20th Tactical Fighter Wing USAF (55th, 77th and 79th Tactical Fighter Squadrons, and 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron)
Equipped with: F-111Es, the 20th TFW was the first of two F-111 wings to be assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), and was based in the UK at RAF Upper Heyford between 1970 and 1993. Its main role was to provide the 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force (ATAF) of NATO with long-range, all-weather strike capability. Between 1984 and 1985 and 1991 and 1992 the 42nd ECS with their EF-111A Ravens also formed part of the 20th TFW, providing electronic support to the strike aircraft. During Operation Desert Storm both F-111Es and EF-111As from the 20th TFW were detached to bases in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. As part of the post-Cold War drawdown all of the 20th TFW squadrons were disestablished during 1992 and 1993.27th Tactical Fighter Wing USAF (481st, 522nd, 523rd and 524th Tactical Fighter Squadrons, 428th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, 430th Electronic Combat Squadron, 4427th TFRS)
Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico has been home to the 27 TFW ever since it received its first F-111As and F-111Es in 1969. Re-equipment with the F-111D began in 1971 and this remained the principal variant operated by the Wing throughout the next 20 years. One squadron operated ex-Strategic Air Command F-111Gs during the early 1990s and the final variants operated were F-111Fs and F-111Es retired from USAFE units. One of the 27 TFW’s responsibilities was training and conversion of F-111 aircrew.48th Tactical Fighter Wing USAF (492nd, 493rd 494th and 495th Tactical Fighter Squadrons)
In 1977 the 48th TFW at RAF Lakenheath became the second USAFE wing to re-equip with the F-111. Like the 20th TFW it formed part of the US 3rd Air Force, but whereas the 20th was assigned to the 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force (2nd ATAF), the 48th was assigned to the 4th ATAF. With their Pave Tack laser-guidance system, the F-111Fs of the 48th TFW were among the most potent strike aircraft available to NATO during the final stages of the Cold War. They carried out the retaliatory bombing of Libya in 1986 and were responsible for some of the most devastating attacks against Iraqi targets during Operation Desert Storm. The 495th FS and 493rd FS were disestablished in 1991 and1992 respectively. The 48th’s remaining two squadrons exchanged their F-111s for F-15E Strike Eagles in 1992.57th Fighter Weapons Wing USAF (422nd Fighter Weapons Squadron, 431st Test & Evaluation Squadron, F-111 Fighter Weapons School)
From 1969 until 1977 the unit responsible for the 57th FWW''s F-111 tactical evaluation, trials and aircrew instruction was the 422nd FWS at Nellis AFB. Thereafter the Wing's F-111s were detached to McClellan, Cannon and Mountain Home AFBs at different times and its functions divided between the 431st TES (1980-1992) and the F-111 Fighter Weapons School (1977-1992). F-111As, Cs, Ds, Es and Fs have all been assigned to the Wing at various times.66th Electronic Combat Wing USAF (42nd Electronic Combat Squadron)
In 1985 the EF-111A Ravens of the 42nd ECS were transferred from the 20th TFW to the 66th ECW, remaining under the Wing''s control until 1991. During Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm the 42nd ECW's aircraft were provisionally assigned to other units and afterwards rejoined the 20th TFW.340th Bomb Group USAF (4007th Combat Crew Training Squadron)
Between 1969 and 1971 this group was responsible for training aircrew for the Strategic Air Command’s FB-111A force at Carswell AFB, Texas.347th Tactical Fighter Wing USAF (391st Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4589th Tactical Fighter Squadron [re-designated 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron], 4590th Tactical Fighter Squadron [re-designated 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron])
Between 1973 and 1975 the Wing was reformed at Takhli RTAFB in Thailand and took over control of the 474th TFW’s two F-111A squadrons until they returned to the USA at which time the 347th was again disestablished.366th Tactical Fighter Wing USAF (389th Tactical Fighter Squadron [re-designated 389th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron], 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron [re-designated 390th Electronic Combat Squadron]; 391st Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron [re-designated 388th Electronic Combat Squadron])
The 366th TFW was formed at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho in 1972 by renumbering the 347th TFW. Initially equipped with F-111Fs, it was re-equipped with F-111As in 1977 and in 1981 it became the first wing to operate a squadron of EF-111A Ravens. Its two F-111A squadrons were disbanded in 1992 and its EF-111A squadron transferred to the 27th Fighter Wing in 1993.380th Bomb Wing USAF (528th Bombardment Squadron, 529th Bombardment Squadron, 4007th Combat Crew Training Squadron [re-designated 530th Combat Crew Training Squadron])
