USAF Patch Fighter PAC 3 TFW x Exercise Gunsmoke Team 1983 F 4
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USAF Patch Fighter PAC 3 TFW x Exercise Gunsmoke Team 1983 F 4

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USAF Patch PAC 3 TFW Tactical Fighter Exercise Gunsmoke Team 1983 F 4 Phantom Wild Weasel 1983 Clark AFB Philippine made Fully embroidered cut edge 93mm three and five eighth inches diameter.

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3 Bombardment Wing Light was activated at Yokota Air Base Japan on 18 August 1948 with 3 Bombardment Group operating the flying element 8 13 and 90 Bombardment Squadrons equipped with B 26 Invader aircraft tasked with bomb and reconnaissance as part of the army of occupation. 3 BW L relocated to Johnson AB Japan on 1 April 1950 and was retasked for night interdiction in June 1950 with the Squadrons redesignated 8 13 and 90 Bombardment Squadron Light Night Intruder on 25 June 1950 the same day North Korea invaded South Korea.

The President Truman authorised military support for South Korea and the 3 BW L participated in the first bombing sortie of the War with 8 BS LNI staging from Iwakuni AB Japan to strike advancing North Korean ground forces on 27 June 1950 with 13 BS LNI attacking the column later that day. Strikes on targets in North Korea were authorized on 30 June 1950 and 8 and 13 BS LNI undertook the first such strike the same day against Pyongyang Airfield destroying fighters on the ground and one in the air.

3 Bombardment Group with the Squadrons moved to Iwakuni AB on 1 July 1950 for daytime combat operations directly under Fifth Air Force with the Wing remaining at Yokota AB and commenced night missions in August 1950 with its black painted B 26s. The Reserve 731 Bombardment Squadron Light Night Attack was called to active duty and joined 3 BG in November 1950. The Wing regained control of its flying element relocating HQ from Yokota AB to Iwakuni AB on 1 December 1950. After its successful combat tour 731 BS LNA returned to the US in June 1950. The Wing and Group relocated to Kunsan AB K 8 South Korea in August 1951 and mounted searchlights on the B 26s which proved highly effective in illuminating targets. Operations continued for the rest of the War with the Wing conducting the last bombing mission over North Korea minutes before implementation of the Korean Armistice Agreement at midnight 27 July 1953.

The Wing moved to Johnson AB Japan in October 1954 and reequipped with Martin B 57B Canberra Night Intruder aircraft in late 1955 with its primary mission of Cold War nuclear strike attack against strategic targets on Communist China North Korea and Eastern Soviet Union operating a rotational nuclear alert at Kusan AB South Korea as nuclear weapons could not be stored in Japan. The Wing assumed direct control of the flying Squadrons on 13 August 1956 when the Group tier was reduced to two personnel before 3 BG was inactivated on 25 October 1957. Air Defense Command deployed 40 Fighter Interceptor Squadron with F 102 Delta Dagger fighters to 3 BW to undertake air defense missions over Japan for a six month TDY. With a planned reduction in USAF Wings 3 BW was carded for inactivation with 8 and 13 BSs reassigned to 41 Air Division in late 1963 to continue the nuclear alert mission at Kusan AB.

The increasing demand for aircraft for the growing conflict in Vietnam led to the Wing with 90 BS being redesignated 3 Tactical Fighter Wing reassigned without personnel or equipment to England AFB Louisiana on 8 January 1964 and brought up to full strength with 90 416 510 and 531 Tactical Fighter Squadrons equipped with F 100 D and F Super Sabre fighter bombers. 3 TFW began deploying its Squadrons to Vietnam on rotational TDY tasked with ground support and relocated to Bien Hoa AB South Vietnam in November 1965. The Wing undertook close air support forward air control counter insurgency interdiction and radar controlled bombing missions in support of numerous ground operations.

3 TFW supported F 5A Freedom Fighter operational testing under the Skoshi Tiger project successfully undertaking F 5 combat missions from April 1966 to April 1967 before transferring the F 5s to the Vietnamese Air Force. The Wings 604 Air Commando Squadron evaluated the combat capabilities of the A 37 Dragonfly during November and December 1967 and continued its use with combat operations until September 1970.

With the phase out of the F 100 3 TFW inactivated 510 TFS on 15 November 1969 8 Bombardment Squadron was reassigned to 3 TFW redesignated 8 Attack Squadron and reequipped with A 37 Dragonfly FAC aircraft on 18 November 1969 90 TFS was reequipped with A 37s and was redesignated 90 Attack Squadron on 12 December 1969 and 531 TFS was inactivated on 31 July 1970. The Wing participated in the Sanctuary Counteroffensive in Cambodia May June 1970.

With the reduction in forces in Vietnam 3 TFWs 8 AS was reassigned to 35 TFW on 30 September 1970 and with its remaining Squadron 90 AS reassigned to 14 Special Operations Wing on 31 October 1970 the Wing ceased operations and remained unmanned.

3 TFW was relocated unmanned to Kunsan AB South Korea on 15 March 1971 where it was assigned 35 36 and 80 Tactical Fighter Squadrons equipped with F 4D Phantom II fighter aircraft tasked primarily with air defence of South Korea undertaking combat operations with 18 F 4D Phantoms from 35 TFS deployed to Vietnam in support of Linebacker I in early April 1972 destroying six enemy fighters.

