81st Training Wing: Wikis

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81st Training Wing
81st Training Wing.png
Official crest of the 81st Training Wing
Active 15 April 1948
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role education / training
Part of Air Education and Training Command
Second Air Force
Garrison/HQ Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi
Equipment see "Aerospace vehicles" section below
Decorations AFOUA Streamer.JPG AFOUA
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Ian Dickinson
Vice-Commander Colonel Christopher Valle
Command Chief Chief Master Sergeant Alexander Perry
See 81st Fighter-Bomber Group for complete lineage and timeline information.

The 81st Training Wing (81 TRW) is a wing of the United States Air Force and the host wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The 81st Training Wing has the Air Force’s largest Technical Training Group and trains more than 40,000 students annually. Training includes weather, basic electronics, communications electronic systems, communications computer systems, air traffic control, airfield management, command post, air weapons control, precision measurement, education and training, financial management and comptroller, information management, manpower and personnel. But above all, radar, ground radio, and network controllers are trained here, whose average time in training is at least 2X-3X longer than any other of the 81st TRW.

Contents

Mission

The 81st Training Wing is in a constant state of transition as it seeks excellence in all we do. It is comprised of several Wing Staff agencies and 3 large Groups of Squadrons. The Groups are...: 81st Training Group, 81st Medical Group, and the 81st Mission Support Group.

The 81st Training Wing is an important link in the chain through Second Air Force established by Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. Our largest training mission is to take young men and women, many fresh from basic military training, and teach them skills to benefit the nation and the Air Force as well as our sister services and foreign countries.

Keesler also does advanced training for pilots in C-21 aircraft, and doctors, nurses, and technicians in medical specialties.[1]

Units

  • 81st Training Group
  • 81st Medical Group
  • 81st Mission Support Group

History

  • Established as 81st Fighter Wing on 15 April 1948
Activated on 1 May 1948
Redesignated: 81st Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 20 January 1950
Redesignated: 81st Fighter-Bomber Wing on 1 April 1954
Redesignated: 81st Tactical Fighter Wing on 8 July 1958
Inactivated on 1 July 1993
  • Redesignated 81st Training Wing, and activated, on 1 July 1993.
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Assignments

Attached to Western Air Defense Force, 10 November 1949 –
Remained attached to Western Air Defense Force to 1 August 1950
Attached to Third Air Force, September 5–8, 1951
Attached to 49th Air Division, Operational [later, 49 Air Division (Operational)], 1 March 1954 – 1 July 1956)

Stations

Components

Groups:

  • 81st Fighter (later, 81st Fighter-Interceptor; 81st Fighter-Bomber) 1 May 1948 – 8 February 1955.

Squadrons:

attached c. 22 April 1954 – 7 February 1955
assigned 8 February 1955 – 1 May 1992.
attached c. 22 April 1954 – 7 February 1955
assigned 8 February 1955 – 14 August 1992.
attached c. 22 April 1954 – 7 February 1955
assigned 8 February 1955 – 31 March 1993
  • 116th Fighter (later, 116th Fighter-Interceptor)
attached 10 February 1951 – 9 August 1951
(further attached to 81 Fighter-Interceptor Group).
  • 509th Tactical Fighter: 1 October 1979 – 1 June 1988.
  • 510th Tactical Fighter: 1 October 1978 – 1 October 1992.
  • 511th Tactical Fighter: 1 January 1980 – 1 September 1988.
  • 527th Aggressor: 14 July 1988 – 30 September 1990

Aircraft

Operational History

Activated on 1 May 1948, the 81st Fighter Wing conducted air defense of Hawaii, December 1948 – May 1949, then became part of Western Air Defense Force's air defense structure in November 1949.

From 1951 to mid-1954, it worked with Royal Air Force Fighter Command to provide air defense in England. The wing changed in 1954 from fighter-interceptor to fighter-bomber operations, carrying both conventional and nuclear weapons.

Charged with tactical operations in support of USAFE and NATO, with air defense as a secondary mission, 1954–1979 and 1988–1990. Also operated out of RAF Woodbridge, 1958–1993. The 81st began conversion to A-10s in late 1978, as its mission changed to close air support and battlefield air interdiction in support of NATO ground forces. It conducted joint operations with US and British ground forces and participated in rotational deployments to specified wartime operating locations throughout Europe. It won the A-10 category of the 1987 USAF Gunsmoke Gunnery meet. It added the 527th Aggressor Squadron, flying F-16s in 1988, to provide the only Dissimilar Aircraft Combat Tactics training for USAFE and NATO pilots in Europe, from July 1988 to September 1990. The wing conducted escort missions with A-10s for Coalition airlift forces during relief efforts in Turkey and northern Iraq, 6 April 1991 – 8 December 1992. Began preparation for base closure in December 1992, ending flying operations on 1 April 1993.

Air Education and Training Command

The 81st Training Wing replaced Keesler Training Center in July 1993, taking on the mission of specialized technical training in electronics, avionics, computers, operations, maintenance, and personnel and information management for Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, other Department of Defense agencies, and foreign nations.

Hurricane Katrina

29 August 2005 tested the resolve of the 81st Training Wing in as drastic a manner as imaginable. When Hurricane Katrina barrelled into the gulf coast as a category 4 storm, the eye was only approximately 30 miles off a head-on hit with Keesler Air Force Base. Because of the hurricane, all students and non-essential personnel of the 81st were evacuated to other Air Force bases, effectively shutting down the training wing. Operation Dragon Comeback, the monumental relief and recovery mission the Air Force initiated, saw over $950 million in damage just to the base, but some 8,500 volunteers from Keesler helped not only the air base but also the surrounding communities get back to some semblance of normalcy after this disaster. The title "Operation Dragon Comeback" was coined by Master Sergeant Terence J. Scott (Retired Firefighter from the 81st Civil Engineer Squadron).

It only took until 16 September 2005 for students to start coming back to Kessler to train for their Air Force careers.[2] In less than a month, Keesler managed to clean up, pump out, dig through, and resuscitate the ailing training wing and bring it back to full mission readiness.

References

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

  1. ^ "81st Training Wing Fact Sheet". 81 TRW Public Affairs Office. http://www.keesler.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4973. Retrieved 7 February 2007.  
  2. ^ Jenifer, Perry (25 August 2006). "Keesler Air Force Base: One year after Katrina". AFPN (81st Training Wing Public Affairs). http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123025910. Retrieved 7 February 2007.  
  • 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

{* Keesler Air Force Base Factsheet: 81st Training Wing


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