35th Fighter Wing

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35th Fighter Wing
35th Fighter Wing.png
35th Fighter Wing Insignia
Active 1940–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Fighter
Part of Pacific Air Forces
Garrison/HQ Misawa Air Base
Motto Attack to Defend
Engagements
Korean Service Medal - Ribbon.svg Vietnam Service Ribbon.svg
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg PUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA w/ V Device
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines).svg PPUC
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg ROK PUC
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg RVGC w/ Palm
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Stephen C. Williams
Notable
commanders
Paul V. Hester
Misawa F-16CJ Block 50 Flagships (left to right): #92901 35th W Flagship, #90812 14th FS, #90802 PACAF Demo aircraft and #90801 35th OG.

The 35th Fighter Wing (35 FW) is an air combat unit of the United States Air Force and the host unit at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The 35 FW is part of Pacific Air Forces Fifth Air Force.

Mission[edit]

The mission of the 35th Wing is to project power throughout the Pacific theater and execute worldwide deployments.

Units[edit]

The 35th Fighter Wing is a combat-ready F-16 wing composed of 4 groups, 2 fighter squadrons, 27 support squadrons and agencies, and more than 3,850 personnel. Host unit for 13,500-manned base supporting 35 associate units representing all four US military services and the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF).[clarification needed]

The Operations Group controls all flying and airfield operations. The Maintenance Group performs Aircraft and Aircraft support equipment maintenance. The Mission Support Group has a wide range of responsibilities but a few of its functions are Security, Civil Engineering, Communications, Personnel Management, Logistics, Services and Contracting support. The Maintenance Group provides aircraft and mission support equipment maintenance, while the Medical Group provides medical and dental care.

  • 35th Maintenance Group
    • 35th Aircraft Maintenance Operations Squadron
    • 35th Maintenance Squadron
  • 35th Fighter Wing staff agencies
  • 35th Mission Support Group
    • 35th Mission Support Group
    • 35th Civil Engineer Squadron
    • 35th Contracting Squadron
    • 35th Communications Squadron
    • 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron
    • 35th Force Support Squadron
    • 35th Security Forces Squadron
  • 35th Medical Group
    • 35th Medical Support Squadron
    • 35th Aerospace Medicine Squadron
    • 35th Dental Squadron
    • 35th Medical Operations Squadron
    • 35th Surgical Operations Squadron

History[edit]

For additional history and lineage, see 35th Operations Group

The 35th Fighter Wing flew air defense missions in Japan, August 1948-November 1950. Redesignated 35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing in January 1950 and two squadrons (39th, 40th) were equipped with Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star jet fighters.

Korean War[edit]

In July 1950, the 35th FIG commenced combat from Ashiya Air Base in southwestern Japan. It quickly converted from F-80Cs back to the rugged and longer-range F-51D Mustangs it had given up only a short time before. Group headquarters and the 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron moved to Pohang Air Base (K-3) on South Korea's south eastern coast in mid-July, and the 39th Squadron followed on 10 August.

The precarious ground situation in Korea forced the 35th Group to return to Tsuiki AB, Japan on 13 August, where it remained until early October.

The two squadrons of the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group were attached to the wartime 6131st Tactical Support Wing from 1 August, then to the 6150th Tactical Support Wing. The Korean War squadrons of the 35th FIG were:

From 6 September, the group supported United Nations ground forces moving north of the 38th parallel. The squadrons focused their attacks on fuel dumps, motorized transport, and enemy troop concentrations until it moved in mid-November to a forward airstrip at Yonpo Airfield (K-27), near the North Korean port city of Hungnam to provide close air support to the U. S. Army X Corps. When Communist Chinese Forces (CCF) surrounded the 1st U.S. Marine Division at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, the F-51 Mustang-equipped squadrons provided close air support to the Marines.

