49th Wing

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49th Wing
F-22 Raptor - Holloman AFB.jpg
F-22 Raptor parked on the flightline at Holloman AFB, New Mexico
Active 10 August 1948
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Wing
Role Composite
Part of Twelfth Air Force
Air Combat Command
Garrison/HQ Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico
Motto TUTOR ET ULTOR - "Protector and Defender"
Engagements Korean War Streamer.png
Korean War
Vietnam Service Streamer.jpg
Vietnam War
Southwest Asia Service Streamer.png
1991 Gulf War (Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation of Kuwait)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer.jpg
Operation Northern/Southern Watch
Kosovo Campaign Streamer.jpg
Operation Allied Force
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Streamer.jpg
Global War on Terrorism[1]
Decorations AFOUA with Valor.jpg
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award.jpg
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award
US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (6x)
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Streamer.png
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation (2x)[1]
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Andrew A Croft
Notable
commanders
Bruce Carlson
William L. Kirk
Lloyd W. Newton
Edwin A. Doss
Insignia
49th Wing emblem 49th Fighter Wing.png

The 49th Wing (49 WG) is a United States Air Force unit, assigned to Twelfth Air Force, Air Combat Command. It is stationed at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.

Overview[edit]

The 49th Wing supports national security objectives by deploying worldwide to support peacetime and wartime contingencies. The wing provides combat-ready Airmen, F-22 Raptors, and trains MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators.

Additionally, the wing deploys combat-ready and mission-support forces supporting Air Expeditionary Force operations, Global War on Terrorism and peacetime contingencies; the T-38A aircraft; and provides support to over 18,000 personnel to include training pilots in F-22 Raptor operations. The wing has a proud history of service in Korea, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia and NATO-led Operation Allied Force.[2]

Units[edit]

The 49th Operations Group supports national security objectives, as directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by utilizing the Air Force's F-22A Stealth Fighter aircraft and in training U.S. Air Force and allied aircrews in F-22A and T-38 transition, instructor and fighter weapons instructor.[3]
49th Operations Support Squadron
6th Reconnaissance Squadron(MQ-1)
7th Fighter Squadron (F-22A Raptor)
9th Attack Squadron (MQ-9)
16th Training Squadron (MQ-9)
29th Attack Squadron (MQ-9)
  • 49th Maintenance Group
The 49th Maintenance Group maintains aircraft, propulsion, avionics and accessory systems for the F-22A Raptor. The group also directs all maintenance, qualification, on-the-job and ancillary training for over 1,200 people; manages over $4.3 billion in aircraft and equipment; and supports flying activities, exercises and worldwide taskings as assigned by the war-fighting CINCs and the Secretary of Defense against high-value, heavily defended targets.[3]
  • 49th Mission Support Group
The 49th Mission Support Group provides a wide spectrum of support services for wing and tenant organizations -- these include military and civilian personnel support, maintenance of facility and utility systems, security police duties, communication capabilities, and family leisure programs for Holloman AFB.[3]
  • 49th Materiel Maintenance Group
The 49th Materiel Maintenance Group is responsible for the storage, inspection, repair, deployment and accountability of bare base assets belonging to Air Combat Command. The group's 431 authorized personnel encompass 42 Air Force specialties and are responsible for bare base assets worth over $234 million dollars.[3]
  • 49th Medical Group
The 49th Medical Group's mission is to sustain and enhance a culture of safety, maximize combat readiness, enhance access to quality patient care, and develop our Airmen and staff.[3]

History[edit]

For additional history and lineage, see 49th Operations Group

Origins[edit]

The history of the 49th Wing begins with its activation at Misawa Air Base, Japan on 10 August 1948. With the end of World War II, the United States Army 32d Engineering Construction Group under the command of Captain Davis K. Stark occupied and began rebuilding the former Imperial Japanese Navy Air Base at Misawa, Japan. In January 1946, the 49th Fighter Group became the first United States Army Air Forces unit assigned to the rebuilt base. In 1948, with the adoption of the Hobson Plan, the United States Air Force 49th Fighter Wing was activated, with the 49th Fighter Group as its combat group.[4]

