Shaw gains new fighter group

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  • By 010313
The 495th Fighter Group will stand up during an activation ceremony here March 8 at 9:45 a.m. at the Carolina Skies Club and Conference Center.

The 495th Fighter Group's activation is part of the Air Force's ongoing initiative to integrate traditional, active-duty Airmen with Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units to streamline training and resource use. Such integrated units are called active associate units.

The 495th Fighter Group staff will be headquartered here. The group will guide 10, 9th Air Force-affiliated, active associate fighter detachments co-located with host Guard and Reserve units across the country.

Five years ago, Air Force leaders recognized a changing force structure and budget constraints demanded creative ways to generate experienced fighter pilots. Their solution was to leverage the Guard's and Reserve's experience, continuity and assets through an initiative called Total Force Integration.

Media members who wish to cover the activation ceremony must RSVP to 9th Air Force Public Affairs office via e-mail,, or by phone, 895-4322, by 3 p.m. March 7. Attending media must arrive at the Shaw Air Force Base Visitors' Center at the base's Main Gate by 8:15 a.m. March 8. Late arrivals and media members who don't RSVP may be unable to gain access to the base.

Reporters with video camera equipment should bring wireless microphones to best facilitate audio coverage of this event.

Lt. Col. Juris Jansons will officially assume command of the group during the ceremony. Maj. Gen. Lawrence Wells, 9th Air Force commander, 9th Air Force Headquarters, Shaw Air Force Base, will preside over the event.

The 9th Air Force comprises eight active-duty wings and two direct reporting units in the Southeastern U.S. with more than 480 aircraft and 28,000 active-duty and civilian personnel. The 9th Air Force is also responsible for the operational readiness of 13 Air Reserve Component wings.

Please call 803-895-4322 for more information.