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57th Wing
57th Wing.svg
57th Wing Shield
Active November 20, 1940 – present
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Type Operational Test and Evaluation
Part of Air Combat Command
Garrison/HQ Nellis Air Force Base
U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg
Brig Gen Rob Novotny
John P. Jumper
T. Michael Moseley
Joseph Ashy
A flight of Aggressor F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons fly in formation. The jets are assigned to the 64th and 65th Aggressor squadrons at Nellis Air Force Base. Identified aircraft are F-16C Block 32C 86-251; Block 25E 84-1299; F-15C-27-MC 80-0010 and F-15D-39-MC 85-129.
A flight of Aggressor F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons fly in formation. The jets are assigned to the 64th and 65th Aggressor squadrons at Nellis Air Force Base. Identified aircraft are F-16C Block 32C 86-251; Block 25E 84-1299; F-15C-27-MC 80-0010 and F-15D-39-MC 85-129.
The USAF Thunderbirds at the dedication of the United States Air Force Memorial 14 October 2006
The USAF Thunderbirds at the dedication of the United States Air Force Memorial 14 October 2006
An F-22A Raptor and F-15C Eagle from the U.S. Air Force Weapons School's 433rd Weapons Squadron pull into a vertical climb over the Nevada Test and Training Range July 16, 2010.
An F-22A Raptor and F-15C Eagle from the U.S. Air Force Weapons School's 433rd Weapons Squadron pull into a vertical climb over the Nevada Test and Training Range July 16, 2010.
26th Weapons Squadron MQ-1 Predator
26th Weapons Squadron MQ-1 Predator

The 57th Wing (57 WG) is an operational unit of the United States Air Force Warfare Center, stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

The 57 WG's mission is to provide well trained and well equipped combat forces ready to deploy into a combat arena to conduct integrated combat operations.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/1
  • 57th Wing Mission Video


“The early beginnings of today’s 57 Wing can be traced back to World War II. The Las Vegas Army Air Corps Gunnery School mission was to train aerial gunners to the degree of proficiency that would qualify them for combat duty. The Gunnery School trained gunners in various aircraft including the AT-6 Texan, the B-10 Martin bomber, the B-17, and eventually the B-29. Over the decades following World War II, the gunnery school eventually evolved into what is known today as the US Air Force Weapons School, providing graduate-level instructor courses in advanced weapons and tactics training.” “In August of 1969, born out of the lessons of the Vietnam War, the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing at Nellis AFB, Nevada, was charged with training tactical fighter aircrews, conducting operational tests and evaluations, demonstrating tactical fighter weapons systems, and developing leading-edge fighter tactics. The lessons of Vietnam eventually led to the creation of Red Flag, an exercise designed to ensure aircrews could survive their first missions in combat, arming them with realistic and challenging combat training, with professional adversaries providing dissimilar air combat training and electronic warfare.” “Today, the 57th Wing’s proud history continues as the Wing prepares our Air Force Airmen for tomorrow’s victories. “The 57th Wing leads the way to ensure that our combat air forces are prepared to fly, fight, and win in our nation’s future contested, degraded, and operationally limited environments.” “The 57th Wing also plays an important role in ensuring our combat air forces are appropriately trained to achieve the increasingly important synergistic effects on the battlefields of today and tomorrow.” “The US Air Force’s Weapons School of the 57 Wing provides the most realistic aircrew training in the world, providing advanced academic and flying training to the most elite instructors in the Air Force. Students attending Weapons Instructor training learn advanced flying training that is uniquely tailored to their specific major weapon systems, allowing them to return to their home units upon graduation from the six-month course armed with the academic and flying instruction foundation to lead and teach the future combat aircrews of our Air Force.” “The 57th Wing is also the home of Red Flag and Green Flag. Both exercises provide realistic combat training that provides Joint, Coalition, and Air Force Airmen with the advanced combat training that will enable them to excel in today and tomorrow’s combat environments. Red Flag is a large force exercise that is conducted three times a year in the most realistic combat range in the world, the Nellis Test and Training Range. Green Flag is conducted twenty times a year and prepares our Air Force, Joint, and Coalition partners to fly, fight, and win in a Close Air Support combat environment. The 57th Wing is the largest composite wing in the United States Air Force, providing the most advanced combat training in the world.” “The 57th Wing’s Adversary Tactics Group has a cadre of uniquely trained men and women who are the subject matter experts on the tactics and techniques of our adversaries. These Airmen are uniquely trained and qualified to provide accurate threat replication of enemy aircraft, air defense, information operations, in addition to electronic, space, and cyber-attack; Simply put, the Airmen of the Adversary Tactics Group know, teach, and replicate the capabilities of our adversaries. “The 57th Adversary Tactics Group is the Wing’s key enabler for providing the most realistic combat training environment possible – vital to our Air Force’s combat readiness.” “The advanced tactics, training, and airpower advocacy found at Nellis Air Force Base’s 57th Wing would not be possible without the incredible strength and expertise of our Airmen – who are ultimately the foundation of our success as we ensure our Air Force is prepared for tomorrow’s victories.” “Preparing the USAF for tomorrow’s victories”



The 57 WG is home to advanced air combat training. The wing provides training for composite strike forces which include every type of aircraft in the Air Force inventory. Training is conducted in conjunction with air and ground units of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and air forces from US allied nations. The crews do not come to learn how to fly, but instead learn how to be combat aviators.


