144FW Year in Review

  • Published
  • By by Master Sgt Charles Vaughn
  • 144TH Fighter Wing

The year 2020 has been an unprecedented year for the 144th Fighter Wing.

In the face of a global pandemic, the Airmen of the 144FW were able to successfully meet the demands of providing mission-ready Airmen and equipment, homeland and disaster response missions, deployments around the globe, and sustained support of the state's battle against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

The year started with 144FW Airmen from the wing taking part in Sentry Aloha 20-1 where F-15 Eagles from the 194th Fighter Squadron participated in a series of training sorties with the Hawaii Air National Guard.

March saw the 144th Medical Detachment 1 support the state's battle against the deadly novel coronavirus when California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave an order March 13th, requesting a 10-person medical augmentation team to assist the California Emergency Medical Services Authority at a facility in Asilomar State Park in Monterey County, California.

In April, 144th FW Airmen were tasked with aiding the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Silicon Valley, located in San Jose, California as part of the pandemic support. 144th Fighter Wing Airmen returned home in July after having packed 4,900 pallets, which equates to 35,700 boxes and 4,209,917 pounds of food.

Airmen from the 144FW were then called by Gov. Newsom to support law enforcement agencies in June as protests erupted across the state and in the nation. Airmen were tasked all across the state with the mission of protecting life and property and individuals’ rights to peacefully protest.

In September, Airmen from the 144th were involved with disaster response to the multiple fires taking place in California. In our local area, the Creek fire had the wing respond on several levels, supporting rescue efforts and the incident command teams for Cal Fire, The US Forest Service, and the Fresno Fire Department.

The latter part of October and early November had the wing participate in Checkered Flag 21-1, a large-scale aerial exercise, designed to integrate the F-15 Eagle, a fourth-generation fighter, with fifth-generation aircraft to enhance the mobility, deployment, and employment capabilities of Air Force aviators and maintainers. During the two-week exercise, the 144th Airmen and aircraft were tested in all phases of air-to-air combat operations in an unrestricted, realistic airspace.

The year was a momentous one. But the 144th Fighter Wing is looking forward to a brighter 2021 and continued service to California and the nation.