Library Fact Sheets
34TH FIGHTER SQUADRON|
The 34th Fighter Squadron is one of three fighter squadrons assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The unit operates Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night, or LANTIRN, F-16s.
As part of the world's largest LANTIRN F-16 wing, the 34th Fighter Squadron conducts flying operations to maintain combat readiness of an 18-aircraft F-16C LANTIRN squadron.
It prepares to deploy worldwide to conduct air-to-air and air-to-ground operations for daylight and nighttime missions.
Personnel and Resources
Approximately 50 personnel are assigned to the squadron. Equipment includes 18 LANTIRN-capable F-16s, worth about $21 million each.
The 34th FS is a subordinate unit of the 388th Operations Group, 388th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
The 34th FS was activated at Seymour Johnson Field, N.C., Oct. 15, 1944, flying the P-47 Thunderbolt. The squadron served in the final stages of World War II, seeing combat operations in the Western Pacific from May 1945 to August 1946, while it was stationed in the Ryukyu Islands, first on Ie Shima and later on Okinawa.
The 34th FS was de-activated Oct. 15, 1946, following the war, and was redesignated the 34th Fighter-Day Squadron prior to its reactivation in November 1954, at George Air Force Base, Calif.
It was part of the 413th Fighter-Day Wing and was equipped with the F-86 Sabre. The 34th transitioned into the F-100 Super Sabre in 1956, which it flew until 1959 when it was de-activated.
In May 2, 1966, the 34th FS was again activated and assigned to Pacific Air Forces. The squadron was part of the 41st Air Division, Yokota Air Base, Japan.
One month later, the 34th deployed and was attached to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand.
The unit was equipped with the F-105D Thunderchief and conducted combat operations until May 1969. While assigned to Korat, the squadron transitioned into the F-4 Phantom II and continued combat operations in Southeast Asia.
The Rams participated in Operation Prize Bull on Sept. 21, 1971. This was the first time U.S. forces bombed North Vietnam using all-weather capability.
The 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron performed strike missions in support of a recovery operation for the U.S.S. Mayaguez, a merchant freighter captured by Cambodian Khmer Rouge guerrillas in May 1975.
On Dec. 23, 1975, the 34th TFS, as part of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, was relocated to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, flying the F-4D Phantom IIs.
In November 1979, the 34th TFS became the first fighter squadron to be fully equipped with the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
For the next several years, the squadron conducted initial qualification training for pilots from around the world, including those from Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Israel and Norway.
When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the 34th found themselves backing up the front-line forces of the
34th Fighter Squadron highlights
-- First unit to become fully equipped with the F-16 Fighting Falcon, November 1979
-- First squadron to complete conversion to the F-16C, Block 40 aircraft, November 1989
-- Deployed the F-16C for the first time, sending approximately 20 aircraft and 250 personnel to George Air Force Base, Calif., for Coroneet Weasel training with F-4 Wild Weasels, February 1990
-- First unit to fly an F-16C LANTIRN training sortie, July 1990
-- First unit to use the Combat Edge positive pressure breathing system, November 1991
-- First 388th Fighter Wing unit to deploy to King Abdul Aziz Royal Saudi Air Base, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in support of Operation Southern Watch, December 1991
-- First unit in history of Combat Archer to have all missiles hit their intended targets, July 1995
-- Deployed to Southwest Asia for Operation Southern Watch which became the longest time a wing squadron was deployed during peacetime and one of the most hostile deployments when all members of the unit survived the bombing of Khobar Towers, June-October 1996
-- Pilots of the 34th FS flew 23 combat sorties into Iraq during Operation Desert Fox, December 1998
-- Deployed nine F-16s and 104 personnel to Tyndall AFB, Fla., for a two week training mission at Combat Archer, February 1999
-- The 34th FS flew F-16s combat air patrol sorties in support of Operation Noble Eagle during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
-- In August 2002, the 34th FS transferred all maintenance personnel to the newly established 388th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as part of a wing reorganization.
-- In February 2003 the 34th supported Operation Noble Eagle from Langley Air Force Base, Va., by patrolling the skies over Washington, D.C., during the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
388th TFW (Provisional) in Southwest Asia for Operation Desert Storm. The squadron flew their desert missions at Torrejon Air Base, Spain.
After the Gulf War, the Rams got their chance to deploy to the desert. The 34th was the first 388th Fighter Wing squadron to deploy to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Southern Watch.
In October 1991, the squadron was redesignated the 34th Fighter Squadron as part of a command-level realignment. Between 1991 and 1996, the 34th FS deployed to Southwest Asia a total of five times.
June 25, 1996, after being in Southwest Asia only 10 days into their fifth trip, tragedy struck the Khobar Towers housing compound where coalition forces lived. A terrorist bomb, which injured more than 300 airmen, rocked the living area, killing 19 airmen. Although some of the Rams were injured, none were killed in the attack.
During December 1998, the 34th FS flew combat missions as part of Operation Desert Fox, a punitive operation aimed to make Iraq comply with United Nations sanctions.
In June 2000, the 34th FS was the first active duty squadron deployed to Curacao N.A. in support of Coronet Nighthawk, flying drug interdiction missions in Latin America.
The 34th FS flew F-16s combat air patrol sorties in support of Operation Noble Eagle during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The 34th FS transferred all maintenance personnel to the newly established 388th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as part of the 388th Fighter Wing reorganization in August 2002.
In February 2003 the 34th supported Operation Noble Eagle from Langley Air Force Base, Va., by patrolling the skies over Washington, D.C., during the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Military decorations for the 34th FS include eight Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with combat "valor" devices, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, 15 campaign streamers for Southeast Asia duty and one presidential unit citation.�
(Current as of 31 October 2002)