The 432d Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to Air Combat Command, stationed at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The group operates unmanned reconnaissance aircraft which provide real-time reconnaissance, surveillance, and precision attack against fixed and time-critical targets. The 432d Air Expeditionary Wing is a provisional unit assigned to Air Combat Command and is the designation for components of the 432d Wing when deployed into combat areas as part of the Global War on Terror.
|Active||1943–1944; 1954–1958; 1958–1959; 1966–1979; 1984–1994; 2007–present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Role||Unmanned Aerial Vehicle reconnaissance and attack|
|Part of||Air Combat Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Creech Air Force Base, Nevada|
|Motto(s)||Victoria per Scientam Latin Victory Through Knowledge|
|Decorations||Presidential Unit Citation|
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm
|Col Julian "Ghost" Cheater|
|John G. Lorber |
Michael E. Ryan
432d Tactical Reconnaissance Group emblem as originally approved
The 432d Wing is the first United States Air Force wing dedicated to unmanned aircraft systems. The wing stood up 1 May 2007 at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The wing has dual reporting responsibilities to Ninth Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Central Command (USAFCENT) (as the 432d AEW) at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, as well as to Twelfth Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Southern Command at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.
The 432d is the first wing totally dedicated to operating remotely piloted aircraft: the MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, and RQ-170 Sentinel. The wing has flown aircraft in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom for intelligence surveillance reconnaissance and tactical missions, flown by pilots and sensor operators in the United States.
The 432d is authorized 160 Predator and 60 Reapers. As of May 2007, 6 Reapers and about 85 Predators have been delivered with half of the Predators deployed forward in the United States Central Command area of operations. The wing is expected to fly 12 combat air mission in Iraq and Afghanistan each day.
The wing includes two operations groups and a maintenance group.
The 432d Observation Group was activated on 22 February 1943. It served as the operational training unit (OTU) of the USAAF School of Applied Tactics at Keystone Army Air Field, Florida. The group trained and provided reconnaissance to assist fighter, bombardment, and ground units with their training. Aircraft included Bell P-39 Airacobra fighter and Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper light observation aircraft. The group was disbanded on 1 November 1943.
On 23 March 1953, the 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Group was activated at Shaw Air Force Base]], South Carolina. The 432d's mission at Shaw was to assume the reconnaissance training mission that was handled previously by the 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing.
The group initially conducted training with two squadrons (20th, 29th) flying the Republic RF-84F Thunderflash and two squadrons (41st, 43d) flying the Martin RB-57A Canberra. In 1957, the group upgraded the 20th and 29th to the McDonnell RF-101C Voodoo, and the 41st and 43d transitioned to the electronic warfare Douglas EB-66 Destroyer.
When elevated to the 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing on 8 February 1958, the wing operated the USAF Advanced Flying Training School, Tactical Reconnaissance. With the elevation to wing status, the 432d TFW was realigned to a four squadron RF-101C wing (17th, 18th, 20th, 29th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons). From 8 February 1958 to 18 June 1959 the wing was supervised by the 837th Air Division.
In a budgetary move, the 432d TRW was inactivated on 8 April 1959. The RF-101C equipped 17th and 18th TRSs were deployed to NATO, being reassigned to the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Laon-Couvron Air Base, France and the 20th and 29th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons continued their training missions under the 363d TRW.
On 18 September 1966, the 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing was activated at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand as a Douglas RF-4C Phantom II wing. The wing assumed the personnel, aircraft and equipment of the 6234th Tactical Fighter Wing, which was simultaneously discontinued. At Udon, it became one of the most diversified units of its size in the Air Force.
The mission of the wing was to provide intelligence information about hostile forces through tactical reconnaissance and use its fighter elements to destroy the targets earmarked by the intelligence data provided. The wing had numerous missions in the support area. The 432d TRW accounted for more than 80 percent of all reconnaissance activity over North Vietnam.