Relocating to Pusan East (K-9) Air Base in early December 1950, the 35th FIG continued supporting UN ground forces, eventually staging out of Suwon (K-13) in March 1951 and Seoul (K-16) in April. The combat-weakened group was transferred without personnel and equipment back to Johnson AB Japan in May 1951 where it was remanned and equipped with F-51s and F-80s and merged back with the wing to provide air defense for Japan.

For its combat operations in Korea, the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group was awarded the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, and the UN Defensive,UN Offensive, CCF Intervention, 1st UN Counteroffensive and CCF Spring Offensive campaign streamers.

Cold War[edit]

After the 35th's squadrons transferred back to Johnson AB, Japan in 1951, the group was reassembled with the wing and flew several aircraft types. The wing also added aerial reconnaissance to its air defense mission. Aircraft flown included the RC-45, RF-51, North American F-86F Sabre and Lockheed F-94 Starfire. During this time the 35th FIW directly controlled the

  • 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (14 July 1954 – 1 October 1957) (F-86)
  • 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (25 May 1951 – 1 October 1957) (RF-51, RC-45, F-86)
  • 41st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (15 January – 14 July 1954; 8 October 1956 – 1 July 1957) (F-86)
  • 319th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (17 August – 1 October 1954) (F-86)
  • 339th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (25 May 1951 – 20 July 1954) (F-94)

The group was returned to operational status on 15 July 1954, and from 14 August to 30 September 1954 was detached from the wing, being assigned to Yokota AB. All components of the wing were reassembled at Yokota in October 1954 and they served together until the 35th FIW was inactivated on 1 October 1957 with the operational squadrons coming under the control of the 41st Air Division.

Vietnam War[edit]

4th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron Convair F-102A-75-CO Delta Dagger 56-1333 landing at Da Nang Air Base, RVN, 1966

On 14 March 1966, the 35th Fighter Interceptor Wing was redesignated the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing. Two weeks later, it activated at Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, to replace the 7252nd Tactical Fighter Wing. While at Da Nang Air Base, the wing had five flying squadrons assigned or attached to it.

Aircraft assigned were McDonnell Douglas F-4C Pantom II, Martin B-57 Canberra, and the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger

Royal Australian Air Force MK-20 Canberra Bomber after return from Phan Rang Air Base, South Vietnam, 1971
A-37B of the 8th Special Operations Squadron, 1970
North American F-100F-20-NA Super Sabre Serial 58-1213 of the 352d Fighter Squadron at Phan Rang, 1971

In October 1966, the wing transferred to Phan Rang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, to replace the 366th TFW. With the transfer, the 35th became the parent wing at Phan Rang Air Base. Operational squadrons of the 35th TFW at Phan Rang were:

  • 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron: 10 October 1966 – 31 July 1971 (F-100D/F Tail Code: VM)
    (Deployed from 354th TFW, Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina)
  • 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron: 10 October 1966 – 31 July 1971 (F-100D/F Tail Code: VP)
    (Deployed from 401st TFW, England AFB, Louisiana)
  • 615th Tactical Fighter Squadron: 10 October 1966 – 31 July 1971 (F-100D/F Tail Code: VZ)
    (Deployed from 401st TFW, England AFB, Louisiana)
  • 120th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Colorado ANG): 30 April 1968 – 18 April 1969 (F-100C/F Tail Code: VS)
    612th Tactical Fighter Squadron: 10 October 1966 – 8 January 1967 and 14 April 1969 – 15 March 1971 (F-100D/F Tail Code: VS)
    (Deployed from England AFB (1966), Misawa AB Japan (1969)
  • 8th Tactical Bombardment Squadron: 12 October 1966 – 15 January 1968 (B-57B/C/E Tail Code: PQ)
  • 13th Tactical Bombardment Squadron: 12 October 1966 – 15 January 1968 (B-57B/C/E Tail Code: PV)
  • No. 2 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force: 19 April 1967 – 4 June 1971 (MK-20 Canberra)
  • 8th Special Operations Squadron: 30 September 1970 – 31 July 1971 (A-37B Tail Code: CG)
    (Reassigned from 3d TFW, Bien Hoa AB)

The RAAF No. 2 Squadron provided day and night bombing, photo strike assessment, and close air support primarily for 1st Australian Task Force in Phuoc Tuy Province.

