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131st Fighter Wing [131st FW]

The 131 Fighter Wing is assigned to the Air Force's Aerospace Expeditionary Force 9. The Wing's mission is to achieve and maintain air superiority with the F-15 Eagle aircraft. Additionally, the Wing includes supporting operations at Cannon Range at Fort Leonard Wood and the 157th Air Operations Group at Jefferson Barracks. The Wing also has a Missouri state mission of community security and support.

Headquarters for the Missouri Air National Guard is located at Ike Skelton National Guard Training Site, Jefferson City, Missouri. The Air National Guard has two major flying units in Missouri and a detachment of the 131st Fighter Wing at Laquey, Missouri. The 131st Tactical Fighter Wing, Lambert International Airport, Bridgeton, MO, is a reserve component of the Air Combat Command, flying F15s. The 131st has 1,637 personnel with an annual operations and maintenance budget of $22 million. The Air National Guard also has three units at Jefferson Barracks ANG Station in St. Louis - HQ 157th Air Operations Group, 121st Air Control Squadron, and the 218th Engineering Installation Squadron, with 396 people and an estimated annual budget of $7 million.

The Missouri Air National Guard traces its roots back to the 110th Observation Squadron, organized in 1923 by Major Bill Robertson and his brothers, Lieutenants Frank and Dan Robertson, at which point the unit officers purchased the first aircraft - a JN-4 "Jenny". Their chief pilot on the "St. Louis to Chicago" airmail run was a lanky young man named Charles Lindbergh. Lindbergh soon became a member of the 110th and was a captain in 1927 when he made his historic Trans-Atlantic solo flight.

Men, equipment and unit headquarters consolidated in new hanger at Lambert Field in 1931. Summer field training conducted in the 1930s allowed 110th members to hone their skills on the K-17 Aerial Camera. The unit received new aircraft in the late 1930s - the O-38 and the first mid-wing, all-metal aircraft - the O-47. The unit was federally mobilized for World War II. Redesignated as the 110th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. The unit saw duty in Australia, New Guinea, Philippines and Japan. Acquired new aircraft - the P-39, P-40 and the famed P-51 "Mustang". A Presidential Unit Citation awarded for the 12/26/44 attack on Japanese Naval Task Force. In all, the unit destroyed 122 aircraft and 11 ships.

The unit was federally mobilized for Korean Conflict. Assigned as components of the Air Force and moved to Bergstrom AFB, TX then on to George AFB, CA.

After serving in Korea, the unit received a new aircraft - the B26 "Invader" and new mission as the 131st Light Bombardment Wing.

The Unit entered the "Jet Age" in 1957 with the acquisition of T-33, F-80 and F-84 Thunderstreak. The unit was federally mobilized for the Berlin Crisis. Assigned to Toul-Rosieres Air Force Base in France, the unit members delivered gifts to local orphans during Christmas of '61.

The unit acquired the F-100 "Supersabre" in 1962. This aircraft remained a part of the unit for more than 17 years.

In 1977, Charles Lindbergh's widow gave permission to designate 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron as "Lindbergh's Own". In 1978, the unit acquired the "home grown" McDonnell Douglas F-4 "Phantom".

In 1982, the new wing headquarters was formally dedicated to the memory of the Robertson brothers William, Frank and Daniel.

The Unit acquired a new aircraft in 1991 - the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. Members of the 131st Security Police Flight mobilized in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

The unit deployed to Insurlik, Turkey in support of Operation Northern Watch in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

More than 500 members from the the 131st Fighter Wing and the tenant units located at Lambert International Airport were called into service to battle the the "Great Flood" of 1993.

Members of the 131st returned in October 2000 from duty rotations in Southwest Asia and Europe, while other unit members were still stationned overseas. Eventually, a total of about 430 wing members were scheduled to deploy, with the majority leaving in October of 2000 for Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia, in support of Operation Southern Watch. A little more than half of the deployed 131st Fighter Wing members and 12 F-15s made up the AEF-9's 110th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (EFS). The 110th EFS primarily provides air superiority for Operation Southern Watch. AEF-9 was deployed from September through November 2000.

Other 131st members, designated as expeditionary combat support forces, include security forces, communications, and finance and civil engineering specialists.

The 131st Fighter Wing is located approximately 20 miles north west of Downtown St. Louis, Missouri and is located just west of the main terminal at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Air Guard Station, St. Louis, MO. The 131st Fighter Wing's F-15s (15 aircraft) would be distributed to the 57th Fighter Wing, Nellis Air Force Base, NV (nine aircraft), and 177th Fighter Wing, Atlantic City International Airport AGS, NJ (six aircraft). In the same recommendation, the 157 Air Operations Group (AOG) and the 218th Engineering Installation Group (EIG) would relocate from Jefferson Barracks geographically separated unit (GSU) into space at Lambert International. Jefferson Barracks real property accountability would transfer to the Army. The Air Force distributed reserve component F-15C force structure to bases with higher military value than Otis (88) and Lambert-St. Louis (127).

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:09:22 ZULU