150th Fighter Wing [150th FW]
The mission of the New Mexico Air National Guard is to provide unsurpassed aerospace combat capability and combat support forces to meet any contingency in the world.
The New Mexico Air National Guard was federally recognized on 7 July 1947 as the 188th Fighter Bomber Squadron. The unit was composed of a utility flight equipped with Douglas B-26 light bombers, a fighter squadron composed of 100 officers and airmen flying 25 P-51 mustangs and three T-6 Texan trainers, plus a small weather detachment. The 188th's mission was changed from fighter bomber to fighter-interceptor in 1948.
In December 1950, the unit was called to active duty for the Korean Conflict. A total of 54 officers and 400 airmen were assigned to Long Beach Municipal Airport, California. Most unit members were then absorbed by other Air Force units and dispatched to Japan and Korea. First Lieutenants Robert Lucas and Joseph Murray were killed while flying close air support missions in Korea. Captain Francis Williams and First Lieutenant Robert Sands were each credited with three MiG-15 kills. The unit was released from federal active duty in November 1952. In 1957, the unit was redesignated and federally recognized as the 150th Tactical Fighter Group. In October 1995, the unit was renamed the 150th Fighter Wing.
In January 1968, the group was activated as a result of the Pueblo Crisis, and in June of that year the 188th Tactical Fighter Squadron and approximately 250 maintenance and support personnel were deployed to Tuy Hoa Air Base. Republic of Vietnam. Remaining group members were assigned to various bases in South Korea. The unit flew over 6000 combat sorties in the F-100 Super Sabre and amassed over 630 medals and decorations before release from federal active duty in June 1969. Captain Michael Adams was killed in action and Ma or Bobby Neeld and First Lieutenant Mitchell Lane are listed as missing in action. The unit received the AF Outstanding Unit Award with a bronze "V' for valor.
The 150th Fighter Group was partially activated in support of Operation Desert Storm. On 11 December 1990, 44 members of the 150th Security Police Flight and other unit members were deployed to Saudi Arabia. All members returned home by May 1991.
The New Mexico Air National Guard has undergone several aircraft conversions throughout its history, including the F-80, F-100, A-7D and F-16C. Major accomplishments of the unit include: First ANG unit to receive the F-100 and A-7D fighter aircraft, first ANG unit to receive the Low Altitude Night Targeting Infra Red Navigational system (LANTIRN) equipped F-16C fighter aircraft, first ANG to be assigned to the prestigious Rapid Deployment Force, first ANG unit to participate in Bright Star joint service exercises in Southwest Asia, first ANG unit to receive the Low Altitude Night Attack modification to the A-7, and first ANG unit to participate in a deployed bare base operational readiness inspection. In addition, the 150th Fighter Group set an A-7 endurance record of II and 1/2 hours non-stop from Pease AFB, New Hampshire, to Cairo West Air Base, Egypt. The group has received the following awards: Spaatz Trophy in 1956, Winston P. Wilson Trophy in 1980, Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards in 1989 and February 1996, Top A-7 Team at Gunsmoke in 1989 and 1991, Distinguished Flying Unit Award in 1991, and Outstanding ANG-Unit in 1991. In 1995, unit pilots with specialized LANTIRN experience flew combat missions in Bosnia, leading to the current cease fire situation in that area.
Today, the New Mexico Air National Guard is composed of State Headquarters, the 150th Fighter Wing, Logistics Group, Operations Group, Support Group, Medical Squadron and II subordinate squadrons and flights with an authorized strength of 120 officers and 919 enlisted members. Its primary mission is air interdiction in support of Twelfth Air Force, Air Combat Command', with worldwide deployment capability. Unit members are constantly on the go, participating in both humanitarian and military exercises throughout the year at locations across the globe.
In,addition to its primary mission, the wing also maintains a Defense Systems Evaluation tasking, which provides fighter aircraft support to the US Army Air Defense Center and White Sands Missile Range. Major program support has included testing of various US and foreign surface-to-air missile systems and air defense artillery.
Located on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the wing currently has 19 F-16 Block 40 LANTIRN jet fighters, 15 F-16 Block 30s and one C-26 support aircraft. The 150th Fighter Wing maintains its day-to-day operations with the support of over 300 full-time personnel.
The New Mexico Air National Guard uses the Cato MOA, southwest of Albuquerque, from 13,500 feet to 51,000 feet with some supersonic flights conducted above 30,000 feet. The floor of the MOA, however, is too high, which restricts realistic training. Therefore, most of their air-to-air training is conducted in the northern portions of the airspace associated with White Sands Missile Range. They also use an air-to-ground range at WSMR.
The 150FW schedules three Military Training Routes (MTR) that are wider than average to help dissipate the environmental effects of overflight. They usually get very few noise complaints. VR-176 is an MTR that accesses the White Sands Missile Range airspace and even though it is very wide, has the most noise avoidance areas. Every attempt is made to brief infrequent or transient users of VR-176 about the noise sensitive areas.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close Cannon Air Force Base, NM. As a result, it would distribute the 27th Fighter Wing's F- 16s to the 150th Fighter Wing, Kirtland AFB (three aircraft) and several other installations. DoD claimed that this move would sustain the active/Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve force mix by replacing aircraft that retire in the 2025 Force Structure Plan.
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