172nd Virtual Fighter Squadron
A decient place for all virtual A-10a pilots, who sim within "Lock On, Modern Air Combat – Flaming Cliffs".

1. – A Brief History of the Actual 172nd Fighter Squadron

 

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I chose this squadron to emulate on two points.  The first and most important is, that I found out it was to be disbanded and would no longer be an A-10 squadron. I thought it would be nice to preserve their history in some way and keep them flying, although I have no connection to them, the State of Michigan, the Air National Guard, or the U.S. Air Force.     The second point is the squadron’s unofficial nick name of  “Cereal Killers”, due to their location in Battle Creek, Michigan.  {It’s official nick by the way is “The Mad Ducks”. Boy! That’ll scare the heck out of the bad guys right? :)}     This also fit perfectly in with the “Serial Killer” skin made by Colt40Five, which I use and is the official “paint job” of the 172nd vFS.

So here’s a short posting of some of their history. ;)    {WHOSIT – commanding – 172vFS} 

172nd Fighter Squadron - 110th Fighter Wing
Battle Creek ANGB – W. K. Kellog Airport (KBTL), Michigan

The 172nd Fighter Squadron, assigned to the 110th Fighter Wing, currently flies the A-10 Thunderbolt II.  Its mission is to provide tactical fighter support to the United States, its Allies and the State of Michigan during peacetime and contingency operations by maintaining a combat edge through intensive tactical training and war fighting exercises.

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Originally activated as the 375th Fighter Squadron in 1946, Governor Kim Siegler redesignated the Squadron as the 172nd Fighter Squadron, flying the P-51D aircraft at Kellogg Field, Battle Creek, Michigan in 1947.  This was the same year the United States Air Force became an independent branch of the armed forces and the 172nd Fighter Squadron received federal recognition as an Air National Guard Squadron.

The 172nd Fighter Squadron was federally activated in 1951 for the Korean War and redesignated as the 172nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron.  The 172nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron flew the P/F-51 Mustang until 1954.  The 172nd, redesignated as a Fighter-Bomber Squadron, transitioned into the North American F-86 Sabre Jet.  The Unit flew this aircraft only until 1955 when they transitioned into the more sophisticated Northrop F-89 Scorpion.  In 1956, the National Guard Bureau announced that the 172nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron would become part of the newly created 110th FighterGroup.  The Unit flew the F-89 Scorpion until 1958.  In 1958 the 172nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron traded its F-89’s for a new mission and a new aircraft, the Martin RB-57A Canberra and the reconnaissance mission.

The 172nd, now designated as the 172nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron flew RB-57A’s until 1971.  In 1971, the Unit’s mission changed again to the Forward Air Control (FAC) mission, with the transition to the O-2 Skymaster, which it flew until 1980 when it transition to the OA-37 Dragonfly.  The dedicated FAC mission lasted until the 172nd transitioned to the Fairchild/Republic A/OA-10 “Warthog” in 1991 and was redesignated the 172nd Fighter Squadron.

The 172nd Fighter Squadron flying the A-10 Warthog has served with distinction and pride in several United Nations Operations and contingencies throughout the world.  From Bosnia, to Kosovo, to Alaska and most recently Iraq and Afghanistan, in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, the men and women of the 172nd Fighter Squadron proudly serve and uphold the tradition of the   military at home, abroad, or wherever the country needs professionalism, dedication, and the supremacy of air power.

A LISTING OF AIRCRAFT FLOWN BY THE 172ND FS

  • A-10a thru c (1991- 2009)
  • OA-37b Dragonfly (1981-1991)
  • O-2a Skymaster (1971-1981)
  • F-89c Scorpion (1955-1971)
  • F-86e Saber (1954-1955)
  • P-51h Mustang (1951-1954)
  • P-51d Mustang (1947-1951)

THE ENDING OF A PORTION OF FLIGHT HISTORY

172nd Fighter Squadron

110th Fighter Wing (Michigan ANG)
Battle Creek ANGB, Michigan
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80-0255, 80-0257, 80-0258, 80-0262, 80-0263, 80-0264, 80-0269, 81-0975, 81-0994, 81-0996, 81-0998

