81st Tactical Fighter Wing Patch – Hook and Loop
A 4 1/8″W x 3 13/16″H 81st Tactical Fighter Wing Patch of United States Air Force.
- 4 1/8″W x 3 13/16″H
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The 81st Training Wing is a unit of the United States Air Force and serves as the host wing at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. It boasts the Air Force’s largest Technical Training Group, providing training to more than 40,000 students annually. This training covers a wide range of subjects, including weather, electronics, communications, air traffic control, airfield management, command post operations, air weapons control, precision measurement, financial management, information management, manpower and personnel, radar, ground radio, and network control.
On July 8, 1958, Bentwaters was operated as a “twin base” with RAF Woodbridge and was designated as the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing. The 78th Tactical Fighter Squadron, along with the 91st and 92d Squadrons, were transferred from RAF Shepherds Grove to the twin base. The 78th TFS was based at Woodbridge, while the 91st and 92d squadrons were based at Bentwaters.
In the fall of 1958, the 81st TFW received the McDonnell F-101 Voodoo, which was configured as a fighter bomber, designed to carry a single nuclear weapon for use against battlefield targets, such as airfields. The Voodoos were outfitted with Low Angle Drogued Delivery and Low Altitude Bombing System equipment for its primary mission of delivering nuclear weapons at extremely low altitudes. Pilots were trained for one-way missions into Soviet territory to increase effective range at some cost in negating pilot recovery.
In November 1965, the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing received McDonnell F-4 Phantom IIs to replace the Voodoos. Initially receiving the F-4C, this was later upgraded to the more capable F-4D during late 1972 and 1973.
The 81st TFW began conversion to the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II in June 1979. This aircraft is a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft designed to provide close air support of ground forces by attacking tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets. With the A-10, the wing’s mission changed to close air support and battlefield air interdiction in support of NATO ground forces.