On 1 July 1987, the 161st Tactical Fighter Training Squadron (TFTS) was established. Formal activation ceremonies for the 161st occurred on 12 September 1987. The unit was equipped with 10 F-16A/Bs and conducted its first student training class shortly after activation. The 161st TFTS began converting to the F-16 C/D when the first C/D model arrived in July 1990.
The squadron was inactivated on 1 August 1994 when the F-16s were withdrawn from McConnell and replaced by B-1Bs. The squadron was reactivated in 2008 as the 161st Intelligence Squadron.