Sep 13 2007

187th Fighter Wing to be an “Associate Unit” and Tuskegee Airmen Recognized

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today announced that the U.S. Air Force 187th Fighter Wing will be made an Associate Unit and the Air Force will redesignate the 160th Fighter Squadron in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen.

“This is a big announcement for Maxwell Air Force Base and will enhance their already established reputation of excellence in the United States Air Force,” said Shelby.  “Combining Active Duty pilots, Active Duty maintenance crews and the Alabama Air National Guard into an Associate Unit will not only allow more airmen to be trained, but will also ensure the adequate use of the Guard and Active Duty resources.  The several hundred new jobs this announcement entails will be a welcome addition at Maxwell.”

An Associate Unit integrates Active Duty Air Force personnel into an Air Guard unit.  The Air Force has begun forming Active Associate Units in partnership with unit-equipped Air Guard organizations.  By sharing equipment, the Air Force is able to train more airmen and make better use of the equipment.  This new Associate Unit joins four other F-16 Active Associate and community basing efforts nationwide.

In addition, the Air Force announced today that the Alabama Air National Guard’s 160th Fighter Squadron will be redesignated as the 100th Fighter Squadron.  The 100th Fighter Squadron will be reactivated as part of a new Active Associate with the Alabama Air National Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing.

“I am pleased that the Alabama Air National Guard’s 160th Fighter Squadron will be redesignated as an old Tuskegee Airmen Squadron, the 100th Fighter Squadron, becoming the only Tuskegee Heritage Squadron in the Air Force.,” said Shelby.  “The Tuskegee Airmen have a remarkable military record and this designation is in recognition of their outstanding contributions during World War II.”

The 100th Fighter Squadron was part of the historic Tuskegee Airmen 332nd Fighter Group.  During World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen were credited with destroying 261 aircraft, damaging 148 aircraft, flying 15,553 combat sorties, and 1,578 missions over Italy and North Africa.  They destroyed or damaged over 950 ground transportation vehicles and escorted more than 200 bombing missions.  The Tuskegee Airmen, with nearly 1,000 members, are the largest group to ever receive the award.