524th Fighter Squadron [524th FS]
(Base Code: CC)
The 524th Fighter Squadron is one of four flying squadrons of the 27th Fighter Wing, which is part of Air Combat Command. The 524th operates the Block 40 F-16C tactical fighter. The 524th maintains the capability to deploy quickly in order to support unified commanders worldwide with day or night F-16 combat operations. The squadron is prepared to deploy at a moment's notice to any location to employ the F-16's offensive and defensive systems and the LANTIRN infrared target tracker and laser designator to deliver a wide spectrum of conventional, precision-guided, and nuclear weapons. "The Hounds" train constantly to support Air Combat Command's larger mission of global power.
The 524th was activated January l5, l94l, at Hunter Field, Ga., as the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron flying B-l8 aircraft. It was redesignated as the 9lst Bombardment Squadron in l94l, the 524th Fighter-Bomber Squadron in l943, and as the 524th Fighter Squadron in l944. In World War II, the unit fought in the Pacific, Mediterranean and European theaters, flying A-20, A-24, A-36, P-40, and P-47 aircraft. The squadron was deactivated Nov. 7, l945, at Camp Shank, New York.
On August 20, 1946, the 524th was reactivated at Fritzler, Germany, flying P-47s. It moved to the United States in l947, where it transitioned to the P-5l. Prior to the Korean War, the 524th was stationed in Maryland, Nebraska and Texas. In 1948, the 524th received its first F-82s.
In l950, the 524th became a fighter escort squadron flying the F-84. Late in l950, the squadron went to Taegu Air Base, Korea, where they served in combat until moving to Bergstrom AFB, Texas, in mid l95l.
In l953, the unit was redesignated as the 524th Strategic Fighter Squadron and then the 524th Fighter Bomber Squadron in l957. That same year F-101s replaced the F-84s and the unit was redesignated the 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron a year later. The squadron moved to its present home, Cannon AFB, N.M., where it converted to F-l00s. During l962, the unit deployed to MacDill AFB, Fla., in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Later in the year, the 524th deployed to Takhli Royal Thai AFB, Thailand. The unit also deployed throughout Southeast Asia throughout the l960s.
From l969 to l972, the 524th converted to the F-111 aircraft, flying the F-111A, F-111E and F-111D models. In October l978, the squadron was the primary participant deployed for Bold Eagle-Surge Delta 78. This exercise to Homestead AFB, Fla., was the first time a full strength squadron of 24 F-111D aircraft was deployed. The 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron participated in Coronet Beacon in October l979 deploying aircraft l8,000 miles crossing two continents. The deployment consisted of four weeks in Australia and three weeks in Korea.
On July 8, 1980, the squadron was redesignated the 524th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron. Its mission became the training of new pilots and weapon systems officers in the employment of the F-111. On October 1, 1991, the squadron was redesignated the 524th Fighter Squadron as part of the worldwide Air Force reorganization. Later that year, the squadron was converted back to a mission-ready unit when the F-111Fs arrived at Cannon from RAF Lakenheath, England.
In April 1992, the 524th Fighter Squadron became the first 27th Fighter Wing squadron to convert to the F-111F, the most advanced model of the F-111 featuring the Pave Tack Infrared Laser Designation Pod. Moreover, the 524th was tasked as one of the only units in the world to deliver the GBU-15 Electro-optically guided bomb.
Five months later, the 524th was deployed to Incirlik AB, Turkey, in support of Operation Provide Comfort. The mission of the squadron was to enforce the no-fly zone above the 36th parallel in northern Iraq. The 524th was the first squadron in the 27th Fighter Wing to carry the AIM-9M regularly on its daily combat missions. The squadron's commitment to support Provide Comfort ended in December 1992.
In 1993, the 524th was recognized as Air Combat Command's "Best Fighter Squadron".
In January of 1994 the 524th became the first Air Force unit in the world capable of employing the AGM-130; the Air Force's newest precision-guided weapon and was nominated by Air Combat Command for the Hoyt S. Vandenburg Award for its pioneering contributions.
In July, 1994, the 524th made history by becoming the first operational unit to fire the AGM-130, with six for six direct hits. 1994 was also the year the squadron became the only F-111F unit to convert to Pacer Strike modified F-111F aircraft, which incorporates a global positioning satellite system and ring laser gyro into its avionics suite. In July, 1996, the squadron began conversion to the LANTIRN equipped Block 40 F-16C, providing the 27 FW with night, precision guided munition capabilities. The 27th Fighter Wing officially completed the transition from the F-111 to the F-16 in a ceremony held at Cannon, July 26, 1996. The F-111's unofficial name, "Aardvark" became official during the F-111 retirement/naming ceremony July 26 through 28, 1996, at the Lockheed Martin Fort Worth, Texas, plant.
The 524th left Cannon on November 15, 1996, bound for Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on their first deployment as a combat-ready F-16 Block 40 squadron supporting the F-15 Fighter Weapons School. The Hounds then deployed on December 8, 1996, to Fort Hood, Texas, in support of Ivy Rampage.
The Hounds took part in Green Flag '97 and Roving Sands '97 during the months of March and April. An F-16 assigned to the 524th crashed May 12, 1997 near Vaughn, New Mexico. The pilot ejected safely and was uninjured. In July 1997, the squadron deployed to Nellis in support of Red Flag '97-04. This was the first time the Hounds carried live weapon loads on the F-16.
The Hounds ventured to the desert January 16, 1998, for their overseas deployment since the transition to the F-16. The 18 F-16s and about 300 people spent 45 days at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, supporting Operation Southern Watch as part of the 4404th Wing (Provisional).
As of February 1998, in a force structure announcement, the unit was slated to swap out 24 Block 40 aircraft with 24 Block 30 aircraft in FY 99.
The 524th Fighter Squadron emblem consists of a rampant black hound's silhouette over a yellow lightning bolt and white cloud and a sky blue background. The lightning bolt represents the speed in which the squadron can go into action, while the clouds are for the flying phase of the unit's mission. The black hound, the squadron symbol, is the name given to the squadron from the poem, "The Hounds of Heaven".
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