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20th FW History

The 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 South and North Carolina.   Many of these organizations are listed below.  Click on the links for information.

Ninth Air Force is a Numbered Air Force (NAF) under Air Combat Command activated Aug. 5, 2009, 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. Additionally, Ninth Air Force commands eight wings and three direct reporting units in the Southeastern U.S., ensuring the operational readiness of more than 400 aircraft and 26,000 active duty and civilian members.


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.


United States Air Forces Central Command 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.


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. 


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. 

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.


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F-16C Fighting Falcon

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 at the touch of a button. 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.


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