In addition to the reconnaissance mission, the 432d also had a tactical fighter squadron component, with two (13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron) F-4C/D squadrons assigned. The squadrons flew strike missions over North Vietnam and the pilots and weapon systems officers of the 13 TFS and 555 TFS were credited with MiG kills.
In 1968, the 7th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, flying specialized Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft, became part of the 432d. The squadron had been attached to the wing as a temporary duty unit from Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam. Another unit assigned was the 4th Special Operations Squadron flying various (Douglas AC-47 Spooky and Fairchild AC-119 Stinger) gunships that supported ground units.<
On 19 March 1969, the wing proposed a new forward air control program to 7th Air Force. Calling for photo reconnaissance in conjunction with Fast FACs, it offered the advantage of speedier fresher intelligence from aerial photo interpretation. The mission was approved, and the Wing's volunteers were trained by "Misty" and "Stormy" FACs. The first combined FAC/photo mission was flown on 26 April 1969. The Fast FAC used call sign "Falcon"; the photo recce plane used "Atlanta". The call signs "Laredo" and "Whiplash" were also sometimes used. By July, they were asked to augment the efforts of the "Tiger" FACs in the Operation Barrel Roll area of Laos. While supporting Operation About Face, they improvised mass bombings by 16 to 20 fighter-bombers three times in September 1969. One of these mass raids inflicted heavy casualties on a concentration of about 1,000 communist troops. In November, they discovered 102 new targets; the following month, they found 172 more. To do this, they pressed lower than 4,000 feet altitude. In the last quarter of 1969, 21 of their aircraft suffered battle damage. They were then ordered to remain above 4,500 feet altitude to escape ground fire. Regardless of their operating altitude, their bomb damage assessment record was triple the average for 7th Air Force units.
In the fall of 1970 the wing was phased down as part of the overall American withdrawal from the Vietnam War; however, in 1972 tactical fighter strength was augmented by deployed Tactical Air Command CONUS-based tactical fighter squadrons being attached to the 432d in response to the North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam. In addition, the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron was reassigned from Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base. During Operation Linebacker, between May and October 1972, the 432d TRW had seven F-4 tactical fighter squadrons assigned or attached, (13th, 56th, 308th, 414th, 421st, 523d and 555th) making it the largest wing in the USAF. The three Vietnam era Airforce Aces all came from the 432d – two from the 555th and one from the 13th. The CONUS-based squadrons returned to the United States in the fall of 1972.
As a result of the Paris Peace Accords of 1973, the numbers of USAF personnel and aircraft at Udorn were reduced. The 421st TFS was inactivated in August and the 555th moved to Luke Air Force Base in 1974. By the spring of 1975, two operational squadrons remained, the 14th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (RF-4C) and the 13th TFS (F-4D/E).
Forces from the 432d participated in the SS Mayaguez action in May 1975, sinking two Cambodian Khmer Rouge ships. By 1975, the political climate between Washington and Bangkok had become sour and the Royal Thai Government wanted the USAF out of Thailand by the end of the year. Palace Lightning was the plan under which the USAF would withdraw its aircraft and personnel from Thailand.
The 423nd TFW was inactivated on 23 December 1975. The 13th TFSs F-4E aircraft and some support personnel were reassigned to the 3d TFW at Clark AB, Philippines and the F-4D aircraft and support personnel to the 18th TFW at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. The 14th TRS was inactivated and the RF-4Cs were sent to Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. The last USAF personnel departed Udorn RTAFB on 8 January 1976.<
The 432d was reactivated at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona on 1 July 1976 as the 423d Tactical Drone Group. The 432d performed photographic reconnaissance to support tactical air and surface forces with tactical drones. Used AQM-34L/M/V drones, DC-130 launch vehicles, and CH-3 recovery helicopters. The group conducted follow-on testing and evaluation of the AQM-34V model drone and the initial operational testing and evaluation and developmental testing and evaluation of the DC-130H "mother ship." The 432d also supported testing and evaluation of the BQM-34C drone at Hill AFB, Utah.
