After a 12-year break, the 60th Fighter Squadron was reactivated Aug. 20, 2021 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
Flying as part of the 33rd Fighter Wing, the squadron will plan and execute a training curriculum in support of U.S. Air Force training requirements for the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
“Standing up a second F-35 squadron marks a pivotal moment in our wing’s history as a premier producer of combat readiness,” said Col. Jack Arthaud, 33rd FW commander. “The F-35 is foundational to the Air Force’s future fighter force, and expanding our training capacity helps to ensure our Combat Air Forces are provided with the Airmen and pilots needed to maintain our Nation’s asymmetric competitive advantage … Airpower anytime, anywhere.”
The 60th FS’s heritage includes a Distinguished Unit Citation in 1943, the 1996 Hughes Trophy as the best air defense/air superiority squadron in the U.S. Air Force, and five U.S. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards. Following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the “Fighting Crows” provided near constant support for Operation Noble Eagle.
Incremental arrival of additional F-35A aircraft is expected to begin this fall.