The initial mission of the 49th Fighter Wing was the air defense of Northern Honshu and Hokkaido. Its 7th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Squadron and 9th Fighter Squadrons were initially equipped with P-51D Mustangs, later being upgraded to the new F-80C Shooting Star jet fighter.[4]

Korean War[edit]

F-84G-25-RE Thunderjet serial 52-3249 of the 9th Fighter-Bomber Squadron being refueled over Korea, 1953

With the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, the 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing was one of the first USAF units dispatched to Korea from Japan, its tactical squadrons began operations with P-51D Mustangs. Initially under its parent wing, the 49th was reassigned to the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing during July through September, and finally the 6149th Tactical Support Wing during October and November 1950. Korean War squadrons of the 49th were the 7th, 8th and 9th Fighter-Bomber Squadrons.[4]

The 49th's first task in South Korea was to cover the evacuation of civilians from Kimpo and Suwon. Next, it flew close air support missions to help slow the advancing North Korean armies. Later, it turned to the interdiction of enemy troops, supplies and communications.[4]

Phasing out its F-51s for Lockheed F-80C Shooting Stars jets, the 49th FBW moved to Taegu AB (K-2) on 1 October 1950, becoming the first jet fighter outfit to operate from bases in South Korea. It received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its combat operations during the first five months of the war.[4]

When the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) Intervention Campaign gained momentum in 1950–1951, the group again concentrated on ground support missions. It converted to Republic F-84G Thunderjets, June–September 1951, one squadron at a time, while the others continued combat operations. The 49th FBG earned another DUC for its contribution to the success of the 1st UN Counteroffensive Campaign (1951). Afterwards, it engaged primarily in air interdiction operations against the main enemy channel of transportation, the roads and railroads between Pyongyang and Sinuiju. Also, it flew close air support missions for the ground forces and attacked high value targets, including the Sui-ho hydroelectric plants in June 1952 and the Kumgang Political School in October 1952.[4]

On 27 July 1953, the 49th FBG joined the 58th FBG to bomb Sunan Airfield for the final action of F-84 fighter-bombers during the Korean War. The unit was one of the most decorated Air Force units in the war, having earned two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit citations and another eight battle honors. Such accomplishments earned the wing a niche in United States Air Force history.[4]

The wing remained in Korea for a time after the armistice. It was reassigned to Misawa AB, Japan on 2 November 1953 and provided air defense for Japan through 1957.[4]

United States Air Forces in Europe[edit]

On 15 April 1957 the detached 49 Fighter-Bomber Group became a paper unit, and the wing assumed the fighter-bomber mission the group had been performing, continuing it to 15 September 1957, when the wing prepared to move to Europe. Worldwide DOD Budget restrictions during FY 1958 affected PACAF as well as USAFE and the 49th FBW based in Japan had to be retired.[5]

North American F-100D-40-NH Super Sabre Serial 55-2760 assigned to the 8th TFS/49th TFW
Republic F-105F-1-RE Thunderchief Serial 63-8311 of the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing. During the Vietnam War, this aircraft was modified to the F-105G "Wild Weasel" configuration.

The 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing was reassigned to Etain-Rouvres Air Base, France where it absorbed the assets of the former host unit, the 388th FBW. As the 388th was originally formed in December 1942, and the 49th was formed in November 1940, the older wing's heritage was preserved by transferring its lineage to Etain. The transfer was a strict designation change with no personnel, equipment or aircraft being transferred. All 388th FBW wing units, personnel, equipment and aircraft were redesignated to the 49th FBW and the mission of the 49th FBW was exactly the same as the 388th's. The fighter squadrons were redesignated the 7th, 8th and 9th Fighter-bomber Squadrons.[5]

