|18th Aggressor Squadron|
18th AGRS Insignia
|Branch||United States Air Force|
Pacific Air Forces|
354th Fighter Wing
|Garrison/HQ||Eielson Air Force Base|
|Engagements||World War II|
History[edit | edit source]
Activated in 1940 as a Southwest Air District pursuit squadron, equipped with a variety of 1930s-era pursuit aircraft. Re-equipped with P-38 Lightning fighters and deployed to Alaska, engaged in combat during the Aleutian Campaign, 1942-1943. Remained in Alaska as part of the air defense forces until inactivated in August 1946.
Air Defense Command[edit | edit source]
Reactivated in 1952 as part of Air Defense Command as an air defense squadron, initially equipped with F-86A Sabre day fighters, initially being assigned to Minneapolis Airport, Minnesota with a mission for the air defense of the Upper Great Lakes region. Re-equipped in 1954 with F-89D Scorpions and moved to Ladd AFB, Alaska for interceptor duty in the Fairbanks area as part of Alaskan Air Command. Returned to the CONUS in 1957 and upgraded to F-102 Delta Dagger interceptors at the new Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan.
Reassigned to Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota in 1960 and received the new McDonnell F-101B Voodoo supersonic interceptor, and the F-101F operational and conversion trainer. The two-seat trainer version was equipped with dual controls, but carried the same armament as the F-101B and were fully combat-capable. Inactivated in April 1971 as part of the drawdown of ADC interceptor bases, the aircraft being passed along to the Air National Guard.
Modern era[edit | edit source]
In 1997, elements of the 18th FS deployed to Singapore and Malaysia to take part in dissimilar air combat tactic training as part of exercise COMMANDO SLING and COPE TAUFAN, respectively. The COPE TAUFAN deployment marked the first time Pacific Air Forces' F-16s had flown against MiG-29s.
The unit deployed to Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait, October–December 1998 to support Operation Southern Watch.
Later, the squadron deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, September–December 2000, in support of Operation Northern Watch. For this deployment, the squadron employed 5 F-16 aircraft and 110 personnel, conducting the first ever Combat Search and Rescue support tasking for an F-16 squadron.
The squadron's next deployment was to Al Jaber AB, Kuwait, December 2001 – March 2002 to support simultaneous combat operations for Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM. They flew more than 3,200 hours in only 3 months, an amazing feat for the 142 Blue Foxes who deployed with only 10 aircraft. During that time, the 18th FS flew missions in support of Operation ANACONDA, including one in the Shah-I-Kot valley on 2 March when U.S. forces, engaged in a firefight with Taliban and Al Qaeda forces, called for aerial assistance. A number of Blue Foxes responded, dropping bombs with pinpoint accuracy on the opposing forces. Capt Jim Sears and Capt Andy Lipina, 18 FS pilots, received Distinguished Flying Crosses for their efforts. Lt. Col. Burt Bartley, the 18 FS commander at the time, received the Silver Star for strafing and dropping 500 lbs Laser Guided Bombs on what would later be known as "The Battle for Roberts Ridge."
The squadron deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam in support of Operation NOBLE EAGLE during March 2003. The unit also participated in COMMANDO SLING, in October 2003.
Red Flag – Alaska[edit | edit source]
As part of the change from COPE THUNDER to Red Flag-Alaska, the 18th FS will be converting to the 18th Aggressor Squadron. This squadron will train in the same manner as the aggressors at Nellis AFB, learning the flying styles and abilities of foreign air forces to train USAF pilots. Aircraft changes entail sending all 18 of its Block 40 F-16 Fighting Falcons to Kunsan Air Base, Korea, and receiving 18 Block 30 F-16s from Kunsan. At a time unspecified, the 18th will achieve a full complement of 24 F-16 fighters.
Lineage[edit | edit source]
- Constituted 18th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 22 December 1939
- Activated on 1 February 1940
- Redesignated: 18th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
- Redesignated: 18th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, 20 August 1943
- Redesignated: 18th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 6 March 1945
- Inactivated on 15 August 1946
- Redesignated 18th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 10 October 1952
- Activated on 1 December 1952
- Inactivated on 15 April 1971
- Redesignated 18th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 19 September 1977
- Activated on 1 October 1977
- Redesignated: 18th Fighter Squadron on 1 July 1991
- Redesignated: 18th Aggressor Squadron on 24 August 2007
Assignments[edit | edit source]
- 35th Pursuit Group, 1 February 1940
- 28th Composite Group, c. 24 February 1941
- XI Fighter Command, 7 June 1942
- 343d Fighter Group, 11 September 1942 – 15 August 1946
- 31st Air Division, 1 December 1952
- 514th Air Defense Group, 16 February 1953
- 11th Air Division, 1 September 1954
- 5001st Air Defense Group, 20 September 1954
- 11th Air Division, 1 October 1955
- 412th Fighter Group, 20 August 1957
- 30th Air Division, 1 April 1960
- 478th Fighter Group, 1 May 1960
- 478th Fighter Wing, 1 February 1961
- Grand Forks Air Defense Sector, 1 July 1963
- Duluth Air Defense Sector, 4 September 1963
- 29th Air Division, 1 April 1966
- 28th Air Division, 15 September 1969
- 24th Air Division, 19 November 1969 – 15 April 1971
- 21st Composite Wing, 1 October 1977
- 343d Tactical Fighter Group, 15 November 1977
- 21st Tactical Fighter Wing, 1 January 1980
- 343d Composite (later, 343d Tactical Fighter) Wing, 1 January 1982
- 343d Operations Group, 1 July 1991
- 354th Operations Group, 20 August 1993–Present
Stations[edit | edit source]
Aircraft[edit | edit source]
Operations[edit | edit source]
- Combat in Northern Pacific, and defense of Alaska, during World War II
- Air Defense of US, 1952–1971 and 1977–1982
- Close air support for Alaskan/PACAF areas of responsibility, since 1982
Decorations[edit | edit source]
- Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 June 1962 – 31 May 1964; 7 June 1966 – 8 June 1968; 1 January – 31 December 1978; 1 January 1983 – 30 June 1984; 1 July 1985 – 30 June 1987; 1 January 1988 – 31 December 1989; 1 July 1990 – 30 June 1992.
References[edit | edit source]
- A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
- Maurer, Maurer. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force: World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1982.
- 18th Fighter Squadron USAFHRA Orgazational Records Branch
- 18th Aggressor Squadron, Eielson AFB
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