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Leadership

Col. Brian Simpler - Commander, 125th FW

Year in Review - 2015

Since 1947, the 125th Fighter Wing (125th FW) has proudly protected the skies with strategic air defense over most of the southeastern United States. As the premier F-15C unit in the United States, the 125th FW maintains and flies F-15C fighter aircraft at Jacksonville International Airport. In south Florida the 125th FW’s Detachment 1 (Det 1) conducts a continuous 24-hour alert mission at Homestead Air Reserve Base executing the top priority of the National Defense Strategy - Defense of the Homeland.

In the past year, five Geographically Separated Units throughout the state of Florida were reorganized to be a part of the 125th FW, making it one of the largest wings in the Air National Guard. This realignment makes all Florida Air National Guard (FLANG) units inspectable under the new Air Force Inspection System and provides better support to Airmen throughout the state.

Airmen of the 125th FW were engaged across the globe, simultaneously executing missions for four Combatant Commanders: U.S. Northern Command, Pacific Command, Central Command (CENTCOM), and European Command (EUCOM). The 159th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, the oldest unit in the FLANG, also known as the ‘Boxin’ Gators,’ made history as the first Air National Guard unit to support a Theater Security Package (TSP) in the European Command. The TSP mission included deploying to Bulgaria as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve (OAR) to deter further Russian aggression while supporting our North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partners.

The Air National Guard’s first-ever full Critical Care Air Transport Team, composed of 125th Medical Group personnel, deployed to EUCOM to transport wounded Soldiers and Airmen from CENTCOM to Germany and the U.S. deploying Airmen aboard U.S. Navy vessels, the 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron (290th JCSS) provided communications throughout Asia on the humanitarian mission, Pacific Partnership 2015. The 290th JCSS also deployed Airmen to both EUCOM and CENTCOM. The 114th Space Control Squadron (114th SPCS) and the 159th Weather Flight both deployed Airmen in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Approximately 20 percent of the wing was deployed at one time during the last year, with another 20 percent preparing for upcoming mobilizations across the globe.

The dedication demonstrated by Florida’s Airmen earned the 114th SPCS, 290th JCSS and the 125th FW the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. This prestigious accomplishment confirms the 125th FW is ready to execute all state and federal missions with speed and precision as this nation’s Premier Fighter Wing.