57th Wing: Wikis


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57th Wing
57th Wing.jpg
57th Wing Shield
Active November 20, 1940 – present
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Type Operational Test and Evaluation
Part of Air Combat Command
Garrison/HQ Nellis Air Force Base
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Brigadier General Russell J. Handy
John Jumper
Michael Moseley
Joseph Ashy
A flight of Aggressor F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons fly in formation. The jets are assigned to the 64th and 65th Aggressor squadrons at Nellis Air Force Base. Identified aircraft are F-16C Block 32C 86-251; Block 25E 84-1299; F-15C-27-MC 80-0010 and F-15D-39-MC 85-129.
The USAF Thunderbirds at the dedication of the United States Air Force Memorial 14 October 2006
See 57th Operations Group for complete lineage and timeline information.

The 57th Wing (57 WG) is an operational unit of the United States Air Force Weapons Center, stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

The 57 WG's mission is to provide well trained and well equipped combat forces ready to deploy into a combat arena to conduct integrated combat operations.



The 57 WG is home to one of the most demanding advanced air combat training mission in the world. The wing provides training for composite strike forces which include every type of aircraft in the Air Force inventory. Training is conducted in conjunction with air and ground units of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and air forces from US allied nations. The crews do not come to learn how to fly, but instead learn how to be combat aviators.


The wing was reorganized in 2005 to reflect its current structure. It consists of four groups and two direct reporting units to the wing:

A non-flying unit, the 57 OG provides direct oversight of the Nellis flying mission through the 57th Operations Support Squadron
Established in July 2005, the 57th ATG consists of Aggressor squadrons that replicate adversary threat tactics while training combat air forces aircrews.
64th Aggressor Squadron, F-16 Falcon
65th Aggressor Squadron , F-15 Eagle
57th Adversary Tactics Support Squadron
57th Information Aggressor Squadron
527th Space Aggressor Squadron
507th Air Defense Aggressor Squadron
547th Intelligence Squadron
  • 57th Maintenance Group
Provides on- and off-equipment maintenance for 120 assigned A-10, F-15, F-16, and F-22A aircraft to support 15 flying programs plus AFSOC
  • USAF Weapons School
Composed of 16 squadrons, the U.S. Air Force Weapons School teaches graduate-level instructor courses that provide the world's most advanced training in weapons and tactics employment to officers of the combat air forces.
"America's Ambassadors in Blue," the Thunderbirds have performed for more than 300 million people in all 50 states and 60 countries around the world.
  • United States Air Force Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Officers School
Provides graduate-level instruction to maintenance and munitions officers in the USAF distinctive capability of Agile Combat Support (ACS).

The Thunderbirds and the USAF Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Officer School report directly to the 57th Wing commander.




  • Established as 57 Fighter Wing c. 15 Mar 1948*
Organized on 20 Apr 1948
Redesignated 57 Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 20 Jan 1950
Inactivated on 1 Jan 1951
  • Redesignated 57 Fighter Weapons Wing on 22 Aug 1969
Activated on 15 Oct 1969 by redesignation of 4525th Fighter Weapons Wing
Redesignated: 57 Tactical Training Wing on 1 Apr 1977
Redesignated: 57 Fighter Weapons Wing on 1 Mar 1980
Redesignated: 57 Fighter Wing on 1 Oct 1991
Redesignated: 57 Wing on 15 Jun 1993.

*Note: The 57th Fighter Wing (Provisional) was established on 16 Apr 1947 at Fort Richardson, Alaska as one of the "Base-Wing" concept provisional Table of Distribution (T/D) organizations. The provisional wing was inactivated and replaced by the 57th Fighter Wing in March 1948 (exact date unknown).


  • Alaskan Air Command, 20 Apr 1948-1 Jan 1951
  • USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons (later, USAF Fighter Weapons; USAF Weapons and Tactics; Air Warfare) Center, 15 Oct 1969-Present



April 20, 1948 – January 1, 1951 (detached December 10, 1950 – January 1, 1951)
November 1, 1991 –
  • 57th Adversary Tactics Group, 1 Jul 2005-Present
  • 57th Test: November 1, 1991 – October 1, 1996
  • 4440th Tactical Fighter Training (Red Flag)
Attached October 1, 1979 – February 28, 1980
Assigned March 1, 1980 – November 1, 1991
  • 4443d Tactical Training: January 26, 1990 – November 1, 1991.


  • 4th Troop Carrier: attached December 2, 1948 – February 28, 1949 and August 14 – November 14, 1949
  • 7th Troop Carrier: attached February 28 – June 1, 1949
  • 8th Troop Carrier: attached September 1 – December 2, 1948 and June 1 – August 15, 1949
  • 11th Reconnaissance: July 29, 1995 –
  • 15th Reconnaissance: August 1, 1997 –
  • 17th Reconnaissance: March 8, 2002 –
  • 37th Troop Carrier: attached July 4 – September 1, 1948
  • 54th Troop Carrier: attached c. April 20 – c. July 1, 1948 and September 20, 1949 – December 31, 1950
  • 58th Rescue: June 14, 2002 – October 1, 2003
  • 64th Fighter (later 64th Fighter-Interceptor; 64th Aggressor): January 15, 1941 – November 7, 1945, August 15, 1946 – April 13, 1953, April 1, 1961 – June 10, 1966, October 15, 1972 – October 5, 1990, October 3, 2003 –
  • 65th Fighter (later, 65th Fighter-Interceptor, 65th Aggressor): January 15, 1941 – November 7, 1945, August 15, 1946 – April 13, 1953, October 15, 1969 – April 7, 1989
  • 66th Fighter (later, 66th Fighter-Interceptor): January 15, 1941 – November 7, 1945, August 15, 1946 – April 13, 1953, October 15, 1969 – December 30, 1981
  • 66th Rescue: February 1, 1993 – October 1, 2003
  • 414th Fighter Weapons (later 414th Combat Training Squadron) : October 15, 1969 – December 30, 1981
  • 422d Fighter Weapons (later, 422d Test and Evaluation): October 15, 1969 – November 1, 1991
  • 431st Fighter Weapons (later, 431st Test and Evaluation): October 1, 1980 – November 1, 1991
  • 433d Fighter Weapons: October 1, 1976 – December 30, 1981
  • 498th Fighter-Interceptor: June 25, 1966 – September 30, 1968
  • 561st Fighter: February 1, 1993 – October 1, 1996.
  • 4460th Helicopter: November 1, 1983 – June 1, 1985
  • 4477th Test and Evaluation Flight (later, 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron): April 1, 1977 – July 15, 1990
  • USAF Air Demonstration: February 15, 1974 –


  • USAF Fighter Weapons (later, USAF Weapons): December 30, 1981 –
  • USAF Combat Rescue: July 2, 1993 – July 15, 1995.


Aircraft Operated

Operational History

F-4D 66-8700 from the 414th FWS, about 1976
First generation aggressor F-5E 74-1572 from the 64th Aggressor Squadron, 1980
F-16C 86-0256 from 64th Aggressor Squadron, experimental use as aggressor aircraft, 1989

Established on 15 March 1948, the 57th Fighter Wing replaced 57th Fighter Wing (Provisional) in Apr 1948. It operated Elmendorf AFB, Alaska , and several satellite bases, and provided air defense of Alaska, Apr 1948-Dec 1950. In addition, the wing provided intra-theater troop carrier and airlift support, 1948-1950, using several attached troop carrier squadrons. In Jan 1951, it was replaced by 39th Air Depot Wing.

The 57th moved to Nevada and replaced the 4525th Fighter Weapons Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, in October 1969. At Nellis, it trained tactical fighter aircrews, conducted operational tests and evaluations, demonstrated tactical fighter weapon systems, and developed fighter tactics and from February 1970 to October 1979 and operated Nellis AFB for all base tenants. The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron (the "Thunderbirds") was assigned to the wing in February 1974 and has remained an integral part of the wing to present. The 57th assumed operational control of "Red Flag" exercises in October 1979; developing realistic combat training operations featuring adversary tactics, dissimilar air combat training, and electronic warfare. It incorporated intelligence training after March 1980. In 1990 the aggressor mission transferred to 4440th TFTG and later to the 414th CTS. The wing added instruction in hunter/killer counter electronic warfare tactics until 1996.

Post Cold War

From 1992–1999, the wing operated detachments at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, and Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana that flew and tested the F-111, B-1, and B-52 respectively. It added the 66th Rescue Squadron, equipped with HH-60 helicopters, on February 1, 1993 while the squadron was deployed in Southwest Asia. From 1991 to present, the 57th provided combat aircrew capabilities, operating the USAF Weapons and the USAF Combat Rescue Schools, developing techniques and procedures and conducting operational test and evaluation on all major aircraft in the AF inventory.

With the reactivation of the 432d Wing at Creech Air Force Base on May 1, 2007, the elements that comprised the 57th Operations Group, were transferred to the 432nd Wing along with the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.


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.

External links


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