192d Fighter Wing
|192d Fighter Wing|
192d Fighter Wing’s F-22 Raptor
|Active||15 October 1962-Present|
|Branch||Air National Guard|
|Part of||Virginia Air National Guard|
|Garrison/HQ||Joint Base Langley–Eustis, Hampton, Virginia|
|Tail Code||"FF", 192d FW underneath|
|Colonel Thomas Wark|
|192d Fighter Wing|
The 192d Fighter Wing (192 FW) is a unit of the Virginia Air National Guard, stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force Air Combat Command.
This is an Air National Guard unit co-located with the active duty 1st Fighter Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. The 192d Fighter Wing has a dual mission. The federal mission is to maintain a well-trained, well-equipped unit to be available for prompt mobilization during war and provide assistance during national emergencies (such as natural disasters or civil disturbances). Under the state mission, the 192d provides protection of life, property and preserves peace, order and public safety. These missions are accomplished through emergency relief support during natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and forest fires; search and rescue operations; support to civil defense authorities; maintenance of vital public services and counterdrug operations.
The 192d Fighter Wing consists of the following units:
- 192d Operations Group
- 192d Maintenance Group
- 192d Mission Support Group
- 192d Medical Group
On 15 October 1962, the Virginia Air National Guard 149th Tactical Fighter Squadron was authorized to expand to a group level, and the 192d Tactical Fighter Group was established by the National Guard Bureau. The 149th TFS becoming the group's flying squadron. Other squadrons assigned into the group were the 192d Headquarters, 192d Material Squadron (Maintenance), 192d Combat Support Squadron, and the 192d USAF Dispensary.
During 1971, the 192d was assigned the F-105D Thunderchief, a battle-hardened supersonic fighter-bomber that was the backbone of America’s fighter element during the Vietnam War. The group’s special tasks during the next decade included several deployments to Red Flag live-fire exercises in Nevada and a deployment to RAF Lakenheath, England, in 1976.
In 1981, the unit converted to the A-7D Corsair II, a subsonic jet designed for close-air support. The decade long A-7 era included several deployments to Panama to aid the defense of the Panama Canal and two trips to Norway, in 1985 and 1989. Shortly after a deployment to Ecuador, the 192d deployed in September 1985 to Evenes Air Station, Norway; 150 miles (240 km) above the Arctic Circle.
A few weeks later, a Virginia contingent competed in Gunsmoke '85, the Air Force's tactical fighter competition, and the 192d was named the world's "Best A-7 Unit". The 192d also earned the General Spruance Safety Award and was recognized as having the best Operational Readiness Inspection in the Ninth Air Force during 1985. In 1987, the 192d earned its first USAF Outstanding Unit Award.
In 1991, the 192d became the first Air National Guard unit to receive the Air Force's upgraded Fighting Falcon—the F-16C/D. The unit was initially assigned 24 single-seat F-16C models and two F-16D models. By early 1994, defense cutbacks reduced the unit's assigned inventory to 18 F-16s, and eventually to 15. Conversion to the F-16 airframe required the 192d to build a $2 million "hush house", a special noise-suppression hangar to test the jets engines without bothering neighbors. The 192d's designation shortened during 1992, from 192d Tactical Fighter Group to 192d Fighter Group, reflecting the retirement of former Tactical Air Command and creation of the multi-role mission of the new Air Combat Command.
After the 192d became fully operational with the F-16, it was chosen as the lead unit in a four-state Air National Guard F-16 "rainbow" detachment deployment to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey to support Operation Provide Comfort II. Between 1 December 1993, and 15 January 1994, ANG pilots patrolled the no-fly zone over northern Iraq to prevent Iraqi forces from inflicting damage on the villages of Kurdish minorities. This marked the first time Air National Guard units were called to active duty in the Middle East, following Iraq’s defeat in 1991. The unit returned to Incirlik in February 1996 for another round of patrols over Iraq.
During October 1995, the wing designation was changed to 192d Fighter Wing. At the direction of the commander of Air Combat Command, in January, the 192d became a test regional repair center for F-16 engines. The 18-month assignment called for the 192d propulsion section to strip and rebuild General Electric F110-GE-100 engines for its own F-16s as well as for F-16s assigned to Pope AFB, NC. The Air Force aimed to reduce the number of F-16 maintenance workers, consolidate their training, reduce duplication of resources, and lower maintenance costs per flying hour. The 192d FW was selected to test the capability of electro-optical "recce" pods. After becoming mission capable with the pods in April 1996, the fighter wing deployed to Aviano AB, Italy, in May 1996 for the first contingency use of the new pods and computerized imaging equipment. For 45 days, the 192d FW flew "recce" missions over Bosnia to support international peacekeeping efforts. In December 1996, the wing was awarded its second Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.
In December 2000, 29 members of the 192d deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Southern Watch. In addition to Turkey and Kuwait, they were deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base and Eskan Village, Saudi Arabia; Aviano Air Base, Italy; and Qatar. Also in December, the 192d deployed on its first Aerospace Expeditionary Force assignment. A 130-person detachment went to Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles as part of Operation Coronet Nighthawk, an effort to stop drug smuggling into the United States.
On 21 September 2000, the 192d hosted a reunion for the 352nd Fighter Group, the highly decorated World War II unit to which the 192d's 149th Fighter Squadron traces its military lineage. More than 100 World War II veterans and nearly 300 of their family members attended.
In the wake of September 11, 2001, more than 400 unit members were called to active duty for up to two years; marking a period of prolonged intensity at the Air Guard base, unmatched since the Berlin call-up of 1961–62. Beginning in mid-September, combat air patrols were flown day and night for 218 consecutive days until mid-April 2002 for a total of 820 operational sorties and 3,515.5 flying hours. To support 24-hour-a-day operations, the unit installed three alert trailers for F-16 crews, and set up on-base laundry facilities, a mini-BX, and a small gymnasium.
In September – October 2003, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 192d Fighter Wing deployed more than 300 personnel to an undisclosed base in Southwest Asia.
On 13 October 2007, the order to reactivate the 192d FW was read by Lt. Col. Dave Kolmer at the Activation Ceremony held at the 27th Fighter Squadron, Langley AFB. Integration with the active duty 1st FW allows the Air National Guard to be at the forefront of the latest design of fighter craft.
- Designated 192d Tactical Fighter Group, and allotted to Virginia ANG, 1962
- Extended federal recognition and activated, 15 October 1962
- Re-designated: 192d Fighter Group, 15 March 1992
- Status changed from Group to Wing, 11 October 1995
- Re-designated: 192d Fighter Wing, 11 October 1995
- Inactivated: 30 September 2007
- Activated on 13 October 2007
- Virginia Air National Guard, 15 October 1962
- Virginia Air National Guard, 13 October 2007
- 192d Operations Group, 11 October 1995-30 September 2007; 13 October 2007-Present
- 149th Tactical Fighter (later Fighter) Squadron, 15 October 1962-30 September 2007; 13 October 2007-Present
- Assigned to 192 OG effective 11 October 1995
- Richmond International Airport, Virginia, 15 October 1962
- Langley AFB (later:Joint Base Langley-Eustis), Virginia, 13 Oct 2007-Present