122nd Fighter Wing [122nd FW]
The Indiana Air National Guard was a direct outgrowth of the 113th Observation Squadron, which flew the Curtis OX-2 "Jenny" biplane near Kokomo, Indiana. From 1927 to 1939, aircraft conversions included the 0-1, 0-2, 0-38 (the last of the biplanes), and just before World War II, 0-47's, a three place mid-wing observation monoplane.
On 9 December 1946, the 122d Tactical Fighter Group (TFG) was formed at Stout Field, Indianapolis, Indiana, and was assigned the P-51 "Mustang". On 10 November 1947, federal recognition was granted to the 163d Tactical Fighter Squadron at Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indiana, under the command of Major William R. Sefton. Flying the "Mustangs," the unit was federally activated during the Korean Conflict from 1951 -1952.
In 1954, the 122d Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW), Headquarters, Air Base Group, Tactical Hospital, and Maintenance and Supply Group were transferred to Baer Field. The unit's first jet aircraft, the Lockheed F-80 "Shooting Star," was assigned in September 1954. The jet era continued with the conversion to the F-86 "Sabrejet" eighteen months later, and in January 1958, the Republic F-84F "Thunderstreak" gave the 122TFW a new dimension for the next thirteen years.
The unit was again federally activated from October 1961 to August 1962, assigned to the 17th Air Force at Chambley, France, during the Berlin Crisis. By 1966, the Wing had three fighter groups under its command: the 122d TFG, Fort Wayne; the 181st TFG, Terre Haute, Indiana; and the 180th TFG, Toledo, Ohio. The 180th was later replaced by the 188th TFG, Fort Smith, Arkansas. Soon after, the 149th TFG, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, became a part of the Wing.
In June 1971, the unit converted to the F-100 "Super Sabre." In 1976, the unit participated in its first Red Flag Exercise and also deployed overseas to Lakenheath Air Base, England. The F-4C "Phantom" arrived on 18 Nov 1979, and the unit flew this new aircraft to Balikesir, Turkey in 1983 for exercise "Coronet Crown," and once again in 1986 for exercise "Coronet Cherokee." In 1989, the Hoosiers again deployed to Southwest Asia for exercise "Coronet Brave" in conjunction with "Bright Star," a large NATO exercise. The unit continued its standard of excellence by supporting Desert Shield and Desert Storm with deployments to Saudi Arabia by the Security Police, January through June 1991, and to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, by the Tactical Hospital in September/October 1991.
On 17 July 1991, the unit entered the high-tech jet age with the arrival of the first four F-16C "Fighting Falcons" from Hahn Air Base, Germany. Twenty additional aircraft were received: twelve more from Hahn Air Base, seven from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, and one from McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. In the Fall of 1992, the 122FW completed its conversion to the General Dynamics F-16C/D aircraft and finalized acceptance of the new Pratt & Whitney 220E engine.
In February 1993, the 122FW successfully completed its first overseas deployment with the F16C aircraft. The exercise, "Coronet Avenger," took place in Egypt, and served as a training exercise, testing the capability of the unit to deploy and operate at an overseas location.
Fiscal Year 1994 saw the 122FW participate in various humanitarian relief efforts throughout the world. Members of the base Hospital participated in Operation Sea Signal, which is the Air National Guard's effort to support the refugees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In support of the Humanitarian Civic Aid Program, our Civil Engineering Squadron helped construct a fire station in Taos, New Mexico and a medical clinic in Pacara, Argentina. Members from various sections of the unit rotated through the Persian Gulf Region and volunteers worked daily throughout the continent to eliminate the country's drug problems.
During Fiscal Year 1996, the 122FW was involved in a critical series of rigorous exercises designed to determine our operational readiness in mobility and war fighting capabilities. The 122FW met every challenge and completed the Operational Readiness Inspection in September 1996 with outstanding results.
In a national emergency, the 122FW may be ordered to active duty by the President of the United States. The primary federal mission of the 122FW is to achieve and maintain the level of operational readiness that will provide trained andequipped combat-ready tactical units, capable of global deployment, ready for immediate integration into the active AirForce to assure air offense, air defense, or joint action with ground forces.
The 122FW is available on orders from the Governor of Indiana to assist local authorities in the event of a disaster, disturbance or other emergency. The units of the 122FW are capable of supporting rescue and relief operations, aiding in recovery from natural disaster, along with protecting the citizens of Indiana and their property.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Capital Airport Air Guard Station, IL. It would distribute the 183d Fighter Wing's F-16s to the 122d Fighter Wing, Fort Wayne International Airport Air Guard Station, IN, (15 aircraft). As a result, the 122d Fighter Wing's F-16s (15 aircraft) would retire. DoD also recommended to realign Hulman Regional Airport Air Guard Station, IN. The 181st Fighter Wing's F-16s would be distributed to the 122d Fighter Wing, Fort Wayne International Airport Air Guard Station, IN (nine aircraft), and retirement (six aircraft).
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