Col. Brian Bell - Commander, 125th FW
Command Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Souza - CCMSgt, 125th FW
Year in Review - 2016
Since 1947, the 125th Fighter Wing (125th FW) has proudly protected the skies with strategic air defense over most of the southeastern United States. The 125th FW maintains and flies 21 F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft at Jacksonville International Airport, while also performing a continuous 24-hour alert mission at Homestead Air Reserve Base. The 125th FW is the premier fighter wing executing the number one priority of the national defense strategy – defense of the homeland.
In the past year, more than 220 Florida Air National Guard (FLANG) Airmen have deployed across the globe. At various points throughout the year, Airmen from the 125th FW have supported six combatant commands – the Africa Command, Central Command, Northern Command, European Command, Southern Command and Pacific Command. While about 20 percent of FLANG Airmen were deployed in the past year, there were also some historic training opportunities at home. The Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Enhanced Response Package (CERFP) teamed up with the Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System (FEMORS) for the first time ever during the 2016 Hurricane Exercise. This gave the CERFP Fatality Search and Recovery Team (FSRT) invaluable training and allowed CERFP FSRT the most realistic training possible while integrating with state partners.
The 125th FW prides itself on being the “Premier Fighter Wing” and its efforts were recognized in September 2015 as the first Air National Guard unit to receive a rating of “Highly Effective” by the Air Combat Command Inspector General.
In addition to supporting a federal mission, the 125th FW is committed to integrating and supporting its community. The Mayor of Tampa declared Oct. 17, 2015, as 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron Day in recognition of the unit’s outstanding community support efforts. Likewise, the 125th FW hosted a semi-annual ‘Friends of the FANG’ event with more than 400 local business leaders, employers, students and other community members attending to familiarize themselves with the missions of the 125th FW and get up close to some of the equipment used every day and the people that make the mission happen. The 125th FW also supported the Jacksonville Jaguars with flyovers, and three Airmen were also chosen to sing the National Anthem in front of a crowd of 60,000 people for the NFL Salute to Service Jaguar’s game in Jacksonville.
The Air Force also selected a member of the 125th FW as one of their 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2015. Senior Master Sgt. Mark Farmer of the 114th Space Control Squadron was the single Airman nominated by the Air National Guard among more than 90,000 enlisted personnel.
The 125th FW stands ready to execute all state and federal missions with speed and precision as the nation’s “Premier Fighter Wing.”