The 33rd Fighter Wing is stationed at Eglin AFB, Florida. The
33d TFW received its first F-15 Eagle 1978 and continues to fly the Eagle to
present day. In 1980s the wing was the first in Tactical Air Command to
take part in the Multi-Stage Improvement Program (MSIP). Additionally, the
wing won William Tell, a biennial Air Force-wide air-to-air competition, in
1984 and 1986, followed by the "Long Arrow" competition, a no-notice
air-to-air competition, in 1987.
wing's F-15s saw their first combat in October 1984 when the 33d
participated in Operation Urgent Fury, the rescue of American medical
students from Grenada. Five years later, Nomads saw action during the
removal of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega in Operation Just Cause.
1990-91, the wing participated in the thwarting of Iraqi dictator Saddam
Hussein during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The wing
distinguished itself by scoring 16 aerial kills, including the first kill of
the war, the most of any single unit. In addition to the kills, the 33d
accomplished a number of firsts including: the most air-to-air kills, the
most double kills and the most sorties and hours flown by any unit in the
combat theater. The 33d Fighter Wing (FW), the only unit whose wing
commander scored an air-to-air victory, destroyed the most MiG-29's (a total
of five). Following Desert Shield/Story, the Air Force restructured its
forces. Under the new structure the 33d was re-designated the 33d Fighter
Wing. The same year, it became the first fighter wing to bring the AIM-20
AMRAAM (Advance Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) into full combat capable
1994, the 33d participated in Operation Uphold Democracy, providing support
to the recognized government in Haiti.
The same year, the wing participated in Operation Vigilant Warrior, the
close monitoring of Saddam Hussein in a perceived strengthening of force.
Currently the 33d FW is a combat-flying unit of Air Combat Command's 9th Air
Force and is a major tenant unit on Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The wing
operates two flying squadrons, the 58th and 60th, each with 26 MSIP F-15C/D
Eagles, along with the 33d Operations Support Squadron, the 33d Logistics
Support Squadron, the 33d Maintenance Squadron and the 728th Air Control
Squadron. The wing's mission is to "Maintain the world's best rapidly
deployable air control and air superiority forces for theater
Commander-in-Chiefs." The 33d FW supports an annual rotation to Saudi
Arabia for Operation Southern Watch, patrolling the no-fly zone in Iraq.
The wing recently participated in Airpower Expeditionary Force III (AEF III)
in the small southwest Asia country of Qatar and currently has an alert
commitment to the North Atlantic
country of Iceland. In addition to the flying operations of the 33d, the
728th Air Control Squadron has participated in Steady State (support of the
drug war in South America), Deny Flight and supports a rotation to Kuwait as
part of Operation Desert Calm. The 33d remains continually devoted to
providing air superiority forces to the various theater Commander-in-Chief's
who call upon its service.