Military Wiki
52d Fighter Wing
52d Fighter Wing.png
Active 1948 – present
Country United States United States
Branch Air Force
Part of United States Air Forces Europe
Garrison/HQ Spangdahlem Air Force Base
Motto(s) "Seek, Attack, Destroy"
Southwest Asia Service ribbon.svg AFEMRib.svg
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg Afghanistan Campaign ribbon.svg Iraq Campaign ribbon.svg
  • 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)
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA w/ V Device
Colonel David J. Julazadeh
Victor E. Renuart Jr.
Wing Badge Quarterly per fess nebuly, first and fourth argent, each charged with a dagger in pale point downward gules, hilt and pommel of the same, grip or; second quarter azure; third quarter, sable.[1]

General Dynamics F-16C Block 50D Fighting Falcon 91-0361 taxiing out from at Tab-Vee at Spangdahlem on 20 March 2011 in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn

The 52d Fighter Wing (52 FW) is a wing of the United States Air Force stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. It was activated in 1948, but derives significant elements of its history from the predecessor Second World War 52d Fighter Group, which is now the 52d Operations Group, subordinate to the wing.


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.

In concert with USAFE wings at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, the 52d 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 52d 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.

Subordinate organizations

52d Operations Group (52 OG)

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 DS)
  • 52d Medical Operations Squadron (52 MDOS)
  • 52d Medical Support Squadron (52 MDSS)

52d Mission Support Group (52 MSG)

  • 52d Civil Engineer Squadron (52 CES)
  • 52d Communications Squadron (52 CS)
  • 52d Contracting Squadron (52 CONS)
  • 52d Force Support Squadron (52 FSS)
  • 52d Logistics Readiness Squadron (52 LRS)
  • 52d Security Forces Squadron (52 SFS)
  • 470th Air Base Squadron (470 ABS) NATO Air Base, Geilenkirchen, Germany

52d Munitions Maintenance Group (52 MMG) (custody and storage of tactical nuclear weapons)

  • 701st Munitions Support Squadron (701 MUNS) Kleine Brogel Air Base, Belgium
  • 702nd Munitions Support Squadron (702 MUNS) Buechel Air Base, Germany
  • 703rd Munitions Support Squadron (703 MUNS) Volkel Air Base, Netherlands
  • 704th Munitions Support Squadron (704 MUNS) Ghedi Air Base, Italy


See 52d Operations Group for World War II lineage and history

Cold War

52d TFW Wild Weasel-team in the late 1980s

2d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron McDonnell F-101B-100-MC Voodoo Suffolk County Air Force Base, New York, 1965 firing an MB-1 Genie Air to air missile.

Established as the 52d Fighter Wing, All Weather, on 10 May 1948, the wing served in the United States as an air defense unit in the northeastern United States from 1947 until the end of 1968.[2]

The 52d was reactivated on 18 August 1955 and designated 52d Fighter Group (Air Defense). It was assigned to Air Defense Command and equipped with F-86 Sabre aircraft. It served once more as an air defense unit in the northeastern United States.

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.

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.

Modern era

Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon in the United States on September 11, 2001, the 52d Fighter Wing began preparations for possible combat tasking.

Within one month 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.

Personnel assigned to the 52d FW continue to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom today.

In April 2010 the wing's strength was reduced by one third. 20 F-16Cs were flown to the 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard, one F-16 was transferred to Edwards Air Force Base, California. All aircraft were from the 22nd Fighter Squadron.[3] As a result of the drawdown of F-16s, the 22nd and 23rd Fighter Squadrons were decativated on 13 August 2010 and formed the a single "new" squadron, the 480th Fighter Squadron.[4]

On February 16, 2012, Air Force officials announced the wing's 81st Fighter Squadron would be inactivated.[5]


  • Established as 52d Fighter Wing, All Weather, on 10 May 1948
Activated on 9 June 1948
Redesignated: 52d Fighter-All Weather Wing on 20 January 1950
Redesignated: 52d Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 1 May 1951
Inactivated on 6 February 1952, personnel and subordinate units assigned to 4709th Air Defense Wing.
  • Redesignated 52d Fighter Wing (Air Defense), and activated, on 11 April 1963
Organized on 1 July 1963
Inactivated on 30 September 1968
  • Redesignated 52d Tactical Fighter Wing on 12 November 1971
Activated on 31 December 1971
Redesignated: 52d Fighter Wing on 1 October 1991.


Attached to Eastern Air Defense Force, 10 November 1949 – 31 August 1950






Aircraft operated


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website


External links

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