McGuire originated in 1941 as Fort Dix Army Air Force Base. Closed briefly after World War II, it reopened in 1948 as McGuire Air Force Base. The base was named after Maj. Thomas B. McGuire, Jr., Medal of Honor recipient, and the second leading ace in American history.
McGuire grew famous as the Air Force's "Gateway to the East," when its core mission became global mobility in 1945. In 1992, it became part of the newly reorganized Air Mobility Command.
The 305th Air Mobility Wing served as the host wing from October 1994 to March 2009, when the newly activated 87th Air Base Wing assumed installation command. The 305th, along with the 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force, 108th Air Wing (ANG), 621st Contingency Response Wing, and the 514th Air Mobility Wing (AFRC), has supported every major type of air mobility mission over the past 15 years.