By Staff Sgt. Penny Snoozy, 173rd Fighter Wing
KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. —
The active duty Air Force detachment based here is now officially designated as the 550th Fighter Squadron following an activation ceremony at Kingsley Field, July 21, 2017.
In 2014, the detachment was activated as a part of the Total Force Integration (TFI), which brought active-duty Airman to Kingsley Field for the first time. They were originally designated as Detachment 2, 56th Operations Group.
“As a combined operations, maintenance, and support squadron, the 550th ‘Silver Eagles’ will be one of the largest squadrons in Air Education and Training Command,” said Lt. Col. Brad Orgeron, the squadron commander. “Together the 550th Silver Eagles and the 173rd Fighter Wing will continue to produce the best air-to-air F-15C pilots for the Combat Air Force.”
550th Fighter Squadron members will continue to fall under the command of the 56th Operations Group at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., but will operate out of Kingsley Field alongside the Oregon Air National Guardsmen.
The TFI is designed to bolster Kingsley’s mission with additional Air Force active duty Airmen stationed at the Air National Guard base in order to increase the number of pilots trained in a given period of time.
TFI is an acronym used to describe a military organization which has both reserve and active component members working side-by-side in the same organization for a common mission.
The TFI was initiated after the Chief of Staff of the Air Force directed increased production of F-15C pilots. To achieve this goal the Air Force recognized the need for additional aircraft and manpower at the 173rd Fighter Wing, the sole F-15C training base for the USAF.
Currently, nearly 100 active-duty Airmen belonging to the 550th Fighter Squadron reside in the Klamath Basin.