170th Fighter Squadron [170th FS]
The 170th Fighter Squadron was ordered to federal duty on March 1 1951 for 21 months as a result of the Korean War. On March 10, the Squadron deployed to Bergstrom Air Force Base, TX. In April the unit was re-designated the 170th Fighter Bomber Squadron. On July 31, the 170th moved to George AFB, CA, and was assigned to the Tactical Air Command. The unit participated in Operation Longhorn, a joint Army-Air Force maneuver at Waco, TX. In August 1952 the Squadron re-deployed to Springfield, IL.
The 170th Fighter Squadron was one of the many units called to active duty as a result of the Berlin Crisis.
The Kongelige Danske Flyvevaaben (Royal Danish Air Force) having purchased numerous F-16 aircraft, three former USAF Block 15 aircraft from the 170th FS were delivered to the KDF in July 1994 as attrition replacements.
On November 17, 1999, two F-16C aircraft from the 170th FS collided in mid-air during a pilot's upgrade training. One of the aircraft crashed 45 miles northwest of Springfield, IL, in a remote, wooded area. Its pilot ejected and sustained minor injuries. The other aircraft landed safely at Springfield's Capital Airport. A report investigating the accident was released in February 2000.
Personnel from the 170th Fighter Squadron were called to active duty as a result of the events of September 11, 2001. The unit deployed for a three month period to take part in both Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom, and was, in mid-June 2002 set to return home soon. During the unit's first 30 days in theater, people from the 170th flew more than 1,000 hours. Because of the long hours, and to get all its pilots combat flying experience, the squadron rotated all of its 33 assigned pilots, six of whom stayed for the entire rotation. Five of the 170th's pilot did not have prior combat experience prior to the rotation.
While deployed, the 170th was assigned to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Group.
While deployed in the Afghanistan theater of Operations, a pilot from the 170th FS mistakenly fired, in mid-April 2002, on a Canadian unit which was conducting pre-dawn training near the allied base at Kandahar. The incident resulted in the death of at least four Canadian soldiers and injuries to another eight. Initial reports suggested the pilot was not aware he was flying over an area restricted for training, and that gunfire emanating from the training area led him to believe he was under attack. The Canadian unit was conducting pre-dawn training near the allied base at Kandahar.
Criminal charges were preferred Sept. 11 against the two Air National Guard F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots from the 170th involved in the friendly-fire deaths of four Canadian soldiers and injuries of eight others April 17 near Kandahar, Afghanistan.
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