560th Flying Training Squadron [560th FTS]
The mission of the 560th FTS is to produce the world's best instructor pilots for SUPT and foreign nations and ensure USAF pilots successfully transition to fighter assignments.
The 560th Flying Training Squadron was originally constituted as the 560th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 December 1942. It activated on 24 December 1942 at Gowen Field, ID, and was assigned to the 388th Bombardment Group, operating the B-17 aircraft.
The squadron saw combat in the ETO, from July 1943-April 1945, operating from Knettishall, England. During that time, it was redesignated as the 560th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 20 August 1943. Upon the unit's return to the United States, it inactivated on 28 August 1945 at Sioux Falls AAFld, SD.
Redesignated as the 560th Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, on 6 February 1947, the 560th reactivated on 6 March 1947 at Orchard Place Airport, IL, under Second Air Force. The unit was reassigned to the 388th Bombardment Group, on 30 September 1947. It inactivated on 27 June 1949.
Redesignated as the 560th Tactical Fighter Squadron, it reactivated, on 1 May 1962, under Tactical Air Command. It organized under the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, on 1 October 1962, at McConnell AFB, KS, and operating the F-100 (1962-1964), and starting in 1963, the F-105 (until 1968). The 560th was reassigned to the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing on 8 February 1964, and was tasked from January 1966-June 1968, with providing F-105 replacement pilot training.
Upon the squadron's reassignment to the 4531st Tactical Fighter Wing, on 25 September 1968 (attached to the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, 29 June-15 December 1969), the 560th relocated to Homestead AFB, FL. that same year, the squadron transitioned to the F-4. It was reassigned to the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, on 15 October 1970 and inactivated on 31 October 1970.
The 560th was redesignated as the 560th Flying Training Squadron on 22 March 1972 and reactivated on 1 May 1972 at Randolph AFB, TX, as a unit subordinate to the 12th Flying Training Wing. Flying the T-38, the squadron's mission became that of training US and friendly nation instructor aircrews.
The 560th FTS was reassigned to the 12th FTW's Operations Group on 15 December 1991.
In October 1993, the 560th took on the mission of Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals and Upgrade Instructor Pilot Training in the "Smurf Jet" AT-38. In May 1998, the Smurf operation had become squadron-sized and was split off to reactivate the 435th Flying Training Squadron. The 560th still prepares rated pilots from varied backgrounds for fighter lead-in training.
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