After its re-activation at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base in 1956, the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing achieved "combat ready" status on July 1, 1958. During the next eight years, in addition to maintaining tactical fighter squadrons on rotational duty in Europe, units of the 354th took part in the Lebanon Crisis, the Berlin Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Dominican Republic Crisis, any of which could have led to an East-West War.
In the 1950s, the Composite Air Strike Force (CASF) was developed to augment tactical air needs in any overseas theater. The CASF was a mobile rapid-development strike force of fighter-bomber aircraft with both conventional and nuclear strike capability, as well as tanker, transport and reconnaissance aircraft assets.
On July 15, 1958, a CASF Bravo top secret mission code named Double Trouble was deployed from Myrtle Beach to Adana, Turkey, in support of the Lebanon Crisis, an imminent coup d'etat. This mission was the first operational day/night transatlantic air refueling mission by fighters. It set a world time-distance record for an operational flight under non-simulated conditions. The 354th placed a squadron at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, more than 6,400 miles away, less than 20 hours after notification to deploy.
B-29s, and later B-50s, were retrofitted so that
they could be used as aerial tankers. Refueling hoses fitted with a drogue, a basket-like device about two feet in diameter, could be unreeled from the tanker. The pilot in the fighter then connected a probe to the drogue. Above, a KB-50J refuels three F-100 Super Sabres.