Military


181st Fighter Wing [181st FW]

The history of the 181st Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard, dates back 75-years. The unit originated in Kokomo, Indiana in 1923, when Wilbert F. Fagley was given authority to organize Headquarters Battery, 81st Field Artillery.

In 1922, the unit was redesignated the 137th Observation Squadron then changed to the 113th Observation Squadron. It later became the 113th Tactical Fighter Squadron, now part of the 181st Fighter Wing. During 1926, the unit moved to Schoen Field and later to Stout Field, both in Indianapolis. Finally, in 1954 the Wing moved to its present location at Terre Haute's Hulman Regional Airport.

The unit served in World War II, flying submarine patrol along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. The 181st was also activated for the Korean War and the Berlin crisis. Additionally, portions of two units within the Wing were activated for Operation Desert Storm. The Wing has served the citizens of Indiana many times during floods and other natural disasters.

The periods of October 1975 to May 1976 and May 1986 to April 1987 are significant in the history of the 181st Fighter Wing. They represent periods of outstanding achievement that culminated in presentation of Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards to the Wing.

From 31 August 1995 to 30 August 1997, the Racers participated in a humanitarian deployment to Romania; provided security for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games; and deployed to Al Jabar AB, Kuwait on two separate occasions in support of Operation Southern Watch. Additionally, the unit received exceptional ratings on a number of higher headquarters evaluations. Based on the excellent combat readiness and professionalism displayed by the unit, the Wing was again recognized for an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award in April 1998.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD 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). The 181st Fighter wing's ECS elements would remain in place. DoD claimed that this recommendation was made becasue Hulman (119) was ranked low in military value by the fighter MCI.



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