Image of F-16s flying in formation

20th FW History

Graphic of the 20th Fighter Wing shieldThe history of the 20th Fighter Wing traces itself back to 1927 with the authorization of the 20th Balloon Group. From these humble beginnings, the 20th Pursuit Group was formed in 1930. After World War II the redesignated 20th Fighter Group was inactivated in October 1945. Nine months later the Group was reactivated. In 1947 the 20th Fighter Group was assigned to the newly activated 20th Fighter Wing and in 1955 the group was absorbed by the wing. For more information click here.
 

Mission Partners

The 20th Fighter Wing hosts and supports more than 20 major mission partners and tenant units across North and South Carolina. Many of these organizations are listed below. 
 

Link to ARCENT website

United States Army Central is an operational-level Army force designated by the Secretary of the Army as the Army Service Component Command of United States Central Command. On behalf of the Secretary of the Army and through the Chief of Staff of the Army, USARCENT exercises administrative control of all U.S. Army forces in the Middle East and Central Asia - which includes supplying, equipping, training, servicing, administrating, and maintaining forces.

 

Link to 15th Air Force website
Fifteenth Air Force is a Numbered Air Force (NAF) under Air Combat Command activated Aug. 20, 2020, and is responsible for training Airmen to deliver combat airpower worldwide and provide a light, lean, and agile Air Force, Joint, or Combined Task Force Headquarters.


 

Link to AFCENT website

Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) is the air component of United States Central Command, a regional unified command. USAFCENT is responsible for air operations, either unilaterally or in concert with coalition partners, and developing contingency plans in support of national objectives for USCENTCOM's 20-nation area of responsibility in Southwest Asia. Additionally, USAFCENT manages an extensive supply and equipment prepositioning program at several Area of Responsibility sites.

 



 Link to 609th AOC webpageThe 609th Air Operations Center delivers continuous, resilient, and decisive air, space, and cyber power across U.S. Central Command's 20-nation AOR in order to bolster regional security, deter adversaries, and when deterrence fails, defeat the enemy. The CAOC consists of 5 divisions and 3 squadrons: Strategy Division; Combat Plans Division; Combat Operations Division; Air Mobility Division; ISR Division; 609th Air Support Squadron; 609th Air Communications Squadron; and 609th Expeditionary Air Communications Squadron. The CAOC is geographically split between Al Udeid AB, Qatar, and Shaw AFB, S.C.

 Link to 495th Fighter Group webpageThe 495th Fighter Group was reactivated March 8, 2013, at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, as an active association between active-duty pilots and their guard and reserve counterparts. The activation at Shaw marked an 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.


 

Link to 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing webpage

The 25th Attack Group, a unit assigned to the 432nd Wing and 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Creech AFB, Nevada, provides MQ-9 Reaper crews the ability to train outside of combat missions. Shaw AFB provide a new location for Airmen to live and having the increased population with the group will give them a greater voice in the remotely piloted aircraft command.The MQ-9 Reaper is a medium-to-high altitude, long endurance remotely piloted aircraft system. 


 

Link to the 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing webpage

 

The 51st Intelligence Squadron falls under the 365th ISR Group and is Air Force’s only regional aligned intelligence squadron. 

 

Link to the Det 202 webpage


The 372nd Training Squadron, Detachment 202's mission statement is: Provide training on advanced F-16 aircraft, equipment and munitions maintenance techniques in order to meet training, exercise, and real-world demands.



 Link to the 28th Operational Weather Squadron webpageThe 28th Operational Weather Squadron provides highly accurate, timely, and relevant weather information directly to Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force, and Coalition warfighters in the United States Central Command area of responsibility. As the USCENTCOM and International Security Assistance Force designated Joint Meteorology and Oceanographic Forecast Unit, the 28th OWS produces and disseminates joint operations area forecasts for the AOR, as well as terminal aerodrome forecasts for 19 forward bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. For more information, click here.



Link to the 337th Recruiting Squadron webpage
The 337th Recruiting Squadron, commanded by Lt. Col. Kelly D. McElveny, directs and operates the recruiting activities of seven enlisted accession flights with approximately 85 active-duty and 10 civilian personnel. The 337th RCS covers a 57,000 square-mile area that includes North and South Carolina. Its mission is to inspire, engage and recruit future Airmen to deliver airpower for America. 
 

 

Link to the Geographically Separated Units webpage


The 20th Fighter Wing supports more than 20 units geographically separated from Shaw Air Force Base. For more information on these units and the services available to the Airmen assigned to them click here.

 

20 FW Aircraft

The F-16C Fighting Falcon is a single-seat, multi-mission fighter with the ability to switch from an air-to-ground to air-to-air role. With its lightweight airframe and powerful General Electric engine generating 31,000 pounds of thrust, the F-16C can fly at speeds in excess of Mach 2.
Read the F-16's full fact sheet here.

20 FW MISSION

Image of F-16 firing munition

Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses - the primary mission of the 20th FW, also known as the Wild Weasel mission is to suppress enemy surface-based air defenses. The objective is to destroy or neutralize the enemy’s surface-to-air threat before it launches or assumes an attacking role.

Graphic of Shaw Weasel Patch