180th Fighter Wing [180th FW]
The 180th Fighter Wing's primary mission is to provide combat ready F16C and support units capable of deploying world-wide in minimum response time. The Wing Headquarters provides overall guidance to the organizations under command of the Wing commander.
The 180th Fighter Wing traces its lineage through the 112th Fighter Squadron, which originated at Kelly Field, Texas, in 1917 as the 112th Aero Squadron, flying Pt1s, 0-11s, and 02s. This unit became the Ohio Air National Guard's 112th Observation Squadron in 1927 at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.
After being assigned a variety of observation aircraft through the 1930's, the 112th was activated at Pope Field, North Carolina in November, 1940. Many unit members were assigned to other Army Air Force units, but one individual deserves special mention- LtCol Addison Baker. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor as a B-24 Liberator pilot during the raids on the heavily defended oil fields at Polesti, Romania.
After the war, the unit regrouped as the 112th Bombardment Squadron (Light), with Douglas A-26 Invaders, and in 1950 they were activated for the Korean Conflict at Lawson Field, Georgia. In 1952, after this tour of active duty, the 112th returned to Ohio as an Air National Guard Fighter Bomber Squadron, flying P-51 Mustangs at Akron-Canton Airport.
In 1955, the unit moved to Toledo, became a Fighter Interceptor Squadron, and upgraded in the F-84 "Thunderjet" series of fighters; first in the E model, and shortly thereafter in the F model. They became a Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1958; were activated for the Berlin Crisis in 1961; and became part of the newly formed 180th Tactical Fighter Group (TFG) in 1962.
The 180th TFG converted to the F-100 Super Sabre in 1971, and to the A-7D Corsair in 1979. The Group was named an Air Force Outstanding Unit in 1985 and again in 1990. In 1989, while deployed at Panama for Coronet Cove, 180th A-7s were employed during Operation Just Cause. In addition, volunteers were provided for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1991.
The newly designated 180th Fighter Wing and its subordinate unit, the 112th Fighter Squadron are equipped with F-16 "Fighter Falcon". In 1996, 1998, and 1999 the 180th Fighter Wing enforced the Northern no-fly zone over Iraq in Operations Provide Comfort and Operation Northern Watch.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Des Moines IAP AGS, IA. The F-16 aircraft currently assigned to the 132d Fighter Wing at Des Moines would be redistributed to the 180th Fighter Wing, Toledo Express Airport AGS, OH (nine aircraft) and another installation. Des Moines' F-16s would be distributed to Toledo (123) to support the Homeland Defense Air Sovereignty Alert mission and to consolidate the precision-guided weapon employment capability that exists in the Air National Guard.
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