PCS GUIDE: 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho
By Connie Hempel, 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 05, 2011
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Mountain Home Air Force Base is located about 40 miles southeast of Boise, Idaho, in Mountain Home; a town of more than 11,000 people.
More than 4,000 active-duty Airmen, 900 civilians and contracting personnel, 50 F-15E Strike Eagles and a dozen RSAF F-15SGs make up the 366th Fighter Wing, known as the Gunfighter team. Their mission: develop and deploy combat-ready Airmen, take care of Gunfighters and protect and enhance our resources. Their vision: an innovative Gunfighter team - providing combat power for our nation from an installation of excellence.
Mountain Home AFB reports to Air Combat Command and is home to three fighter squadrons that together record more than 20,000 flying hours and 13,000 sorties annually. The combat-ready Airmen and assets of Mountain Home AFB, offer a blend of rapid firepower at locations around the globe.
The base is nestled between the Danskin and Owyhee Mountains with a mild climate. According to the City of Mountain Home website, the city's coldest month is January with average lows and highs at 22 and 36, respectively, and the hottest month is July with average lows and highs at 59 and 93, respectively. The annual snowfall accumulation is just over 14 inches, and rainfall is about 8 inches.
The History of Mountain Home AFB
Although the 366th FW history dates back to around World War II, Mountain Home AFB and the 366th FW's shared history only goes back to 1972.
Construction at Mountain Home began in 1942 for the Mountain Home Army Air Field, which was officially opened in August 1943. The next year, Army Air Force crews for B-24s began training for WWII. In 1945, training for B-29s began there, but only for a short while since the Japanese surrendered, and the base was placed in inactive status in October 1945. It remained inactive until December 1948 as the 5th Reconnaissance Group, later named the 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, was assigned. When it reactivated, the base was renamed Mountain Home Air Force Base.
The base experienced another closure in 1950, which lasted about a year. When it reopened, it hosted the 580th, 581st and 582nd Air Resupply and Communications Wings flying C-119s, B-29s and SA-16 for the next three years. As these wings were reassigned to overseas locations, the base was reassigned to Strategic Air Command, taking on the 9th Bombardment Wing with B-29s and KB-29Hs; these aircraft were later changed out for the new B-47s and KC-97s.
In 1962 three Titan missile sites in the local area were delegated to the wing, and the wing was redesignated as the 9th Strategic Aerospace, but as the SAC mission began winding down at Mountain Home, the missile sites were closed in 1966 and the base was assigned to Tactical Air Command. The base also lost its B47s in 1964 when the Air Force began phasing them out.
Under the new command, the wing became home to the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing with RF-4Cs. F-4D Phantoms came a couple of years later, but were reassigned in the 1970s.
In 1971, the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing replaced the 67th TRW and brought with it F-111A Aardvarks. The 366th Tactical Fighter Wing absorbed the 347th TFW and its equipment when it moved from Vietnam to Mountain Home in 1972. From 1972-1991, the 366th TFW and F-111As stayed at Mountain Home.
From 1991-2002, Mountain Home AFB was known as the Air Force's only standing air expeditionary wing, the premier air intervention composite wing, housing five squadrons ready to quickly deploy and deliver integrated combat power. As the Air Expeditionary Wing took on this new role, ending it long association with flying various F-111 models, the following squadrons and aircraft made the 366th Wing home:
· 389th Fighter Squadron with dual-role F16C Fighting Falcons
· 391st Fighter Squadron with F-15E Strike Eagles
· 34th Bomb Squadron with B-52G Stratofortresses and later B-1B Lancers
· 390th Fighter Squadron with the F-15C Eagles
· 22nd Air Refueling Squadron with the KC-135R Stratotankers
It gained the 726th Air Control Squadron in 1996, enabling mobile radar surveillance, and command and control capabilities.
In 2002 the Air Force began consolidating B-1B and KC-135 forces, sending the tankers at Mountain Home elsewhere and inactivating 22nd ARS. Soon after, the B-1Bs of the 34th BS followed suit, and the wing was resigned from the 366th Wing to the 366th Fighter Wing, ending its 10 year mission as only Air Force AEW.
Today the Gunfighters continue to offer a team of combat-ready Airmen and rapid firepower for locations and operations around the globe.
Mountain Home AFB history and information are culled from historical facts. Courtesy of the 17th Training Wing Public Affairs.