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495TH FIGHTER GROUP

Posted 4/12/2013 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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The 495th Fighter Training Group provided forward training on tactics and operations for the European Theater, primarily flying the P-47 Thunderbolt, but also flying a small number of P-38s. Based at RAF Atcham, England, the group exercised command over the 551st and 552nd Fighter Training Squadrons. Preparing pilots for action with Eighth and Ninth Air Forces, the 495 FTG trained many of the pilots for the 4th Fighter Group and other P-47 units during World War II. It moved to RAF Whitchurch, England, in February of 1945, and was disbanded April 15, 1945, due to the end of fighting in the European theater. It received the World War II European, African, and Middle Eastern Theater service streamers.

The 495th Fighter Group was reactivated March 8, 2013, at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., as an active association between active-duty pilots and their guard and reserve counterparts. The activation at Shaw marks a historical moment in the Air Force's ongoing initiative to integrate active-duty Airmen, Air Reserve Component and Air National Guard units to streamline training, spending and resource use. These integrated units are called "active associate" units.

The 495th Fighter Group consists of nine permanently assigned Airmen who will guide 10 Air Combat Command-affiliated units toward full and seamless integration. Five of these fighter detachments are already established. They are:
495 FG (AA )Det. 93, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla.
495 FG (AA )Det. 134, Burlington International Airport, Vt.
495 FG (AA )Det. 157, McEntire Joint National Guard Base , S.C.
495 FG (AA )Det. 303, Whiteman Air Force Base, Miss.
495 FG (AA )Det. 457, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas

As of today, the 495th Fighter Group has administrative control of more than 500 active-duty Airmen assigned to active associate units linked to Air Combat Command. The number of Airmen assigned to the group could grow to more than 825 over the next two years.

In 2008, Air Force leadership recognized that the changing force structure demanded creative ways to generate experienced fighter pilots. The solution was to capitalize on the experience and assets of the Guard and Reserve. This Total Force Integration initiative became Active Association, whereby Regular Air Force personnel work side-by-side with host Air Reserve Component units in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Total Force Integration is a vital enterprise aimed at maximizing the combined contributions of the Active and Reserve components, while ensuring "right-sizing" of component mix. The 495th leads the implementation of critical TFI initiatives to achieve a more balanced mix of roles, responsibilities, and assets across the Total Force, in order to enhance the ability to provide dominant combat airpower for America.

The 495th Fighter Group will lead its active associate units into the future of Air Force pilot training. The partnerships will allow active-duty, Air National Guard and Air Reserve Component fighter units to share resources, reduce duplications of effort, and ultimately, increase the Air Force's overall air defense capabilities.

Lineage and Honors History
Lineage. Established as the 495h Fighter Training Group October 9, 1943. Activated October 26, 1943. Disbanded on April 15, 1945.
Assignments. VIII Fighter Command, October 26, 1943; VIII Air Force Composite Command, February 14, 1944; VIII Fighter Command, October 1, 1944; 1 Bomb Division, November 29, 1944 to April 15, 1945.
Operational Components. Squadrons: 551st Fighter Training: October 26, 1943 to April 15, 1945. 552nd Fighter Training: October 26, 1943 to April 15, 1945.
Stations. RAF Atcham, England, October 26, 1943; RAF Whitchurch, England, February 3, 1945 to April 15, 1945.
Service Streamers. World War II: European, African, Middle Eastern Theater


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