In October 1977, the 49th TFW ended its “dual-base” commitment to NATO and changed to an air superiority mission with the wing beginning a conversion from the F-4D Phantom II to the F-15A Eagle; the 49th being the second USAF operational wing to receive the F-15A. The transition was completed 4 June 1978.

Due to the change in equipment, the annual NATO deployments were taken over by the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, in 1978, however they resumed (although not on an annual basis) in 1981. In the United States, training missions was refocused on dissimilar air combat tactics for mulch-theater operations, participating in numerous Red Flags, Joint Training exercises, and deployments in the Air Defense/Superiority Mission. Frequent deployments were made to Nellis AFB, Nevada to exercise with the F-5E Tiger II “Aggressor” aircraft of the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, and other aircraft types (including clandestine exercises with Soviet aircraft flown by the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Tonopah Test Range Airport, Nevada). Also, after TAC absorbed the interceptor mission of Aerospace Defense Command (ADTAC) in 1979, the Squadron maintained the TAC NORAD Air Defense Alert commitment in the Eagle, with the best scramble times in NORAD.

With the introduction of the F-15C Eagle in the mid-1980s, the upgraded Eagle began replacing the F-15A/Bs in service with all of the USAF units that had previously been operating the Eagle with the exception of the 49th TFW. By the time of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the F-15A Eagles at Holloman had been relegated to a training role; combat deployments of the Eagle were the purview of F-15C units. However, F-15As of the squadron deployed to Southwest Asia to fly combat air patrol for coalition operations from, 20 June – 5 December 1991.

9-tfs-1979-group-photo

Can anyone help identifying the aircrew in this photo. The photo is taken in 1979 at Holloman AFB.

Author unknown

Author unknown

I am searching for more information of the 9th FS, like squadron competition, history, photos and personal stories related to the squadron. Any information you would like to donate can be sent to eagle@skytrailer.com