The 325th Fighter Wing's primary mission is to train and project unrivaled combat power. Training for F-22 Raptor pilots is performed in the 43rd Fighter Squadron. Wing personnel manage the southeastern air combat maneuvering instrumentation range and provide mission-ready F-22 air dominance forces in support of the Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command/First Air Force contingency plans.
Other specialties trained under the 325th FW include F-22 intelligence officer training, F-22 crew chief training and enlisted air traffic controller training.
The 325th FW is host to more than 30 tenant organizations located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The wing is comprised of the 325th Operations Group, 325th Maintenance Group, 325th Mission Support Group and 325th Medical Group.
The 325th Fighter Wing was activated at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., on July 1, 1981 as the 325th Fighter Weapons Wing. Its heritage was enriched by the adoption of the emblems, awards and history of its predecessor, the 325th Fighter Group "Checkertail Clan" of World War II fame.
The War Department activated the 325th Fighter Group on Aug. 3, 1942 at Mitchell Field, N.Y. After completing training in the P-40 Warhawk, the group entered combat with the 12th Air Force in North Africa on April 17, 1943. From its bases in Algeria and Tunisia, the 325th escorted medium bombers, flew strafing missions and made sweeps over the Mediterranean Sea. The group received its first Distinguished Unit Citation for action over Sardinia on July 30, 1943. Using diversionary tactics, the 325th Fighter Group forced a superior number of enemy airplanes into the air and destroyed more than half of them.
In May 1944, the P-47s were replaced by P-51 Mustangs, which unit personnel flew until the end of World War II. By then the 325th's motto, Locare Et Liquidare (Locate and Liquidate), had earned the respect of both the allies and Germans alike.
After the 325th Fighter Group's return from Europe it was inactivated on Oct. 28, 1945. The deactivation proved temporary, though, and the group was reactivated on May 21, 1947 as the 325th Fighter Group, All Weather, equipped with the P-61 Black Widow.
The Air Force first established the 325th Fighter Wing, All Weather, on May 10, 1948. Fourth Air Force activated the wing at Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif. On June 9, 1948 and the wing's primary combat component was the 325th Fighter Group. The wing moved to Moses Lake Air Force Base, Wash. in November 1948.
On Jan. 20, 1950, HQ USAF redesignated the wing the 325th Fighter-All Weather Wing and it was moved to McChord Air Force Base, Wash. four months later. On May 1, 1951, the wing was redesignated the 325th Fighter Interceptor Wing, but was inactivated on Feb. 6, 1952.
On Aug. 18, 1955, the group was reactivated as the 325th Fighter Group (Air Defense), assigned to Air Defense Command, which later became know as Aerospace Defense Command, and equipped with the F-86 Sabre. Its tactical units were the 317th and 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadrons.
On Oct. 18, 1956, the Air Defense Command directed a wing organization be set up at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., and the 325th Fighter Wing was activated. The group became a unit of the new wing. The group's two tactical squadrons, the 317th and 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadrons, transitioned from the F-86 to the delta wing, all-weather F-102A Delta Dagger.
In August 1957, the 317th Fighter Interceptor Squadron was assigned to Alaskan Air Command, and the 325th Fighter Wing gained the 64th Fighter Interceptor Squadron from Alaska. Early in 1960, the 325th Fighter Group began a gradual phase-out of the F-102 and a transition to the F-106 Delta Dart. Before the completion of this transition, the 325th Fighter Group was inactivated on March 25, 1960.
The 325th reappeared on July 1, 1981 with a new name and a new home. Tactical Air Command designated the wing as the 325th Fighter Weapons Wing and moved it to Tyndall. Five units already assigned to the weapons center were reassigned to the 325th. These included the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 82nd Tactical Aerial Target Squadron, 95th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 475th Air Defense Squadron and 475th Test Squadron. The wing accomplished the operations, test and evaluation and maintenance portions of the complex United States Air Force Air Defense Weapons Center mission, which was directly related to combat readiness training for air defense. Primary aircraft were the F-106 and T-33 Shooting Star.
On Oct. 15,1983, the wing was redesignated the 325th Tactical Training Wing, and assumed its air superiority training responsibilities as part of the United States Air Force Air Defense Weapons Center. The wing began receiving the F-15 Eagle in April 1984. When the U.S. Air Force Air Defense Weapons Center was inactivated Sept. 12, 1991, the wing assumed the role as installation host. It was redesignated as the 325th Fighter Wing Oct. 1, 1991.
On Sept. 26, 2003 the 325th Fighter Wing became the "Home of Air Dominance Training" with the arrival of its first F-22 Raptor. The 325th Fighter Wing is the first unit to receive and employ the F-22 in an operational training capacity.
On Oct. 1, 2012, the wing became part of Ninth Air Force under Air Combat Command and will continue to "Train and Project Unrivaled Combat Air Power."
Col. Brian S. Laidlaw