Original Location: Ronald Reagan
Washington National Airport, Arlington, Virginia
Current Location: Same
Date of Commission: 20 February 1952
Fate: Still in operation
USCG Air Station Arlington was commissioned as an Air Detachment on 20 February 1952. The first commanding officer was Lieutenant L. V. Perry (now LCDR Ret.). The assigned mission of the air station was to provide VIP transportation and other transportation as may be directed by Coast Guard Headquarters. In 1971 the station complement was six officer aviators, one warrant officer, and 26 non-commissioned members. The air station was a tenant unit at Washington National Airport.
Through its early years, Air Detachment Arlington operated Martin 404s, a VC-4A (Grumman Gulfstream I), and a VC-11A, (Gulfstream II) aircraft. In 1964 the unit was redesignated as a Coast Guard Air Station and 10 years later, in 1974, Air Station Arlington changed its name to Air Station Washington in recognition of its location at Washington National Airport. In 1994, Air Station Washington began single aircraft operation and accepted a C20B Gulfstream III from the Air Force to replace the aging VC-4A and VC11A. The C-20B's range advantage brought the capability to operate as a Long Range Command and Control Aircraft (LRCCA). Air Station Washington's next landmark centered upon an aircraft change. On 11 May 2002, Air Station Washington accepted a C-37A Gulfstream V aircraft.
The C-37A provided the Commandant and other required-use passengers with around-the-world transportation capability while maintaining long range command and control functionality. An array of communications equipment permits the Commandant to command from the aircraft as efficiently as from Headquarters.
In 2005 the Coast Guard leased a Challenger 604 to operate as a Medium Range Command and Control Aircraft (MRCCA). The Challenger’s designation is C143. An array of communications equipment permits the Commandant to command from the aircraft as efficiently as from Headquarters.