The group was inactivated in April 1979.
In July 1984 the 432d was again reactivated as the 432d Tactical Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The 432d controlled two F-16 Fighting Falcon squadrons (13th Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Squadron) and a rescue squadron (39th RQS) flying the HH-53 "Super Jolly Green Giant" helicopter.
The wing was reactivated at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, on 1 May 2007 as the Air Force's first unmanned aircraft systems wing. It was renamed the 432d Air Expeditionary Wing in May 2008.
In support of relief for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, on 27 January 2010 the wing began flying two RQ-1 Predator orbits over Port-au-Prince with six Predators from a training unit flying out of Rafael Hernández Airport, a civilian airport in Puerto Rico, by a detachment of about 50 wing members.
The 17th Attack Squadron is a squadron of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the 432d Wing, and stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada.20th Attack Squadron
The 20th Attack Squadron is a United States Air Force unit, based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. It currently flies the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper and is assigned to the 432d Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.
It was originally activated as the 20th Transport Squadron in 1940 and served as a troop carrier unit in Panama during and after World War II, until it was inactivated in 1949.
Activated in 1965 as the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron, it served notably for seven and a half years of combat duty during the Vietnam War, and was inactivated in 1973. While in inactive status, the two squadrons were consolidated into a single unit. The 20th TASS was reactivated at Shaw Air Force Base in 1990, and again inactivated on 31 December 1991.
The unit was redesignated as the 20th Reconnaissance Squadron and its reactivation at Whiteman took place on 14 January 2011. In May 2016, it was redesignated the 20th Attack Squadron25th Attack Group
The 25th Attack Group is an active United States Air Force unit, stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. It was activated in February 2018 to operate unmanned aerial vehicles and is assigned to the 432d Wing, which is located at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
The 25th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing was last active in 1966 at Chambley Air Base, France as an element of United States Air Forces Europe. The wing replaced the 25th Tactical Reconnaissance Group at Chambley. The group was formed in 1965 by the consolidation of the 25th Bombardment Group (Medium) and the 25th Bombardment Group, Reconnaissance.
The first 25th Bombardment Group performed anti-submarine warfare missions in the Caribbean Sea following the entry of the United States into World War II. This group had been disbanded in 1944 after the threat of German U-boats lessened. Later in 1944 the second 25th Bombardment Group was organized to perform weather and special reconnaissance missions from England during World War II for United States Strategic Air Forces over Europe and the Atlantic approaches to the British Isles. In 1985 the wing and group were consolidated.42nd Attack Squadron
The 42d Attack Squadron of the United States Air Force flies General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned aerial vehicles and is currently stationed at Creech Air Force Base near Indian Springs, Nevada. The 42d oversees the training and combat deployment of aerial vehicle and sensor operators assigned to the Reaper. All aircraft will employ the AN/AAS-52 Multi-Spectral Targeting System developed by Raytheon.432d Operations Group
The 432d Operations Group is the flying component of the United States Air Force 432d Wing, stationed at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.57th Wing
The 57th Wing (57 WG) is an operational unit of the United States Air Force Warfare Center, stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
The 57 WG's mission is to provide well trained and well equipped combat forces ready to deploy into a combat arena to conduct integrated combat operations.78th Attack Squadron
The 78th Attack Squadron (78 ATKS) is an Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) unit under the 926th Wing, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and Tenth Air Force (10AF) at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas. The 78 ATKS conducts operations from Creech Air Force Base, Nevada in conjunction with their active-duty associates in the 432d Wing.837th Air Division
The 837th Air Division is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Tactical Air Command's Ninth Air Force at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina where it was inactivated on 1 February 1963.
