September 13, 2012 (by Capt. Ashley Conner) - The 477th Fighter Group here reached a readiness milestone September 9th when Col. Bryan Radliff, 477th FG commander, announced that the group had achieved fully operational capable status
Col. Bryan Radliff, 477th FG commander, declares the 477th FG fully operational capable during a ceremony during the groups monthly Unit Training Assembly weekend on September 9th, 2012. [USAF photo by TSgt. Dana Rosso]
"Fully operation capable means that we are ready and able to execute our wartime tasking," said Radliff. "With our combined unit inspection successfully completed, our manning sufficient to meet our (unit type code) taskings, programs such as Key Spouse to support our families, an honorary commander to support our community and employer relationships, I am proud to declare the 477th Fighter Group fully operational capable."
The 477th FG was reactivated here October 2007 when the group became the Air Force Reserve Command's first F-22 Raptor unit and the only Air Force Reserve unit in Alaska. In September 2008, the 477th FG along with the active duty 3rd Wing declared initial operating capability.
The group's heritage can be traced back to the 477th Bombardment Group, a Tuskegee unit that didn't have the opportunity to become fully operational capable. The 477th BG patch also wasn't officially recognized by the Air Force until July of this year when former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz simultaneously recognized and retired the patch.
"With the (Tuskegee Airmen) historical perspective in mind, I hope you can appreciate why recognizing (the fully operational capability) of the 477th is an important milestone, not only for us and our ability to serve the nation, but for the Tuskegee Airmen who were denied the opportunity," said Radliff. "We serve proudly to honor them."