To understand the importance and rarity of the 36th Wing and 525th Fighter Squadron “Bulldogs” reunion, they have to step back in time and see where it all started for 525th FS, the 36th Wing and Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. On Nov. 1, 1968, the 525th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, flying the F-102 Delta Daggers at the time, were assigned to the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing, U.S. Air Forces Europe in Bitburg Air Base, Germany. On Oct. 1, 1969 the 525th FIS was redesignated as a Tactical Fighter Squadron and became the first squadron in Germany to fly the F-4E Phantom II and in 1977 the first squadron to fly F-15s in Europe.
“Most Air Force wings have had the same numbered wing and other units assigned on their air bases since around the Korean War, some after the Vietnam War. Over the years Andersen Air Force Base played host to over seven different wings. In 2007, the 525th FS redesignated and activated again at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The 525th Fighter Squadron is the only fighter squadron ever assigned to the 36th Wing that is still active in the Air Force today.,” said Jeff Meyer, 36th Wing historian.
The 525th FS was deactivated in March of 1992 and in 1994 the 36 FW closed its doors at Bitburg AB and moved to Andersen AFB as the 36th Air Base Wing. The 525th FS and the F-22 Raptors they fly are currently deployed in support of Operation Pacific Iron 2021 at Andersen AFB. Pacific Iron is a U.S. Pacific Air Forces Dynamic Force Employment operation to project forces into the USINDOPACOM’s area of responsibility in support of the 2018 National Defense Strategy which called on the military to be a more lethal, adaptive, and resilient force.
In 2007, the 525th FS redesignated and activated again at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The 525th Fighter Squadron is the only fighter squadron ever assigned to the 36th Wing that is still active in the Air Force today. Airmen deployed in support of Pacific Iron are honing their Multi-capable Airmen and Agile Combat Employment skills at airports in Guam and Tinian. ACE is the use of agile operations to generate resilient airpower in a contested environment and is designed to organize, train and equip Airmen to be more agile in operation execution, strategic in deterrence, and more resilient in capabilities.