Air Station Washington, D.C.

  Formerly-Air Station Arlington (1964-1974)

   Formerly-Air Detachment Arlington (1952-1964)



Original Location: 
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Arlington, Virginia

Current Location: Same

Date of Commission: 20 February 1952

Fate: Still in operation


Historical Remarks:

Air Station Arlington was originally 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.


Commanding Officers:

LT L. V. Perry
LCDR W. C. Mitchell
LCDR R. R. Pope
LCDR T. McGill, Jr.
LCDR C. W. Wagner
LCDR A. J. Tatman
LCDR F. L. Shelley
CDR P. H. Breed


Historic Photo Gallery

Unless otherwise indicated all photos are official U.S. Coast Guard photographs.  Any original caption information is included in the text beneath each photo, along with a date, if known.  Click on the thumbnail to access a 300 dpi image.


Change of Command, 1971

Original photo caption: "New Commanding Officer, CDR Clyde T. Robbins, USCG, inspects station personnel at Change of Command ceremonies, Coast Guard Air Station, National Airport."; photo dated 1971; Photo No. API-070971-04; photographer unknown.


Historical Sources:

Air Station Files, U. S. Coast Guard Historian's Office

Arthur Pearcy.  A History of U. S. Coast Guard Aviation.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1989.


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Last Modified 10/1/2012