9th Fighter Squadron [9th FS]
The 8th & 9th Fighter Squadrons are the only two combat-ready F-117A Nighthawk squadrons in the world. They deploy worldwide as tasked by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, using special low-observable technologies to deliver precision-guided weapons against high-value, heavily defended targets. The 8th and 9th Fighter Squadrons provide the National Command Authority with a fully autonomous special combat capability for low- profile military operations.
The 9th Fighter Squadron was activated as the 9th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 15 January 1941 at Selfridge Field, Michigan. Redesignated as the 9th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942, the unit saw combat throughout the Southwest Pacific campaign during World War II, earning four Distinguished Unit Citations and two Presidential Unit Citations during the war. The squadron had the distinction of being the first Air Force unit to land and operate from the Philippine Islands following the Japanese occupation of that country, and was selected as the Honor Guard at the start of the occupation of Japan. Fourteen aces served with the 9th during WWII, including Major Richard Bong, the top American ace of the war.
The 9th Fighter Squadron continued to operate from bases in Japan and Korea through the Korean War, flying the P-51 Mustang, F-80 Shooting Star, and F-84 Thunderjet. The unit moved to the European theater in 1957, first at Etain/Rouvres, France, and then at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, where the squadron participated in exercises and competitions in both Europe and the United States. Following conversion to the F-4, the 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron was reassigned to Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, in July 1968.
The squadron was part of the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing deployment to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, from May through September 1972 to support combat operations over Vietnam. The unit earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross during this period. The squadron returned to its WWII mission of air superiority in 1978 with the conversion to the F-15 Eagle.
The unit became operational in the F-117A Stealth Fighter in 1993. As one of only two operational Stealth Fighter squadrons, the 9th Fighter Squadron continues to support exercises around the world, as well as providing airshow and public display support world-wide. The unit most recently deployed to Italy in support of Operation DELIBERATE FORCE over the former Yugoslavia.
The mission of the 9th FS is to conduct worldwide deployment and employment as tasked by the Joint Chiefs of Staff utilizing special low-observable technologies and precision guided weapons delivery against high value, heavily defended targets.
On October 12, 2002 4 F-117A fighters from the 9th Fighter Squadron were deployed to Germany for two weeks. The aircraft were deployed as part of an exercise called Coronet Nighthawk.
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