Missions included air support of ground forces, interdiction, visual and armed reconnaissance, strike assessment photography, escort, close and direct air support, and rapid reaction alert. It struck enemy bases and supply caches in Parrot's Beak just inside the Cambodian border, April–May 1970 and provided close air support and interdiction in support of South Vietnamese operations in Laos and Cambodia, January–June 1971.

The 35th TFW's resources passed to the 315th Tactical Airlift Wing on 31 July 1971 when the 35th Wing inactivated in Southeast Asia. It was later reactivated at George Air Force Base California on 1 October 1971.

For its wartime combat duty in Southeast Asia, the 35th TFW was awarded the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Crosses with Palm and the Vietnam Air; Vietnam Air Offensive; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase III; Vietnam Air/Ground; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV; TET 69/Counteroffensive; Vietnam Summer-Fall, 1969; Vietnam Winter-Spring, 1970; Sanctuary Counteroffensive; Southwest Monsoon; Commando Hunt V; Commando Hunt VI. campaign streamers.

George Air Force Base[edit]

The 35th Tactical Fighter Wing was reassigned and reactivated at George Air Force Base, Calif., on 1 October 1971, where it replaced the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing. The wing's mission at George was to take over the mission of training F-4 flight crews.

General-purpose F-4C/D/E training squadrons carried the tail code "GA". These were:

From (1972–1975), the 20th TFS flew German Air Force F-4F aircraft for training of German Air Force (Luftwaffe) pilots. USAF F-4E aircraft in German AF motif were flown after 1981.

  • 21st Tactical Fighter Training Squadron (December 1972 – October 1980) (F-4C)
    21st Tactical Fighter Squadron (October 1980 – October 1989) (F-4E)
    21st Tactical Fighter Training Squadron (October 1974– June 1991) (F-4E)
  • 4435th Tactical Fighter Replacement Squadron (October 1971 – December 1976) (F-4C, Red/White Tail stripe F-4C 1972–1976, F-4E 1976–1977)
  • 4452d Combat Crew Training Squadron (October 1971 – October 1973) (F-4D, 1972, F-4E, 1972–1973)
  • 4535th Combat Crew Training Squadron (October 1971 – December 1972) (F-4C)

Wild Weasel Training[edit]

In addition to the F-4 training, in November 1974 Republic F-105F/G Thunderchiefs from the 388th TFW 17th WWS at Korat RTAFB, Thailand were withdrawn from Southeast Asia and transferred to the 562d TFS. By 1975, with the arrival of new F-4G aircraft, the wing was training aircrews exclusively in Wild Weasel radar detection and suppression operations for deployment to operational units in Okinawa and Germany.

Wild Weasel F-105F/G training aircraft carried the "GA" tail code. Later, the F-4G/E training aircraft carried the tail code "WW". These were:

  • 561st Tactical Fighter Squadron (July 1973 – July 1980) (F-105F/G), (F-4G, Tail Code: WW July 1980 – June 1992)***
  • 562d Tactical Fighter Squadron (October 1974 – July 1980) (F-105F/G), (F-4G, Tail Code: WW July 1980 – June 1992)***
  • 563d Tactical Fighter Squadron (July 1975 – July 1977) (F-105F/G), (F-4G, Tail Code: WW July 1977 – October 1989)***
  • 39th Tactical Fighter Squadron
    (January 1977 – May 1984) (F-4C/G Tail Code: WW) (January 1976 – October 1980, not operational 1980–1982) (F-4E, January 1982 – May 1984, Tail Code: GA)

.*** Under 37th Tactical Fighter Wing 1981–1989

McDonnell F-4D-28-MC Phantom 65-0672, 4452nd Combat Crew Training Squadron 10 June 1972. Retired to AMARC as FP0308 20 September 1989.
A trio of 561st Republic F-105G Thunderchiefs (62-4427, 63-8285, and 63-8319) each carrying a practice bomb dispenser returning from a training mission in 1975. 63-8285 is now on static display at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.
McDonnell Douglas F-4E-43-MC Phantom 69-7254/WW in F-4G configuration awaits its turn at Mojave for conversion to a 'Red Tail' target drone. The white fin cap indicates the aircraft was assigned to the 563rd TFS, which inactivated in October 1989. Converted to QF-4G AF-209. Expended 4 June 2002.

