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149th Fighter Squadron [149th FS]

The 149th was the first Air National Guard squadron to fly the F-22A. Active duty and Virginia National Guard Airmen assigned to the 94th Fighter Squadron and 149th Fighter Squadron returned Oct. 8, 2015, to Langley Air Force Base, Va., after a six-month deployment to the Middle East. Approximately 200 members of the 1st Fighter Wing and 192nd Fighter Wing, operating the F-22 Raptor, were assigned to United States Central Command as part of a theater security package, providing support and stability to the region.

Ultramarine blue and Air Force yellow are the Air Force colors. Blue alludes to the sky, the primary theater of Air Force operations. Yellow refers to the sun and the excellence required of Air Force personnel. The torteau represents the dedication and sacrifice displayed by citizen airmen of the past, present and future. The circular fimbriation symbolizes the continuous nature of the Squadron's support. The eagle flies into the future and embodies strength and freedom. The weapons carried by the eagle emphasize the varied combat missions assigned to the Squadron. The thirteen stars represent the original Thirteen Colonies and honor the unit's militia heritage. The motto, "SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS," is the official State motto of Virginia and translates in English to "Thus Always to Tyrants."

The 149th FS traces its heritage to the 328th FS, a P-51 unit based at Royal Air Force Bodney, England, during World War II. Commanded by the leading P-51 ace of the war, Maj. George Preddy, the Blue Nose Bastards of Bodney would be decommissioned at the close of the war and then reinstated in 1947 as the 149th Fighter Squadron based in Richmond, Virginia. Mobilized for the Cuban Missile Crisis and 9/11, the 149th FS moved to Langley AFB and transitioned to the F-22 in 2007 as part of a Total Force Integration with the 1st Fighter Wing.

The Virginia Air National Guard grew from one flying unit, the 149th Fighter Squadron, which takes its military lineage and heritage from World War II's legendary and heroic 328th Fighter Squadron. The Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney, flying the P-47 Thunderbolt followed by the P-51 Mustang, took down German interceptors in intense aerial dogfight action and escorted and protected Allied bomber forces as the bombers pummeled the military capabilities of the Third Reich.

In May 1946, the Pentagon reactivated and redesignated the 328th Fighter Squadron, a heroic WWII unit. The 328th had been organized at Mitchell Field, New York, on Oct. 10, 1942, and saw action in the European theater. The newly designated 149th Fighter Squadron was assigned to the Virginia Air National Guard, which earned official recognition from the National Guard Bureau in June 1947. The 149th Fighter Squadron was entitled to the history, honors, and colors of the 328th.

The unit was called to active federal service on March 1, 1951. This activation temporarily resulted in the dissolution of the Virginia Air National Guard, as members were sent to various places, including for many, duty in the Korean War. The VANG was reorganized in November 1953 as a B-26 bomber outfit. In 1957, the unit was redesignated the 149th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and was scheduled to get F-86E Saber jets. However, later that year, the unit became the 149th Tactical Fighter Squadron, and F-84F Thunderstreaks began replacing the B-26.

At the height of the Cold War in 1961, the squadron was federalized as a result of tensions concerning the Berlin Wall. The squadron remained at Richmond in an active-duty status for about a year before being released. Twenty-two Virginia ANG members were sent to Chaumont AFB, France, in December 1961 to support the 7180th Tactical Fighter Wing, a deployed unit of the 108th Tactical Fighter Wing. They spent eight months in Europe. In October 1962, the unit was redesignated as the 192nd Tactical Fighter Group, with the 149th TFS becoming the group's flying squadron. Other squadrons assigned into the group were the 192nd Headquarters, 192nd Material Squadron (Maintenance), 192nd Combat Support Squadron, and the 192nd USAF Dispensary.

The last Unit Training Assembly was held at Sandston in September, 2007. Remaining base personnel solemnly attended the 'Stand-down' ceremony in the main hanger and watched as the unit flag was rolled-up by Col. Jay Pearsall and then put away. Afterwards a single F-16 took off, turned and passed over the flight deck. The pilot dipped the wings of his jet and made a final fly-by, then continued on to bring the aircraft to its new location. This marked the closing chapter for an era of excellence as the 192nd FW began its future with Langley's 1st Fighter Wing.

On October 13, 2007, the 192nd FW was reactivated in a ceremony held at the 27th Fighter Squadron, Langley AFB. Integration with the active duty 1st FW allows the Air National Guard to be at the forefront of the latest design of fighter craft. Set-up as a classic 'associate wing' the 192nd FW works directly with the 1st FW yet maintains its own unit identity and command structure. It shares in the support of mission requirements for the F-22A Raptor, but does not own any of the aircraft on station.

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Page last modified: 21-01-2016 18:07:20 ZULU