522nd Fighter Squadron (USAF ACC)


522 FS "Fireballs" (USAF ACC)
Version: F-16C/D block 50
Role:Multirole, SEAD
Tailband: Red
Motto: First in, Last out
Badge: N/A
Disbanded on December 21st, 2007.

Sideways profile for the 522nd FS in 2006.

F-16 History

The 522nd FS was the first squadron of the Canon based 27th Wing to receive F-16s. It was equipped with the F-16 together with its sister squadrons – the 523rd and 524th. In the first place these were block 30 airframes received from various other units. Although the F-16 itself is not optimised for close air support missions, these F-16s were the first to replace A-10 units in theatre. The first F-16s were received in May of 1995 with the final delivery taking place during 1996.

It was not long before the squadron was tasked to take up the demanding rotations in South East Asia. The first deployment already happened in 1997 for an Operation Southern Watch deployment.

USAF F-16C block 50 #91-0382 of the 522nd FS releases an AGM-154 joint standoff weapon over the Utah Test & Training Range during 'Combat Hammer' in May of 2004. [USAF by MSgt. Michael Ammons]

In 2003 the squadron changed their block 30 airframes with newer block 50 airframes. These weren’t new airframes either but they came from other units. It took the squadron over a year to get completely up to speed with the newly added capacities. In BRAC 2005 it was decided to close down Canon AFB completely. Although this decision was reversed in the course of 2006, the decision to disband all the bases flying squadrons was kept and so the unit was disbanded in 2007. On December 21st, 2007 the last F-16 (#91-0366) departed not only the 522nd FS but Canon AFB for the last time as a viper base. This was the last of four F-16 squadrons that operated out of Canon AFB. On the same day an inactivation ceremony was held on base and the flag was passed to a new Commander.

Aircraft Markings History

1995 - 1997

The tail sported a red tailband with sometimes a black 'Fireballs' title included. The 'CC' tailcode - from Cannon - was in the center of the tail with the serial underneath the tailcode.

1997 - 2003

The tailband was changed to a wider mid section with two adjacent smaller linings. The 'Fireballs' title was included in white stecilling still with the 'CC' tailcode in the center of the tail with the Air Combat Command logo in between and the serial underneath the tailcode.

Unit History

  • 1939: Activation of the squadron in Barksdale, Louisiana (as 16 BS)
  • 1939: A-18 'Shrike' (part of 27 BG)
  • 1940: A-18 'Shrike' (Hunter Field, Georgia)
  • 1941: A-24 'Banshee' (Fort McKinley [Phil.])
  • 1941: A-24 'Banshee' (Lipa [Phil.])
  • 1941: A-24 'Banshee' (Cabcaben [Phil.])
  • 1941: A-24 'Banshee' (Bataan [Phil.])
  • 1942: A-20 'Havoc' (Charter Towers Field [Aus.])
  • 1942: A-20 'Havoc' (Hunter Field, Georgia)
  • 1942: A-20 'Havoc' (Key Field, Mississippi)
  • 1942: A-20 'Havoc' (Hattiesburg, Mississippi)
  • 1942: A-20 'Havoc' (Harding Field, Louisiana)
  • 1942: A-20 'Havoc' (Sainte-Barbe du Tlélat [Alg.])
  • 1943: A-20 'Havoc' (Nouvion [Alg.])
  • 1943: A-36 'Apache' (Ras el Ma [Mor.])
  • 1943: A-36 'Apache' (Korba [Tun.])
  • 1943: A-36 'Apache' (Gela [It.])
  • 1943: A-36 'Apache' (as 522 FBS, part of 27 FBG, Barcelona [It.])
  • 1943: A-36 'Apache' (Capaccio [It.])
  • 1943: A-36 'Apache' (Paestum [It.])
  • 1944: A-36 'Apache' (Pomigliano [It.])
  • 1944: A-36 'Apache' (Castel Volturno [It.])
  • 1944: A-36 'Apache' (Santa Maria [It.])
  • 1944: P-40 'Warhawk' (part of 27 FG, La Banca [It.])
  • 1944: P-40 'Warhawk' (Ciampino [It.])
  • 1944: P-40 'Warhawk' (Voltone [It.])
  • 1944: P-40 'Warhawk' (Serragia [Fr.])
  • 1944: P-40 'Warhawk' (Le Luc [Fr.])
  • 1944: P-40 'Warhawk' (Salon-de-Provence [Fr.])
  • 1944: P-40 'Warhawk' (Loyettes [Fr.])
  • 1944: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Tarquina [It.])
  • 1944: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Pontedera [It.])
  • 1945: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (St. Dizier [Fr.])
  • 1945: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Toul [Fr.])
  • 1945: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Biblis [Germ.])
  • 1945: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Mannheim [Germ.])
  • 1945: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Stuttgart [Germ.])
  • 1945: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Camp Shanks, New York)
  • 1945: Deactivated
  • 1946: Activation of the squadron in Fritzlar [Germ.]
  • 1946: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (part of 27 FG)
  • 1947: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Bad Kissingen [Germ.])
  • 1947: P-51 'Mustang' (Andrews Field, Maryland)
  • 1947: P-51 'Mustang' (part of 27 FEG, Kearney AFB, Nebraska)
  • 1948: F-82E 'Twin Mustang'
  • 1949: F-82E 'Twin Mustang' (Bergstrom AFB, Texas)
  • 1950: F-84G 'Thunderjet'
  • 1952: F-84G 'Thunderjet' (part of 27 FEW)
  • 1953: F-84F 'Thunderstreak' (part of 27 SFW)
  • 1957: F-101B 'Voodoo' (part of 27 FBW)
  • 1958: F-101B 'Voodoo' (part of 27 TFW)
  • 1959: F-100D 'Super Sabre' (Canon AFB, New Mexico)
  • 1969: F-111A 'Aardvark'
  • 1970: F-111E 'Aardvark'
  • 1973: F-111D 'Aardvark'
  • 1991: F-111D 'Aardvark' (part of 27 FW)
  • 1992: F-111F 'Aardvark'
  • 1993: F-111F 'Aardvark' (part of 27 OG)
  • 1995: F-16C/D 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 2007: Disbanded


'Southern Watch'
Doha AB, Qatar (June of 1997 to September of 1997)
This deployment marked the first of the squadron after converting to the F-16. Operations mainly consisted of support to ground forces flying missions over Iraq.
'Southern Watch'
Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia [12 F-16s] (September of 1998 to December 15th, 1998)
Another deployment for Southern Watch. This deployment was scheduled to end in late 1998, but was intervened by Operation Desert Fox. Eventually the mission was extended into 1999.
'Desert Fox'
Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia [12 F-16s] (December 16th, 1998 to December 19th, 1998)
Operation Desert Fox was a four day operation against the Iraqi military to take out so-called weapons of mass destruction production sites. Mostly night missions were flown by the squadron.
'Southern Watch'
Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia [12 F-16s] (December 20th, 1998 to February of 1999)
This mission continued from the earlier Operation Southern Watch deployment. The mission was extended into 1999.
'Northern Watch'
Incirlik AB, Turkey (September of 2000 to December 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.
'Iraqi Freedom'
Balad AB, Iraq (May 19th, 2007 to August 16th, 2007)
This marked the final rotation of the squadron and the first into Iraq. The squadron disbanded only months after getting back to CONUS.

F-16 Airframe Inventory


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