The 123rd Fighter Squadron is stationed at Portland IAP, Oregon. The 123rd was designated as the 123rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron when it received their first F-15A/B’s in 1989-1990. The F-15’s received used to fly with the deactivated 318th FIS at McHord AFB, Washington. The 123rd FS report to the 142nd Fighter Wing.
The 142nd Fighter Wing mission is to serve the nation, state and community by providing mission ready units, personnel and equipment for: Domination in the air superiority arena; Federal augmentation in support of national security objectives; Response to state and local contingencies; and n Pro-active involvement in activities that add value to the people and communities.
The unit was established April 18, 1941, and activated in World War II and the Korean War. It is the grandfather to Oregon’s other Air Guard units — 173 FW, 270 ATCS, 116 ACS, 244 CBCS and 272 CBCS. The repertoire of aircraft has included F-51, B-25J, F-86, F-94, F-89, F-102, F-101, F-4C, C-131, C-130A, T-33.
Personnel strength includes 475 full-time employees (112 AGRs, 252 federal technicians, 58 Title 5 civilians, 53 state); 645 drill-status guardmembers; 1009 total authorized; 940 assigned (93.16% includes student flight); Officer: 102 authorized, 92 assigned (90.20%); Enlisted: 907 authorized, 786 assigned (86.66%); Student Flight: 62.
It is rully integrated into “Total Force” — Air Expeditionary Force #9. The location in the Pacific Northwestern United States is key for air defense of the nation. The Air National Guard Base is co-located with civilian international airport. The base has numerous military and civilian support agreements to benefit state and local government agencies. Hence, Portland Air Base is a BIG operation. It is not a typical ANG facility because it is host to an Air Force Reserve Wing and several other ANG/ARNG units. The actual facility employs and/or supports nearly 3,000 employees. The unique operating environment and permits provides many services to area active duty military families and retirees since the nearest active duty military installation is nearly 200 miles away.
Previously designated as the 123rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, the squadron was renamed the 123th Fighter Squadron in 1992.
The squadron converted to the F-15A/B aircraft in 1989/90, with most of those planes coming from the 318th FIS at McChord AFB, which was being disbanded.
The Unit has been flying the F-15 Eagle jet fighter since 1989. – The 142 FW has 15 PAI and 3 BAI/AR F-15A and F-15B Eagles.
The wing participated in a wide variety of expeditionary and humanitarian assistance missions in the turbulent post-Cold War environment while providing air defense of the Pacific Northwest. These included major deployments to Turkey in 1998 for Operation Northern Watch and to Saudi Arabia in 2000 for Operation Southern Watch, patrolling the no-fly zones then in place over Iraq. The wing deployed aircraft to Panama in 1998 in support of counter=drug missions, helping stem the flow of the drug trade by air. Wing personnel deployed on various other missions, sending medical troops to Belize, civil engineers to Macedonia, and to such places around the globe as Curaçao, Denmark, Germany, Guam, Kuwait, Spain and the United Kingdom.
On 11 September 2001, the wing was one of the first units to respond to terrorist attacks on the east coast with increased air defense to enhance security on the west coast, and subsequently participated in Operation Noble Eagle, the national military response to homeland defense.
In the 50th Year of William Tell Anniversary Competition held in 2004, the 142d Fighter Wing was rated first in Maintenance, Element Attack and Gun categories. These William Tell successes demonstrate Oregon’s long history of excellent performance and readiness to accomplish the real world mission.
In 2004, unit personnel provided humanitarian aid in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the 2007 floods in Vernonia, Oregon. The wing also supported ongoing contingency operations in Southwest Asia, including Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, such as in the 2004 deployment of medical personnel to Qatar and the 2009 deployment of Security Forces Squadron personnel to Iraq.
In 2005, the early 1970s F-15A model were retired and the squadron received its current aircraft, the F-15C Eagle. With more than 1,000 officers and airmen, the 142d Fighter Wing guards the Pacific Northwest skies from northern California to the Canada–US border, on 24-hour Air Sovereignty Alert as part of Air Combat Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The wing also stands ready to participate in state and federal contingency missions as required.
In August 2010, two F-15 Eagles from this wing were dispatched in response to an airspace violation while the President visited Seattle, Washington. The jets produced two sonic booms over the Seattle skyline, the civilian Cessna 182 left restricted airspace before the jets arrived.
123rd Fighter Squadron UAE Deployment
by Staff Sgt. Aaron Perkins 142d Fighter Wing
11/6/2010 – Portland Air National Guard Base, PORTLAND, Ore. — Six F-15’s from the 142nd Fighter Wing Portland Oregon Air National Guard Base deployed October 2, 2010 for a month long deployment to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to support the training exercise called Iron Falcon.
The month long training deployment will be provide weapons training for a number of 142nd FW pilots as well as good training for the aircraft maintainers. The will be able to train alongside a number of partner nations with multiple aircraft that have never been engaged before.
The deployed aircraft will fly from Portland to Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, then to Spain then on to the UAE.
The 142nd FW will be attached to the 363rd Air Expeditionary Wing and will be staying at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE.