|497th Combat Training Squadron|
Emblem of the 497th Combat Training Squadron
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The 497th Combat Training Squadron is a United States Air Force unit. Its present assignment is to Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base, where its mission is to provides operational and logistical support to U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft deployed to Singapore for training exercises with the Republic of Singapore Air Force.
Approximately three deployments of USAF F-15s and F-16s from both Active Duty and National Guard units from around the world are made each year to Singapore under the auspices of EXERCISE COMMANDO SLING. The squadron supports/participates in regional exercise and global contingencies, and provides housing; morale, recreation and welfare facilities and programs: medical services; force protection to resources and personnel; and legal, financial, communications, and contracting support to assigned and deployed personnel.
The 497th CTS comprises the basic functional elements of a small-scale USAF fighter wing - fighter operations, flightline logistics, community and mission support, and medical services. With a permanently assigned staff of 37 personnel, the 497th CTS represents the entire USAF presence in Singapore. However, six times a year for up to four weeks the squadron "grows" to between 120 and 190 in strength, with the deployment of 6 to 12 F-15 and/or F-16 aircraft and the associated 75 to 150 support personnel. When so configured, the 497 CTS "presence" is transformed into an operational role, to conduct an intense schedule of air-to-air combat training with the RSAF.
The 497 CTS also supports USAF fighter rotations to Southwest Asia and several other regional exercises such as COPE TAUFAN, COPE TIGER, and COPE WEST. An example of the 497th CTS's "expanding capability" occurred in May 1998 during COMMANDO SLING 98-4 when they also supported the ordered departure of U.S. personnel from Indonesia. Paya Lebar Air Base ramp at that time had 28 USAF F-15s, four USAF C-130s, four USAF KC-135s, one C-141, one C-17, plus all the permanently based RSAF aircraft and aircraft from other nations. All were supported by 497 CTS and RSAF personnel. Additionally, COMMANDO SLING 98-4 was the first time the normally bilateral exercise was expanded to include the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 Hornets.
The commander is also the Designated Commanding Officer for legal jurisdiction over U.S. military personnel in nine Southeast Asian countries. It is a tenant command under Naval Region Singapore and shares space at the Sembawang Terminal with Task Force 73/Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific and a space a Paya Lebar Air Base (PLAB) .
Operational training unit, June 1942 – October 1943; replacement training, October 1943 – April 1944. Air defense of West coast, 1953–1955; Air Defense of Southwest Europe, 1958–1964. Combat in Southeast Asia, 1965–1974; Defense of South Korea, 1974–1988. Combat training in Southeast Asia, 1991–present
- Constituted 302d Bombardment Squadron (Light) on January 13, 1942
- Activated on February 10, 1942
- Redesignated: 302d Bombardment Squadron (Dive) on July 27, 1942
- Redesignated: 497th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on to August 1943
- Disbanded on April 1, 1944
- Reconstituted and redesignated 497th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, on February 3, 1953
- Activated on February 18, 1953.
- Inactivated on June 18, 1964.
- Reactivated and redesignated 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron on July 25, 1964
- Inactivated on September 16, 1974
- Reactivated on October 1, 1978
- Inactivated on January 1, 1988
- Redesignated: 497th Fighter Training Squadron and reactivated on October 31, 1991
- Redesignated: 497th Combat Training Squadron on August 1, 1994.
- 84th Bombardment (later Fighter-Bomber) Group, February 10, 1942 – April 1, 1944
- 503d Air Defense Group, February 18, 1953
- 84th Fighter Group, August 18, 1955
- 65th Air Division, July 5, 1958
- Attached to 65th Air Division, July 1, 1960 – June 18, 1964
- 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, July 25, 1964 – December 6, 1965; December 8, 1965 – September 16, 1974; October 1, 1978 – January 1, 1982
- 51st Tactical Fighter Wing, January 1, 1982 – January 1, 1988
- Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces, October 31, 1991 – present
- 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.
- USAF Aerospace Defense Command publication, The Interceptor, January 1979 (Volume 21, Number 1).
- 497th Combat Training Squadron on the NRCS website
- 497th Combat Training Squadron on the US Embassy in Singapore website
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