|388th Fighter Wing|
|Active||1953-1957; 1962-1964; 1966—present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Combat Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Hill Air Force Base|
|Motto(s)||Libertas Vel Mors Latin Freedom or Death|
|Engagements||World War II|
Operation Desert Shield
|Decorations||Distinguished Unit Citation|
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with V Device
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
|Colonel Lee E. Kloos|
388th Fighter Wing emblem (Approved 11 March 1955)
388th Operations Group (388 OG)
388th Maintenance Group (388 MXG)
On 23 November 1953, the 388th Fighter-Bomber Wing was activated as part of Tactical Air Command. The wing was reactivated following Secretary of State John Foster Dulles' promise to provide NATO with four additional tactical fighter wings to increase its defenses against the Soviet Union due to the outbreak of the Cold War. The 388th Fighter-Interceptor Wing activated as the 388th Fighter-Bomber Group (later renamed 388th Operations Group) and became the wing's primary combat element. The group's squadrons were equipped with North American F-86F Sabres, and training commenced for operational proficiency.
Once training levels for pilots and aircrews had reached operational levels, the 50th FBW began preparations for its move to France. On 12 December 1954, the 388th FBW arrived at its new home, the newly constructed Étain-Rouvres Air Base.
Upon arrival in France in December 1954, the 388th FBW flying elements consisted of the 561st, 562d, and 563d FB Squadrons, each equipped with 26 F-86F "Sabres". Wing support aircraft consisted of 4 C-47s of various types, one L-20A, and 5 T-33s.
The mission of the 388th FBW was to train for and conduct tactical nuclear weapons delivery. Its secondary mission was to conduct non-atomic tactical air operations. Upon arrival of 388th Wing Headquarters at Etain, the construction delays and other problems seriously hampered the ability of the Wing to use the base for its flying operations. The 562nd Fighter Bomber Squadron was forced to operate from Spangdahlem Air Base, the 563rd from Bitburg Air Base and the 561st from Hahn Air Base in West Germany for the winter of 1954-55.
In April and May 1955, rotational deployments to Wheelus Air Base, Libya began for their first gunnery and bombing training since their arrival in Europe. In the fall, with enough facilities construction completed, the three flying squadrons were transferred from Germany and took up their home assignment at Étain. In August 1955, First Lt. Philip Ortego was assigned to the 561st Fighter Bomber Squadron as its Intelligence Officer.
On 22 November 1955, Det #1, 388th Fighter-Bomber Group was activated at Hahn Air Base to stand nuclear alert with the Wing's F-86's. Personnel and aircraft primarily came from the 561st FBS. In February 1956 the detachment was transferred to more spacious facilities at Spangdahlem Air Base. Rotational deployments of 8 F-86's and support personnel to Germany continued until the fall of 1957 when the 388th was inactivated.
In the fall of 1956 the 388th began planning for conversion to the F-100D/F "Super Sabre" Due to the adverse flying conditions at Etain for conversion training, the new aircraft were deployed to Nouasseur Air Base in Morocco, with the squadrons deploying their F-86's to Nouasseur, then returning to France or Spangdahlem in their new F-100's for Zulu Alert duties.
During this transition period, the 388th experienced a significant personnel crisis, with many of its officers and NCO's completing their two-year unaccompanied tour in France. The personnel problem became worse in the fall of 1957 with many single airmen completing their three years of overseas service and were rotating back to the United States (CONUS).
The manning issues of the 388th, which has fallen to about 65 percent of authorized strength, along with budget shortfalls led HQ USAFE to inactivate the unit instead of transfer it. On 8 December 1957 HQ USAFE inactivated the 388th FBW, with its and assets being redesignated as the 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing, which had been administratively reassigned from Misawa AB, Japan without personnel or equipment.
In October 1962, the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing was reactivated under Tactical Air Command (TAC). The wing was reorganized at McConnell AFB, Kansas, under the Twelfth Air Force, as a tenant unit under the provisional 4347th Combat Training Wing.
Under TAC, the 388th did not have a fighter group, and the four Tactical Fighter Squadrons (560th, 561st, 562d, 563d) were assigned directly to Wing Headquarters. The reactivated wing initially flew the North American F-100C Super Sabre, but was replaced in 1963 by the Republic F-105D/F Thunderchief. On 4 July 1963, it became responsible for the base as the host unit.
