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Meridian/Key Field (MEI) Lauderdale County (MS)

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Welcome to the Meridian/Key Field (MEI) , Mississippi collaboration article. This is where you, the user, may index any articles you develop for scanning related topics for your area.


Key Field ANG Base

Air National Guard

Key Field is home to the Air National Guard 186th Air Refueling Wing. The 186th ARW operates a fleet of KC-135R Stratotankers. The KC-135R is a mid-air refueler that can carry as much as 30,000 gallons of fuel to all parts of the World. Key Field is also home to the Army National Guard 185th Army Aviation Support Facility, Company G. The 185th operates a fleet of CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The Chinook is a multi-purpose transport/cargo helicopter capable of carrying 55 troops and gear or can also sling-load up to 25,000 pounds. Air Rescue and Firefighting capabilites are provided by the Air National Guard. Due to their mission as a Refueling Wing, they provide the entire Airport with firefighting capabilities that rival any airport in the Southeastern United States.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Key Field Air Guard Station, MS. It would distribute the 186th Air Refueling Wing’s KC-135R aircraft to the 128th Air Refueling Wing (ANG), General Mitchell Air Guard Station, WI (three aircraft); the 134th Air Refueling Wing (ANG), McGhee-Tyson Airport Air Guard Station, TN (three aircraft); and 101st Air Refueling Wing (ANG), Bangor International Airport Air Guard Station, ME (two aircraft). One aircraft would revert to backup aircraft inventory. The 186th Air Refueling Wing’s fire fighter positions would move to the 172d Air Wing at Jackson International Airport, MS, and the expeditionary combat support (ECS) would remain in place.

Unidentified Frequencies

  • 406.1625 (close call hit at the airport terminal building)

Home of Air-to-Air Refueling

At 12:32 p.m. on June 4, 1935, brothers Al and Fred Key lifted off the grass strip of Meridian's airport in an effort to break the world record for sustained flight. Working with other Meridianites such as A.D. Hunter and James Keeton, the Key brothers devised a workable method of air-to-air refueling in order to attempt this feat.

The record they established in their 27 days aloft, totaling 653 hours and 34 minutes, remains unbroken in conventional flight. Not until orbiting space labs did man stay aloft longer. When they landed at 6:06 p.m. on July 1, 1935, before a crowd of between 30,000 and 40,000 fans gathered at the airfield, the Meridian airport was renamed "Key Field" in their honor, the name it retains today.

186th Air Refueling Wing
153rd Air Refueling Squadron
185th Aviation Brigade (Theater)

Radio Comunications

  • VHF Airband
  • MilAir Frequencies are used for air operations
  • Support Frequencies are unknown at this time. They are probably on the VHF HighBand. Please submit any info to the Meridian/Key Field page at RR.
  • Air-to-Air refueling. The 186th has been heard using refueling track AR101. AR101 refueling track is mostly over extreme western Mississippi and parallels the Lousiana and Arkansas borders. They may also use other refueling tracks.
  • The Army National Guard has the 185th Aviation Brigade (Theater) at Key Field. They should also have support frequencies. Please submit any info to the Meridian/Key Field page at RR.
  • Unconfirmed Support Frequencies:
    • 395.800
    • 163.4875
    • 165.1375
    • 165.1625
    • 173.5375
    • 235.500
    • 255.800
    • 375.800
    • 388.500
    • 396.500
    • 407.427
    • 36.250
    • 374.900
    • 8989 KHz HF

Key Field Home Units

  • 186th Air Refueling Wing
  • 153rd Air Refueling Squadron
    • Call Signs: JAKE, KEYS
  • 238th Air Support Operations Squadron
  • 248th Air Traffic Control Squadron
  • 185th Aviation Brigade (Theater) Support Facility

External Links

History and Info on Key Field

Meridian Regional Airport

186th Air Refueling Wing

185th Aviation Brigade (Theater)

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