The wing was reorganized in 2005 to reflect its current structure. It consists of four groups and two direct reporting units to the wing:

Established in July 2005, the 57th ATG consists of Aggressor squadrons that replicate adversary threat tactics while training combat air forces aircrews.
64th Aggressor Squadron: 15 Sep 2005-Present
65th Aggressor Squadron: 15 Sep 2005-2014
527th Space Aggressor Squadron: 14 Apr 2006-Present
57th Adversary Tactics Support Squadron
57th Information Aggressor Squadron
507th Air Defense Aggressor Squadron
547th Intelligence Squadron
Composed of 16 squadrons, the U.S. Air Force Weapons School teaches graduate-level instructor courses that provide advanced training in weapons and tactics employment to officers of the combat air forces.
"America's Ambassadors in Blue," the Thunderbirds have performed for more than 300 million people in all 50 states and 60 countries around the world.
  • 57th Maintenance Group
USAF's most diverse maintenance group with over 2,200 Airmen, civilians and contractors in 3 squadrons, 8 Aircraft Maintenance Units, 13 flying hour programs and Air Combat Command's largest A-76 backshop service provider contract worth over $230M. Provides sortie generation, munitions and on- and off-equipment maintenance for 132 assigned A-10, F-15, F-16, F-35A and F-22A aircraft to support the test, tactics and training missions.
  • United States Air Force Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Officers School
Provides graduate-level instruction to maintenance and munitions officers in the USAF distinctive capability of Agile Combat Support (ACS).

The Thunderbirds and the USAF Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Officer School report directly to the 57th Wing commander.


See 57th Operations Group for complete lineage and timeline information.
See 57th Adversary Tactics Group and USAF Weapons School for the flying components of the 57th Wing.
See USAF Air Demonstration Squadron for the United States Air Force Thunderbirds.

Established on 15 March 1948, the 57th Fighter Wing replaced 57th Fighter Wing (Provisional) in April 1948. It operated Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, and several satellite bases, and provided air defense of Alaska, April 1948-December 1950. In addition, the wing provided intra-theater troop carrier and airlift support, 1948–1950, using several attached troop carrier squadrons. In January 1951, it was replaced by 39th Air Depot Wing.

The 57th moved to Nevada and replaced the 4525th Fighter Weapons Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, in October 1969. At Nellis, it trained tactical fighter aircrews, conducted operational tests and evaluations, demonstrated tactical fighter weapon systems, and developed fighter tactics and from February 1970 to October 1979 and operated Nellis AFB for all base tenants. The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron (the "Thunderbirds") was assigned to the wing in February 1974 and has remained an integral part of the wing to present. The 57th assumed operational control of "Red Flag" exercises in October 1979; developing realistic combat training operations featuring adversary tactics, dissimilar air combat training, and electronic warfare. It incorporated intelligence training after March 1980. In 1990 the aggressor mission transferred to 4440th TFTG and later to the 414th CTS. The wing added instruction in hunter/killer counter electronic warfare tactics until 1996.

Modern era

From 1992–1999, the wing operated detachments at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, and Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, that flew and tested the F-111, B-1, and B-52 respectively. It added the 66th Rescue Squadron, equipped with HH-60 helicopters, on February 1, 1993, while the squadron was deployed in Southwest Asia. From 1991 to present, the 57th provided combat aircrew capabilities, operating the USAF Weapons and the USAF Combat Rescue Schools, developing techniques and procedures and conducting operational test and evaluation on all major aircraft in the AF inventory.

With the reactivation of the 432d Wing at Creech Air Force Base on May 1, 2007, the elements that comprised the 57th Operations Group, were transferred to the 432nd Wing.


  • Established as 57th Fighter Wing c. 15 March 1948*
Organized on 20 April 1948
Redesignated 57th Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 20 January 1950
Inactivated on 1 January 1951
  • Redesignated 57th Fighter Weapons Wing on 22 August 1969
Activated on 15 October 1969 by redesignation of 4525th Fighter Weapons Wing
Redesignated: 57th Tactical Training Wing on 1 April 1977
Redesignated: 57th Fighter Weapons Wing on 1 March 1980
Redesignated: 57th Fighter Wing on 1 October 1991
Redesignated: 57th Wing on 15 June 1993.

*Note: The 57th Fighter Wing (Provisional) was established on 16 April 1947 at Fort Richardson, Alaska, as one of the "Base-Wing" concept provisional Table of Distribution (T/D) organizations. The provisional wing was inactivated and replaced by the 57th Fighter Wing in March 1948 (exact date unknown).


  • Alaskan Air Command, 20 April 1948 – 1 January 1951
  • USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons (later, USAF Fighter Weapons; USAF Weapons and Tactics; Air Warfare) Center, 15 October 1969–present



April 20, 1948 – January 1, 1951 (detached December 10, 1950 – January 1, 1951)
November 1, 1991 –
Attached October 1, 1979 – February 28, 1980
Assigned March 1, 1980 – November 1, 1991
  • 4443d Tactical Training Group: January 26, 1990 – November 1, 1991.




Aircraft operated


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.

External links

This page was last edited on 17 October 2018, at 19:44
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