37th Training Wing [37th TRW]
The 37th Training Wing (37TRW), Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas, is the largest training wing in the Air Force. The 37TRW provides basic military, professional and technical skills, and English language training for the Air Force, other military services, government agencies, and allies. Its four primary training functions graduate more than 75,000 students annually.
The 37th Training Wing was originally established as the 37th Fighter-Bomber Wing on 3 March 1953 and activated on 8 April 1953 at Clovis AFB, NM, as a Ninth Air Force unit. It inactivated on 25 June 1953.
Redesignated as the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing, it was reactivated on 26 October 1966 and assigned to Pacific Air Forces. Organized on 1 March 1967 at Phu Cat AB, South Vietnam, it was reassigned to Seventh Air Force. The 37th Combat Support Group was already operational at Phu Cat AB, South Vietnam, when the wing organized in 1967. Personnel for the wing headquarters and tactical components were in transit from the United States and elsewhere, and tactical operations did not commence until mid-April. The wing saw combat in Southeast Asia, from 15 April 1967 to 31 March 1970, flying interdiction, bombardment, escort, and close air support missions. From June 1967 to May 1969, it also used F- 100F two-place aircraft for visual and weather reconnaissance and forward air control operations. It inactivated on 31 March 1970.
Reactivated on 30 March 1981 at George AFB, CA, gaining a portion of the assets of the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing and it was assigned to the 831st Air Division. The wing was equipped with F-4G "Wild Weasel" radar suppression aircraft. As the only "Wild Weasel" training wing in the world, it provided instructor pilots and qualified aircrews for the other two "Wild Weasel" wings in the Philippines and Germany. The wing participated in numerous tactical, maritime, and electronic warfare exercises locally and worldwide in hunter/killer tactics, suppression of enemy air defenses, force escort operations and dissimilar air combat training with US Armed Forces, Air National Guard and Reserves, and various allies. It also served as an advisor to many Air National Guard units, from 30 March 1981 until 30 March 1984. The wing won the United States Air Force Worldwide Fighter gunnery meet, in 1985 and 1987.
Reassigned to Twelfth Air Force, the wing then turned over F - 4G aircraft to 35th TFW and moved to Tonopah Test Range, NV, without personnel and equipment on 5 October 1989, absorbing the manpower, equipment, and the world's first Stealth fighter, the F-117A, of the former 4450th Tactical Group. The wing trained to integrate stealth technology with more conventional methods of combat operations. The 37th Wing had the dsitinction of dropping the first bombs to begin the invasion of Panama on 20 December 1989.
The wing began deploying to Southwest Asia in August 1990 as part of Operations Desert Shield/Storm. On 17 January 1991, stealth fighters hit 26 high-value Iraqi targets in and around Baghdad, and thereafter, continued interdiction missions throughout the remainder of the air war. Personnel and aircraft from the 37th remained on indefinite alert in Saudi Arabia as a component member of Central Air Forces' (CENTAF) post-Desert Storm task force in Southwest Asia.
The 37th was redesignated as the 37th Fighter Wing on 1 October 1991 and inactivated on 8 July 1992 after departure of the F-117 Stealth Fighters in May-July of 1992.
Redesignated as the 37th Training Wing, it was activated, on 1 July 1993 and assigned to Second Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, relocating in the process to Lackland AFB, TX. There, the 37th TRW replaced the Lackland Training Center.
The 37th TRW gained as a component the Inter-American Air Forces Academy on 24 October 1994.
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