Due to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, most if not all A-10Cs were transfered to the 107th Fighter Squadron, 127th Wing (Michigan ANG), at Selfridge ANGB.
Currently, the 172nd Fighter Squadron is still in process to convert to the 172nd Airlift Squadron, flying C-21As – the military version of the Lear Jet 35A business jet.     {“OHHHH YUCK! But, I guess somebody has to do it. :( Good luck 172nd Airlift Sqn. ;)” – WHOSIT}

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110th Fighter Wing members line up in the snow to watch the last A–10C jet, serial number 80-0258, take its final flight from the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base on Thursday, February 19, 2009. The jet will arrive to its new home, Selfridge Air National Guard Base joining the rest of the fleet which started leaving back in November. (Photo by Master Sgt. Dale Atkins – extracted from PDF file)

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On the morning of Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009, the 110th Fighter Wing’s last A–10C took off for Selfridge Air National Guard Base to serve with the 127th Wing. The departure of the aircraft, tail number 258, marked the end of an era at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base and the beginning of a new one for Selfridge. This particular A–10 had a lot of history with the 110th Fighter Wing as it lost part of an engine to an enemy missile during the 110th’s 2003 deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Unlike the November fini–flights, and the upcoming farewell ceremony in July, the event was not attended by family and friends, local politicians or the media. It was just attended by those around the base who wanted to watch 18 years of history taxi out to the runway and make a final take off.

Col. Ronald Wilson, the 110th Operations Commander, was present with his new C–21 patch on the uniform, and while he is prepared for the new missions ahead it is hard to shake off around 3000 flying hours in the A–10 including close to four years of
active duty, and three major confl icts abroad with Kosovo, Iraq and most recently Afghanistan.

“Guys who fly the A–10 have a unique mission,” said Colonel Wilson, “we provide close air support and no other aircraft can do as great a job.” His fini-flight took place last November and he said that climbing out of the cockpit for the very last time was tough. “That flight was a quiet one with many of the pilots reflecting on their experience with the A–10″ said Colonel Wilson.

The building that holds the 110th Operations Group is filled with A–10 memorabilia that includes models, pictures, the warthog mascot and more. As the C–21 gains more time on this base the A–10 related items will likely live on in a hallway somewhere in the building. There was talk of giving some of it to Selfridge, but it was
determined they have their own memories to make.

The dining facility happens to hold a piece of 258. When the 110th Fighter Wing took the A–10 over to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, Maj. Gary Wolfe was piloting the aircraft when an enemy surface–to–air missile struck the engine. He managed to get the aircraft back to Talil Air Base and a small part of that moment is on display and will remain there now, with the actual aircraft being across the state.

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When Battle Creek first received the A–10 Warthog in 1990, times were different. “The aircraft was camouflaged, nothing was digital, pilots were still looking at paper maps, and eventually things got upgraded from the A–10A to the A–10C,” said Colonel Wilson.

“Battle Creek was the only unit to go to one theater of operation and move to another. We did this most recently when we were in Iraq for 10 days and found out we had a new mission in Afghanistan. We have done these three times and are the only unit to ever have done so,” said Colonel Wilson.

As the last A–10 took off one might think it quietly closed the final chapter of a story and mission like no other, but the farewell ceremony coming up in July will give the A–10 the necessary dedication it deserves.

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A–10C Pilot Major Shawn Holtz takes his final ‘step’ to the the last A–10C jet, serial number 80-0258, at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. Major Holtz flew the aircraft to its new home, Selfridge Air National Guard Base on February 19th, 2009. (Photo by Master Sgt. Dale Atkins – extracted from PDF file)

Note: This news article appeared in 110th Fighter Wing’s base newspaper Jetstream Journal, April 2009 public online PDF

THE NEW HOME FOR FORMER 172ND FS AIRCRAFT

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Tail markings for the 107th Fighter Squadron’s new A-10 mission are unveiled on April 24, 2009, at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan.
The photographed aircraft is A-10C 81-0975, formerly assigned to the 172nd FS, 110th FW (Michigan ANG), Battle Creek (BC).
New tailcode ‘MI’ for Michigan, inscription ‘Selfridge’ on the fin caps, inscription ‘Red Devils’ (the 107th FS’s nickname) and the legendary trident on the engine nacelles.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Jeremy L. Brownfield)

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