144FW- A look back at 2021

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Charles Vaughn
  • 144th Fighter Wing

Another year has come and gone, and 2021 presented its own unique opportunities, challenges and accomplishments for the men and women of the 144th Fighter Wing.

The 144th FW began the year strong, with the 144th Medical Group delivering COVID-19 vaccinations to the wing’s emergency services personnel, security forces, and medical and health care professionals, spearheading the start of a fully vaccinated force.

In February the 144th FW’s 194th Fighter Squadron hosted the first Valley Thunder, a two-week long military fighter jet training exercise. A total of 45 different aircraft from 12 units participated in the exercise, which was conducted in training airspaces surrounding the local region.

March saw the Civil Engineering squadron conducting a Deployment for Training to assist in the construction of Mississippi’s first fully accessible year-round camp facility, Camp Kamassa, for children and adults with serious illness, physical and mental challenges, and other special needs through the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training Program.

In mid-April the 144th Medical Detachment 1 participated in Sentinel Response. Held in Concord, Calif., primarily on the grounds of a U.S. Navy military installation, exercise Sentinel Response tested the skills of the medical team’s reacting to a simulated radiological explosion in which mass casualties were sustained. 

 A large force readiness exercise, Nexus Dawn/Gold Rush,  took place in late April simulating a combat environment in the air and on the ground to prepare Airmen for future near peer threats. During this same period the Communication Flight participated in Exercise Cyber Dawn, a joint interagency, multi-state strategic exercise, which brings together federal partners for cyber tactical global training.

Completing over 100 sorties and 190 flying hours Airmen and F-15C Eagles from the Wing participated in Sentry Aloha 2021 an exercise conducted from Aug. 11 to Aug. 25 in and around the air spaces surrounding Hawaii.

In September, the 144th Fighter Wing had the distinct honor of hosting two F-117 Nighthawk aircraft.  144th FW’s F-15 pilots conducted multiple dissimilar air combat training missions with the F-117’s, which attracted the attention of aircraft enthusiasts around the world.

The wing then turned around and in Mid-September deployed over 190 Airmen, eight F-15c Eagle’s and around 95 short tons of equipment for three months in support of Operation Noble Eagle.

Even while conducting these various activities, our Wing continued to maintain its alert operations in support of the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Defense mission.

Throughout the year the 144th FW continued to showed its commitment to the community and Family. In June and July, the 144FW rededicated jets to the cities of Clovis, Dinuba and Reedley as part of the wing’s Cities of Honor program.

October had families and friends visit the base for Family Day and the base trunk-or-treat.

November the wing payed recognition to our Outstanding Airmen of the Year during the annual banquet recognizing Airmen in the categories of: Airman, NCO, Senior NCO, 1St Sgt., Company Grade Officer and Field Grade Officer. Other community and family activities included participation in Fresno Mayor Dyer’s initiative Beautify Fresno, the month of the military child, Dinuba High School Military Appreciation Night, the annual Fresno Veterans Parade, and many other events. Our F-15C Eagles and Airmen also participated in multiple airshows and supported military funeral honors.

As the 144th FW moves into 2022, we look forward to maintaining combat ready forces able to rapidly generate, employ, and sustain global Air Power and agile support for nation and state. While we strive to be a premier, professional team of warriors that is diverse, inclusive, connected and relentlessly improving to serve nation and state… We are - All In-!