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Posted 11/16/2015 Printable Fact Sheet

Tucson International Airport

Tucson International Airport is home to the Air National Guard's premier F-16 fighter pilot training unit, the 162nd Wing. It is the largest ANG fighter wing in the country and resides on 94 acres next to the Tucson International Airport. The wing shares use of the runway, security and fire control with the airport. Approximately 1,450 people work at the base. About 900 are full-time employees and the balance are drill status Guardsmen providing forces in support of wartime operations.

Dual Missions

Since its activation in 1956, the 162nd Wing has fulfilled a federal and state mission. The dual mission, a provision of the U. S. Constitution, results in each Guardsman holding membership in the National Guard of Arizona and in the National Guard of the United States. Specifically, the wing serves the United States and allied nations by providing the finest fighter training programs in the world while partnering with the U.S. Air Force in overseas contingencies and Aerospace Control Alert.


The wing's federal mission is to maintain well-trained, well-equipped units available for prompt mobilization during war and provide assistance during national emergencies such as natural disasters or civil disturbances. Currently, the 162nd deploys its members as part of the Air and Space Expeditionary Force to provide combat forces in support of Operations in Southwest Asia.


When 162nd Wing Guardsmen are not mobilized or under federal control, they report to the governor of Arizona and are led by the adjutant general of the state. Under state law, the wing provides protection of life, property and preserves peace, order and public safety. These missions are accomplished through emergency relief support during natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and forest fires; search and rescue operations; support to civil defense authorities; maintenance of vital public services and counterdrug operations.

Mission Elements

F-16 Fighter Training: The 162nd is the "face of the USAF to the world" providing the best-trained coalition war-fighting partners for the United States Air Force. The wing has trained pilots from 28 countries that fly the F-16 today while developing strategic partnerships and building strong international relationships based on performance, friendship and trust.

Homeland Defense: From Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the wing operates a 24/7 alert detachment to provide a rapid reaction force ensuring air sovereignty over the Southwest.

Total Force Training Center Tucson: Also located at Davis-Monthan, this 162nd detachment provides support for visiting flying units from around the world looking to train in the optimal weather conditions and ample ranges of Southern Arizona.

214th Reconnaissance Group:This unit has detachments at Davis-Monthan and Fort Huachuca.  The detachment at Davis-Monthan flies the MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle in daily combat missions via satellite, providing troops on the ground with almost around the clock intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The hangar and support facilities for the launch and recovery unit at Fort Huachuca house four MQ-1 Predator drones.  This unit will train pilots and senor operators to conduct takeoffs and landings, one of five such units in the United States.  In the future the unit will work with stateside partners fulfill state missions as required.


The wing manages a fleet of more than 70 F-16 C/D and Mid-Life Update (MLU) Fighting Falcons. There are three flying squadrons and numerous maintenance squadrons and flights assigned to the wing. Under the 162nd Operations Group are the 152nd, 195th, and 148th Fighter Squadrons. Supporting these units are the Mission Support Group, the Maintenance Group, the Medical Group and Headquarters Squadron.


Guardsmen assigned to the 162nd Wing often serve their entire military careers in Tucson and enjoy close community ties in Southern Arizona. Their vital service to country and state is not possible without tremendous support from various civic organizations.

- 162nd Wing Air Guardians: A non-profit civic group that supports the members and the families of National Guard in Southern Arizona.

- Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR): Local volunteers working to gain and maintain active support from all public and private employers for members of the National Guard and Reserve.

- Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee: Volunteer business leaders working to maintain and continually enhance the relationship between the military and civilian communities.

- Tucson Council for International Visitors: A non-profit group that designs and implements professional programs and provides cultural activities and home hospitality opportunities for foreign leaders, specialists and international scholars.

The Future

The wing will continue to modernize fighter training operations for the USAF Total Force and international air forces, defend the homeland, provide trained personnel for the Air and Space Expeditionary Force and fulfill its state mission.

The ultramodern Air Guard Base at Tucson International Airport is very different from the adobe farmhouse and dirt-floor hangar of 56 years ago. What remains unchanged is the outstanding dedication of the men and women working to make the 162nd Wing one of the finest fighter training wings in the world.

Wing Facts

- The 162nd has more than 43 years experience in fighter training, and more than 23 years experience in international military training.

- The wing graduated more than 7,000 fighter pilots since 1969.

- Wing instructor pilots average more than 3,000 fighter hours.

- Aircraft maintainers average 18 years of experience in fighter aircraft.

- The 162nd Wing is the 40th largest employer in Southern Arizona bringing almost $250 million into the local economy.

162nd Wing Public Affairs
1650 E. Perimeter Way, Tucson, Ariz. 85706
DSN 844-6192 or (520) 295-6192

Current as of November 2015

 Inside the 162nd WG

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