3 Tactical Fighter Wings Squadrons were reassigned to 8 Tactical Fighter Wing and 3 TFW was moved without personnel and equipment to Clark AB Philippines on 16 September 1974 to replace the inactivating 405 Tactical Fighter Wing assigned with 90 TFS equipped with F 4D Phantom II fighters and the yet to be equipped 26 and 68 TFSs tasked with air defence and ground attack operations.

With the pending fall of South Vietnam 3 TFW began humanitarian operations receiving providing support and processing 1500 orphans and 8786 adults evacuated from Vietnam from 5 April to 31 May 1975 prior to their onward journey to the US.

26 TFS received T 38 Talon for use as dissimilar air combat training DACT and was redesignated 26 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron TFTS on 31 August 1975. 90 TFS upgraded to F 4E Phantom II and 3 Tactical Fighter Squadron equipped with F 4E Phantoms was assigned to the Wing in December 1975 to take the place of 68 Tactical Fighter Squadron which had been inactivated on 30 September 1975. 3 TFW was assigned 3 Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron TEWTS on 15 May 1976 and began operating the Crow Valley Bombing and Gunnery Range supported by UH 1N Huey helicopters. Pacific Air Forces initiated its Cope Thunder training exercise in July 1976 assigning responsibility to 3 TFW. 26 TFTS reequipped with F 5E Tiger aircraft for DACT Aggressor operations.

90 TFS began conversion to F 4G Wild Weasel Phantom II aircraft on 30 July 1977 for suppression of enemy air defences SEAD operations with 3 TFW retasked for air superiority in January 1978 providing air defence ground attack and SEAD mission capability. 26 TFTS was redesignated 26 Aggressor Squadron on 22 April 1983.

In 1989 the Philippine Government had requested the US Forces withdrawal from the Philippines however island instability kept 3 TFW in place at Clark AB. With the end of the Cold War the USAF decided to terminate the entire USAF aggressor program and 26 AS was disbanded on 21 February 1990.

 and it deployed six F 4E Phantoms to Incirlik AB Turkey in January 1991 joining 7440 Composite Wing Provisional for combat operations during Operation Desert Storm. Negotiations with the Philippines broke down and the US decided to move 3 Wing in the year 1992 93 however the Mount Pinatubo eruption in June 1991 forced the Wings hasty relocation without personnel or equipment to Elmendorf AFB Alaska and redesignated 3 Wing on 19 December 1991 replacing 21 Wing as host organization for Elemendorf AFB. 3 Wing was assigned 43 and 54 Fighter Squadrons equipped with F 15C Eagle air superiority aircraft and reunited with 90 Fighter Squadron which equipped with F 15E Strike Eagle long range interdiction aircraft.

3 Wing was assigned 517 Airlift Squadron equipped with C 130H Hercules and C 12 Huron transport aircraft in April 1992 and 962 Airborne Warning and Control Squadron Airborne Air Control Squadron with two E 3B Sentry AWACS aircraft on 1 October 1992 providing it with a composite force that could be rapidly deployed worldwide. The Wing undertook Cope Thunder exercise which had been relocated from Clark AB to Eielson AFB Alaska with its extensive ranges operated by 343 Wing until replaced in August 1993 by 354 Fighter Wing.

43 FS was inactivated and its F 15C Eagles personnel and equipment used to form the activating 19 FS on 1 January 1994. With the end of the Cold War 3 Wing inactivated 24 hour air defence alert detachment at King Salmon Airport on 29 April 1994 with forward operating bases there and at Galena placed on standby mode. 962 AWACS was redesignated 962 Airborne Air Control Squadron on 1 August 1994. 3 Wing hosted a visit by four Russian Air Force SU 27 Flanker fighter aircraft in 1995 and 54 Fighter Squadron made its first operational deployment outside Alaska when it TDY deployed eight F 15Cs to Incirlik AB Turkey in support of Operation Provide Comfort from 8 April to 17 July 1995. Four F 15Cs visited the SU 27 Russian Air Base in 1996 and 90 Fighter Squadron deployed eight F 15E Strike Eagles to Aviano AB Italy in support of Operation Deny Flight Joint Endeavor from October 1995 to January 1996. Other deployments continued on routine basis involving the fighter squadrons and 517 AS and 962 AACS. 54 Fighter Squadron was inactivated on 28 April 2000 when its F 15C Eagles personnel and equipment used to reform 12 Fighter squadron.

3 Wing was allocated as one of USAFs ten lead Air Expeditionary Wings with a commitment of deploy with Air Expeditionary Force AEF taskings in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom from 2004. Cope Thunder was renamed Red Flag Alaska in 2006.

90 FS began converting to F 22 Raptor fighters in August 2007. The Wing inactivated 12 FS and activated 525 Fighter Squadron on 30 September 2007 in its place as the Wings second F 22 unit. 517 AS replaced its C 130H Hercules wit C 17 Globemaster II transport aircraft in 2007. 19 FS was reassigned to 15 Operations Group Joint Base Pearl Harbour Hickam Hawaii and reequipped with the F 22 Raptor on 4 October 2010.  

The Wing activated 537 Airlift Squadron on 29 April 2011 equipped with C 130H Hercules transport aircraft to augment 144 Airlift Squadron Alaska Air National Guard tasked with US Army airborne forces training support. 537 AS was inactivated on 11 September 2013 due to Department of Defence budget cuts.

 

 

This patch dates from 1983.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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