The Tucson International Airport is home to the Air National Guard's premier F-16 fighter pilot training unit, the 162nd Wing. It is one of the largest ANG wings in the country and resides on 92 acres next to the Tucson International Airport. The wing shares use of the runway, security and fire control with the airport. Approximately 1,440 people work at the base. About 1,000 are full-time employees and the balance are drill status Guardsmen providing forces in support of wartime operations.
Since its activation in 1956, the 162nd Wing has fulfilled a federal and state mission. The dual mission, a provision of the US 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, securing our nation’s skies and providing global intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance precision attack in support of joint force missions around the world.
The wing’s federal mission is to maintain well-trained, well-equipped units available for prompt mobilization during war and to 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 U.S. Air Force missions.
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 and property and preserves peace, order, and public safety. These missions are accomplished through emergency relief support during natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and wildfires; search and rescue operations; support to civil defense authorities; maintenance of vital public services; and counterdrug operations.
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 25 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: 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 Attack Group: The unit is transitioning to the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft and will fly daily combat missions, providing troops on the ground with around the clock intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and precision attack. At Fort Huachuca the unit will operate a launch and recovery facility and maintain a small fleet of RPAs for domestic emergency management support and to train aircrew for mission currency and conduct takeoffs and landings, one of five such units in the United States. The unit will be prepared to support local agencies and fulfill state mission requirements.
The wing manages a fleet of more than 70 F-16 C/D/E/F 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 and Medical Group.
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 improve the relationship between the military and civilian communities.
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 Air Guard Base at Tucson International Airport is very different from the adobe farmhouse and dirt-floor hangar of 50 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.
The 162nd has more than 48 years of experience in fighter training, and more than 28 years of experience in international military training. The wing graduated more than 7,600 fighter pilots since 1969. Instructor pilots average more than 2,900 fighter hours. Aircraft maintainers average 14 years of experience in fighter aircraft.
Point of Contact
162nd Wing Public Affairs
1650 E. Perimeter Way, Tucson, Ariz. 85706
DSN 844-6192 or (520) 295-6192