414th Combat Training Squadron (USAF ACC)


414 CTS "Aggressors" (USAF ACC)
Version: F-16C/D block 32/52
Tailband: Yellow & Black (checkerboard)
Motto: N/A
Badge: N/A
Disbanded in February of 2003.

Sideways profile for the 414th CTS in 2001.

F-16 History

The 414th Combat Training Squadron is one of the more unique units within the United States Air Force. During WWII and the seventies the squadron was a regular fighter squadron. When it was reactivated in 1991 under the 57th Fighter Wing, its mission was to execute the so-called aggressor task and oversee all flying operations over the Nellis training range. This task meant they had to teach adversarial tactics and provide dissimilar air combat training to USAF flying units. The unit provided flying assets during the so-called 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-16 is such a lightweight fighter that can challenge other aircrews in combat deployment. At first the unit flew with block 32 airframes, but towards the end of the nineties it was also gaining some block 52 airframes since the squadron wanted to stay on top of technological development and therefore had to deploy the most modern version of the F-16. The squadron flew with a mixed block 32/52 fleet until 2003.

USAF F-16C block 32 #87-0267 from 414 CTS with '67' bort code coming in at Nellis AB for attending the Red Flag 01-04 session. [Tailslides photo by Peter]

In 2003 a reorganization of the aggressor squadrons took place and the 414th was disbanded in favour of the 64th AS. During the years a number of different camouflage schemes were applied on aircraft of the 414th CTS. These camouflage schemes are identical to those observed on Russian-manufactured aircraft providing air combat maneuvering training to USAF and other aviation forces. We provide a short overview below:

Scheme Description Photo
Navy Blue: Two shades of blue and a shade of beige http://www.f-16.net/gallery_item423416.html
Navy Gray: One shade of gray an a shade of beige (resembling the Mig-29) http://www.f-16.net/gallery_item260710.html
Desert Brown: Two shades of brown http://www.f-16.net/gallery_item305535.html
Air Blue: Two shades of blue and a shade of gray (resembling the Su-27) http://www.f-16.net/gallery_item409706.html
Forest Brown: Two shades of brown and a shade of green (resembling the Mig-23) http://www.f-16.net/gallery_item408810.html

Aircraft Markings History

1991 - 2003

The tail consist of a black and yellow checkered tailband with the tailcode 'WA' in the center. The Air Combat Command logo is placed between these and the serial is at the bottom of the tail. The camouflage backgrounds can be either 'Navy Blue', 'Navy Gray', 'Desert Brown', 'Air Blue' or 'Forest Brown'.

Unit History

  • 1943: Activation of the squadron in Orlando, Florida
  • 1943: A-20 'Havoc' (part of AAF School)
  • 1943: A-20 'Havoc' (Kissimmi Field, Florida)
  • 1943: Bristol 'Beaufighter' (La Senia [Alg.])
  • 1943: Bristol 'Beaufighter' (Rerhaia [Alg.])
  • 1943: Bristol 'Beaufighter' (Elmas [It.])
  • 1944: Bristol 'Beaufighter' (Alghero [It.])
  • 1944: Bristol 'Beaufighter' (part of 62 FW, Borgo [Fr.])
  • 1944: Bristol 'Beaufighter' (Pisa [It.])
  • 1944: Bristol 'Beaufighter' (Pontedera [It.])
  • 1945: P-38 'Lightning' (Florennes [Bel.])
  • 1945: P-51 'Mustang' (Bagnoli [It.])
  • 1945: P-51 'Mustang' (Lemoore Field, California)
  • 1945: P-51 'Mustang' (Camp Pinedale, California)
  • 1946: P-61 'Black Widow' (March Field, California)
  • 1946: P-61 'Black Widow' (Shaw Field, South Carolina)
  • 1947: P-61 'Black Widow' (part of 6 FW, Rio Hato [Pan.])
  • 1947: Disbanded
  • 1969: Activation of the squadron in Nellis, Nevada
  • 1969: F-4 'Phantom II' (part of 57 FWW)
  • 1981: F-4 'Phantom II' (part of 57 TTW)
  • 1981: Disbanded
  • 1991: Activation of the squadron in Nellis, Nevada
  • 1991: F-16C/D 'Fighting Falcon' (part of 57 OG)
  • 2003: Disbanded

F-16 Airframe Inventory


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