52d Fighter Wing

52d Fighter Wing

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=52d Fighter Wing

dates= 20 November 1940 — present
country=United States
branch=Air Force
command_structure=United States Air Forces Europe
current_commander=Colonel [http://www.spangdahlem.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?id=8618 Lee T. Wight]
garrison=Spangdahlem Air Force Base

* World War II: European Campaign (1942-1945)
* 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)

notable_commanders= Victor E. Renuart Jr.

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.

It is assigned 42 F-16s, 18 A-10s and 2 TPS-75 radars to provide expeditionary combat capability in mission areas of suppression of enemy air defenses, close air support, air interdiction, counter air, air strike control, combat search and rescue and theater airspace control.

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.

Global War on Terrorism

Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon in the United States on Sept. 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.

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

ubordinate organizations

52d Operations Group (52 OG)
*22d Fighter Squadron (22 FS)
*23d Fighter Squadron (23 FS)
*81st Fighter Squadron (81 FS)
*606th Air Control Squadron (606 ACS)
*52d Operations Support Squadron (52 OSS)

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 Engineering Squadron (52 CES)
*52d Communications Squadron (52 CS)
*52d Contracting Squadron (52 CONS)
*52d Logistics Readiness Squadron (52 LRS)
*52d Mission Support Squadron (52 MSS)
*52d Security Forces Squadron (52 SFS)
*52d Services Squadron (52 SVS)
*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 52d Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 20 Nov 1940: Activated on 16 Jan 1941: Redesignated 52d Fighter Group on 15 May 1942: Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945
* Redesignated 52d Fighter Group (All Weather) on 18 Oct 1946: Activated on 9 Nov 1946. : Redesignated: 52d Fighter Group, All Weather, on 10 May 1948: Redesignated: 52d Fighter-All Weather Group on 20 Jan 1950
* Established as 52d Fighter Wing, All Weather, on 10 May 1948, Activated on 9 Jun 1948: (52d Fighter-All Weather Group became subordinate unit): Redesignated: 52d Fighter-All Weather Wing on 20 Jan 1950: Redesignated: 52d Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 1 May 1951: Inactivated on 6 Feb 1952
* Redesignated 52d Fighter Wing (Air Defense), and activated, on 11 Apr 1963: Organized on 1 Jul 1963: Inactivated on 30 Sep 1968
* Redesignated 52d Tactical Fighter Wing on 12 Nov 1971: Activated on 31 Dec 1971: Redesignated 52d Fighter Wing on 1 Oct 1991.


* 6th Pursuit Wing, 16 Jan 1941
* First Air Force: I Interceptor (later, I Fighter) Command, 1 Oct 1941
* First Air Force, c. 15 Jun 1942
* Eighth Air Force (attached to Royal Air Force), 13 Jul 1942
* Twelfth Air Force: 6th Fighter Wing, 18 Aug 1942: XII Fighter Command, 14 Sep 1942 :: (attached to Tunis Fighter Sector, c. 19 Jan 1943): XII Air Support Command, 18 Feb 1943:: North West Coastal Air Force, 23 May 1943:: 1st Air Defense Wing, 19 Aug 1943:: 62d Fighter Wing, 1943:: 63rd Fighter Wing, 16 Nov 1943
* Fifteenth Air Force, 1 May 1944: 306 Bombardment (later, 306 Fighter) Wing
14 May 1944 - 13 Jun 1945: 305 Bombardment Wing, 13 Jun-Aug 1945
* Continental Air Forces: Third Air Force, 22 Aug-7 Nov 1945:: 64th Fighter Wing, 9 Nov 1946: XII Tactical Air Command, 15 May 1947
* Air Defense Command, 25 Jun 1947: First Air Force, 29 Oct 1947:: 104 Wing (Provisional), 26 Dec 1947;
* Continental Air Command: First Air Force, 9 Jun 1948 : (attached to Eastern Air Defense Force, 10 Nov 1949-31 Aug 1950): Eastern Air Defense Force, 1 Sep 1950-6 Feb 1952
* Air Defense Command, 11 Apr 1963: New York Air Defense Sector, 1 Jul 1963: 21st Air Division, 1 Apr 1966: 35th Air Division, 1 Dec 1967-30 Sep 1968
* United States Air Forces Europe: Seventeenth Air Force, 31 Dec 1971: 65th Air Division, 1 Jun 1985: Seventeenth Air Force, 30 Jun 1991: Third Air Force, 31 Jul 1996-.


*Norfolk, Virginia (1941 – 1942)
*Selfridge Field, Michigan (1942)
*Florence, South Carolina (1942)
*Wilmington, North Carolina (1942)
*Grenier Field, New Hampshire (1942)
*RAF Eglington, Northern Ireland (1942)
*Goxhill, England (1942)
*Algeria (1942 – 1943)
*Le Sers, Tunisia (1943)
*La Sebala, Tunisia (1943)
*Boccadifalco, Sicily (1943)

*Borgo, Corsica (1943 – 1944)
*Aghione, Corsica (1944)
*Italy (1944 – 1945)
*Drew Field, Florida (1945 – 1946)
*Schweinfurt, Germany (1946 – 1947)
*Bad Kissingen, Germany (1947)
*Mitchel Air Force Base, New York (1947 – 1949)
*McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey (1949 – 1952)
*Suffolk County Air Force Base, New York (1963 – 1968)
*Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany (1971 – Present)


* 2d Pursuit : (later, 2 Fighter; 2 Fighter [All Weather] ; 2 Fighter, All Weather; 2 Fighter-Interceptor): 16 Jan 1941-7 Nov 1945: 9 Nov 1946-6 Feb 1952: 18 Aug 1955-1 Jul 1963: 30 Sep 1968-31 Dec 1969: 4th Pursuit (later, 4 Fighter): 16 Jan 1941-7 Nov 1945.
* 5th Pursuit : (later, 5 Fighter; 5 Fighter [All Weather] ; 5 Fighter, All Weather; 5 Fighter-Interceptor): 16 Jan 1941-7 Nov 1945: 9 Nov 1946-6 Feb 1952: 18 Aug 1955-1 Feb 1960
* 22d Fighter: 1 Apr 1994-
* 23d Fighter: 31 Mar 1992-
* 53d Fighter: 25 Feb 1994-31 Mar 1999
* 81st Fighter: 31 Mar 1992-
* 98th Fighter-Interceptor: attached, c. 20 Jun-1 Jul 1963
* 480th Fighter: 31 Mar 1992-1 Apr 1994
* 510th Tactical Fighter: 1 Oct 1992-1 Feb 1994.

Aircraft operated

*P-40 Warhawk (1941 – 1942)
*P-39 Airacobra (1942)
*Spitfire (1942 – 1944)
*P-51 Mustang (1944 – 1945)
*P-61 Black Widow (1947 – 1948)
*F-82 Twin Mustang (1948 – 1952)
*F-94 Starfire (1950 – 1952)
*F-101 Voodoo (1963 – 1968)
*B-66 Destroyer (1971 – 1972)
*B-57 Canberra (1974 – 1975)
*F-4 Phantom II (1971 – 1994)
*A-7 Corsair II (1976)
*F-105 Thunderchief (1976 – 1977)
*F-15 Eagle (1994 – 1999)
*F-16 Falcon (1987 – Present)
*A-10 Thunderbolt II (1992 – Present)

Operational History

World War II

The 52d trained and participated in maneuvers from 1941 – 1942 when it moved to the United Kingdom. It trained with the Royal Air Force as part of Eighth Air Force and flew missions from England to France during August and September of that year. Group pilots flew Spitfires from Gibraltar to Algeria during the invasion of North Africa on 8 November 1942. The remainder of the group arrived by ship after the campaign had ended. The group then operated as part of Twelfth Air Force through April 1944, thereafter part of Fifteenth Air Force, serving in combat in the Mediterranean until the end of the war. It flew escort, patrol, strafing, and reconnaissance missions to help defeat Axis forces in Tunisia. In Sicily, it attacked railroads,highways, bridges, coastal shipping and other targets to support the Allied operations. Having converted to P-51s in April and May 1944, the group escorted bombers that attacked objectives in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. It received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for a mission on 9 June 1944 when the group protected bombers that struck aircraft factories, communications centers, and supply lines in Germany. The 52d flew one of the first shuttle missions to Russia from 4-6 August 1944, and received a second DUC for strafing attacks on a landing field in Romania on 31 August 1944, destroying a large number of enemy fighter and transport planes. On 24 March 1945, the group's aircraft flew the longest escort mission ever flown in Europe - 1600 miles round-trip to Berlin.

Cold War

From 1946 to 1947, the 52d served as an all-weather fighter group in Germany and in November 1947 moved to the US and assumed an air defense role. It moved to the US to perform air defense in the northeastern United States from 1947 – February 1952, and July 1963 – September 1968.

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.

Post Cold War

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.

Unit shields


External links

* [http://www.spangdahlem.af.mil/ Spangdahlem AB Home Page]

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