389th Fighter Squadron [389th FS]
(Base Code: MO)
The 389th Fighter Squadron originated on 24 May 1943 and was activated on 1 June 1943 at Richmond Army Air Base, VA, as part of the 366th Fighter Group. The group was assigned the P-47 Thunderbolt. In January 1944, the group deployed to England and began flying combat missions in March. They participated in the invasion of Europe, operating from forward bases in France, Belgium, and Germany, and were primarily used in ground attack, employing bombs, rockets, and strafing. The squadron remained in Germany until its inactivation in August 1946.
The squadron was reactivated in January 1953 as the 389th Fighter-Bomber Squadron as part of the new 366th Fighter-Bomber Wing. The wing was located at Alexandria (later renamed England) AFB, LA, and flew the P-51 Mustang, F-86 Sabre, F-84F Thunderstreak, and the F-100 Super Sabre. During this period, the squadron deployed to Turkey in conjunction with the 1958 Lebanon Crisis. The squadron was renamed the 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) in July 1958, and in April 1959, the entire wing was inactivated.
The 389th TFS and 366th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) were activated in April 1962 at Chaumont AB, France, with personnel and equipment coming from federalized Air National Guard assets, and once again flew the F-84 Thunderstreak. In July 1963, the squadron and wing were reassigned to Holloman AFB, NM. In early 1965, the squadron transitioned to the F-4C Phantom II. The wing was transferred to Phan Rang AB in South Vietnam in March 1966 and moved to Da Nang AB in October. In 1968 the squadron transitioned to the F-4D. In June 1969, the squadron was reassigned to the 37th TFW at Phu Cat AB, South Vietnam. In March 1970, the wing was redesignated the 12th TFW.
In October 1971, the 389th TFS colors were transferred to their current home at Mountain Home AFB, ID, as part of the 347th TFW. They were assigned the new F-111F "Aardvark." In October 1977, the squadron was reunited with its original parent when the wing was redesignated the 366th TFW. In 1977 the wing's F-111Fs were transferred to RAF Lakenheath, England, and in return they received F-111As from Nellis AFB, NV. In 1989 the squadron became the F-111 air crew training unit and was redesignated the389th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron. The squadron retained this role until July 1991 when it was inactivated along with the retirement of the F-111A.
In January 1992, the 366th TFW was reorganized as the 366th Wing and became the USAF's first (and only) air intervention composite wing. The wing possesses B-1B, F-15C, F-15E, KC-135R, and F-16C aircraft. In March 1992, the squadron was reactivated as the 389th Fighter Squadron and was assigned the Block 25 F-16C. In January 1994, the squadron converted to the latest F-16C, the Block 52, and later that year received the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) and HARM Targeting System (HTS) pod. With HARM/HTS, the squadron picked up the demanding mission of suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), once performed primarily by the F-4G Wild Weasel aircraft. The squadron is truly a multirole unit - in addition to the primary SEAD mission, it also flies air superiority, defense counter air, and air interdiction missions.
The first combat missions since Southeast Asia occurred in March 1995 when the squadron flew in Operation PROVIDE COMFORT II enforcing "no fly" sanctions over northern Iraq. In April 1996, the squadron flew its first Operation SOUTHERN WATCH missions over Iraq from a base near Azraq, Jordan.
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