The 405th Tactical Training Wing was stationed at Luke AFB, Arizona. The 405th TTW was activated in 1979 receiving the RTU (replacement training unit) task from the 58th Tactical Training Wing (also stationed at Luke AFB, the 58th TTW transitioned to the F-16). The 405th TTW consisted of 4 squadrons, the 426, 461,550 and 555th TFTS. Together with the 49th TFW at Holloman and the 325 TTW at Tyndall AFB the 405th TTW trained the future F-15 aces for the USAF.
U.S. Air Force Photo
In July 1988 the 405th TTW became the first wing to receive the F-15E Strike Eagle. The first two aircraft went to the 46st Tactical Fighter Training Squadron “Deadly Jesters”. On May 12th 1989 the 550th TFTS “Silver Eagles” also became operational as an F-15E RTU squadron. The task of the 405th in the F-15E role was to take experienced pilots and WSO’s and train them to fly the F-15E. Once qualified the crews were then relocated to an operational squadron at the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing located at Seymour-Johnson AFB, North Carolina. the 555th TFTS was the last unit with the 405th TTW to operate the F-15C/D’s and transitioned to the F-15E in November 1991. It was more of a administrative change as all the assets of the 555th TFTS merged with the 550th TFTS and the 555th TFTS never really operated the F-15E. The 555th FS moved to Aviano AB, Italy in 1994, transitioning to F-16C/D’s. April 1st 1994 saw the 58th Fighter Wing (405th TTW) redesignated to the 56th Fighter Wing. With this changes also changed the role of the squadrons. The 461st FS deactivated leaving only the 550th FS at Luke AFB, as the sole F-15E RTU squadron. Looking at the costs made and efficiency it proofed to be much more effective as the unit would operated with an All-15 wing. So in late 1994 the F-15E’s from the 550th FS started leaving Luke AFB to the newly formed 333 FS (RTU) at Seymour-Johnson AFB. The last crews graduated at Luke AFB in February 1995 and the last F-15E left Luke AFB in March closing an era of 21 years F-15’s at Luke AFB making it an all-F-16 base.
U.S. Air Force Photo