The demands of the Vietnam War and escalation of United States involvement in the conflict led TAC to deploy the 388th to Southeast Asia for combat duty. New bases were being established in Thailand, and a permanent organizational structure was needed to accommodate the semi-permanent presence of USAF units at the forward bases. On 8 April 1966, the 388th TFW was relieved of its assignment to Tactical Air Command and was transferred to Pacific Air Forces. The wing was ordered to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, where its F-105 squadrons had been on temporary rotational deployments for the past two years.
In April 1966 the 388th was sent to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand where it replaced the provisional 6234th Tactical Fighter Wing and assumed host wing responsibilities at Korat. The mission of the wing was to engage in combat operations over Indochina, conducting interdiction, direct air support, armed reconnaissance, and fighter escort missions. During the Vietnam War, numerous units were deployed to and stationed at Korat RTAFB and engaged in combat operations. As part of the rapid buildup of United States forces in Thailand in the mid-1960s, the 388th was the umbrella organization to as many as 34 operating units and about 6,500 USAF airmen. The wing also supported components of the Royal Thai Air Force, and a complement of Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Bristol Freighters.
The squadrons assigned to the 388th TFW at Korat were:
In mid-1968 it was decided to make the 388th an F-4 Wing, and also to equip the 388th with the new F-4E and the F-105s would be transferred to the 355th TFW at Takhli RTAFB. The main difference with the F-4E model was the addition of an internal M61 cannon. The F-4C and D models previously in use had shown some serious drawbacks in the initial air-to-air battles over Vietnam. The earlier Sparrow, Falcon, and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles did not perform up to expectations. They were expensive, unreliable, and vulnerable to countermeasures. The Phantoms could carry a podded cannon mounted on the centerline, but it was relatively inaccurate, caused excessive drag which reduced the performance of the Phantom carrying it, and took up a valuable ordnance/fuel station.
On 17 November 1968, an F-4E Phantom squadron from Eglin AFB, FL, replaced the single-seat F-105E Thunderchiefs of the 469th TFS. The new Phantom squadron, the first E-models in Thailand, retained the designation 469th TFS.
In January 1969, the wing sought a new assignment. Proliferating antiaircraft defenses in the Barrel Roll area in the Kingdom of Laos were making operations ever riskier for Slow FACs such as the Raven FACs. Volunteers from the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron were approved for Fast FAC duty under the call sign "Tiger" in February. On 18 March, the volunteer FACs began flying a single daily sortie. By July, they were so immersed in directing close air support, they were allotted four sorties per day. They supplied the necessary tactical air power for General Vang Pao's Hmong guerrillas to sweep through Operation Raindance. Among the benefits of strike and FAC units being co-located was the Hunter-Killer Team concept fostered by "Tiger" FACs. Strike aircraft could be directed by FACs, or the flight leader could take over the air strike after being led to the target.
On 10 May 1969, the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron was transferred organizationally to the 347th TFW at Yokota AB, Japan, but it remained attached to the 388th TFW at Korat. It was re-equipped with F-4Es on 5 July. On 15 May 1969, the F-105-equipped 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron was transferred and reassigned to the 355th TFW .
On 12 June 1972, the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron flying F-4D's was deployed from the 3rd TFW, Kusan AB, South Korea, in a "Constant Guard" redeployment to support operations over North Vietnam during Linebacker. They remained until 10 October 1972 when they returned to Korea.
On 29 September 1972, the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, based at Myrtle Beach AFB SC, deployed 72 A-7D Corsair II of the 355th, 353rd and 354th Tactical Fighter Squadrons and the 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron to Korat for a 179-day Temporary Duty (TDY). By mid-October, 1,574 airmen from Myrtle Beach had arrived. In March 1973 A-7D aircraft were drawn from the deployed 354th TFW squadrons and assigned to the 388th TFW as the 3d Tactical Fighter Squadron (Tail Code: JH). Some TDY personnel from the 354th TFW were assigned to the 388th and placed on permanent party status.
On 2 January 1973, Det 1. 561st Tactical Fighter Squadron deployed from George Air Force Base to Korat flying specially equipped F-105Gs. With the end of combat in August, the squadron returned to the 35th TFW at George on 5 September.
After the end of combat operations in August 1973, the 388th TFW entered into intensive training program to maintain combat readiness and continued to fly electronic surveillance and intelligence missions. Also, it was announced by the United States and Thailand that of the 43,000 Americans and 500 aircraft stationed in Thailand, about 3,500 men and 100 aircraft would be withdrawn. The 388th entered into intensive training program to maintain combat readiness and continued to fly electronic surveillance and intelligence missions. The 388th provided air cover and escort during the evacuation of Americans from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and of Americans and selected Vietnamese from Saigon, South Vietnam, in April 1975. It also participated in the rescue of the crew and recovery of the SS Mayaguez, an American-flagged contained ship seized by Khmer Rouge forces, in May 1975.
