||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (January 2013)|
|Active||20 November 1940 – present|
|Part of||Air Combat Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Holloman Air Force Base|
|Motto||TUTOR ET ULTOR - "Protector and Defender"|
AFOUA w/ V Device
|Colonel Andrew A Croft|
William L. Kirk
Lloyd W. Newton
Edwin A. Doss
The 49th Wing (49 WG) is an air combat unit of the United States Air Force and the host unit at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 49 WG is part of the Air Combat Command (ACC) Twelfth Air Force.
The 49 WG supports national security objectives with mission-ready F-22A Raptor stealth fighters, Air Transportable Medical Clinic and BEAR Base assets; deploys combat-ready and mission-support forces supporting Air Expeditionary Force operations, Global War on Terrorism and peacetime contingencies; the T-38A aircraft; and provides support to over 18,000 personnel to include training pilots in F-22 Raptor operations. The wing has a proud history of service in Korea, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia and NATO-led Operation Allied Force.
- 49th Operations Group (49 OG)
The 49th Operations Group supports national security objectives, as directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by utilizing the Air Force's F-22A Stealth Fighter aircraft and in training U.S. Air Force and allied aircrews in F-22A and T-38 transition, instructor and fighter weapons instructor courses. All aircraft use the tail code of HO.
- 6th Reconnaissance Squadron (6 RS) (MQ-1)
- 7th Fighter Squadron (7 FS) (F-22A)
- 9th Attack Squadron (9 ATKS) (MQ-9)
- 16th Training Squadron (16 TRS) (MQ-9)
- 29th Attack Squadron (29 ATKS) (MQ-9)
- 49th Operations Support Squadron (49 OSS)
- 49th Maintenance Group (49 MXG)
The 49th Maintenance Group maintains aircraft, propulsion, avionics and accessory systems for the F-22A Raptor. The group also directs all maintenance, qualification, on-the-job and ancillary training for over 1,200 people; manages over $4.3 billion in aircraft and equipment; and supports flying activities, exercises and worldwide taskings as assigned by the war-fighting CINCs and the Secretary of Defense against high-value, heavily defended targets.
- 49th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (49 AMXS)
- 49th Maintenance Operations Squadron (49 MOS)
- 49th Maintenance Squadron (49 MXS)
- 849th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (849 AMXS)
- 49th Mission Support Group (49 MSG)
The 49th Mission Support Group provides a wide spectrum of support services for wing and tenant organizations—these include military and civilian personnel support, maintenance of facility and utility systems, security police duties, communication capabilities, and family leisure programs for Holloman.
- 49th Civil Engineering Squadron (49 CES)
- 49th Communications Squadron (49 CS)
- 49th Contracting Squadron (49 CONS)
- 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron (49 LRS)
- 49th Security Forces Squadron (49 SFS)
- 49th Force Support Squadron (49 FSS)
- 49th Material Maintenance Group (49 MMG)
The 49th Materiel Maintenance Group is responsible for the storage, inspection, repair, deployment and accountability of bare base assets belonging to Air Combat Command. The group's 431 authorized personnel encompass 42 Air Force specialties and are responsible for bare base assets worth over $234 million.
- 49th Medical Group (49 MDG)
The healthcare professionals of the 49th Medical Group are dedicated to providing the best health care possible to the 49th Fighter Wing and its units. The 49th Medical Group provides outpatient services from 0730 to 1630, Monday through Friday, and is closed on weekends, federal holidays, wing down days and Air Combat Command family days.
- 49th Medical Operations Squadron (49 MDOS)
- 49th Aeromedical-Dental Squadron (49 ADOS)
- 49th Medical Support Squadron (49 MDSS)
- For additional history and lineage, see 49th Operations Group
Established as 49th Fighter Wing on 10 August 1948. Activated on 18 August 1948 in Japan. Equipped with Lockheed F-80 Shooting Stars. In February 1950, the unit was redesignated as the 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing.
With the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, the 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing was one of the first USAF units dispatched to Korea from Japan, its tactical squadrons began operations with P-51D Mustangs. Initially under its parent wing, the 49th was reassigned to the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing during July through September, and finally the 6149th Tactical Support Wing during October and November 1950. Korean War squadrons of the 49th were the 7th, 8th and 9th Fighter-Bomber Squadrons.
The 49th's first task in South Korea was to cover the evacuation of civilians from Kimpo and Suwon. Next, it flew close air support missions to help slow the advancing North Korean armies. Later, it turned to the interdiction of enemy troops, supplies and communications.
Phasing out its F-51s for Lockheed F-80C Shooting Stars jets, the 49th FBW moved to Taegu AB (K-9) on 1 October 1950, becoming the first jet fighter outfit to operate from bases in South Korea. It received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its combat operations during the first five months of the war.
When the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) Intervention Campaign gained momentum in 1950–1951, the group again concentrated on ground support missions. It converted to Republic F-84G Thunderjets, June–September 1951, one squadron at a time, while the others continued combat operations. The 49th FBG earned another DUC for its contribution to the success of the 1st UN Counteroffensive Campaign (1951). Afterwards, it engaged primarily in air interdiction operations against the main enemy channel of transportation, the roads and railroads between Pyongyang and Sinuiju. Also, it flew close air support missions for the ground forces and attacked high value targets, including the Sui-ho hydroelectric plants in June 1952 and the Kumgang Political School in October 1952.
On 27 July 1953, the 49th FBG joined the 58th FBG to bomb Sunan Airfield for the final action of F-84 fighter-bombers during the Korean War. The unit was one of the most decorated Air Force units in the war, having earned two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit citations and another eight battle honors. Such accomplishments earned the wing a niche in United States Air Force history.
The wing remained in Korea for a time after the armistice. It was reassigned to Misawa AB, Japan on 2 November 1953 and provided air defense for Japan through 1957.
On 15 April 1957 the detached 49 Fighter-Bomber Group became a paper unit, and the wing assumed the fighter-bomber mission the group had been performing, continuing it to 15 September 1957, when the wing prepared to move to Europe. Worldwide DOD Budget restrictions during FY 1958 affected PACAF as well as USAFE and the 49th FBW based in Japan had to be retired.
The 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing was reassigned to Etain-Rouvres Air Base, France where it absorbed the assets of the former host unit, the 388th FBW. As the 388th was originally formed in December 1942, and the 49th was formed in November 1940, the older wing's heritage was preserved by transferring its lineage to Etain.
The transfer was a strict designation change with no personnel, equipment or aircraft being transferred. All 388th FBW wing units, personnel, equipment and aircraft were redesignated to the 49th FBW and the mission of the 49th FBW was exactly the same as the 388th's. The fighter squadrons were redesignated the 7th, 8th and 9th Fighter-bomber Squadrons.
The stay of the 49th in France was short, as in 1957, the French Government decreed that all nuclear weapons and delivery aircraft had to be removed from French soil by July 1958. As a result, the F-100's of the 49th TFW had to be removed from France.
On 8 July 1958 the name of the wing was changed to the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing as a result of an Air Force wide redesignation. Its squadrons were renamed Tactical Fighter Squadrons. On 25 August 1959, the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing relocated to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany and assumed host unit duties, replacing the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing which was moved to RAF Alconbury England. Tactical Fighger Squadrons of the 49th TFW at Spangdahlem were the 7th, 8th and 9th.
The 49 TFW flew F-100s until 1961 when it converted to the Republic F-105D/F Thunderchief, commonly known as the "Thud". The 49th TFW was only the third USAF unit to operate the F-105.
On 1 July 1968, the 49th arrived at Holloman Air Force Base, becoming the first dual-based tactical fighter wing. Under the dual-basing concept, the 49th, stationed at Holloman, deployed individual squadrons periodically to Europe, fulfilling their NATO commitment. At Holloman, the wing continued participation in tactical exercises and firepower demonstrations to maintain combat readiness. It had base host responsibility 1 January 1971 – 1 August 1977 and 15 November 1991 to the present. In the autumn of 1971 the wing's four tactical squadrons deployed in Europe.
In 1969, the wing participated in its first dual-basing exercise, Crested Cap I, deploying 2,000 personnel and 72 aircraft to NATO bases in Europe. Also in 1972, the 49th earned the coveted MacKay Trophy for the "most meritorious flight of the year," for the redeployment from Germany to Holloman after Crested Cap II. The MacKay Trophy recognized the 49th for the fastest non-stop deployment of jet aircraft accomplished by a wing's entire fleet.
On 4 May 1972, after North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam, the entire wing, except for a rear echelon that remained to run Holloman, deployed at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. The wing conducted combat operations in Southeast Asia from 11 May – 27 September 1972, to help blunt a strong North Vietnamese offensive. The 49th flew combat sorties in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos from 1 July – 24 September 1972 during Operation Linebacker, the bombardment campaign in North Vietnam. During this deployment, Operation Constant Guard, the 49th flew more than 21,000 combat hours over just about every battle zone from An Loc to vital installations in the Hanoi vicinity. During five months of combat, the wing did not lose any aircraft or personnel—a testament to the outstanding training and proficiency of all members of the 49th. The unit officially closed out its Southwest Asia duty 6 October 1972, receiving an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device for its participation.
The wing returned to Holloman Air Force Base in early October 1972, and continued rotating tactical components to Europe to support NATO through September 1977. It also provided USAF fighter lead-in training from February 1974 – December 1976.
In October 1977, the wing ceased its "dual-base" commitment to NATO and changed to an air superiority mission with the wing beginning a conversion from the F-4 to the F-15. The transition was completed 4 June 1978. Training was refocused on dissimilar air combat tactics for multi-theater operations.
History was made during February 1980, when two pilots from the 49th each flew their F-15s, 6,200 miles (10,000 km) in just over 14 hours, establishing a record for the longest flight of a single-seat fighter aircraft. The flights required six aerial refuelings, proving the global power of the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing.
In July 1980, the wing acquired the commitment of a primary Rapid Deployment Force unit. This tasking, which lasted for a year, required the wing to be ready to deploy its aircraft, crews, and support personnel on short notice. The wing served with the Rapid Deployment Force until July 1981, when the tasking was transferred to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.
The 49th won the 1988 William Tell air-to-air meet. The wing outdistanced the nearest competitor by more than 2,000 points. The 49th won a variety of awards, including the coveted "Top Gun" for best fighter pilot.
It deployed aircraft and personnel to Southwest Asia to fly combat air patrol for coalition operations from 20 June – 19 December 1991.
In 1992, the 49th underwent a number of transitions. The last F-15 departed Holloman 5 June 1992, ending 14 years of Eagle operations. On 9 May 1992, four F-117 stealth fighters from Tonopah Test Range, Nevada, arrived at Holloman taking over for the 37th Fighter Wing the 49th served as the only stealth fighter wing in the world. Also, F-4s returned to Holloman, as part of the 9th Fighter Squadron, in May 1992
After conversion to the F-117 in May 1992, It deployed fighters and their crews to Southwest Asia during the 1990s to support United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq, to enforce the no-fly zone over the southern part of that country, and for shows of force.
The 48th Rescue Squadron served at Holloman AFB from 1 May 1993 – 1 February 1999. With its six HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, the personnel of the 48th deployed six times in support of Operations Northern and Southern Watch. Additionally, during its six years of service, the 48th saved 33 lives in real-world rescues in the American Southwest.
Using helicopters, the wing also performed a search and rescue mission from May 1993 to February 1999. It provided early flight training for Second Lieutenant Jeannie M. Flynn, who eventually became the first female USAF combat pilot. The 49th also trained Taiwan Air Force fighter pilots in AT-38 aircraft from 1993 to 1997, and German Air Force fighter pilots in F-4 aircraft from 1992 to the present.
In early 1999, the wing deployed F-117 and their crews to Aviano Air Base, Italy and Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany from 21 February – 1 July 1999, in support of Operation Allied Force. Flying more than 1,000 total sorties, pilots flew into heavily defended skies, littered with surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft fire. In particular, F-117A pilots bravely trusting in their aircraft's low observable technology struck some of the most valuable and highly guarded targets in Serbia. The F-117s successfully penetrated the heavily defended areas, which conventional aircraft could not reach.
People, airplanes, and equipment of the 49th Fighter Wing played a key role in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The wing's F-117s played a major role, dropping the first bombs against an Iraqi leadership target in Baghdad on 19 March 2003. In all, F-117 pilots flew more than 80 missions and dropped nearly 100 enhanced guided bomb units against key targets. Approximately 300 people deployed with the air package and provided direct support to the F-117 mission.
Early in 2003, stealth fighters and crews of the wing deployed to Southwest Asia. The 49th dropped the initial bombs of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and continued to support combat operations there until the country was occupied.
The 49th continued to demonstrated its versatility, when on 3 September 2005, the wing answered a humanitarian call from the gulf coast area of the United States. Responding to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the wing deployed fifty-nine Airmen from the 49th Materiel Maintenance Group as part of Joint Task Force Katrina. The BEAR Base team sent 120 short tons of cargo and built a tent city and housekeeping facilities for workers providing Hurricane Katrina relief operations.
Today, the 49th Wing continues to serve at the forefront of military operations, with its F-22 Raptor.
- Established as 49th Fighter Wing on 10 August 1948
- Activated on 18 August 1948
- Redesignated: 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing on 1 February 1950
- Redesignated: 49th Tactical Fighter Wing on 8 July 1958
- Redesignated: 49th Fighter Wing on 1 October 1991
- Redesignated: 49th Wing on 30 June 2010
- 49th Fighter (later, 49th Fighter-Bomber; 49th Operations): 18 August 1948 – 10 December 1957 (detached 9 July – 30 November 1950; 16–31 March 1953; 2 November 1953 – 15 April 1957); 15 November 1991 – present
- 543d Tactical Support: attached 1 December 1950 – 26 January 1951
- 76th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons: attached 5 – c. 25 January 1951
- 753d Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun: attached c. September – c. November 1950
- 865th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons: attached c. September – c. 30 November 1950
- 4th Fighter-Interceptor: attached 10 August 1954 – 15 April 1957
- 7th Fighter-Bomber (later, 7th Tactical Fighter; 7th Fighter): attached 9 July – 17 August 1950 and 7 August 1956 – 15 April 1957; assigned 10 December 1957 – 15 November 1991 (detached 10 September – 6 October 1971; 2 March – 4 April 1973; 2 April – 3 May 1974; 4 October – 6 November 1975; 23 August – 25 September 1976); 16 January 1941 – 10 December 1957; 15 November 1991 – present
- 8th Fighter-Bomber (later, 8th Tactical Fighter; 8th Fighter): attached 15 April – 15 October 1957; assigned 10 December 1957 – 15 November 1991 (detached c. 12 September – c. 11 October 1970; 10 September – 6 October 1971; 3 March – 5 April 1973; 5 September – 6 October 1975; 21 September – 20 October 1976; 22 August – 22 September 1977; 10 September – 15 November 1991); 16 January 1941 – 10 December 1957; 15 November 1991 – present
- 9th Fighter-Bomber (later, 9th Tactical Fighter; 9th Fighter): attached 17 August – c. 6 September 1950 and 15 April – 9 December 1957, assigned 10 December 1957 – 15 November 1991 (detached c. 12 September – c. 11 October 1970; 9 September – 7 October 1971; 4 February – 15 March 1973; 6 September – 7 October 1975; 22 September – 21 October 1977; 10 September – 10 October 1977; 20 June – 15 November 1991); 16 January 1941 – 10 December 1957; 15 November 1991 – 16 May 2008
- 20th Fighter: 1 July 1993 – 20 December 2004.
- 39th Fighter-Interceptor: attached 14–20 July 1954
- 45th Tactical Reconnaissance: attached 27 December 1950 – 24 February 1951
- 48th Rescue: 1 May 1993 – 1 February 1999
- 334th Fighter-Interceptor: attached 24 February – 1 March 1951
- 336th Fighter-Interceptor (later, 336th Fighter-Bomber; 336th Fighter-Day): attached 18 November 1954 – 6 August 1956
- 339th Fighter-Interceptor: attached 20 July – 18 November 1954
- 356th Tactical Fighter: attached 12 October – 9 November 1959
- 415th Fighter: 8 July 1992 – 1 July 1993
- 416th Fighter: 8 July 1992 – 1 July 1993
- 417th Tactical Fighter: 15 November 1970 – 30 April 1977 (detached 9 September – 2 October 1971; 3 February – 14 March 1973; 5 March – 5 April 1974; 3 October – 5 November 1975; 24 August – 26 September 1976); 15 November 1991 – 8 July 1992
- 421st Air Refueling: 15 February 1954 – 1 October 1957 (detached)
- 434th Tactical Fighter: attached 12 August – 6 October 1972
- 435th Fighter: 12 May 1993 – 1 April 1997.
- 465th Tactical Fighter Training: 1 August 1973 – 1 January 1977
- 4449th Tactical Fighter: 12 July – 10 October 1972
- Battery A, 76th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion: attached 1–25 January 1951
- Battery A, 933d AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion: attached 18 December 1950 – 5 January 1951
- Unnumbered (of 41st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron): attached 6 September – 30 November 1950
- Unnumbered (of 339th Fighter-All Weather Squadron): attached c. October – c. 30 November 1950
- 6113th Air Weather: assigned 18 August 1948 – 26 January 1949, attached 27 January – 10 April 1949.
- Much of this text in an early version of this article was taken from pages on the Holloman Air Force Base website, which as a work of the U.S. Government is presumed to be a public domain resource.
- Hess, William N. 49th Fighter Group: Aces of the Pacific. Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2004. ISBN 1-84176-785-9.
- McAuliffe, Jerome J. US Air Force in France 1950-1967. San Diego, California: Milspec Press, Chapter 11, Etain-Rouvres Air Base, 2005. ISBN 0-9770371-1-8.
- Martin, Patrick. Tail Code: The Complete History of USAF Tactical Aircraft Tail Code Markings. Schiffer Military Aviation History, 1994. ISBN 0-88740-513-4.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947-1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
- Rogers, Brian. United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
- Site of the 9th SQ, 49th FG
- USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers—1908 to present
- 49th in Australia durin WW2
- Holloman AFB Home Page