The stay of the 49th in France was short, as in 1957, the French Government decreed that all nuclear weapons and delivery aircraft had to be removed from French soil by July 1958. As a result, the F-100's of the 49th TFW had to be removed from France.[5]

On 25 August 1959, the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing moved to Spangdahlem AB from the Etain-Rouvres Air Base, France, and assumed host unit duties.[6]

On 8 July 1958 the name of the wing was changed to the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing as a result of an Air Force wide redesignation. Its squadrons were renamed Tactical Fighter Squadrons. On 25 August 1959, the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing relocated to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany and assumed host unit duties, replacing the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing which was moved to RAF Alconbury England. Tactical Fighger Squadrons of the 49th TFW at Spangdahlem were the 7th, 8th and 9th.[6]

The 49 TFW flew F-100s until 1961 when it converted to the Republic F-105D/F Thunderchief, commonly known as the "Thud". The 49th TFW was only the third USAF unit to operate the F-105. The 49th received two Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards for F-105 operations at Spangdahlem. On 9 March 1967, the Wing began receiving the McDonnell Douglas F-4D Phantom II.[6]

In the late 1960s, the Defense Budget began to be squeezed by the costs of the ongoing Vietnam War. Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara decided to reduce costs in Europe by "Dual Basing" United States military units in Europe by returning them permanently to the United States, and conducting annual deployment exercises in Europe, giving the units a NATO commitment for deployment to bases in Europe if tensions with the Soviet Union warranted an immediate military buildup. The 49th Tactical Fighter Wing was returned to the United States under this policy, being reassigned on 1 July 1968 to Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, to serve as the US Air Force’s first dual-based, NATO-committed wing.[6]

Holloman Air Force Base[edit]

McDonnell F-4D Phantom 66-7640 of the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1975, photo taken at Ramstein Air Base, West Germany during a NATO deployment
F-4D Phantom 66-7745 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron

At Holloman, the wing continued participation in tactical exercises and firepower demonstrations to maintain combat readiness. It had base host responsibility 1 January 1971 – 1 August 1977 and 15 November 1991 to the present. In the autumn of 1971 the wing's four tactical squadrons deployed in Europe.[4]

In 1969, the wing participated in its first dual-basing exercise, Crested Cap I, deploying 2,000 personnel and 72 aircraft to NATO bases in Europe. Also in 1972, the 49th earned the coveted MacKay Trophy for the "most meritorious flight of the year," for the redeployment from Germany to Holloman after Crested Cap II. The MacKay Trophy recognized the 49th for the fastest non-stop deployment of jet aircraft accomplished by a wing's entire fleet.[4]

Operation Constant Guard III[edit]

On 4 May 1972, after North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam, the entire wing, except for a rear echelon that remained to run Holloman, deployed at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. Operation Constant Guard III, ordered in response to the North Vietnamese invasion, was the largest movement that the Tactical Air Command (TAC) had ever performed. In nine days, the 49th TFW deployed 72 F-4D Phantom IIs from Holloman to Takhli. The move included more than 3,000 personnel and 1,600 tons of cargo. Airmen arriving reported that Takhli was a mess, with missing or broken plumbing fixtures, no hot water, and no drinking water - that had to be trucked in from Korat every day. Bed frames had been thrown out of the hootches into the high snake-infested grass, and mattresses or bedding consisted of sleeping bags at best.

The 49th flew combat sorties in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos from 1 July – 24 September 1972 during Operation Linebacker, the bombardment campaign in North Vietnam. During this deployment, Operation Constant Guard, the 49th flew more than 21,000 combat hours over just about every battle zone from An Loc to vital installations in the Hanoi vicinity. During five months of combat, the wing did not lose any aircraft or personnel—a testament to the outstanding training and proficiency of all members of the 49th. The unit officially closed out its Southwest Asia duty 6 October 1972, receiving an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device for its participation.[4]

The wing returned to Holloman Air Force Base in early October 1972, and continued rotating tactical components to Europe to support NATO through September 1977. It also provided USAF fighter lead-in training from February 1974 – December 1976.

