The 64th Aggressor Squadron is one of the more unique units within the United States Air Force. During WWII and the sixties the squadron was a regular fighter squadron. When it was reactivated in 1972 under the 57th Fighter Wing, its mission was to execute the so-called aggressor task. This meant they had to deploy throughout the United States and overseas to teach adversarial tactics and provide dissimilar air combat training to USAF flying units. The unit was also a tenant unit during the Red Flag exercises in which it prepared aircrews for combat by replicating tactics used by the enemy forces during combat situations.
This aggressor squadron program had its origin in the post-Vietnam war air force. In 1975 the benefits of evaluating obtained foreign technology aircraft (like Mig-17, Mig-21, Mig-23,…) at test ranges in Nevada were applied to operational fighter squadrons, they improved the combat flying skills of all front-line USAF pilots during the Cold War. To execute this mission a light-weight fighter was chosen, the F-5E. This jet served very well into the eighties, but then it was in urgent need for replacement. The F-16 filled in the gap. This too was a lightweight fighter, but it drastically improved overall fighter performance and therefore the challenge other aircrews had to face.
The history of the F-16 was very short-lived with the squadron. At the end of the Cold War, the entire air force adversary program was looked at and the 64th didn’t survive the cuts. It was disbanded in 1990 and was succeeded by the 414th CTS which stood up the next year.
USAF F-16C block 32 #86-0272
from the 64th AS is seen taking off from Nellis AFB
during Red Flag 07-2 on February 13th, 2007. [Photo by Karl Drage
In 2003 a reorganization of the aggressor squadrons took place and the 64th was activated again in favour of the 414th CTS. It regained its block 32 airframes that it left in 1990. Giving the squadron up to 24 F-16s at its disposal, painted in camouflage schemes identical to those observed on Russian-manufactured aircraft providing air combat maneuvering training to USAF and other aviation forces with Red Flag exercises.
Throughout the years a number of very attractive color schemes were applied to the squadron’s aircraft. We provide a short overview below: