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Aircraft Model: F-16 Falcon
Aircraft Type: Fighter
Fly During Show: Yes
Display Open To Public: No
Web Site: http://viperwest.hill.af.mil/
F-16 Falcon Demonstration

388th Fighter Wing

The primary mission of the 388th Fighter Wing is: 388th professionals ready to deploy, employ, and sustain F-16s and air control assets world-wide to fight and win any conflict!

Although located on an Air Force Materiel Command Base, the wing is assigned to 12th Air Force, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.

ACC’s mission is to provide the world’s best combat air forces delivering rapid, decisive air power anytime, anywhere.

Personnel and Resources
There are more than 2,000 people assigned to the wing. It’s equipment includes 60 LANTIRN-capable F-16s and air control equipment.

Flying out of the 388th Fighter Wing are three distinguished fighter squadrons: the 4th Fighter Squadron “Fightin’ Fuujins,” the 34th Fighter Squadron “Rams” and the 421st Fighter Squadron “Black Widows.”

To accomplish its dynamic and challenging flying mission, the 388th flies the LANTIRN-capable F-16 “Fighting Falcon.” The F-16 entered Air Force operational service in the 388th TFW at Hill in January 1979. The wing is now equipped with highly maneuverable F-16Cs which are proven in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack.

The LANTIRN system allows the wing’s F-16s to fly at low altitudes, at night and under-the-weather, to attack ground targets with precision-guided and unguided weapons.

The wing’s 729th Air Control Squadron is capable of controlling many types of aircraft and routinely deploys to sites around the world including monitoring suspected drug-traffickers in South America and missions in Southwest Asia.

Other units: 388th Range Squadron, 388th Equipment Maintenance and Component Repair Squadron, 388th Logistics Support Squadron and 388th Operations Support Squadron.

The wing has numerous honors dating back to Dec. 24, 1942, at Gowen Field, Idaho, from the 388th Bombardment Group (Heavy) that flew the B-17 Flying Fortress. The 388th BG relocated to Royal Air Force Base Knettishall, England, as a key unit of 8th Air Force, and saw its first action July 17, 1943, attacking an aircraft factory in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

After successfully completing 306 bombing sorties and receiving two distinguished unit citations and six World War II campaign streamers, the 388th BG was inactivated in 1945.

The 388th Fighter Bomber Wing activated Nov. 23, 1953, at Clovis AFB, N.M., and was designated to carry on the honors of the 388th BG.

After two periods of inactivations and a name change, the wing reactivated April 1, 1966, as the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat Royal Thai AB, Thailand. The wing began flying the F-4 Phantom II in May 1969 after transitioning from the F-105 Thunderchief.

From Thailand, the wing flew against some of the most intensive air defense in the history of air warfare while attacking targets in North Vietnam. The wing flew more than 60,000 combat hours.

During this period, the wing received the Presidential Unit Citation, eight Air Force Outstanding Unit awards with combat “valor” devices, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and 15 Vietnam Campaign streamers.

Dec. 23, 1975, the 388th TFW returned from overseas to Hill AFB, Utah. The first combat-operational F-16 Fighting Falcon was delivered to the wing Jan. 23, 1979. The wing’s three fighter squadrons became operational in the F-16 by 1980.

When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the 388th deployed the 4th and 421st fighter squadrons to support Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

When open hostilities began, the 388th became the first F-16 wing to fly the LANTIRN system in combat.

Pilots from the 388th dropped more than 2.7 million tons of conventional munitions on strategic and tactical targets in Iraq and Kuwait during almost 4,000 combat sorties (1,200 of them at night) without a single combat loss.

In December 1991, the wing was redesignated the 388th Fighter Wing and assigned to the newly established Air Combat Command.

Since Participating in Operation Desert Shield/Storm the 388th FW has deployed to Operation Southern Watch many times to protect the no-fly zone south of the 33rd parallel in Iraq as required by U.N. Resolution 688. It was during one of the wing’s standard rotations in December 1998 that the 34th Fighter Squadron participated in Operation Desert Fox.

In October 1997, the wing adopted what is now the 388th Range Squadron.

Flying more sorties than any other F-16 wing, 388th FW works hard during peacetime to ensure we can meet any challenges presented on a day-to-day basis.

The men and women of the 388th are part of the best the U.S. Air Force has to offer.

(Current as of September 2000)

388th Fighter Wing highlights
388th Fighter Bomber Wing activated at Clovis AFB, N.M., Nov. 23, 1953
388th Tactical Fighter Wing activated at Korat Royal Thai AB, Thailand, April 1, 1966
388th TFW moves to Hill AFB, Utah, Dec. 23, 1975
First unit to receive the combat operational F-16 Fighting Falcon, Jan. 23, 1979
388th TFW deploys in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Aug. 28, 1990 and becomes the first unit to fly the LANTIRN system in combat
388th TFW redesignated the 388th Fighter Wing, Oct. 1, 1991
1987 Gunsmoke, U.S. Air Force Worldwide Fighter Gunnery Meet champions
388th TFW became the first unit to receive the F-16 Block 40, May 17, 1989
1993 Gunsmoke, U.S. Air Force Worldwide Fighter Gunnery Meet champions—Only unit to win competition twice
The 388th FW became the largest night-fighting wing in the Air Force, May 1, 1995
One of the 388th FW’s units, 4th Fighter Squadron, conducts largest three-day surge ever recorded for an 18-aircraft F-16 unit -- 320 sorties, June 13 - 15, 1996
The 388th FW flew the Air Force’s 5-millionth hour in the F-16 Dec. 4, 1996
One of the 388th FW’s units, 34th FS, participated in Operation Desert Fox from Dec. 16- Dec. 20, 1998
388th FW hosts its first night-time “Combat Hammer”- May-June 1998
388th FW designated a lead EAF wing for the 1st Aerospace Expeditionary Force, September 1998
388th FW designated to provide support squadrons for AEFs 3 and 10

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