In 1980, the wing received the new F-4G and its advanced Wild Weasel system. By July 1980, the last F-105G left George Air Force Base, leaving the 35th with F-4Gs in its inventory for Wild Weasel training.

Mission Realignments[edit]

In mid-1978, the 431st TFTS was inactivated and replaced by the 561st TFS. Its F-4Es sent to the Air National Guard. The 39th TFS received the Air Force's first F-4Gs, and the F-4Cs were sent to the ANG. All 39th TFS aircraft and personnel were absorbed by the 562d TFTS on 9 October 1980 and the squadron was inactivated.

Operations at George Air Force Base were reorganized by mission requirements 30 March 1981. The 35th Tactical Fighter Wing retained control of the 20th and 21st Tactical Fighter Squadrons and gained the inactive 39th TFS for combat ready operations. The 39th remained non-operational until January 1982 when it began equipping with Pave Spike-equipped F-4Es obtained from the 21st TFW at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska and reorganized as a combat-ready tactical fighter squadron. In May 1984, the 39th TFS was inactivated.

In July 1983, the 21st TFS was returned to a fighter training mission and renamed 21st TFTS.

With the inactivation of the 39th TFS in 1984, the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing was redesignated the 35th Tactical Training Wing. However, the wing kept its air defense augmentation responsibility. It provided operations and maintenance support for the close air support portion of Army training exercises conducted at the U.S. Army National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., from 1981 to 1990. Also, the wing advised specific Air National Guard units on F-4 operations from 1981 to 1991.

The new 37th Tactical Fighter Wing assumed the 561st and 562nd Tactical Fighter Squadrons active Wild Weasel missions in March 1981. This training ended in October 1989 when the 37th TFW was reassigned to Tonopah Test Range Nevada assuming F-117A operational development. All Wild Weasel operations (561st, 562d TFS) were consolidated the 37th TFW under the newly redesignated 35th Tactical Fighter Wing.

Desert Shield/Desert Storm[edit]

In August 1990, the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing mobilized in support of Operation Desert Shield. On 16 August 1990, 24 F-4Gs of the 561st Tactical Fighter Squadron left George Air Force Base en route to Shaikh Isa Air Base, Bahrain. Once in the Middle East, its deployed people established operational, maintenance and living facilities for the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing (Provisional). These facilities eventually housed more than 60 active duty and Air National Guard F-4s and more than 2,600 military members.

During Operation Desert Storm, the 561st Tactical Fighter Squadron flew 1,182 combat sorties for a total of 4,393.5 hours. The 35th Tactical Fighter Wing (Provisional) was credited with flying 3,072 combat missions for 10,318.5 hours. U.S. Central Command relied heavily on the wing's Wild Weasels to suppress enemy air defense systems. The F-4G aircrews were credited with firing 905 missiles at Iraqi targets, while the RF-4C aircrews shot more than 300,000 feet of vital reconnaissance film. During operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing (Provisional) suffered no casualties. The wing's people began returning to George Air Force Base 23 March 1991, with its aircraft and pilots following three days later.

Modern era[edit]

The 35th became the host unit for George Air Force Base when the 831st Air Division there inactivated 31 March 1991. As a result, the wing gained several support agencies, including the 35th Combat Support Group and associated squadrons. In support of the Air Force's force reduction programs, the 21st Tactical Fighter Training Squadron inactivated 28 June 1991.