At the end of 1975, there were only three combat squadrons at Korat, consisting of 24 F-4D's of the 34th TFS, 24 A-7D's of the 3rd TFS, and 6 AC-130 "Spectre" aircraft of the 16th Special Operations Squadron. On 23 December 1975, the 388th TFW and its remaining Squadron, inactivated at Korat RTAFB, closing out the USAF operations at the base.
The 388th ceased all aircraft operations at Korat Thailand in November 1975 and moved in without personnel or equipment in December 1975 to Hill AFB, Utah, replacing a holding unit-Detachment 1, 67th Combat Support Group. In January 1976, the wing began participation in training missions and numerous exercises in a variety of offensive tactical situations flying F-4D Phantom II tactical fighters.
The wing started its conversion to the F-16A Fighting Falcon on 23 January 1979, becoming the USAF first fully operational F-16 Fighter Wing. During initial stages of conversion the wing trained F-16 instructor pilots and provided replacement training for new F-16 pilots. Thereafter the 388th trained for war readiness at U.S. and NATO locations.
In March 1981, the wing conducted its first overseas deployment to Fleslan AS, Norway. It won the USAF Worldwide Gunsmoke Fighter Gunnery Meet in 1987. In May 1989, the first F-16C Block 40 aircraft arrived at Hill AFB, Utah. The new model F-16, designed to accommodate the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pod, allowed targeting and bombing in adverse operational conditions.
The 388th TFW was the first unit to fly the F-16 into conflict with the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) system over the skies of Iraq and Kuwait during Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. A number of wing aircraft initially deployed to Spain as attrition reserves from January–December 1991, with two squadrons to Southwest Asia for combat operations from 28 August 1990 – 27 March 1991. After the March 1991 cease-fire, it remained in Southwest Asia to protect Coalition assets and ensure that Iraq complied with treaty terms beginning in December 1991. The 388th FW continued to employ the LANTIRN-equipped aircraft in Operations DESERT CALM, DESERT FOX, and NORTHERN and SOUTHERN WATCH.
Since September 2001, the 4th, 34th, and 421st Fighter Squadrons and the 729th Air Control Squadron have actively engaged in Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF), Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Noble Eagle (ONE), defending the nation at home and abroad. The wing continued to develop its role of Forward Air Control-Airborne. Assorted support personnel were deployed en masse or individually from within each unit of the 388 FW.
The 388 FW continued its dominance into the 21st century by avidly and diligently deploying its personnel on a continuous loop of AEF deployments, while taking on new roles with Forward Air Control – Airborne.
The 388th Range Squadron, coupled with the Utah Test and Training Range, have continued to provide test and training opportunities to the world's F-16 fleet through many local and off-base exercises, to include Air Warrior, Amalgam Thunder, Combat Archer, Cope Thunder, Exercise Iron Falcon, Maple Flag, Red Flag, and support for the Fighter Weapon Instructor Course (FWIC) and Tactical Air Control Parties (TACP).
On 22 June 2009 a single-seat F-16 from the wing's 421st Fighter Squadron on a training mission crashed in the Utah Test and Training Range. The pilot, Captain George Bryan Houghton, 28, was killed.
