On 9 September 1966, Colonel Johnson deployed the Wing and its components to the Pacific to provide aircraft and personnel to the Arc Light program, Anderson AFB, Guam and the tanker task force organization, Kadena AB, Okinawa. This TDY deployment was scheduled for 179 days. Colonel Johnson became the 4133 Bomb Wing (Provisional) (SAC) Commander at Anderson AFB, Guam under 3rd Air Division with responsibility to direct the activity of the 306th Bomb Wing and the 91st Bomb Wing Glasgow AFB, Montana. The primary purpose of the Arc Light program was the destruction of major Viet Cong command and control and supply storage facilities through high altitude bombing. This was later expanded to strike enemy troop concentrations and major supply routes. Conventional bombing missions from Anderson AFB to Vietnam and Laos were flown by cells of three B-52Ds each, averaged over 12 hours, and included air refueling by KC-135 tankers from Kadena AB. At this time, the primary method of delivering weapons on target was the synchronous offset aiming capability of the B-52D radar bombing and navigation system using geographical features in the target area as aim points. In November 1966 a ground directed radar, or MSQ, bombing capability was in place. This capability allowed more responsive targeting based on field intelligence reports. A "Quick Run" concept was developed whereby US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, MACV could request priority targeting resulting in B-52D missions diverted from their primary targets prior to take off or after takeoff, with the bomb drop directed by a MSQ site. By December 1966, 35 percent of the B-52D sorties flown were MSQ directed, increasing to 46 percent in January and 54 percent in March.
The 4133 BW was assigned 33 B-52Ds in October 1966 with a programmed sortie generation rate of 15 per day. The requirement for Arc Light strikes quickly over stressed this capability requiring numerous major surges by Wing maintenance and air crews to meet the demand for B-52D sorties. In November the Wing started to receive 17 additional aircraft increasing the programmed sortie generation rate to 21. There were six days in December where the Wing was tasked to launch 30 or more aircraft per day. During December the Wing realized 100 percent effectiveness in getting 545 consecutive aircraft effective over the target. During the end of this period some B-52D crew members ran out of Air Force regulated allowable flying hours, and had to stand down. In January and February the third cadre unit from Amarillo AFB, Texas was phased into the operation with 11 additional B-52Ds and 500 plus personnel. In January the Wing flew 25 sorties a day and in February and March 27 sorties a day. On 16 February 1967, in a 24 hour period, the Wing produced 54 combat sorties with all 54 B-52Ds effective over the target.
In November 1966 26 Arc Light missions were flow in support of ground troops in Operation Attleboro, 50 miles Nowthwest of Saigon in Tay Ninh Province. A total of 246 B-52D sorties were flown and 4,509 tons of bombs dropped. General William C. Westmoreland, Commander, MACV wrote to the 4133BW:
"The effectiveness of the Arc Light program has been proven in Vietnam as a means of breaking up large enemy formations, disrupting the enemys supply and communications lines, penetrating otherwise inaccessible base areas and creating a deep-seated psychological fear among the enemy."
On 7 January 1967 the largest US military operation in Vietnam at the time , "Operation Cedar Falls", was undertaken in the "Iron Triangle" area just to the North of Saigon. Six B-52D missions consisting of 47 sorties were flown prior to 7 January to soften up selected areas in support of this ground operation. On 7 January a force of almost 30,000 men commenced the search and destroy mission and by the conclusion on 26 January, 94 B-52D sorties had been flown in support of this operation.
In order to deny the enemy the use of large forested areas and jungle as safe havens the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved a plan to defoliate and burn them. Defoliation was done by C-123 "Ranch hand" aircraft using orange or white herbicide ten days before the mission. On 18 January 1967 the first "Pink Rose" mission was conducted with 30 B-52Ds loaded with 42 M-35 incendiary cluster bombs per aircraft. The firestorm did not materialize due dampness of the fuel in the target area. . Ten days later, the same number of aircraft using the same munitions flew as "Pink Rose II", with the same result. A third "Pink Rose" type mission was flown in March with similar results and this approach was abandoned.
By March 1967 Arc Light strikes were directed against lines of communications (LOC) to counter enemy infiltration through the Laotian panhandle. These missions were conducted at night against routes 91, 911 and 912 that were the major North/South LOC network. Route 91 was the most direct route Southward to Tchepone. These strikes caused the enemy to seek alternate bypasses leading South from My Gia Pass, which were also attacked by Arc Light strikes. A total of 140 B-52D missions were flown in support of the Laotian Interdiction Plan.
The 306th was re-deployed to McCoy in March 1967 after completing its first unit deployment, and immediately began to train for its primary mission of long range nuclear bombardment and air refueling. Bomber and tanker ground alert was reinstated.
On 15 March 1967 the 919th Air Refueling Squadron was transferred from Turner AFB, Georgia to McCoy due to the expected inactivation of Turner. This move was completed on 15 April 1967 with a total of 104 personnel and 16 KC-135s transferred.
In April 1967 the 306th ARS became one of three SAC tanker squadrons tasked to support the highly classified SAC SR-71 advanced strategic reconnaissance program, Senior Crown. The 306th ARS was qualified to operate modified KC-135Q models after completing "Q Difference Training." The special fuel used by the SR-71 was a low vapor pressure fuel, referred to as PF-1A, having a much higher flash point that JP-4. This sensitive fuel was shipped to McCoy in railroad tank cars and pumped into the KC-135s body tanks by fuel trucks. The 306th ARS provided refueling support for SR-71 operations flying from Beale AFB, California and the forward operating base of Kadena AB, Okinawa. In February 1970 the 306th began refueling SR-71 flights flown from Edwards AFB, California. The 306th ARS was scheduled to fly one local SR-71 refueling mission each day unless directed otherwise by higher headquarters. Because on the national importance of SR-71 missions, the 306th ARS also provided a ground spare for each mission. In addition to operating out of McCoy, crews operated out of Eilson AFB, Alaska, Incirlik AB, Turkey, Kadena AB, Okinawa and Thule AB Greenland. In April 1970, the 919th ARS entered the Senior Crown program with the transfer of 10 KC-135Q models from the 70th ARS, Little Rock AFB, Arkansas.
On 1 July 1967, Colonel Gail D. Roberts relieved Colonel Johnson as Commander, 306th Bomb Wing. The Wing continued their primary mission of nuclear ground alert, nuclear and conventional mission training and air refueling, and prepared to be evaluated during Operational Readiness Inspections. On 24 - 25 May the 306th BWs combat readiness was tested by a "Bar None" exercise. The Wing earned a satisfactory rating. In October 1967 the Wing had six bombers and six tankers on alert, with aircrews on alert for seven day cycles. On 28 November - 1 December 1967 the combat readiness of the 306th BW was tested by an Eighth Air Force Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI). The wing passed this test. On 1 April 1968 there were four bombers and five tankers on ground alert at McCoy. Alert degrades had become the rule rather than the exception due to non-availability of 306th BW B-52s and aircrews due to Arc Light/Young Tiger augmentation. Ground alert Bravo, Coco, Delta and Golf tests continued to evaluate response time and survivability of the alert force against a tighter Maximum Reaction Time (MRT) of 15 minutes based on the sea launched ballistic missile threat. The alert cycle for both bomber and tanker crews was seven days.