443rd Tactical Fighter Wing
(1st Tactical Fighter Wing)
The 443rd Tactical Fighter Wing is located at Tainan Air Base and is organized with three fighter squadrons that fly the IDF.
The 443rd is also referred to in some publications, most notably Jane's Sentinel as the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing.
The 1st Fighter Group was also a part of the 443rd until possibly 2003 when the unit is believed to have been inactivated as part of a reorganization of the ROCAF.
On September 27, 2003 an IDF aircraft from the 443rd Tactical Fighter Wing was involved in an accident and was destroyed. The two aviators safely ejected. The serial number of the aircraft was 1625.
The wing was formed in Hankou on September 15, 1945 and was previously known as the Air Force 1st Wing Command. This was the reorganization of the previous Chinese-American Composite Wing, and was directly subordinated to the Aviation Committee. In Autumn 1945, The Air Force changed into the military region system and the code of the 1st wing ceased to exist. The Air Force was re-grouped in Taiwan on December 1, 1952 and the unit has resumed the code as the 1st Wing bearing the full title of “Air Force 1st Combat Bomber Wing”. The wing was ordered to station at Tainan in 1953, and started to replace with the F-84G fighters on June 1 of the same year. The “Thunder Tiger” Flying Team was formed on August 14, 1954. The F-86F Sabre started to deploy on September 4, 1958. The wing was ordered to rename as the “Air Force 1st Tactical Wing” on June 16, 1960, and started to replace with the F-5A/B fighters on March 24, 1968. On December 16, 1970, the 71st Air Support Control Squadron was introduced with the takeover of the O-1G plane.
The wing started to replace with the F-5E/F fighters on December 17, 1974, and was renamed as the “Air Force 443rd Tactical Wing” on August 16, 1976. The 71st Air Support Control Squadron phased out the O-1G and took over the A-CH-1 Chung Hsing Fighters, and renamed as the 71st Air Control and Attack Squadron. The 72nd Air Control and Combat Squadron was put under its command on May 1, 1987. In consideration of the heavy burden of the wing in combat exercise drill, the Air Force General Command Headquarters assigned the “Thunder Tiger” team to the Air Force Academy on May 12, 1989. The 72nd Squadron was merged into the 71st Squadron on August 1, 1991, while the latter was officially dissolved on January 1, 1996 under the new military deployment of the air force in conformity to the “Streamlining Program”.
In March 1997, the IDF “Ching Kuo” fighter was assigned to the wing in accordance with the “Planning of the Replacement of Equipment for the Buildup of the New Generation of The Air Force” in March 1997. Replacement of the new fighter was completed with the formation of the 1st and the 3rd Groups on January 7, 1999. The ceremony of the formation of the 9th Group and the Wing was held on July 14, 2000 to execute the order of the defense of the air space over the Taiwan Straits through combat, exercise drill, and training missions.
For enhancing the performance of the IDF, the wing unfolded the “IDF MLU Development Project” at AIDC in Taichung, with delivery on May 5, 2011. The wing then performed various types of combat, exercise drills and training missions for safeguarding the security of the air space over the Taiwan Straits.
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