The 23rd Wing is a front-line United States Air Force Air Combat Command wing currently assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.34th Fighter Squadron
The 34th Fighter Squadron is part of the United States Air Force′s 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. On 2 August 2016, the Air Force announced that the 34th had become the first squadron to achieve initial operating capability with the F-35A, the Air Force′s variant of the F-35 Lightning II. With an operational history extending back to World War II, and including the Cold War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Desert Fox, Operation Noble Eagle, and the Afghanistan War, it had most recently operated F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft on air superiority missions prior to its reactivation as a F-35A squadron.388th
388th may refer to:
388th Electronic Combat Squadron, inactive United States Air Force unit
388th Fighter Squadron or 132nd Fighter Wing (132d W), United States Air Force unit assigned to the Iowa Air National Guard, located at Des Moines International Airport, Iowa
388th Fighter Wing, 4th Fighter Squadron (4 FS), conducts flying operations and equipment maintenance to maintain combat readiness of an 18-aircraft F-16C LANTIRN squadron
388th Operations Group, the flying component of the 388th Fighter Wing, assigned to the Air Combat Command Twelfth Air Force388th Operations Group
The 388th Operations Group (388 OG) is the flying component of the 388th Fighter Wing, assigned to the Air Combat Command Twelfth Air Force. The group is stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 388th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was an Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England, stationed at RAF Knettishall (Station 136). The group earned four Distinguished Unit Citations, flying over 300 combat missions (17 August 1943 – Regensburg; 26 June 1943 – Hanover; 12 May 1944 – Brux and 21 June 1944 on a shuttle mission to Russia). It also conducted Aphroditie radio-controlled B-24 Liberators as test guided bombs.419th Fighter Wing
The 419th Fighter Wing (419 FW) is an Air Reserve Component (ARC) unit of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the Tenth Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, and is stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
The 419th FW is an associate unit of the 388th Fighter Wing, Air Combat Command (ACC) and if mobilized the wing is gained by ACC.421st
421st may refer to:
421st Air Refueling Squadron, inactive United States Air Force unit
421st Assault Aviation Regiment, original name of the Yugoslav 107th Mixed Aviation Regiment
421st Bombardment Squadron, inactive United States Air Force unit
421st Fighter Squadron (421 FS), part of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah421st Fighter Squadron
The 421st Fighter Squadron is part of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. It operates the Lockheed Martin F-35A aircraft conducting air superiority missions. The squadron is one of the most decorated fighter squadrons in the United States Air Force, being awarded three Presidential Unit Citations and seven Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards for Valor in Combat.
The unit was originally formed as the 421st Night Fighter Squadron in 1943. After training, it was deployed to Fifth Air Force and ordered to New Guinea to provide air defense interceptor protection against Japanese night air raids on USAAF airfields. It later served in the Philippines Campaign where in addition to night interceptor missions it also flew day and night interdiction missions against enemy troop movements, bridges and other targets of opportunity. It later served on Okinawa and in Occupied Japan where it was inactivated in 1947.
It was reactivated by Tactical Air Command in 1962 as the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron. Equipped with Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs, it deployed to Southeast Asia and engaged in combat operations over North Vietnam. It returned to the United States and was re-equipped with the McDonnell F-4D Phantom II and returned to Southeast Asia for a second and later third tour of duty in the Vietnam War. It was one of the first USAF squadrons equipped with the F-16A Fighting Falcon in 1980; and went on to serve in the 1991 Gulf War. In recent years, the squadron has deployed to the United States Air Forces Central Command, engaging in combat during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.4th Fighter Squadron
The 4th Fighter Squadron, "Fighting Fuujins" is part of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. It is transitioning to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft which replaced the unit's General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons which conducted air superiority, strike, and close air support missions until August 2017.
The squadron was first activated in 1941 as the United States Army Air Corps expanded prior to the entry of the U.S. into World War II. The squadron served in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, where it earned two Distinguished Unit Citations. The squadron was reactivated in Okinawa as an all-weather fighter squadron in 1947. It served in the air defense of Japan until 1965 as the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, deploying to fly combat sorties during the Korean War.
The squadron returned to the United States in 1965, and reformed as the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron. In 1969, it moved to Thailand, where it flew missions during the Vietnam War. After the war, the squadron moved to its current base at Hill. It again entered combat when it deployed as part of a provisional fighter wing during Operation Desert Storm.Air Combat Command
Air Combat Command (ACC) is one of ten Major Commands (MAJCOMs) in the United States Air Force, reporting to Headquarters, United States Air Force (HAF) at the Pentagon. It is the primary provider of air combat forces for the Air Force, and it is the direct successor to Tactical Air Command. Air Combat Command is headquartered at Langley Air Force Base, Joint Base Langley–Eustis, Virginia, United States.Bach Mai Airfield
Bach Mai Airfield (Vietnamese: Sân bay Bach Mai) is a disused military airport in Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi, Vietnam, located along modern-day Le Trong Tan street. It was constructed by the French in 1917 and used by French forces until 1954; along with Gia Lam Airbase, it was one of the major logistics bases supporting French operations at Dien Bien Phu. After 1954, it was used by the Vietnamese People's Air Force and served as their air defense command and control center during the Second Indochina War, playing a part in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War as well. It is now the site of the Vietnam People's Air Force Museum, where a number of period military aircraft are on display.Base Lieutenant Étienne Mantoux
Base Lieutenant Étienne Mantoux, formerly Étain-Rouvres Air Base (ICAO: LFQE) is a base of the French Army Light Aviation. It is located on the Lorraine Plateau in northeastern France, 1 mile (1.6 km) to the west of Étain; on the west side of the Départemental 906 (D906) (Meuse) road, adjacent to the village of Rouvres-en-Woevre in the Meuse département about 12 miles east of Verdun. It was built in 1937 and has been used by the French, British, and U.S. Air Forces, before the French Army took the base over, after 1967.Bentley Rayburn
Bentley B. Rayburn (born June 15, 1953) is an American retired Air Force major general and businessman.
