149th Fighter Wing [149th FW]
The 149th Fihter Wing carries the honors of the 396th Fighter Squadron. The 149 FW, now a flying training unit for F-16 pilots, flies an average of 18 sorties per day. Crystal MOA, Kingsville 3 MOA, and R-6312 are the principal training areas used, along with Randolph 2A, Brady, and Brownwood MOAs.
The 149th Fighter Wing of the Texas Air National Guard was formed on 1 July 1960, but its origins go back to June 1943. At that time, the 396th Fighter Squadron was activated and served honorably in the European Theater during World War II. The 396th earned the Belgian Fourragere, was twice awarded the Belgian Croiz de Guerre, and was recognized with the Distinguished Unit Citation for action over Mons, France on 3 September 1944.
The mission of the 149th Fighter Wing is an F-16 Flying Training Unit that includes a support group with a worldwide mobility commitment. The cornerstone of the 149th's flying mission is the 182nd Fighter Squadron whose role is to take pilots, either experienced aircrew or recent graduates from USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training and qualify them to fly and employ the F-16.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport AGS, OH. It would distribute the 178th Fighter Wing's F-16 aircraft to the 149th Fighter Wing (ANG), Lackland AFB, TX (six aircraft) and two other installations. DoD claimed that its recommendation was made because Lackland (47) had higher military value than Springfield-Beckley (128). This recommendation also would optimizes the squadron size at Lackland, the only ANG F-16 Flying Training Unit.
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