Twentieth Air Force has a proud heritage as America's long-range strategic force. Activated April 4, 1944, the unit's B-29 Superfortresses bombed the Japanese Islands. Twentieth Air Force bombers, Enola Gay and Bockscar, brought an early end to World War II after they dropped the first atomic bombs on Japan. Twentieth Air Force units also supported United Nations' forces during the Korean War.
Mar. 1, 1955 - Twentieth Air Force inactivated.
Sept. 1, 1991 - Twentieth Air Force reactivated as a component of the Strategic Air Command and was located at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Operationally responsible for all land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, Twentieth Air Force's rebirth came at a time when America's nuclear forces were entering a decade of unprecedented force reductions and changes. Spawned by the Cold War's end and the breakup of the Soviet Union, these changes reshaped the basic fabric of this nation's nuclear deterrent forces. For the men and women of America's ICBM Team, it proved to be a period of sustained, dramatic change.
ICBM force structure was reduced radically as well during the 1990s, downsizing from six wings to three, and from 1,000 alert ICBMs to 550. These drawdowns posed major leadership challenges for Airmen at all levels of command.
June 1, 1992 - Strategic Air Command inactivated and the majority of SAC's assets, including Twentieth Air Force, transferred to the newly created Air Combat Command. The new U.S. Strategic Command assumed combatant command of Twentieth Air Force's ICBMs.
Jul. 1, 1993 - Twentieth Air Force transferred to Air Force Space Command and moved from Vandenberg AFB to
F. E. Warren AFB on 1 October 1993. In the early 2000s, the deactivation of the 400th Missile Squadron at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. and the 564th Missile Squadron at Malmstrom AFB, Mont. brought the total number of on-alert ICBMs down to its current number of 450.
Dec. 1, 2009 - Air Force Global Strike Command assumed control of Twentieth Air Force and the Air Force's Minuteman III ICBM mission.
Oct. 1, 2015 - The 377th Air Base Wing at Kirtland AFB, N.M. transferred to Twentieth Air Force.