The division was activated in February 1958 as the headquarters for the 363d and 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wings at Shaw. It was also responsible for the Air Force's Advanced Tactical Reconnaissance Flying Training School, which was managed by the 432d Wing until the wing was inactivated in June 1959, then by the 4411th Combat Crew Training Group.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the division deployed most of its 363d Wing to MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, from which it conducted low altitude reconnaissance missions over harbors and military sites in Cuba. Shortly after the end of the crisis, in February 1963, the division was inactivated and its resources transferred to the USAF Tactical Air Reconnaissance Center, which was simultaneously activated at Shaw.867th Reconnaissance Squadron
The 867th Reconnaissance Squadron is an active United States Air Force unit. It was activated at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada on 4 June 2012 as a remotely piloted aircraft squadron.The squadron was first active during World War I as the 92d Aero Squadron. It deployed to England in October 1917 and conducted training with the Royal Air Force, but saw no combat. It returned to the United States at the end of 1918 and was demobilized.
Activated as the 17th Reconnaissance Squadron several months before the American entry into World War II, the squadron performed in the antisubmarine campaign, while changing its designation every few months. When the United States Navy assumed full responsibility for the antisubmarine campaign in 1943, it became the 867th Bombardment Squadron and provided the cadre for a new Consolidated B-24 Liberator group. The squadron moved to the Pacific and entered combat against Japan, serving to the end of the war.89th Attack Squadron
The 89th Attack Squadron is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the 432d Wing as a tenant unit at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. It has been active as a remotely piloted aircraft (drone) squadron there since 2011.
The squadron was first activated as the 89th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas during World War II. It deployed to France in 1917, where it constructed fields and trained observers, In 1918 it briefly trained as an observation unit, but the unit did not move to the front before the Armistice.
It was consolidated in the mid 1930s with the 89th Observation Squadron as the 89th Reconnaissance Squadron but remained inactive until 1940, when it was attached to the 17th Bombardment Group at March Field, California and equipped with medium bombers. In 1942 members of the squadron participated in the Doolittle Raid against Tokyo. The squadron, now named the 432d Bombardment Squadron, moved to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations and participated in combat until 1945, earning two Distinguished Unit Citations and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm before returning to the United States in late 1945 and being inactivated.
The 432d was reactivated as the 432d Attack Squadron in October 2011 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota as a MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft squadron.926th Wing
The 926th Wing is an Air Reserve Component of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the Tenth Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
The unit is a composite organization consisting of two Operations Groups, the 726th and 926th, gained by Air Combat Command and Air Force Space Command, with Geographic Separated Units at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.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.Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency
For the current active air force, see Twenty-Fifth Air ForceThe Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (Air Force ISR Agency or AFISRA) was until 29 September 2014 a field operating agency of the United States Air Force headquartered at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. On that date it was redesignated Twenty-Fifth Air Force and aligned as a numbered air force (NAF) of the Air Combat Command.Its primary mission was to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) products, applications, capabilities and resources, to include cyber and geospatial forces and expertise. Additionally, it was the service cryptologic component (SCC) responsible to the National Security Agency and Central Security Service for Air Force cryptographic activities.Originally called the United States Air Force Security Service, the Air Force ISR Agency was activated on 20 October 1948, at Arlington Hall, Washington, D.C., with a mission of cryptology and communications security.AFISRA was last commanded by Major General John Shanahan. Its Command Chief Master Sergeant was Chief Master Sergeant Arleen Heath. Both continued in their positions upon the creation of 25 AF.Air Force Reserve Command
The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) is a Major Command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force, with its headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. It is the federal Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the U.S. Air Force, consisting of commissioned officers and enlisted airmen.
