South Korea during the Korean War.  In 1950, research and development were split off into a separate formation, the Air Research and Development Command. From the early 1950s to 1962, the 3079th Aviation Depot Wing under AMC, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, was a weapons of mass destruction unit of key strategic importance.  It was active until 1962.  In 1961, Air Materiel Command became the Air Force Logistics Command, while the Air Research and Development Command gained responsibility for weapon system acquisition and was renamed the Air Force Systems Command.

News Search