History of the 177th Fighter Wing
Published March 18, 2008
The 177th Fighter Wing traces its roots back to September 1917 as the 119th Aero Squadron. The 119th Aero Squadron, an active duty training squadron during World War One, was demobilized in May 1919.
In 1930, the 119th Observation Squadron was given federal recognition as part of the 44th Infantry Division, New Jersey National Guard, 119th Fighter Squadron at Newark. In 1958, the 119th Fighter Squadron moved to the former Navy facility in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and was re-designated the 119th Tactical Fighter Squadron. In 1962 the unit became the 177th Tactical Fighter Group, the 177th Fighter Interceptor Group in 1972, 177th Fighter Group in 1992, and finally became the 177th Fighter Wing in 1995. The 177th Fighter Wing has been activated twice to federal service since World War Two. In 1961, the unit was called up for the "Berlin Crisis" and in 1968 for the "Pueblo Crisis," which sent unit members to all corners of the globe including Vietnam.
Years later, 70 unit members were activated in support of "Desert Storm." As the events of September 11th unfolded, the 177th Fighter Wing, through years of preparation, training and commitment launched to our nation's emergency and desperate call for help. These Air Guard warriors brought with them the character and core values of generations of heroic citizen soldiers and airmen. Since October 2001, the wing has had an active involvement in Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Northern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.