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113th Wing
113th Wing.png
113th Wing emblem
Active 1946-Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force/Air National Guard
Type Composite Unit
Role Air Combat
Size 1,400
Garrison/HQ Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
Nickname "Capital Guardians"
Motto Custodes Pro Defensione - "Guardians for Defense"
Engagements Operation Iraqi Freedom
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey R. Johnson
Maj. Gen. David F. Wherley Jr.

The United States Air Force's 113th Wing is an Air National Guard fighter unit located at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. The Wing is the only Air National Guard unit that resides in a state other than its base (113th Wing resides in Maryland, yet is operated by the District of Columbia Air National Guard).



The 113th's primary mission is training of air combat and operational airlift crews for national defense. The 113th also provides a ready response force of fighters for the defense of the District of Columbia area 24/7. Members of the 113th also assist local and federal law enforcement agencies in combating drug trafficking in the District of Columbia on a case by case basis.



World War II

The single most famous Army Air Corps unit of WW II was the 352d Fighter Group of the Eight Air Force. Flying P-51 Mustangs out of Bodney, England, the unit, known as the "Blue-Nosed Bastards of Bodney" for the blue paint on the noses of their aircraft, was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for their heroism. To preserve the history, lineage and honors of this organization, after WW II the unit was reestablished in the DC Air National Guard as the 113th Tactical Fighter Wing.

In December 1944 German forces launched the Ardennes Offensive in their last major attempt to stop advancing allied forces. Taking advantage of the bad weather which has grounded allied aircraft, German armor, artillery, and infantry force American units to retreat. The penetration, which quickly becomes known as the Battle of the Bulge, found the 101st Airborne Division surrounded at the Belgian town of Bastogne. Faced with a surrender ultimatum, the Division Commander, General McAullif, replies, "Nuts!"

When the weather finally cleared, the 352nd Fighter Group roared into the sky in their P-51 Mustangs. The unit has already seen extensive combat, earning high praise during the battle for St. Lo, and Operation Market Garden. They and other U.S. Army Air Corps units attacked in the face of fierce anti-aircraft fire and decimated German ground forces while dog-fights raged in the air. The 352nd was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for their heroism during the battle.

George Preddy of Greensboro, NC, was a pilot in the 352nd. During the battle he dove in pursuit of a Messerschmitt (ME-109) which was also coming under attack by American units on the ground. The American gunners failed to lead the German, and their shells hit Preddy's P-51. Both aircraft crash at almost the same spot and both pilots are killed. The United States lost one of its three top Aces of World War II. Preddy served in both the Pacific and European theaters of operations, and was eventually credited with a total of 26.83 kills in aerial combat.

Post World World War II

Andrews has been the home of the 113th Wing of the District of Columbia Air National Guard units since 1946. Wing members were called to active duty in the Korean War, the and the 1961 Berlin crisis and several other times. Over the years, the 113th has flown nine different fighter aircraft, including the F-100 Super Sabre deployment to Europe in 1964 and combat deployment to Vietnam in 1968. The most recent deployment was for Operation Iraqi Freedom both in 2003 and in 2006.

The wing flew the F-105 Thunderchief for 10 years before converting to the F-4 Phantom II fighter in 1981. The 113th now flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon and only recently the 201st began flying the C-21 Learjet and C-22 Boeing 727, as a result of the DCANG unit reorganization when the 201st Airlift Squadron became part of the wing in October 1995.

21st Century

On September 11th, 2001, the wing was given authorization for its pilots to shoot down threatening aircraft over Washington DC.[1]

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, the DoD recommended that Cannon Air Force Base, NM be closed. As a result, it would distribute the 27th Fighter Wing’s F-16s to the 113th Wing, Andrews Air Force Base, MD (nine aircraft) and several other installations. The committee claimed that this move would sustain the active/Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve force mix by replacing aircraft that retire in the 2025 Force Structure Plan. However, the base was temporarily removed from closure August 26, 2005, pending review of new mission assignment.

Previous designations

  • 113th Wing (1995-Present)
  • 113th Fighter Wing (1992-1995)
  • 113th Tactical Fighter Wing (??-1992)
  • 113th Fighter Group
  • 352nd Fighter Group

Subordinate Units

  • 121st Fighter Squadron
  • 113th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
  • 113th ASD
  • 201st Airlift Squadron
  • 121st Weather Flight
  • 113th Military Personnel Flight
  • 113th Civil Engineer Squadron
  • 113th Services Flight
  • 113th Communications Flight
  • 113th Security Forces Squadron
  • 231st Combat Communications Squadron (deactivated March 31, 2008 as a result of BRAC recommendations).

Aircraft operated



  1. ^ "Service set for Guard commander killed in crash". Army Times (Army Times Publishing Company). Jun 26, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2009.  
  2. ^ Air Force Personnel Center Awards Search (Post-1991)
  • Rogers, B. (2006). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. ISBN 1-85780-197-0
  • World Airpower Journal. (1992). US Air Force Air Power Directory. Aerospace Publishing: London, UK. ISBN 1-880588-01-3

External links


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