Rayburn was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans for 1990. Serving as a Colonel, Rayburn was assigned to lead the 388th Fighter Wing in 1995.Rayburn ran in the Republican Party primary election for the United States House of Representatives in Colorado's 5th congressional district in the 2006 elections. He ran again in 2008, against incumbent Doug Lamborn. He challenged Lamborn again in the 2014 elections, but lost, receiving 48% of the vote.Rayburn formerly served as president of The Home Front Cares, a charity that supports the families of deployed soldiers. He served briefly as president of Colorado Technical University from 2010 to 2012.Burton M. Field
Burton M. Field is a retired United States Air Force lieutenant general. Prior to retirement he served as the deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.Hill Air Force Base
Hill Air Force Base (IATA: HIF, ICAO: KHIF, FAA LID: HIF) is a major U.S. Air Force base located in northern Utah, just south of the city of Ogden, and near the towns of Clearfield, Riverdale, Roy, Sunset, and Layton. It is about 30 miles (48 km) north of Salt Lake City. The base was named in honor of Major Ployer Peter Hill of the U.S. Army Air Corps, who died test-flying NX13372, the original Model 299 prototype of the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. In this decade Hill AFB is still the sixth-largest employer in the state of Utah, and the third-largest one excluding the State Government and Higher Education employers.
Hill AFB is the home of the Air Force Materiel Command's (AFMC) Ogden Air Logistics Complex which is the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines, missiles, software, avionics, and accessories components. The commander of the Air Logistics Complex is Brigadier General H. Brent Baker Sr. The Ogden Air Logistics Complex is part of the Air Force Sustainment Center.
The host unit at Hill AFB is the Air Force Material Command's 75th Air Base Wing (75 ABW), which provides services and support for the Ogden Air Logistics Complex and its subordinate organizations. The Wing and Installation Commander of Hill Air Force Base is Colonel Ronald Jolly. Additional tenant units at Hill AFB include operational fighter wings of the Air Combat Command (ACC) and the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC).Kevin Schneider
Kevin Bruce Schneider is a Lieutenant General in the United States Air Force. Schneider is the current commander of the Fifth Air Force at Yokota Air Base.List of major bases and units of Tactical Air Command
Major TAC bases and Units in the Continental United States 1946 - 1992
Aerospace Defense Command (ADC) Air National Guard bases/units merged into ADTAC on 1 October 1979 not included.
Howard AFB Canal Zone/Panama (24th Composite Wing) was assigned to TAC 1 January 1976 – 31 December 1999.
Keflavik Airport Iceland (57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron) was transferred to TAC from ADC 1 October 1979. Transferred to Air Combat Command 1 June 1992.List of wings of the United States Air Force
This is a list of Wings in the United States Air Force, focusing on AFCON wings. Air Force active duty and civilian personnel strength now must be at 1,000 or more for wings.Structure of the United States Armed Forces
The chain of command leads from the President (as commander-in-chief) through the Secretary of Defense down to the newest recruits. The United States armed forces are organized through the United States Department of Defense, which oversees a complex structure of joint command and control functions with many units reporting to various commanding officers. The following is an incomplete list of the various major military units, commands, and DOD offices and agencies, including civilian and military chains of command.Utah Test and Training Range
The Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) is a military testing and training area located in Utah's West Desert, approximately 80 miles (130 km) west of Salt Lake City, Utah. UTTR is currently the largest contiguous block of over-land supersonic-authorized restricted airspace in the contiguous United States. The range, which has a footprint of 2,675 square miles (6,930 km2) of ground space and over 19,000 square miles (49,000 km2) of air space, is divided into North and South ranges. Interstate 80 divides the two sections of the range. The site is administered and maintained by the US Air Force's HQ UTTR, formerly known as the 388th Range Squadron (388RANS) stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
Tactical Air Command (TAC)
United States Air Force in the Vietnam War
Part of the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE)