333rd Fighter Squadron [333rd FS]
(Base Code: SJ)
The 333rd Fighter Squadron was activated as the 333rd Fighter-Day Squadron on Dec. 8,1957, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. It was assigned to the 4th Fighter-Day Wing and equipped with the F-100 Super Sabre.
Redesignated the 333rd Tactical Fighter Squadron July 1, 1958, the squadron was assigned to the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Takhli Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, on Dec. 8, 1965. Flying the F-105 Thunderchief, 333rd aircrews flew strike, air-to-air, armed reconnaissance, and close air support combat missions during the Vietnam War. The squadron was credited with 6.5 MiG-17 aerial victories, the most bya single squadron within the 355th Wing.
In October 1970, the 333rd was assigned to the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. The unit was redesignated the 333rd Tactical Fighter Training Squadron March 22, 1971, and assigned to the 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. On July 1, 1971, the squadron moved to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., and by the end of the month it was once again under the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing. The unit's mission was to train student pilots in flying the A-7D Corsair II.
Six years later, the squadron transitioned to the A-10A Thunderbolt II and established an instructor cadre in June 1976. The 333rd was the first A-10 unit in the Air Force. Unit members developed the syllabus, training manuals, and taught all A- 10 academics. Members of the squadron also were the first to demonstrate the close air support capabilities of the aircraft. This occurred at the 1976 Farnsborough Air Show in England. The unit also was the first to validate close air support tactics in Europe.
The squadron was inactivated Feb. 15,1991. It was redesignated and activated as the 333 rd Fighter Squadron Nov. 1, 1991, and assigned to the 602nd Air Control Wing. On May 1, 1992, it was assigned to the 355th Operations Group as the first formal OA- 10 training squadron.
The 333rd Fighter Squadron was moved to Seymour Johnson from Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., without personnel or equipment, effective Oct. 1, 1994. Under the 4th Fighter Wing's, 4th Operations Group, the squadron's new mission is to conduct formal training for F-ISE aircrew members.
For action during the Vietnam War, the 333rd earned 12 campaign streamers,3 Presidential Unit Citations, 3 Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Valor, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm. Since then, the unit has won two more Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards.
The mission of the 333rd Fighter Squadron is to train F-15E Strike Eagle aircrews. The unit does this with 18 F-15Es and 280 people. Training consists of four courses: instructors, transition, basic and senior officer checkout. The instructors course lasts 2 1/2 months and involves training experienced F-15E aircrews how to become instructors. The basic course lasts seven months and trains new pilots and weapon systems of ficers to fly the F-15E. This course is the largest of the four. The transition course is for experienced fighter crews who are changing to the F-15E. This course lasts four months. The senior officer checkout course is for senior officers who have been assigned to a base with F-15Es. The course lasts a month.
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