Tucson Air National Guard Base
|Part of Arizona Air National Guard (ANG)|
|Tucson International Airport, Arizona|
|Type||Air National Guard Base|
|Controlled by||United States Air Force|
|Garrison||162d Fighter Wing|
- 162d Operations Group
- Operations Support Flight
- 148th Fighter Squadron
- 152d Fighter Squadron
- 195th Fighter Squadron
- International Military Student Office (IMSO)
- 162d Maintenance Group
- 162d Medical Group
- 162d Mission Support Group
- Geographically Separated Units (at Davis-Monthan AFB)
- 162d Fighter Wing Alert Detachment
- Operation Snowbird
- 214th Reconnaissance Group
- FTU Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 MLU Fighter Training Squadron
World War II
|This section requires expansion. (August 2013)|
Military use of the Tucson Airport began in 1956 when the Arizona Air National Guard activated the Air Defense Command 152d Fighter Interceptor Squadron, which operated Korean War vintage F-86A Sabres. At that time the "base" consisted of an old adobe farmhouse and a dirt-floor hangar with enough space for three aircraft.
Despite the facility limitations, the Air Defense Command's Fourth Air Force judged the 152d 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. The Air National Guard officially redesignated the unit as the 162d Tactical Fighter Training Group and the 152d Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1969.
The unit's new mission was producing combat-ready pilots for the F-100 aircraft. They 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. The 195th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron was formed in 1983. it was equipped with the A-7D/K Corsair II. The mission of the 195th was to train combat-ready pilots for the Air National Guard.
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. During the 1980s the unit received its fourth Outstanding Unit Citation and the Spaatz Trophy. The Spaatz trophy recognized the 162nd Fighter Wing as the outstanding Air National Guard unit in the United States. In 1985, the unit began a unique dual training mission in the F-16 and A-7 aircraft when the 148th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron was activated on 15 October 1985
The last A-7 class graduated in July 1991, after which the group converted to the F-16A/B block 10 and continued the same RTU mission it had been tasked for previously. The Air National Guard began to train non-NATO pilots. Six aircraft from the 148th TFTS were designated to begin a school for those students. This group of aircraft and an initial cadre of instructors formed what would later become IMT (International Military Training.) The squadron had no official number or designation.