F-16 Reference

157th Fighter Squadron ( USAF ANG)

" Swamp Fox"  

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157 FS " Swamp Fox" ( USAF ANG)
Version: F-16C/D block 52
Role: Multirole, SEAD
Tailband: Subdued Blue & White (with South Carolina titles)
Motto: Semper Primus (Always First)
Badge: N/A

Side view profile for the 157th FS 'boss bird' from 2007.

F-16 History

The 157th TFS was the first ANG squadron to receive F-16s, in fact before some regular air force unit received F-16s. Delivery of the first F-16 was in July of 1983. They were earlier block 1, 5 and 10 airframes that replaced the aging A-7D's. By the mid eighties all these airframes had undergone Pacer Loft modification bringing them up to the same block 10 standard. Although these airframes aren’t adapted to perform in the attack mission and the ANG’s main task is that of national air defense, the 157th FS did practice the conventional attack role with Mk. 82 and Mk. 84 bombs. The quality of the pilots and ammunition/maintenance crew was demonstrated during Gunsmoke '89 held at Nellis AFB from October 1st till October 14th. The 157th TFS took first place out of 15 other teams.

During the build up for war during Operation Desert Shield, the squadron deployed to Saudi Arabia just a year and a half after taking first place at Gunsmoke '89. They flew a total of 1,729 sorties in Desert Storm from their base at Al Kharj. A total mission rate of over 90% was achieved, which was quite a remarkable fact seen the non-adapted airframes they flew with.

USAF F-16A block 10 #79-0299 from the 157th TFS is parked on the tarmac at McEntire ANGB. The airframe was transferred to Israel in 1994. [Michel Klaver collection]

A new era started in 1995 when the 157th FS became the recipient of brand-new block 52 F-16s coming straight from the Lockheed facility at Fort Worth. It was the first Air National Guard unit to receive these state-of-the-art airframes. The mission profile of the unit changed in the way that they became a multirole squadron being able to perform all kind of missions. More specifically they also received the HARM Targeting System being able to fly anti-radar sorties with the AGM-88 missile. The main mission profile of the squadron therefore changed to that of Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD). The unit is flying this mission since then.

Most often BRAC changes are not that positive for flying units. BRAC 2005 however left the 157th FS in good shape. Starting on November 2nd, 2006 the unit received five F-16C block 52s from the 389th FS. A further five F-16C were transferred from the 389th FS to the squadron on March 29th, 2007 bumping up the squadrons F-16 count by ten. This way the squadron was strengthened to perform its mission in a more profound manner.

Starting in October of 2010 the 157th FS began an Air Sovereignty Alert mission at nearby Shaw AFB. The squadron has gradually taken over the duties of the 20th FW. On May 6th , 2011 the squadron completely took over the roll when a new alert facility was built at McEntire Joint National Guard base.

A rare, for 157th Fighter Squadron history, mishap occurred on June 7, 2016 when two jets collided forcing each of the two pilots to eject. Both pilots were safe. Previous to this you have to go back to February 7, 1985 loss of F-16A #79-0323.

Although not confirmed it has been talked about that the 157th Fighter Squadron will likely get the F-35 quicker than most units due to it's history of getting the latest equipment.

USAF F-16C block 52 #93-0531 from the 157th FS spotted flying over the coast of South Carolina on August 3rd, 2000. [USAF photo by MSgt. Thomas Menequin]

Aircraft Markings History

1983 - 1990

The tail consisted of a purple tailband with white stencilling and 'Swamp Fox' titles included. The tailcode 'SC' - standing for South Carolina - was in the center of the tail with the serial underneath it. Between the tailcode and tailband was a large white ANG logo.

1990 - present

Even before the shift to the C/D models, the tailscheme was changed completely. The tailcode disappeared and a large grey/blue banner replaced it with large white 'South Carolina' titles in it. The serial number remained and the 'Swamp Fox' titles were repositioned to the tail base.

