Library Fact Sheets
13TH FIGHTER SQUADRON|
Printable Fact Sheet
The 13th Fighter Squadron is a component of the 35th Operations Group, 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan. The unit is a "Wild Weasel" squadron with the primary task of executing the suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD) mission.
The 13th Fighter Squadron provides the 35th Fighter Wing and 35th Operation Group Commanders with the most lethal, professionally-trained, and combat-ready warfighters, able to respond within hours, anytime...anywhere.
Mission Focus: To deploy highly trained and properly equipped personnel and employ lethal aerospace power on time anywhere in the world to answer our nation's call to arms, with particular focus on contingency deployments.
Leadership in Action: To continually challenge every Airman within this squadron at every level in order to create an environment that fosters unit and individual success, leaves no room for sub-par performance, and rewards balanced efforts that help meet the long term demands of our mission.
Panther Pride: To maintain an undeniable reputation for operational excellence and to ensure that squadron personnel and their family members are looked after on a personal and professional basis, resulting in a fighter squadron filled with pride and team unity.
The 13th Fighter Squadron operates the F-16 CM/DM Block 50, Fighting Falcon and employs SEAD-capable aircraft equipped with a "Wild Weasel" payload:
The F-16 CM/DM Block 50 can be alternately equipped to fly a variety of missions.
- Four air-to-air missiles
- Two AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile
- High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile Targeting System
- Electronic countermeasures pod
- Targeting pod
The 13th Fighter Squadron activated as the 313th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on February 1, 1942, and served in the continental United States in World War II. During that period, the unit trained bomber crews for service overseas. The squadron also flew anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico in conjunction with training sorties. The United States Army Air Force disbanded the unit in October of 1943.
On May 2, 1966, the United States Air Force reactivated the unit as the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base to perform Wild Weasel missions against Vietnamese surface-to-air missile sites. As part of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, the squadron flew the F-105 Thunder Chief and F-4D Phantom II. In October, 1967, the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron relocated to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base where it flew the F-4D, and, later, the F-4E aircraft, and served out the remainder of the Vietnam War assigned to the 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. At Udorn, the squadron adopted a panther nicknamed "Eldridge" and subsequently became known as the "Panther Pack." By the time of its inactivation in June 1975, the Panther Pack scored 11 MiG kills, compiled 21 aerial victories, and flew over 30,000 combat sorties. In all, the squadron earned 15 campaign streamers, six Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Valor, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.
Following the Vietnam War, the 13th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron reactivated at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, on January 15, 1976, assigned to the 56th Tactical Fighter Wing. The squadron performed F-4 pilot and weapon system officer replacement training until its inactivation on July 1, 1982.
On June 1, 1985, the United States Air Force reactivated the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron as part of the 432d Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base, Japan. It was the first permanent United States Air Force fighter squadron stationed on mainland Japan since 1972 and flew the F-16C Fighting Falcon. Redesignated the 13th Fighter Squadron on May 31, 1991, the Air Force reassigned the squadron under the 35th Fighter Wing's, 35th Operations Group, on October 1, 1994. The move was part of an organization realignment meant to ensure wings with rich heritages remained active. The 35th Fighter Wing was the third most historic wing in the Air Force.
In 1996 the 13th Fighter Squadron achieved initial operational capability in F-16CJs, the next generation of Wild Weasel aircraft. At the same time, the Air Force changed the squadron's tail code from "MJ" to "WW" in recognition of the 35th Fighter Wing's "Wild Weasel" heritage. That same year, the Air Force tested the new Aerospace Expeditionary Force concept expanding the opportunity for operational deployments to all units. As a result, the 13th Fighter Squadron became the first PACAF F-16 unit to deploy in support of Operation Southern Watch on July 8, 1996, enforcing the no-fly zone over Southern Iraq. During the deployment, the Panther Pack flew its first combat missions since the Mayaguez Incident in 1975. Since 1996, the Panther Pack has returned to Southwest Asia nine times, most recently to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn in 2010.
The proud heritage of the 13th Fighter Squadron includes three Presidential Unit Citations, 17 AF Outstanding Unit Awards, six with Combat "V" device, and one Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.