114th Fighter Squadron Reaches New Milestone
By Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Shirar, 173rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 05, 2010
February 1, 2010 -- KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - On Feb. 1, 2010 the 114th Fighter Squadron participated in a routine training mission that is standard at the F-15 schoolhouse. However, as the first F-15 landed on the snow-covered runway following the mission, a significant milestone was reached; since the inception of the air defense school house at Kingsley Field in 1983 there have been over 100,000 hours flown.
"This is a significant event for the 114th Fighter Squadron and the 173rd Fighter Wing. It represents a milestone for all of the members of Kingsley Field, past and present," said Lt. Col. Robert Erickson, 114th Fighter Squadron Commander.
This accumulation of flight hours was amassed from time spent in the cockpit of the F-4 Phantom, F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F-15 Eagle.
"100,000 flying hours is the grand total of hours flown since the ANG started business here in the early 1980's flying the F-4 Phantom. 100,000 flying hours encompasses all of the hours flown in the F-4 Phantom, the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F-15 Eagle," he added.
The squadron was also recently recognized for their excellence when it comes to not only getting aircraft in the air, but doing it safely, a number one priority for the 114th FS.
"Although this total number of flying hours has not been accident free, the 173rd FW just received a plaque from the Boeing Corporation signifying our last 40,000 flying hours as accident free; another huge milestone," said Erickson.
The 114th Fighter Squadron began training pilots in 1983. Known then as the 8123rd Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron, the squadron trained F-4C pilots and F-4C Weapon Systems Officers. In 1984, upon official recognition, the unit's name changed to the 114th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron. The designation changed again in 1992 to the 114th Fighter Squadron. F-4C pilot training continued until 1988 when the unit converted to an F-16 pilot training schoolhouse.
When the 173rd Fighter Wing was officially activated, the 114th Fighter Squadron became the flying component of the 173rd Fighter Wing and fell under the Operations Group. F-16 pilot training continued for nine years at Kingsley Field and in 1998 the 173rd Fighter Wing converted to the F-15 Eagle. Today, the 114th Fighter Squadron proudly carries on the tradition of training the best fighter pilots in the world.