F-15 Eagle era[edit]

McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle 77-0116 of the 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1980.
F-15A Eagle 77-0110 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron

In October 1977, the wing ended its "dual-base" commitment to NATO and changed to an air superiority mission with the wing beginning a conversion from the F-4D Phantom II to the F-15A Eagle; the 49th being the second USAF operational wing to receive the F-15A. The transition was completed 4 June 1978.

Due to the change in equipment, the annual NATO deployments were taken over by the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, in 1978, however they resumed (although not on an annual basis) in 1981 when the 49th deployed to Ålborg AB, Denmark in August. NATO deployments to various bases in Western Europe ended in 1990. Training was refocused on dissimilar air combat tactics for multi-theater operations.[4]

History was made during February 1980, when two pilots from the 49th each flew their F-15s, 6,200 miles (10,000 km) in just over 14 hours, establishing a record for the longest flight of a single-seat fighter aircraft. The flights required six aerial refuelings, proving the global power of the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing. In July 1980, the wing acquired the commitment of a primary Rapid Deployment Force unit. This tasking, which lasted for a year, required the wing to be ready to deploy its aircraft, crews, and support personnel on short notice. The wing served with the Rapid Deployment Force until July 1981, when the tasking was transferred to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.[4]

The 49th won the 1988 William Tell air-to-air meet. The wing outdistanced the nearest competitor by more than 2,000 points. The 49th won a variety of awards, including the coveted "Top Gun" for best fighter pilot. It deployed aircraft and personnel to Southwest Asia to fly combat air patrol for coalition operations from 20 June – 19 December 1991.[4]

With the introduction of the F-15C Eagle in the mid-1980s, the upgraded Eagle began replacing the F-15A/Bs in service with all of the USAF units that had previously been operating the Eagle with the exception of the 49th TFW. By the time of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the F-15A Eagles at Holloman had been relegated to a training role; combat deployments of the Eagle were the purview of F-15C units.

F-117 Nighthawk era[edit]

F-117A Nighthawks of the 49th Operations Group at Holloman AFB, taken shortly after their arrival from Tonopah Airport, Nevada in 1992
German Air Force F-4F Phantom II 72-1261, flown by the 20th Fighter Squadron at Holloman AFB. The Phantoms were flown until 2004; today the Luftwaffe operates Panavia Tornado IDS and Eurofighter Typhoon interceptors from Holloman

In 1992, the 49th underwent a number of transitions. As a result of the end of the Cold War, reduced defense budgets were the order of the day. In reviewing its tactical bases and the costs of maintaining them, the Air Force wanted to retire the F-15As at Holloman, most of which were manufactured in the mid 1970s and were costing more and more to operate.[4]

Also as part of the review of all of its bases, the Air Force wanted to move its F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighters of the 37th Fighter Wing out Tonopah Test Range Airport, Nevada, due to the high operating costs of operating the base in its remote location. As a result, Holloman AFB was chosen to be the new home of the F-117A and to retire the F-15A Eagles. Plans were put in place to construct suitable facilities for the F-117A at Holloman. [4]

There was also debate about which unit designation would be adopted at Holloman. The 37th FW was a senior organization to the 49th FW, and initially it was announced that the 49th FW would be inactivated and the 37th would become the new host unit at Holloman. This was changed when General Merrill McPeak, USAF Chief of Staff, determined that the 49th had a more notable history than the 37th, and would remain active while the 37th FW would be inactivated.[4]

As a result, the last F-15A Eagle departed Holloman 5 June 1992, ending 14 years of Eagle operations. On 9 May 1992, four F-117A stealth fighters from Tonopah arrived at Holloman with the 49th Fighter Wing taking over as the only stealth fighter wing in the world. Also, German Air Force F-4F Phantom IIs training was transferred to Holloman, from the closing George AFB, California, the mission being assigned to the 9th Fighter Squadron, in May 1992 (the 9th became an F-117A squadron in July 1993, GAF training being assigned to the re-activated 20th Fighter Squadron.[4]