AFRC supports the Air Force mission to defend the United States through the control and exploitation of air and space by supporting Global Engagement. AFRC also plays an integral role in the day-to-day Air Force mission and is not strictly a force held in reserve for possible war or contingency operations.Creech Air Force Base
Creech Air Force Base is a United States Air Force (USAF) command and control facility in Clark County, Nevada used "to engage in daily Overseas Contingency Operations …of remotely piloted aircraft systems which fly missions across the globe." In addition to an airport, the military installation has the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Battlelab, associated aerial warfare ground equipment, and unmanned aerial vehicles of the type used in Afghanistan and Iraq. Creech is the aerial training site for the USAF Thunderbirds and "is one of two emergency divert airfields" for the Nevada Test and Training Range.In addition to the airfield, the base includes the "UAV-Logistic and Training Facility", the Joint Unmanned Aerial Systems Center of Excellence, Silver Flag Alpha Regional Training Center, and other military units/facilities. The base in named in honor of retired US Air Force General Wilbur L. Creech, the former commanding officer of Tactical Air Command (TAC), the predecessor command of the current Air Combat Command (ACC).General Atomics MQ-1 Predator
The General Atomics MQ-1 Predator is an American remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) built by General Atomics that was used primarily by the United States Air Force (USAF) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Initially conceived in the early 1990s for aerial reconnaissance and forward observation roles, the Predator carries cameras and other sensors. It was modified and upgraded to carry and fire two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles or other munitions. The aircraft entered service in 1995, and saw combat in the war in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the NATO intervention in Bosnia, Serbia, the Iraq War, Yemen, the 2011 Libyan civil war, the 2014 intervention in Syria, and Somalia.
The USAF describes the Predator as a "Tier II" MALE UAS (medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system). The UAS consists of four aircraft or "air vehicles" with sensors, a ground control station (GCS), and a primary satellite link communication suite. Powered by a Rotax engine and driven by a propeller, the air vehicle can fly up to 400 nmi (460 mi; 740 km) to a target, loiter overhead for 14 hours, then return to its base.
The RQ-1 Predator was the primary remotely piloted aircraft used for offensive operations by the USAF and the CIA in Afghanistan and the Pakistani tribal areas from 2001 until the introduction of the MQ-9 Reaper; it has also been deployed elsewhere. Because offensive uses of the Predator are classified by the U.S., U.S. military officials have reported an appreciation for the intelligence and reconnaissance-gathering abilities of RPAs but declined to publicly discuss their offensive use. The United States Air Force retired the Predator in 2018.Civilian applications for drones have included border enforcement and scientific studies, and to monitor wind direction and other characteristics of large forest fires (such as the drone that was used by the California Air National Guard in the August 2013 Rim Fire).General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper
The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (sometimes called Predator B) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) primarily for the United States Air Force (USAF). The MQ-9 and other UAVs are referred to as Remotely Piloted Vehicles/Aircraft (RPV/RPA) by the USAF to indicate their human ground controllers.The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance. In 2006, the then–Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force General T. Michael Moseley said: "We've moved from using UAVs primarily in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance roles before Operation Iraqi Freedom, to a true hunter-killer role with the Reaper."The MQ-9 is a larger, heavier, and more capable aircraft than the earlier General Atomics MQ-1 Predator; it can be controlled by the same ground systems used to control MQ-1s. The Reaper has a 950-shaft-horsepower (712 kW) turboprop engine (compared to the Predator's 115 hp (86 kW) piston engine). The greater power allows the Reaper to carry 15 times more ordnance payload and cruise at about three times the speed of the MQ-1. The aircraft is monitored and controlled by aircrew in the Ground Control Station (GCS), including weapons employment.In 2008, the New York Air National Guard 174th Attack Wing began the transition from F-16 piloted fighters to MQ-9A Reapers, becoming the first fighter unit to convert entirely to unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) use. In March 2011, the U.S. Air Force was training more pilots for advanced unmanned aerial vehicles than for any other single weapons system. The Reaper is also used by the United States Navy, the CIA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, NASA, and the militaries of several other countries.
The USAF operated 195 MQ-9 Reapers as of September 2016, and plans to keep the MQ-9 in service into the 2030s.Indian Springs, Nevada
Indian Springs is an unincorporated town and a census-designated place near Creech Air Force Base in northwestern Clark County, southwestern Nevada.
The population was 991 at the 2010 census.List of United States Air Force attack squadrons
This is a List of United States Air Force attack squadrons.
Tactical Air Command (TAC)