F-16 Reference

179th Fighter Squadron ( USAF ANG)

" Bulldogs"  

F-16 Units main menu | USAF Air National Guard units overview
179 FS " Bulldogs" ( USAF ANG)
Version: F-16C/D block 50
Role: Air Defense, Attack
Tailband: Blue & White
Motto: Cave Canum (Beware of the Dog)
Badge: N/A

Sideways profile for the 179th FS in 2007 with the full color unit logo.

F-16 History

On March 10th, 1990 the 179th Fighter Intercept Squadron received the first ADF variants of the F-16 to take over for the F-4D. The early markings included Duluth written on the tail as well as an image of the constellation 'Little Bear' which is also better known as the 'Big Dipper'.

Starting on March 17th, 1992 the 179th FIS was renamed the 179th Fighter Squadron. A few years later in October of 1995 the unit was tasked with a permanent detachment duty. Detachment 1 was an alert status mission based out of Tyndal AFB, Florida.

To fit the needs of a newer global environment and shrinking air force in the United States, the squadron dropped the air superiority role and became a general purpose unit. Proficient in the air-to-air mission, the 179th FS had to be brought up to speed using the F-16 for mud moving using both guided and unguided bombs. Live bombs were dropped for the first time in March of 2000 during a training exercise. Due to these role requirements, the base also had to be renovated. During this transition the units tail flash was also changed. The constellation 'Little Bear' was dropped and a tail code adopted.

Two USAF F-16A ADF's #81-0783 & #81-0799 from the 179th FS during a CAP mission over the Eastern seaboard of the United States in support of Operation Noble Eagle on February 28th, 2002. [USAF photo by MSgt Dean Kuhlman]

Towards the end of 2003 the 'Bulldogs' began conversion to the F-16C/D block 25. Most of the ADF's were retired straight to AMARC wearing the unit tail flashes. They joined several other aircraft that had been sent to AMARC by the 179th FS over the years. During the coarse of the conversion the 179th FS also gave up its requirements for Detachment 1 at Tyndal AFB. Now with the block 25 and multi-mission training led to combat deployments which had in the past excluded the 179th FS from participating.

On April 27th, 2010 the squadron began another conversion being the first ANG unit to operate the block 50 when five F-16s arrived from Spangdahlem AB. This move will see the combination of both the 22nd and 23rd FS to become the reactivated 480th FS with the surplus aircraft going to the 179th FS. The majority of the block 25s will be sent for retirement in AMARG.

In front of F-16C block 25 #84-1253 from the 179th FS, airmen from the 148th FW pose for a 'family' photograph at Balad AB, on March 20th, 2007. Of the more than 250 Minnesota guardsmen deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, 41 are related. [USAF photo by A1C. Nathan Doza]

Aircraft Markings History

1990 - 2003

In the early 'Falcon' days with the A/B-models flown the tail markings consisted of a blue tailband with 'Duluth' titles in white stencilling. Seven blue stars adorned the middle of the tail section with the serial beneath it. The seven stars in fact represented 'Ursa Minor', but this is actually better known as the 'Little Dipper'. The top star represents Polaris, better known as the north star. This constellation on the tail represented Minnesota's nickname, 'The North Star State'.

2003 - 2007

Together with the introduction of the C/D-models the tailcode standard was introduced with 'MN' - for Minnesota - replacing the stars on the tail. The tailband, serial and logo remained the same.

2007 - present

From 2007 onwards the design was altered to incorporate the units' mascotte. This replaced the MN tailcode. The logo was deleted as well. The blue tailband with 'Duluth' stencilling is still present as well is the serial. It took up to 2009 before all jets were repainted, with some going to AMARG without ever receiving the new design.

Unit History

  • 1943: Activation of the squadron in Hamilton, California (as 393 FS)
  • 1943: P-39 'Airacobra' (part of 367 FG)
  • 1943: P-39 'Airacobra' (Santa Rosa Field, California)
  • 1943: P-39 'Airacobra' (Oakland AP, California)
  • 1944: P-38 'Lightning' (Stoney Cross [Eng.])
  • 1944: P-38 'Lightning' (Ibsley [Eng.])
  • 1944: P-38 'Lightning' (Beuzeville Field [Fr.])
  • 1944: P-38 'Lightning' (Cricqueville Field [Fr.])
  • 1944: P-38 'Lightning' (Peray Field [Fr.])
  • 1944: P-38 'Lightning' (Clastres Field [Fr.])
  • 1944: P-38 'Lightning' (Juvincourt Field [Fr.])
  • 1945: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (St-Dizier Field [Fr.])
  • 1945: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Conflans Field [Fr.])
  • 1945: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Eschborn Field [Germ.])
  • 1945: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina)
  • 1945: Deactivated
  • 1946: Activation of the squadron in Duluth, Minnesota (as 179 FS)
  • 1946: F-51D 'Mustang' (part of 133 FG)
  • 1954: F-94A/B 'Starfire'
  • 1957: F-94C 'Starfire'
  • 1959: F-89J 'Scorpion'
  • 1960: F-89J 'Scorpion' (part of 148 FG)
  • 1967: (T)F-102A 'Delta Dagger'
  • 1971: F-101B/F 'Voodoo'
  • 1976: RF-4C 'Phantom II' (part of 148 TRG)
  • 1983: F-4D 'Phantom II' (part of 148 FIG)
  • 1990: F-16A/B 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 1992: F-16A/B 'Fighting Falcon' (part of 148 FG)
  • 1995: F-16A/B 'Fighting Falcon' (part of 148 FW)
  • 2003: F-16C/D 'Fighting Falcon'


' Iraqi Freedom'
Balad AB, Iraq (April of 2005 to June of 2005)
The 179th was one of the first F-16 unit to be based in Balad. The 179th deployed more than 200 personnel over those three months. The squadron was mainly tasked with air-to-air and air-to-ground combat operations.
' Iraqi Freedom'
Balad AB, Iraq (January 19th, 2007 to May 18th, 2007)
This was a rainbow deployment with F-16s from both the 111th and 127th FS also participating in this mission.
' Iraqi Freedom'
Balad AB, Iraq (September 18th, 2008 to January 11th, 2009)
Another deployment to Balad AB was set up in 2008. The task was the same, conducting air-to-air and air-to-ground combat operations against insurgents. With a conversion to another block type coming up in 2010, no more deployments are set up untill this conversion is finished.
' Enduring Freedom'
Kandahar AB, Afghanistan (August 13th, 2012 to October 25th, 2012)
This marked the first mission since the squadron reached IOC on their 'new' block 50 airframes.

F-16 Airframe Inventory


Errors and Omissions

Please use this form to add any list any error or omissions you find in the above text.

Note: your comments will be displayed immediately on this page. If you wish to send a private comment to the webmasters, please use the Contact Us link.