After conversion to the F-117A in May 1992, The 49th deployed fighters and their crews to Southwest Asia during the 1990s as part of Operation Southern Watch to support United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq, to enforce the no-fly zone over the southern part of that country, and for shows of force.[4]

Operation Allied Force[edit]
An F-117 Nighthawk taxis out for take off from Aviano Air Base, Italy, for an air strike mission in support of NATO Operation Allied Force on March 24, 1999

In early 1999, the wing deployed F-117 and their crews to Aviano Air Base, Italy and Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany from 21 February – 1 July 1999, in support of Operation Allied Force, the NATO attempt to stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo in the former nation of Yugoslavia. In the opening phase of the operation, aimed primarily at Yugoslavia's integrated air defense system, NATO air forces conducted more than 400 sorties. During the first two night attacks, allied air forces struck 90 targets throughout Yugoslavia and in Kosovo. F-117 Nighthawks from the 8th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron participated in air strikes against targets in the Balkans during NATO operations bravely trusting in their aircraft's low observable technology struck some of the most valuable and highly guarded targets in Serbia. The F-117s successfully penetrated the heavily defended areas, which conventional aircraft could not reach.[4]

One F-117 fighter was lost over Yugoslavia on 27 March 1999, apparently struck by a salvo of SA-3 Goa surface-to-air missiles. Unknown to NATO, Yugoslav air defenses operators had found they could detect F-117s with their "obsolete" Soviet radars after some modifications that could detect the aircraft when their wheels were down or bomb bay doors were open. A US search and rescue team picked up the pilot several hours after the F-117 went down outside Belgrade. This was the first and so far the only F-117 to have been lost in action. On 1 April 1999, Defense Secretary William Cohen directed 12 more F-117 stealth fighters to join NATO Operation Allied Force, to join the total of 24 F-117s that were participating in NATO Operation Allied Force. [4]

Operation Enduring Freedom[edit]

People, airplanes, and equipment of the 49th Fighter Wing played a key role in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The wing's F-117s played a major role, dropping the first bombs against an Iraqi leadership target in Baghdad on 19 March 2003.[4]

Deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, on the opening night of the invasion, fresh intelligence was received that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was staying at a specific bunker for the night. USAF planners had a rare opportunity to kill the elusive Iraqi leader. It was reasoned that might bring down his regime without war. The F-117s would carry the new GPS-guided EGBU-27 precision guided bomb. The problem was it had never been used in combat and the weapons had arrived at Al Udeid a mere 24 hours earlier.[7]

An F-117 and F-15s prepare to launce from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, during Operation Enduring Freedom

Combat preparation of the fighters began immediately. The plan called for the F-117s to take off as soon as possible. Two stealth fighters roared northward into the nighttime sky at 3:38 a.m. After refueling over the Gulf near Kuwait City, the stealth fighters split up and took separate routes over Iraq to the target area. The sun was starting to come up and the sun was starting to come up by the time the pilots reached Baghdad, however on that morning Baghdad was obscured under low-level clouds. Each of the two F-117s released two bombs, which plummeted toward the bunker in which Saddam Hussein was believed to be sleeping. Release came at 5:30 a.m., 13 minutes after dawn but only five hours after the pilots first heard that such a mission might be in the offing. The strike caught Iraqi defenses completely off guard. Defensive anti-aircraft fire did not begin until the aircraft had completed the attack and were racing out of the Baghdad area.[7]

Although the strike did not kill Saddam Hussein, what it did accomplish was to allow the coalition to seize the initiative. Also the EGBU-27 immediately became the F-117’s premier weapon. According to Air Force data, 98 of them were delivered during the conflict, compared to only 11 of the traditional, predominantly laser versions.[7] During Operation Iraqui Freedom, F-117 pilots flew more than 80 missions and dropped nearly 100 enhanced guided bomb units against key targets. Approximately 300 people deployed with the air package and provided direct support to the F-117 mission.[4]

Hurricane Katrina[edit]
7th Fighter Squadron F-117A making a flyover of Holloman AFB, New Mexico, 2005

The 49th continued to demonstrated its versatility, when on 3 September 2005, the wing answered a humanitarian call from the gulf coast area of the United States. Responding to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the wing deployed fifty-nine Airmen from the 49th Materiel Maintenance Group as part of Joint Task Force Katrina. The BEAR Base team sent 120 short tons of cargo and built a tent city and housekeeping facilities for workers providing Hurricane Katrina relief operations.[4]

The 49th continued to demonstrate its versatility when on Sept. 3, 2005 the wing answered a humanitarian call from the gulf coast area of the United States. Responding to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the wing deployed 59 Airmen from the 49th Materiel Maintenance Group as part of Joint Task Force Katrina. Holloman's Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources Base team sent 120 short tons of cargo and built a tent city and housekeeping facilities for workers providing Hurricane Katrina relief operations. [4]

In 2006, the Air Force announced that Holloman would cease to be the home of the F-117A Nighthawk, coinciding with the announcement that the aircraft was set to be retired from service by 2008. Shortly thereafter, it was announced Holloman was one of the preferred bases to receive the F-22A Raptor.[4]

In the meantime, preparation for the F-117A retirement and the arrival of the F-22 ensued and the base partook in a well-known sideline project. It came about in May 2006, when the 49th Fighter Wing commander, Air Force Public Affairs and Department of Defense representatives announced the filming of the motion picture film, "Transformers," at Holloman. The 49th Fighter Wing's F-117s were pictured prominently in the movie, both as static backgrounds and as taxiing aircraft. The aircraft's big motion picture debut came in June 2007 when the film was released in theaters worldwide. Members of the 49th FW were treated to a special pre-release screen where director, Michael Bay, presented Holloman with an "Oscar" for the base's role.[4]

Current operations[edit]

Lockheed Martin F-22A Block 20 Raptor 04-4072 at Holloman AFB, 2013

The next year brought major changes to the 49th Fighter Wing. On June 2, 2008, the first two F-22's were flown to Holloman, marking the day as an important date in the wing's history. The 5th generation fighter aircraft was officially welcomed during a Total Force Integration Announcement Ceremony, June 6, 2008, attended by then Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. T. Michael Moseley.[4]

The ceremony served a dual purpose: to welcome the new airframe and to announce that the Air Force Reserve's 301st Fighter Squadron from Luke AFB, Ariz., would come to Holloman to form a classic association with the 7th and 8th Fighter Squadrons. The Total Force Integration between active-duty and reserve Airmen would later be official with the stand up of the 44th Fighter Group, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and 301st Fighter Squadron on April 9, 2010.[4]

An Air Force announcement in July 2009 brought another vital mission to the wing. Holloman was selected as a new location for an additional Remotely Piloted Aircraft Formal Training Unit, allowing the base to once again move to the forefront of unmanned aerial vehicle technology as it had in the past. The 49th Fighter Wing FTU would become the Air Force's second MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper Formal Training Unit. On Oct. 26, 2009, three RPA squadrons officially stood up under the 49th Fighter Wing -- the 29th Attack Squadron, 6th Reconnaissance Squadron and 16th Training Squadron -- along with the 849th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, charged with maintaining Holloman's RPAs.[4]

8th Reconnaissance Squadron General Atomics MQ-1 Predator 08-0226.
General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper

In early 2010, the 49th Fighter Wing again exemplified its ability to respond in a moment's notice when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the country of Haiti, leaving thousands dead and many more homeless. Units from across the base were tasked to prepare personnel and assets to deploy in the relief effort, later known as Operation United Response. The 49th Materiel Maintenance Group, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron and 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron worked around-the-clock to prepare potable water and equipment to send to the country.[4]

Additionally, the 849th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron was asked to provide two RQ-1 aircraft and a team of crew chiefs and avionics personnel to support the ongoing relief effort. Because it was primarily an RPA training squadron, this was the first time the 849th was tasked with a real-world mission. The contingent from Holloman teamed up with members from the 432nd Maintenance Group at Creech AFB, Nev., to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to the troops on the ground assisting the Haitians.[4]

Even amongst ongoing Haiti relief operations, the 49th FW continued to support the war efforts down range. On Feb. 26, 2010, the 49th Materiel Maintenance Group began the movement of approximately 150 truckloads of assets, which were used to directly support joint and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Holloman's BEAR Base supplied 480,000 square feet of AM-2 matting that was used to expand the expeditionary aircraft operations throughout Afghanistan. The AM-2 matting provided was the equivalent of eight football fields and was valued at more than $15 million.[4]

Logisticians and engineers with the 49th also provided expeditionary base facilities and equipment to establish three 550-person encampments, valued at $10 million, for joint service forces in the area of responsibility.[4]

Also in February 2010, the 49th Fighter Wing was the host unit of Red Flag 10-3, an advanced aerial combat exercise where air crews from the U.S. and other allied nations trained in realistic aerial war scenarios at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.[4]

With the 49th Fighter Wing now supporting multiple unique missions, it was announced in early 2010 that the wing's name would change to the 49th Wing to more accurately portray the diverse wing. The designation from a fighter wing to a wing became official June 25, 2010, during a change of command ceremony where Col. David "Kooler" Krumm became the first 49th Wing commander.[4]

F-16 Training School[edit]

F-16C Fighting Falcon

In 2012, it was announced that the 7th Fighter Squadron was to move its hundreds of F-22 support personnel and aircraft to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, in the spring of 2013 to comply with the Air Force's F-22 fleet consolidation plan. In August 2013, it was announced however, that the United States Congress enacted a freeze on U.S. Air Force structure changes, including aircraft transfers. As a replacement for the F-22, Holloman was supposed to receive two F-16 Fighting Falcon training squadrons from Luke Air Force Base, Arizona and assume the mission of the F-16 Training School, but this move was also postponed due to the congressional freeze.[8]

The plan is to retain the 7th Fighter Squadron name at Holloman Air Force Base, with the transferred F-22A aircraft, personnel equipment and mission to be assigned to a re-activated 95th Fighter Squadron, a historical squadron within Tyndall's history. Holloman will receive two squadrons (56 aircraft) of F-16s from Luke as the 56th Fighter Wing there takes over the F-35A Lightning II training mission. Holloman is to take over the F-16 training mission by October 2015, with the first aircraft arriving in April 2014.[8]

The F-16s will accompany the unmanned aerial vehicle schoolhouses already in place at Holloman. All MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators come to Holloman to receive their training before proceeding to their operational duty assignments. [8]

Lineage[edit]

49th FW F-117A patch
49th Tactical Fighter Wing patch
Emblem of the 49th used while with USAFE
  • Established as 49th Fighter Wing on 10 August 1948
Activated on 18 August 1948
Re-designated: 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing on 1 February 1950
Re-designated: 49th Tactical Fighter Wing on 8 July 1958
Re-designated: 49th Fighter Wing on 1 October 1991
Re-designated: 49th Wing on 30 June 2010[1]

Assignments[edit]

Attached to 58th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 16-31 March 1953
  • Japan Air Defense Force, 1 April 1953
Attached to: Fifth Air Force, 1 Apr-7 Nov 1953
Attached to: 39th Air Division [Defense], 7 Nov 1953-
Remained attached to 39th Air Division [Defense] to 1 Mar 1955
Attached to Seventeenth Air Force, 15 Jan-4 Apr 1969
  • 835th Air Division, 1 Feb 1970
Attached to Seventeenth Air Force, 14 Sep-7 Oct 1970
Attached to Thirteenth Air Force, 5 May-2 Oct 1972
  • Tactical Training, Holloman, 1 Aug 1977
  • 833d Air Division, 1 Dec 1980
  • Twelfth Air Force (later Twelfth Air Force [Air Forces Southern]), 15 Nov 1991-Present[1]

