81st Tactical Fighter Wing Patch – Sew On
A 4 1/8″W x 3 13/16″H 81st Tactical Fighter Wing Patch of United States Air Force.
The 81st Training Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force and the host wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The 81st Training Wing has the Air Force’s largest Technical Training Group and trains more than 40,000 students annually. Training includes weather, basic electronics, communications electronic systems, communications computer systems, air traffic control, airfield management, command post, air weapons control, precision measurement, education and training, financial management and comptroller, information management, manpower and personnel, radar, ground radio, and network control.
On 8 July 1958 Bentwaters was operated as “twin base” with RAF Woodbridge and as a single unit under the newly designated 81st Tactical Fighter Wing. Along with the 91st and 92d Tactical Fighter Squadrons, the 78th Tactical Fighter Squadron was transferred from RAF Shepherds Grove when the USAF returned Shepherds Grove to the Ministry of Defense. The 78th TFS operated from Woodbrige, while the 91st and 92d squadrons operated from Bentwaters.
Beginning in the fall of 1958, the 81st TFW was reequipped with the McDonnell F-101 Voodoo. The F-101 was configured as a fighter bomber, intended to carry a single nuclear weapon for use against battlefield targets such as airfields. The Voodos were equipped 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 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 began conversion to the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II in June 1979. The A-10 being a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft designed to provide close air support (CAS) 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.