The 1st Fighter Wing operates and maintains the F-22 Raptor. To accomplish their mission, the men and women of the 1st Fighter Wing work in one of two groups: the Operations Group or the Maintenance Group. Eight squadrons comprise the two groups, which includes two fighter squadrons: the 27 FS known as the Fightin' Eagles and the 94 FS known as the Hat-in-the-Ring Gang.
Continuing the 1st FW's tradition of first to bring new fighters operational, the Air Force announced in 2002 that the 1 FW would become the first F-22 operational wing; paving the way for the future of air dominance.
In addition to the F-22, the 1 FW has tallied many other firsts throughout its distinguished history. In World War I when it was known as the 1st Pursuit Organization and Training Center , the wing scored its first aerial victory when Lt. Douglas Campbell of the 94th Aero Squadron downed a German Phalz D-3 over France . By the time the war ended, the unit's name changed to the 1 PG and it earned 202 confirmed kills.
During World War II the 1 FW again excelled, earning three Distinguished Unit Citations for outstanding performance of duty. Redesignated as the 1st Fighter Group, the unit entered the war flying the P-38. Throughout the war, the 1 FG flew more than 20,000 sorties on 1,405 combat missions, and scored more than 400 aerial victories.
On Aug. 7, 1990, the 1st FW, then known as the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield, adding to the list of firsts by becoming the first US unit to establish air superiority over Saudi Arabia. Through both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the wing flew more than 6,200 sorties and nearly 25,000 flying hours. The wing also recorded an aerial victory when Capt. Steve Tate of the 71 FS shot down an Iraqi F-1 Mirage.
In 1991, the 1 TFW became known as it is today, the 1 FW. For most of the 1990s, the wing practiced the lessons it learned in Desert's Shield and Storm; participating in numerous deployments and exercises throughout the world. This practice would pay off.
In 2003, the Air Force called once again to the 1 FW to provide air superiority in combat. The wing deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where it flew over 360 training and combat sorties.
Throughout its history, the 1 FW has led the way. On December 15, 2005 the Fighter Wing continued that tradition with the 27 FS becoming the Air Force's first operational F-22 fighter squadron. The wing's compliment of 40 F-22s, in the 27 and 94 FS reached Full Operational Capability on December 12, 2007.
On Jan. 7, 2010, the 9th Air Force activated the 633d Air Base Wing as the new host unit for Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., as the 1 FW stepped down, yet continues its flying missions. Fifteenth Air Force activated Aug. 20, integrating wings and direct reporting units from 12th Air Force and Ninth Air Force to form a new numbered air force responsible for generating and presenting Air Combat Command’s conventional forces.
On Sept. 30, 2010, the 71 FS inactivated, leaving the F-22 as the sole fighter operated by the wing.
(Current as of June 2020)