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[Flightline of first F-117A deployment at England AFB, La. (USAF photo)]

Deployments and Combat

[3/4 view of F-117A at England AFB, La. (USAF photo)] England AFB 1990
June 18, 1990
Operation: UNKNOWN
Deployment: England AFB, Lousiana
Action: Excersize

The lessons of Panama dictated that the F-117A be better integrated into national war planning. To that end, the first F-117A deployment to a non-program base was executed in June 18,1990 at England AFB, LA. Prior to this, only the 4450th TG A-7D SLUFFs had been deployed to another base of operation besides PS-22 and PS-66.

[Front view of F-117A at England AFB, La. (USAF photo)] The aircraft were accompanied by Lockheed airframe and avionics FSRs, all of whom were instrumental in solving the many unique problems encountered. The effectiveness of the FSRs in supporting the operational reliability of the aircraft during deployment was recognized.

As it turned out, this deployment dress rehersal was just in time. In response to Saddam Hussein's aggression, Operation Desert Shield began in July 1990, just one month later. In Aug, all PS-66 FSRs received orders to deploy to Saudi Arabia with the operational squadrons.

[23rd TFW patch showing wing sheild and A-10 noseart. (Darby's Patch Universe.)] England AFB (now closed) was home to many of the A-7D SLUFFs prior to their service in the 4450th TG. The SLUFFs had been assigned to the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing at England AFB. The 23rd TFW SLUFFs were replaced by A-10 Warthogs as the primary Close Air Support (CAS) aircraft in the USAF inventory. The 23rd TFW (later FW) was the "Flying Tigers", and hence, wore the distinctive "tiger teeth" on the front of their aircraft. As a joke on the A-10 community, the deployed F-117As were decorated with the 23rd's "tiger teeth".

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