152d Fighter Squadron
|152d Fighter Squadron|
F-16D block 42 #89-2156 taken over Arivaca, Arizona
|Branch||Air National Guard|
|Role||Foreign Military Sales pilot training|
|Part of||Arizona Air National Guard|
|Garrison/HQ||Tucson Air National Guard Base, Tucson, Arizona.|
|Tail Code||Arizona state flag tail stripe "AZ"|
|152d Fighter Squadron emblem|
The 152d Fighter Squadron (152 FS) is a unit of the Arizona Air National Guard 162d Fighter Wing located at Tucson Air National Guard Base, Arizona. The 148th is equipped with the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
In 1956, the United States Air Force, in an effort to upgrade to an all jet fighter force, required Air National Guard Aerospace Defense Command units to upgrade to jet-powered aircraft. The Rhode Island Air National Guard, 152d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, stationed at T.F. Green Municipal Airport in Warwick, was scheduled to replace its aging F-51D Mustang interceptors to F-84 Thunderjets. However, National Guard authorities found themselves in a conflict over the use of T.F. Green Municipal Airport in Warwick with its controlling Airport Commission with regards to using the airport for tactical jet operations.
Unable to resolve these differences and no suitable location in the state to move the squadron, the Air Force removed the jets from the state and the National Guard Bureau transferred the 152d Fighter Interceptor Squadron to the Arizona Air National Guard.
However, the National Guard Bureau's desire to have an Air National Guard flying unit located in every state brought a new mission and the numeric designation to the Rhode Island Air National Guard, the 143d Air Resupply Squadron using propeller-driven aircraft. The "new" 152d FIS was activated as a new Arizona Air National Guard organization with no prior history or lineage; the 143d Air Resupply Squadron was bestowed the lineage and history of the inactivated Rhode Island ANG 152d Fighter Interceptor Squadron.
Arizona Air National Guard
Upon the unit's activation in Tucson, the 152d was equipped with F-86A Sabre day fighters to use as interceptors. Its mission was the air defense of Southern Arizona. At that time of its arrival, its facilities at Tucson Municipal Airport consisted of an old adobe farmhouse and a dirt-floor hangar with enough space for three aircraft. In 1958, the F-100A Super Sabre arrived to supplement the F-86s.
Despite the facility limitations, the Air Defense Command's Headquarters 4th Air Force judged the 152nd FIS outstanding in accomplishing its air defense mission. It declared the unit "Best in the West" in the 1950s and the early 1960s.
Late in 1968 the unit received its first of five Air Force Outstanding Unit Citations for converting from the F-100 day-fighter to the all-weather F-102 "Delta Dagger" interceptor aircraft in just 10 months. The unit did it faster and better than any other Air National Guard unit converting to the F-102.
On 1 July 1969, the Arizona Air National Guard 152d Fighter Interceptor Squadron was authorized to expand to a group level, and the 162d Tactical Fighter Training Group was established by the National Guard Bureau. With the change of status, the new 162d TFTG was assigned to Tactical Air Command. The re-designated 152d Tactical Fighter Training Squadron became the group's flying squadron. Other squadrons assigned into the group were the 162d Headquarters, 162d Material Squadron (Maintenance), 162d Combat Support Squadron, and the 162d USAF Dispensary.
As part of Tactical Air Command, the 162d TFTG's mission was producing combat-ready pilots for the F-100 aircraft. It was upgraded to the newer F-100C Super Sabre, and the group graduated their first students in 1970. Shortly afterward, the unit formed the Air National Guard Fighter Weapons School in Tucson. This school taught Air Guard and Reserve fighter pilots from throughout the country to effectively use advanced tactics and weapons technology.
The unit received its second Air Force Outstanding Unit Citation for successfully continuing to train F-100 students while completing the most challenging conversion in the unit's history. That tasking was to convert from F-100s to A-7Ds. In the early 1980s the Group also received the A-7K, a two-seat combat-capable training aircraft. This was the first time an aircraft manufacturer produced a new aircraft specifically designed for Air National Guard use.
The unit received its third Air Force Outstanding Unit Citation in the 1970s and began another dimension in training in 1983 when the unit added the A-7 Fighter Weapons School. In 1985, the unit began a unique dual training mission in the F-16 and A-7 aircraft. Conversion from the A-7D/K started in 1986 when the 152d FS started to receive older F-16A aircraft from other USAF units. The mission of the unit was to train combat-ready pilots for the Air National Guard (Replacement Training Unit or RTU). This mission remained after the conversion, but the older airframes were not quite suited to fulfill this mission. Therefore a number of more modern F-16A block 15 airframes were introduced in the squadron after 1989 to be able to maintain a more modern training syllabus. The last of the A-7Ds were retired in 1992.
In 1992 the ANG Staff decided to modernize the training that the squadron was providing to ANG crews as well as regular USAF units or NATO F-16 pilots. Therefore more modern F-16C block 42 airframes were delivered to the squadron. This opened a lot of opportunities. This block is specifically designed for attack operations during day and nighttime. It uses the advanced LANTIRN pod and the squadron has been training other crews in the usage of these systems. In recent years these airframes have been further upgraded with the CCIP program to make it possible for them to reach 8,000 flying hours easily. A number of additions (like a new MMC, an advanced AIFF system, etc.) were added to these airframes to further modernize their operations and make it possible to adjust the training sequence to include these advanced electronics.
- Designated 152d Fighter Interceptor Squadron, and allotted to Arizona ANG, 1956
- Extended federal recognition and activated, 1 July 1956
- Re-designated: 152d Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, on 1 July 1969
- Re-designated: 152d Tactical Fighter Squadron, 26 July 1979
- Re-designated: 152d Fighter Squadron, 16 March 1992
- Arizona Air National Guard, 1 July 1956
- Gained by: 34th Air Division, Air Defense Command
- Gained by: Los Angeles Air Defense Sector, Air Defense Command, 1 July 1960
- Gained by: 27th Air Division, Air Defense Command, 1 April 1966
- 162d Tactical Fighter Training Group, 1 July 1969
- 162d Tactical Fighter Group, 26 July 1979
- 162d Operations Group, 16 March 1992
- Designated: Tucson Air National Guard Base, 1991-Present