In October 1991, as part of the Air Force's reorganization plan, the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing was redesignated the 35th Fighter Wing. A month later, the wing's tactical fighter squadrons were redesignated fighter squadrons. On 1 June 1992, the 35th FW was transferred to the new Air Combat Command.

In 1988, George AFB was scheduled in the first round of base closures passed by Congress under the Base Realignment and Closure program. In 1991, the 35th began downsizing in preparation for the closure of George Air Force Base.

  • The 21st TFTS was inactivated on 28 June 1991 and its aircraft sent to AMARC. It was reactivated an A-10 squadron at Shaw AFB in November.
  • On 5 June 1992, the 20th Fighter Squadron was reassigned to the 49th FW at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, where it continued its mission of conducting training for the German Air Force.
  • The Wild Weasel training program was shut down and the 561st and 562d Fighter Squadrons were inactivated on 1 June 1992. The F-4Gs were sent to Nellis AFB, Nevada and between February 1993 and October 1996, the 561st was briefly reactivated as part of the 57th Operations Group as the USAF's last F-4G squadron. It was again inactivated and aircraft sent to AMARC.

Shortly thereafter, on 15 December the 35th Fighter Wing inactivated and George Air Force Base was closed bringing an end to 21 years of continuous service and more than 34 years of total service for the 35th.

Iceland[edit]

McDonnell Douglas F-15C-28-MC Eagle serial 80-0035 of the 57th FIS

Less than six months after its inactivation, the 35th was again called to service. On 31 May 1993, the 35th Fighter Wing was redesignated the 35th Wing and activated at Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland. The 35th replaced Air Forces Iceland, which had served as a wing equivalent for more than 40 years. Its new mission was to deter aggression, stabilize the North Atlantic region and protect the sovereign airspace of Iceland through the use of combat capable surveillance, air superiority and rescue forces.

The wing's 57th Fighter Squadron protected the northern airspace with its McDonnell Douglas F-15C/D fighters. Its surveillance mission was handled by the 932d Air Control Squadron through the Iceland Regional Operations Control Center and four remote radar sites located on the four corners of the island. The 56th Rescue Squadrons four Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters flew combat rescue and reaction force insertion missions.

The 35th Wing was inactivated at NAS Keflavik, Iceland, on 30 September 1994, being replaced by the 85th Wing, with the station being reassigned from Air Combat Command to the United States Air Forces in Europe.

Misawa Air Base[edit]

Formation of Block 50A F-16CJs, 90-0812 from the 14th Fighter Squadron identifiable

The 35th Fighter Wing was redesignated and reassigned 1 October 1994 when it inactivated at NAS Keflavik and was reactivated the same day at Misawa Air Base, Japan where the wing assumed the missions and responsibilities previously performed by the 432d Fighter Wing.

The 35th FW serves as host unit for Misawa AB, supporting 33 US associate units and units of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JASDF) Northern Air Defense Force, primarily the Japanese 3rd Air Wing, which celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2007. In addition to providing air defense of northern Japan, the wing also deployed aircraft and personnel to Southwest Asia in support of Operations NORTHERN and SOUTHERN WATCH and the Global War on Terrorism from 1997 to 2003.

Lineage[edit]

  • Established as 35th Fighter Wing on 10 August 1948.
Activated on 18 August 1948.
Redesignated 35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 20 January 1950
Inactivated on 1 October 1957
  • Redesignated 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, and activated, on 14 March 1966
Organized on 8 April 1966
Inactivated on 31 July 1971
  • Activated on 1 October 1971
Redesignated: 35th Tactical Training Wing on 1 July 1984
Redesignated: 35th Tactical Fighter Wing on 5 October 1989
Redesignated: 35th Fighter Wing on 1 October 1991
Inactivated on 15 December 1992
  • Redesignated 35th Wing on 9 April 1993
Activated on 31 May 1993
Inactivated on 1 October 1994
  • Redesignated 35th Fighter Wing, and activated, on 1 October 1994.

Assignments[edit]

Units[edit]

Group

Squadrons

Stations[edit]

See also[edit]

Wild Weasel

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]