Around the same time the 366th Fighter Group was started in June 1943 in Virginia, construction plans began in Idaho for Mountain Home AFB. The land cost only $1 or $2 an acre and construction began in November 1942. Mountain Home Army Air Field officially opened Aug. 7, 1943. When World War II ended, the mission at Mountain Home reverted to B-24 training. In October 1945, the base was placed on inactive status. The base remained inactive until December 1948 when it hosted the 5th Reconnaissance Group and then the 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, flying the RB-17. When the Air Force became an independent service, the base was renamed Mountain Home Air Force Base. In 1953, the base was transferred to Strategic Air Command, which assigned its 9th Bombardment Wing to Mountain Home AFB. In 1959, construction of three Titan missile sites began in the local area. The missile sites remained active for only three years.
Control of Mountain Home AFB passed from Strategic Air Command to Tactical Air Command in January 1966. With this change, the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing replaced the 9th Strategic Aerospace Wing. The 347th Tactical Fighter Wing, equipped with F-111Fs, replaced the 67th as host unit of the base in May 1971. The 347th had a short stay at Mountain Home, conducting F-111F training until October 1972. Upon arrival, the 366th absorbed all people and equipment from the 347th. The 366th received F-111A aircraft from Nellis AFB, Nevada. The Air Force announced plans to place EF-111A aircraft at Mountain Home AFB in March 1980, with the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing training F-111A and EF-111A aircrews while maintaining combat readiness in both aircraft.
In early 1991, the Air Force announced that the 366th would become the Air Force’s premier air intervention composite wing. The air intervention composite wing’s rapid transition from concept to reality began in October 1991, when it was designated the 366th Wing. The wing’s new fighter squadrons were activated as part of the composite wing in March 1992. The 389th began flying the dual-role F-16C Fighting Falcon, while the 391st was equipped with the deadly nighttime fighter-bomber, F-15E Strike Eagle. These two squadrons provide Gunfighters round-the-clock precision capability. The wing received its air superiority aircraft, F-15Cs, in September 1992. With its internal 20 mm cannon and air-to-air missiles, the F-15C protects the wing’s high-value assets from enemy air threats. The wing also gained the 22nd Air Refueling Squadron, equipped with the KC-135R. These tankers give the air intervention composite wing its ability to deploy globally at a moment’s notice.
In April 1994, the wing gained the 34th Bomb Squadron with its B-1B aircraft, and began the beddown of the aircraft from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, to Mountain Home AFB in August 1996. The 34th Bomb Squadron (B-1B bombers) and the 22nd Air Refueling Squadron (KC-135 tankers) were deactivated in the summer of 2002, leaving the wing with the F-15E, F-15C and the F-16CJ type aircraft. After the 366th Wing’s success at Operation Provide Comfort, the wing’s mission changed from an air intervention composite wing to an air expeditionary wing Jan. 1, 1997. On Sept. 27, 2002, the wing took on the designation of the 366th Fighter Wing and became a member of an air expeditionary force. For the past 50 years both Mountain Home AFB and the 366th Fighter Wing have played vital roles in the nation’s defense. Now, together as partners, they forge ahead as the leading edge of airpower into the next century.