Previously a B-52 wing, the 380th BW at Plattsburgh AFB, New York became Strategic Air Command’s second FB-111A wing in 1971. Its primary role was long-range nuclear strike but it also developed a conventional bombing capability and had an important aircrew training function. The Wing’s FB-111As dominated Strategic Air Command bombing and navigation competitions during the 1970s and 1980s. After 20 years service the FB-111A was retired from SAC service in 1991 and the 380th became an Air Refuelling Wing with KC-135s. The 380th’s FB-111As were either put into storage or transferred to the 27th TFW.474th Tactical Fighter Wing USAF (428th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 429th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 430th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4527th Combat Crew Training Squadron [re-designated 442nd Tactical Fighter Training Squadron])
The 474th''s first F-111A squadron was formed in 1968 and a detachment of six aircraft flew to Takhli RTAFB in Thailand almost immediately to commence combat operations in Vietnam. However, after 55 missions the 474th TFW went home while the F-111A's structural problems were investigated. In 1972 the 429th TFS and 430th TFS returned to Takhli with 48 F-111As and by March 1973 had completed over 4,000 missions over Vietnam and Laos with only six losses. Shortly after the February 1973 Vietnamese ceasefire the 474th’s F-111As passed to 347th TFW control, remaining in Thailand for another two years. Between 1975 and 1977 the 474th TFW again operated F-111As from Nellis AFB before receiving F-4D Phantoms in their place.509th Bombardment Wing (Medium) USAF (393rd and 715th Bombardment Squadrons)
The 509th was the first of Strategic Air Command's two US-based FB-111A long-range nuclear bomber wings. Its first FB-111As arrived at Pease AFB, New Hampshire in 1970 and the wing became fully operational in 1973. In 1990 the 509th was deactivated, passing many of its aircraft to the 27th TFW.3246th Test Wing USAF (re-designated 46th Test Wing) (3247th Test Squadron [re-designated 40th Test Squadron])
This unit (which was renumbered in 1992) was responsible for testing and evaluating ordnance used by all USAF aircraft including the F-111, several of which were assigned to it at Elgin AFB from 1973 onwards.4404th Composite Wing USAF
Six EF-111A Ravens were assigned to this unit at the end of the Gulf War in 1991 to provide electronic support to the tactical aircraft employed in monitoring and enforcing the United Nations "No Fly Zone" in southern Iraq (Operation Southern Watch).4480th Tactical Fighter Wing USAF (4481st Tactical Fighter Squadron)
Formed in July 1967 this unit prepared the USAF''s first F-111As and their crews for their operational deployment in Vietnam in Operation Combat Lancer. It was renumbered the 474th TFW in January 1968.4525th Fighter Weapons Wing USAF (4539th Combat Crew Training Squadron)
This unit received its first F-111s in mid-1968 and was tasked with tactical development and aircrew tactical training. It was subsequently renumbered the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing.6510th Test Wing USAF (6512th Test Squadron)
Between 1965 and 1992 several F-111 variants were assigned to this unit, which was based at Edwards AFB. It was responsible for operational and experimental flight trials on systems such as the digital flight control system.7440th Wing USAF (Provisional)
During the 1991 Gulf War F-111Es of the 20th TFW and EF-111A Ravens of the 66th ECW were assigned to the temporary control of this Wing at Ircirlik, Turkey. They carried out 456 bombing missions against Iraq supported by 252 Raven missions in Operation Proven Force. Conventional rather than laser-guided bombs were usually dropped by 7440th Wing F-111Es, which were not equipped with Pave Tack.USAF Air Warfare Centre USAF (4485th TS)
Known as the Tactical Air Warfare Centre until 1992, the 4485th TS was assigned two EF-111A Ravens for trials and evaluation purposes.Sacramento Air Logistics Centre USAF (Engineering Flight Test, 2874th TS and 337th TS)
This USAF Logistics Command unit was responsible for the flight testing of F-111s following planned depot maintenance and for performance of qualification testing of software and avionics modifications. Operational testing was then carried out by the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing before modifications were released to operational units.NASA Dryden Flight Research Centre
In the 1980s this joint USAF/NASA unit carried out research into the design of the supercritical section wing in the Transonic Aircraft Technology (TACT) programme. An F-111A was used to evaluate a new design of flexible fibreglass wing known as the Mission Adaptive Wing (MAW) intended for use in passenger and transport aircraft.Air Force Flight Test Centre USAF (6512th Test Squadron).
This unit based at Edwards AFB in California, was responsible for the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration project, and used several F-111 variants.Armament Development & Test Centre (3246th Test Wing).
Based at Elgin AFB, Florida the ADTC used F-111Es in the development and testing of non-nuclear weapons for use in both tactical and strategic roles.