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Eielson AFB
18th Aggressor Squadron

18th Aggressor Squadron

The 18th Aggressor Squadron was first formed as the 18th Pursuit Squadron on Dec. 22, 1939, and activated at Moffet Field, Calif., on Feb. 1, 1940. The 18th moved to Elmendorf Field, Alaska, on Feb. 21, 1941, and began flying P-36s. Redesignated the 18th Fighter Squadron on May 15, 1942, the 18th participated in combat operations in the northern Pacific, and aided the defense of Alaska during World War II. Throughout World War II, the 18th flew the P-40, P-39, P-38 and P-51 aircraft.

Redesignated the 18th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron in 1952, the squadron began operations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as part of Air Defense Command’s Continental Defense Force. There, the 18th flew F-51s and later F-86s. In July of 1954, the 18th moved to Ladd Field, Alaska, where for three years it flew the F-89 Scorpion and carried out air defense operations with Alaskan Air Command.

In August 1957, the 18th transferred to Wurtsmith AFB, Mich. where it transitioned to F-102s. From May 1960 until its inactivation in 1971, the 18th operated from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., as an integral part of the interceptor force of Air (later Aerospace) Defense Command. There, the 18th flew the F-101 Voodoo. The 18th was reactivated in 1977 at Elmendorf and was redesignated the 18th Tactical Fighter Squadron. Its mission was to provide tactical air and air defense operations flying the F-4E.

On Jan. 1, 1982, the squadron moved to Eielson. Here, the 18th’s mission became that of providing close air support in the A-10 Thunderbolt. On March 7, 1991, the 18th received its first F-16C. The squadron was redesignated the 18th Fighter Squadron on June 1, 1991. The unit deployed to Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait, from October through December 1998, in support of Operation Southern Watch. The 18th FS deployed again to Southwest Asia from September through December 2000; however, this time it was to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, in support of Operation Northern Watch. During a deployment from November to February 2002, 18th FS pilots supported flying operations during Operation Anaconda, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Two 18th FS pilots received Distinguished Flying Crosses for their efforts during the deployment. The 18th FS deployed

to Andersen AFB, Guam, in support of Operation Noble Eagle in March 2003. The Blue Foxes were the first active-duty F-16 Fighting Falcon (Viper) unit with close air support as its primary mission.

On Aug. 24, 2007, the 18th FS was officially redesignated the 18th Aggressor Squadron. Formed from an initial cadre of experienced 18th FS pilots and 64th Aggressors from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., these individuals were hand-picked experts in adversary weapons systems and tactics. On Jan. 17, 2008, the 18th AGRS received its first F-16 Block 30 from Kunsan AB, Korea, with the new advanced Flanker (arctic) aggressor paint scheme.

Commensurate with its change in status came a new mission for the 18th — preparing and training the rest of the combat air forces as PACAF’s only dedicated adversary squadron.

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