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52d Fighter Wing: Wikis


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52d Fighter Wing
52d Fighter Wing.png
Active 1948 – present
Country United States United States
Branch Air Force
Part of United States Air Forces Europe
Garrison/HQ Spangdahlem Air Force Base
Motto "Seek, Attack, Destroy"
Southwest Asia Service ribbon.svg AFEMRib.svg
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg Afghanistan Campaign ribbon.svg Iraq Campaign ribbon.svg
  • Southwest Asia (1990–1991)
  • Expeditionary Service
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Northern Watch
Operation Allied Force
Operation Decisive Forge
  • Global War on Terrorism
Afghanistan Campaign (TBD)
Iraqi Campaign (TBD)
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA w/ V Device
Colonel Lee T. Wight
Victor E. Renuart Jr.
Wing Badge Quarterly per fess nebuly, first and fourth argent, each charged with a dagger in pale point downward gules, hilt and pommel of the same, grip or; second quarter azure; third quarter, sable.[1]
See 52d Operations Group for complete lineage and timeline information.

The 52d Fighter Wing (52 FW) is a wing of the United States Air Force stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.



The 52 FW maintains, deploys and employs F-16CJ and A/OA-10 aircraft and TPS-75 radar systems in support of NATO and the national defense directives. The wing supports the Supreme Allied Commander Europe with mission-ready personnel and systems providing expeditionary air power for suppression of enemy air defenses, close air support, air interdiction, counterair, air strike control, strategic attack, combat search and rescue, and theater airspace control. The wing also supports contingencies and operations other than war as required.


The Wing conducts operations at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, one of 16 major operating locations in USAFE. The wing is authorized about 5,560 active-duty members and about 210 Department of Defense civilians. The wing is organized with four groups responsible for operations, maintenance, mission support and medical operations, and has headquarters staff.

In concert with USAFE wings at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, the 52nd Fighter Wing directly supports the strategic mobility mission once conducted at Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany. The wing provides logistics support for C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy aircraft, crew, passengers and cargo to sustain air mobility operations throughout Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.

The 52nd Fighter Wing also supports USAFE's Joint Fires Center of Excellence, whose mission is to conduct joint and combined training focused on the effective integration and application of tactical fires.

Subordinate organizations

52d Operations Group (52 OG)

52d Maintenance Group (52 MXG)

  • 52d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (52 AMXS)
  • 52d Maintenance Operations Squadron (52 MOS)
  • 52d Equipment Maintenance Squadron (52 EMS)
  • 52d Component Maintenance Squadron (52 CMS)

52d Medical Group (52 MDG)

  • 52d Aerospace Medicine Squadron (52 AMDS)
  • 52d Dental Squadron (52 DTS)
  • 52d Medical Operations Squadron (52 MDOS)
  • 52d Medical Support Squadron (52 MDSS)

52d Mission Support Group (52 MSG)

  • 52d Civil Engineer Squadron (52 CES)
  • 52d Communications Squadron (52 CS)
  • 52d Contracting Squadron (52 CONS)
  • 52d Force Support Squadron (52 FSS)
  • 52d Logistics Readiness Squadron (52 LRS)
  • 52d Security Forces Squadron (52 SFS)
  • 470th Air Base Squadron (470 ABS) NATO Air Base, Geilenkirchen, Germany

52d Munitions Maintenance Group (52 MUNG) (custody and storage of tactical nuclear weapons)

  • 701st Munitions Support Squadron (701 MUNS) Kleine Brogel Air Base, Belgium
  • 702d Munitions Support Squadron (702 MUNS) Buechel Air Base, Germany
  • 703d Munitions Support Squadron (703 MUNS) Volkel Air Base, Netherlands
  • 704th Munitions Support Squadron (704 MUNS) Ghedi Air Base, Italy




  • Established as 52 Fighter Wing, All Weather, on 10 May 1948
Activated on 9 Jun 1948
Redesignated: 52 Fighter-All Weather Wing on 20 Jan 1950
Redesignated: 52 Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 1 May 1951
Inactivated on 6 Feb 1952, personnel and subordinate units assigned to 4709th Air Defense Wing.
  • Redesignated 52 Fighter Wing (Air Defense), and activated, on 11 Apr 1963
Organized on 1 Jul 1963
Inactivated on 30 Sep 1968
  • Redesignated 52 Tactical Fighter Wing on 12 Nov 1971
Activated on 31 Dec 1971
Redesignated: 52 Fighter Wing on 1 Oct 1991.

Note: 52d Fighter Group activated at Suffolk County AFB on 18 Aug 1955 and was host unit at base until 1 Jul 1963 when the 21st Air Division assumed control of base and reactivated 52d FW as host unit; inactivating the 52d FG and absorbing its subordinate units.


Attached to Eastern Air Defense Force, 10 Nov 1949-31 Aug 1950






Aircraft operated

Operational history

Cold War

52nd TFW Wild Weasel-team in the late 1980s

Established as the 52 Fighter Wing, All Weather, on 10 May 1948, the wing served in the United States as an air defense unit in the northeastern United States from 1947 until the end of 1968. [2]

The 52nd was reactivated on 18 August 1955 and designated 52nd Fighter Group (Air Defense). It was assigned to Air Defense Command and equipped with F-86 Sabre aircraft. It served once more as an air defense unit in the northeastern United States.

In December 1971, it became the host wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, and inherited tactical squadrons from the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing at nearby Bitburg Air Base. The wing participated in numerous tactical exercises, operations, and tests of USAFE and NATO and provided close air support, interdiction, and base defense operations. It cooperated with other NATO forces in frequent "squadron exchange" programs and hosted US-based units on temporary duty in Europe. In January 1973, a Wild Weasel defense suppression mission was added. After October 1985, using the F-4 Phantom II model aircraft, defense suppression became the wing's sole tactical mission. In 1987, the 52d acquired F-16 Falcons and became the first wing to integrate F-16Cs with F-4Gs to form hunter/killer teams within individual fighter squadrons.

It deployed aircraft and personnel to strategic locations in Saudi Arabia and Turkey in support of the liberation of Kuwait from September 1990 – March 1993. Near the end of 1992, it began receiving A/OA-10 aircraft. It received F-15 Eagles in 1994 but lost its F-4Gs. From January–December 1999, the wing supported Operations Northern Watch, Allied Force, and Decisive Forge with numerous deployments to Italy and Turkey.

Modern Era

Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon in the United States on September 11, 2001, the 52nd Fighter Wing began preparations for possible combat tasking amidst an already hectic deployment schedule.

Within one month of the attacks on the United States, the wing had deployed people and equipment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in and around Afghanistan. The 22nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron began flying operations at a deployed location in support of the war on terrorism within 100 hours of tasking notification.

Personnel assigned to the 52nd FW continue to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom today.


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


  1. ^ Maurer 1983, p. 115.
  2. ^ Maurer 1983, p. 114.


External links


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