325th Fighter Wing [325th FW]
Tyndall AFB is home to the Air Force's 325th Fighter Wing, the "schoolhouse" where future F-22 pilots will be trained to fly and fight in this 21st century air dominance fighter.
In 2002, the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) received F-22 aircraft to establish advanced pilot training and begin qualifying F-22 fighter pilots to fly the F-22. To accomplish this training, AETC would established two training squadrons at Tyndall AFB, Florida. First flight and delivery of Raptor 4018 to Tyndall AFB were tentatively scheduled for early 2003.
The first squadron was developed from 2003 through 2008, with most of the aircraft available for training by 2004. A second squadron would be established in 2007 and 2008. Members of these squadrons would complete advanced F-22 pilot training to fly and successfully perform the academic work and flying skills necessary to achieve instructor status. A number of these new instructor pilots would be assigned to operational units that will receive F-22s, such as the proposed Initial F-22 Operational Wing. Some will also become WS instructors. By 2004, a sufficient number of qualified pilots would be ready to comprise the first squadron of the Initial F-22 Operational Wing.
Tyndall AFB received a training squadron of F-22A aircraft for pilot training and to support weapons delivery activity in Warning Areas and over-water ranges in the Gulf of Mexico. It would be beneficial to Air Force missions to not concentrate most of the next generation air superiority assets at one location at this time.
The 325th Fighter Wing was comprised of 4,100 personnel and 78 F-15 aircraft, trains pilots, controllers, and support personnel for worldwide assignment to combat air superiority units. Wing personnel also managed the southeastern air combat maneuvering instrumentation range and provide mission-ready F-15 air superiority forces in support of Commander in Chief North American Aerospace Defense Command/l st Air Force contingency plans. The wing is composed of the 1st, 2nd and 95th Fighter Squadrons.
The wing was activated at Tyndall Air Force Base, FL, in July 1981 as the 325th Fighter Weapons Wing. Its heritage was enriched by adoption of the emblems, awards and history of its predecessor, the 325th Fighter Group "Checkertail Clan" of World War II fame.
The original fighter group was activated August 3, 1942, at Mitchel Field, NY, and trained with P-40s. It entered combat April 17,1943, escorting medium bombers, flying strafing missions and making sea sweeps from bases in Algeria and Tunisia. The unit received its first Distinguished Unit Citation for its surprise attack on German airdromes over Villaroba Jan. 30, 1944. In May 1944, the P-47s were replaced by P-51 Mustangs which unit personnel flew until the end of World War 11.By then the 325th's motto - Lacare Et Liquidare (Locate and Liquidate) - had earned the respect of the allies and Germans.
After the 325th's return from Europe it underwent a series of inactivations, reactivations and designations known at times as the 325th Fighter Group (All-Weather) and 325th Fighter Interceptor Group. Assigned aircraft included P-61s in 1947, F-82s in 1948 and F-94s in 1950.
Then on August 18, 1955, the group was reactivated as the 325th Fighter Group (Air Defense), assigned to Air (later Aerospace) Defense Command, and equipped with F-86 Sabre jets. Its tactical units were the 317th and 31 8th Fighter Interceptor Squadrons.
On October 18, 1956, the Air Defense Command directed a wing organization be set up at McChord Air Force Base, WA, and the 325th Fighter Wing (Air Defense) was activated. The group became a unit of the new wing. The group's two tactical squadrons, the 317th and 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadrons, transitioned from the F-86 to the F-1 02A delta-wing, all-weather interceptor.
In August 1957, the 317th Fighter Interceptor Squadron was assigned to Alaskan Air Command, and the 325th gained the 64th Fighter Interceptor Squadron from Alaska. Early in 1960, the 325th Fighter Group began a gradual phase-out of the F-1 02 and a transition to the F-1 06 Delta Dart. Before the completion of this transition, the 325th Fighter Group was discontinued March 25, 1960.
With the activation of the unit at Tyndall in July 1981 as the 325th Fighter Weapons Wing, the wing accomplished the operations, test and evaluation and maintenance portions of the complex United States Air Force Air Defense Weapons Center mission, which was directly related to combat readiness training for air defense. Primary aircraft were the F-106 and T-33.
On October 15,1983, it was redesignated the 325th Tactical Training Wing, and assumed its air superiority training responsibilities as part of the United States Air Force Air Defense Weapons Center. The wing began receiving the F-15 Eagle in April 1984.
When the United States Air Force Air Defense Weapons Center was inactivated September 12, 1991, the 325th Tactical Training Wing assumed the role as installation host. It was redesignated the 325th Fighter Wing October 1, 1991.
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