Unit History

  • 1942: Activation of the squadron in Mitchell, New York (as 350 FS)
  • 1942: P-40 'Warhawk' (part of 353 FG)
  • 1942: P-40 'Warhawk' (Richmond AAB, Virginia)
  • 1942: P-40 'Warhawk' (Baltimore, Maryland)
  • 1943: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Goxhill [Eng.])
  • 1943: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Metfield [Eng.])
  • 1944: P-51 'Mustang' (Raydon [Eng.])
  • 1945: P-51 'Mustang' (Camp Kilmer, New York)
  • 1945: Deactivated
  • 1946: Activation of the squadron in Congaree, South Carolina
  • 1946: P-51D 'Mustang' (part of 169 TFG)
  • 1950: RF-51D 'Mustang' (Lawson AB, Georgia)
  • 1951: RF-80A 'Shooting Star'
  • 1952: RF-80A 'Shooting Star' (Fürstenfeldbrück AB [Germ.])
  • 1952: F-51H 'Mustang' (part of 169 FBG, Congaree AB, South Carolina)
  • 1954: F-80C 'Shooting Star'
  • 1957: F-80C 'Shooting Star' (part of 169 FIG)
  • 1958: F-86L 'Sabre'
  • 1960: F-104A/B 'Starfighter'
  • 1961: F-104A/B 'Starfighter' (Moron AB [Sp.])
  • 1962: F-104A/B 'Starfighter' (McEntire AB, South Carolina)
  • 1963: (T)F-102A 'Delta Dagger'
  • 1974: A-7D 'Corsair II'
  • 1975: A-7D 'Corsair II' (part of 169 TFG)
  • 1983: F-16A/B 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 1992: F-16A/B 'Fighting Falcon' (part of 169 FG)
  • 1994: F-16C/D 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 1995: F-16C/D 'Fighting Falcon' (part of 169 FW)


' Desert Storm'
Al Kharj AB, Saudi Arabia (December 29th, 1990 to July 22nd, 1991)
One of two Air National Guard units to deploy to the desert, the other being the 138th TFS. Most of the unit deployed to a temporary base at Al Kharj AB and temporary hangers and compounds. The squadron's sole purpose in deploying was to provide air-support while Iraqi occupation was removed from Kuwait. In the end the squadron flew 1,729 sorties and was highly revered. Over 90% MICAP (mission capable) rate during the war. Later Al Kharj AB was renamed Prince Sultan AB and the site of numerous Operation Southern Watch missions.
' Southern Watch'
Doha AB, Qatar [12 F-16s] (February 26th, 1997 to March of 1997)
Operation Southern Watch was an operation which was responsible for enforcing the United Nations mandated no-fly zone below the 32nd parallel in Iraq. This mission was initiated mainly to cover for attacks of Iraqi forces on the Iraqi Shi’ite Muslims.
' Northern Watch'
Incirlik AB, Turkey (January of 2000 to April of 2000)
Operation Northern Watch was a US European Command Combined Task Force (CTF) who was responsible for enforcing the United Nations mandated no-fly zone above the 36th parallel in Iraq. This mission was a successor to Operation Provide Comfort which also entailed support for the Iraqi Kurds.
' Southern Watch'
Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia (March of 2001 to July of 2001)
This marked the second Operation Southern Watch deployment for the 157th FS. This was an operation which was responsible for enforcing the United Nations mandated no-fly zone below the 32nd parallel in Iraq. This mission was initiated mainly to cover for attacks of Iraqi forces on the Iraqi Shi’ite Muslims.
' Enduring Freedom'
Al Udeid AB, Qatar (January 8th, 2002 to April 3rd, 2002)
The 157th FS replaced those members of the 389th FS but a few of the aircraft of the 157th FS had already gone ahead borrowed by the 389th.
' Southern Watch/Iraqi Freedom'
Al Udied AB, Qatar (February of 2003 to August of 2003)
Members of the 157th FS found themselves in front line combat during this deployment. It started as a regularly scheduled Operation Southern Watch deployment but turned into all out war with Iraq. A total of 400 combat missions were flown during this deployment.
' Iraqi Freedom'
Balad AB, Iraq [6 F-16s] (April 6th, 2010 to August 28th, 2010)
It had been almost seven years since the squadron had a combat deployment when six aircraft left for Iraq in May of 2010.
' Enduring Freedom'
Kandahar AB, Afghanistan [12 F-16s] (April 15th, 2012 to August 8th, 2012)
Delivered a full complement of fighters for a 4-month rotation into Afghanistan.

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