Components[edit]

Groups
Detached 9 Jul-30 Nov 1950, 16-31 Mar 1953, 2 Nov 1953-15 Apr 1957
Battalions
  • 76th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons: attached 5-c. 25 Jan 1951
  • 753d Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun: attached c. Sep-c. Nov 1950
  • 865th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons: attached c. Sep-c. 30 Nov 1950[1]
Squadrons
Attached 9 Jul-17 Aug 1950 and 7 Aug 1956-15 Apr 1957
Assigned 10 Dec 1957-15 Nov 1991
Detached 10 Sep-6 Oct 1971, 2 Mar-4 Apr 1973, 2 Apr-3 May 1974, 4 Oct-6 Nov 1975, 23 Aug-25 Sep 1976
Attached 15 Apr-15 Oct 1957
Assigned 10 Dec 1957-15 Nov 1991
Detached c. 12 Sep-c. 11 Oct 1970, 10 Sep-6 Oct 1971, 3 Mar-5 Apr 1973, 5 Sep-6 Oct 1975, 21 Sep-20 Oct 1976, 22 Aug-22 Sep 1977, 10 Sep-15 Nov 1991
Attached 17 Aug-c. 6 Sep 1950 and 15 Apr-9 Dec 1957
Assigned 10 Dec 1957-15 Nov 1991
Detached c. 12 Sep-c. 11 Oct 1970, 9 Sep-7 Oct 1971, 4 Feb-15 Mar 1973, 6 Sep-7 Oct 1975, 22 Sep-21 Oct 1977, 10 Sep-10 Oct 1977, 20 Jun-15 Nov 1991
Detached 9 Sep-2 Oct 1971, 3 Feb-14 Mar 1973, 5 Mar-5 Apr 1974, 3 Oct-5 Nov 1975, 24 Aug-26 Sep 1976
Batteries
  • Battery A, 76th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion: attached 1-25 Jan 1951
  • Battery A, 933d AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion: attached 18 Dec 1950-5 Jan 1951
Flights
  • Unnumbered (of 41st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron Flight): attached 6 Sep-30 Nov 195
  • Unnumbered (of 339d Fighter-All Weather Squadron Flight): attached c. Oct-c. 30 Nov 1950
  • 6113th Air Weather Flight: assigned 18 Aug 1948-26 Jan 1949, attached 27 Jan-10 Apr 1949.[1]

Stations[edit]

Coronet Exercises
During the 1980s and 1990s the 49 TFW made several “Coronet” deployments to Collocated Operating Bases (COB) in the Netherlands;[9]
  • In May and June 1986, 7 TFS deployed with twelve F-15A/B Eagles as part of Coronet Mescalero to Gilze-Rijen air base, while 9 TFS deployed to Soesterberg air base (Camp New Amsterdam) at the same time;
  • In May and June 1987, 8 TFS deployed with the F-15A Eagle as part of Coronet Scout to Gilze-Rijen AB;
  • In June and July 1990, 7 TFS deployed with twelve F-15A/B Eagles as part of Coronet Bullet to Gilze-Rijen AB;
  • In June and July 1990, 8 TFS deployed with twelve F-15A/B Eagles as part of Coronet Shooter to Gilze-Rijen AB;
  • In June and July 1993, 415 FS, part of the renamed 49 Fighter Wing, deployed with eight F-117A Nighthawks as part of Coronet Havoc to Gilze-Rijen AB. This was the first time the F-117A Nighthawk deployed for an exercise to the European theater, and only the second time the Stealth jet deployed for an exercise outside the United States.

Aircraft[edit]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]