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183rd FW - Unit History

Since Sept. 30,1948, when Federal recognition was granted to the 170th Fighter Squadron (the precursor to the 183d FW), the 183d Fighter Wing has established and maintained a tradition of excellence and fighter readiness. From 60 men meeting Thursday nights at the State Armory to approximately 1,000 men and women training together at least 40 days a year, the unit has grown to be a very valuable asset of the United States Armed Forces.

Our fighter heritage started with the F-51 Mustang. The F-51 was with us in May 1950 when we moved into a new hangar at Capital Airport, and was still with us in March of 1951 when we were ordered to active duty for 21 months due to the Korean conflict.

The next aircraft assigned to the 183d in November 1953 was the F-86 Sabre Jet. This aircraft was replaced less than two years later, in 1955 with the F-84F Thunderstreak. The F-84 had nearly a 17-year history with the 183d and was the aircraft assigned during the federal call-up in 1961 during activity in Berlin.

In 1972, the 183d Fighter Wing was the first Air National Guard unit to receive the F-4 Phantom. The Phantom continued in our service as a fighter unit for 17 years.

The 183d flew its last fighter aircraft, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, for over 19 years. With the F-16, the unit conducted numerous overseas deployments, including six to Southwest Asia, two to Denmark, one to Panama, one to Curacao, and one to Thailand. The first two F-16's arrived at Capital Airport on June 7, 1989 and the last F-16 departed Sept. 23, 2008, marking the end of the flying mission for the 183d Fighter Wing. As a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) recommendations, the Department of Defense realigned the mission of the 183d.

The end of the flying mission merely marks the beginning of a new era for the 183d. Due to the outstanding quality of work historically exhibited by the Propulsion Shop, the new mission outlined by the BRAC commission recommended the facilities and notable skill sets of personnel assigned be realigned into a Centralized Intermediate Repair Facility (CIRF).

The mission of the new CIRF will be to repair and maintain General Electric F110 turbofan engines for F-16 aircraft assigned both the Air National Guard and Air Force units. The CIRF concept of operations compliments many other Air Force initiatives and the 183d hopes to be a part of the Air Force effort to standardize stateside and deployed intermediate level maintenance concepts.

Since BRAC, the 183d has been given an additional follow-on mission. The Component Numbered Air Force (cNAF), including an air and space operations center (AOC) and an Air Force forces (AFFOR) staff, is an aerospace operation planning, execution, and assessment system for the Joint Forces Air Component Commander. It is the primary tool for commanding and executing air, space and cyber power. The 183d Air Operations Group (AOG) will augment Air Force headquarters staffs in planning, coordinating, allocating, tasking and controlling air, space and cyber operations in a theater of operations. Besides the AOG, the unit consists of the Mission Support Group, the Medical Group, the Maintenance Squadron, and the Wing Headquarters Staff. Since 1997 the 217th Engineering and Installation Squadron has been collocated with the 183d.

During the 60-year history of the 183d Fighter Wing, unit members have deployed to numerous training sites all across the United States. They have also participated in exercises, training missions and real world deployments in more than 30 countries located on six continents.

The unit has been recognized with the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award on three occasions; 1979, 1991 and 1999. 183d members, past and present, are proud to be a part of such an impressive organization and look forward to becoming a center of excellence in a new era.