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33rd Fighter Wing: Wikis


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33d Fighter Wing
33d Fighter Wing.png
Active November 20, 1940 – present
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Part of Air Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQ Eglin Air Force Base
Motto Fire From the Clouds

Vietnam Service Ribbon.svgSouthwest Asia Service ribbon.svg
  • Vietnam Service (1972–1973)
  • Southwest Asia (1990–1991)
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Colonel Todd P. Harmer [1]
Carrol Chandler
John P. Jumper
William R. Looney III
Gregory S. Martin
William W. Momyer
See 33d Operations Group for complete lineage and timeline information.

The 33d Fighter Wing (33 FW) is an operational unit of the United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command, assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.



The 33d Fighter Wing is a training unit assigned under the Air Education and Training Command's Nineteenth Air Force and is a major tenant unit on Eglin Air Force Base. It's main mission is to train Air Force, Marine, and Navy pilots and maintainers on the F-35 Lightning II.

The wing operates three flying squadrons, the 58th Fighter Squadron, VFA-101 and VMFAT-501 , along with the 33d Operations Support Squadron, the 33d Maintenance Operations Squadron, the 33d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, the 33d Maintenance Squadron and the 728th Air Control Squadron.

Subordinate organizations

33d Operations Group (33 OG)

  • 58th Fighter Squadron (58 FS)
  • 728th Air Control Squadron (728 ACS)
  • 33d Operations Support Squadron (33 OSS)

33d Maintenance Group (33 MXG)

  • 33d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (33 AMXS)
  • 33d Maintenance Operations Squadron (33 MOS)
  • 33d Maintenance Squadron (33 MXS)




  • Established as 33d Fighter Wing on 15 Oct 1947
Organized on 5 Nov 1947
Redesignated 33d Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 20 Jan 1950
Inactivated on 6 Feb 1952 with personnel and equipment redesignated as: 4707th Air Defense Wing
  • Redesignated 33d Fighter Wing (Air Defense) on 14 Sept 1956
Activated on 18 Oct 1956 by redesignation of 4707th Air Defense Wing.
Inactivated on 18 Aug 1957
  • Redesignated 33d Tactical Fighter Wing, and activated, on 9 Feb 1965
Organized on 1 Apr 1965
Redesignated 33d Fighter Wing on 1 Oct 1991.


Attached to 509th Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy, 17 Nov 1947-15 Nov 1948
Attached to Eastern Air Defense Force, 10 Nov 1949-31 Aug 1950
Further attached to 32d Air Division [Defense], 20 Feb 1950-
Remained attached to 32d Air Division [Defense] to 1 Feb 1952
Attached to 4622d Air Defense Wing [SAGE], 18 Oct 1956-7 Jan 1957






Aircraft operated

Operational History

The headquarters of the 33d Fighter Wing became operational upon movement to Otis Air Force Base, Massachusetts, in mid-November 1948. The wing trained to maintain tactical proficiency and participated in exercises and aerial demonstrations November 1948 – November 1949. It assumed an air defense mission in December 1949 and provided air defense in the northeastern United States until inactivated in February 1952. Once again it provided air defense in the northeastern United States, October 1956 – June 1957, but was non-operational from July 1, 1957 – August 18, 1957.

In April 1965 the wing activated at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida and embarked on a program of tactical training operations to maintain proficiency. It operated a test support division, July 1965 – December 1967, and a special test squadron, December 1967 – April 1971, in support of tests for weapon systems, aircraft armament and munitions, and tactical procedures of the Tactical Air Warfare Center. The wing also provided F-4 replacement training from December 15, 1966 – February 28, 1967. Through deployment of combat-ready tactical components, with personnel and equipment transferred to Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) units upon arrival, the wing provided fresh aircraft and aircrews for the forces in Southeast Asia and in Korea. The wing also transferred two of its combat-ready squadrons to PACAF, the 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron in May 1968 and the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron in April 1969. The wing's last combat-ready squadron, the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron, deployed to Southeast Asia for combat operations from April–October 1972 and again from June–September 1973.

The wing supported the 4485th Test Squadron of the Tactical Air Warfare Center in weapon systems evaluation program tests from January–December 1973, and periodically thereafter until July 1978. Aircrews ferried F-4Es to Israel in October 1973. The Wing augmented intercept defense forces of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) beginning January 1, 1976 – January 15, 1979 and January 4, 1982 – April 5, 1982. While awaiting delivery of F-15s, the 60 Fighter Squadron conducted F-15 mission qualifications training for July 18 Wing from July 15, 1979 – April 30, 1980. The wing provided personnel and equipment to fly combat air patrols and air intercept missions for contingency operations in Grenada from October–November 1983, and Panama December 1989 – January 1990.

Post Cold War

During combat operations while deployed in Southwest Asia from August 26, 1990 – April 12, 1991, wing personnel were credited with sixteen air-to-air victories. Wing personnel and aircraft continued rotations to Saudi Arabia to protect coalition assets and to ensure that Iraq complied with treaty terms.

From 1992 – 2002 the 33d Operations group continued to deploy aircraft and personnel to Saudi Arabia, Canada, the Caribbean, South America, Jamaica, Iceland, Italy, and Puerto Rico and participated in various operations. The 33 OG lost 13 members in the bombing of Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia on June 25, 1996.

The 33d Fighter Wing completed the transition from Air Combat Command (ACC) to Air Education and Training Command (AETC) on 1 October 2009. At the same time, it became the first American F-35 Lightning II training unit.

Unit shields


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.
  • Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
  • "Factsheets: 33rd Fighter Wing". United States Air Force. Retrieved 6 January 2010.  

External links


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