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[37th TFW Transiant Maint. Sq. ()]

Past Support Squadrons

4450th TG

[4450th Maintenance Squadron. (Webmaster's private collection)]

4450th Maintenance Squadron

The 4450th Maintenance Squadron (Big D/A-7D) at Nellis AFB, Nevada, wore their patch on the upper left chest fatigue pocket. This organization performed the maintenance on the 4450th A-7 D and A-7K aircraft. These aircraft were used for pilot training, profencancy, and as a cover story for the public.

[4450th Support Group patch. ()] [4461st Support Group patch. (Webmaster's private collection)]

4461st Support Group
Later 4450th Combat Support Group

The 4461st Support Group encompassed all the various units that performed maintenance on the F-117A. On January, 24, 1989 the group was redesignated as the 4450th Combat Support Group (E-unit). The 4450th Combat Support Group was inactivated on October 5, 1989. The personal and assets were transfered to the newly activated 37th Combat Support Group.

F3XP M.A.R.S. /4450th TG M.A.R.S.

[Reproduction of 4450th MARS patch. (Webmaster's private collection)]

With the delivery of the first F-117A #786 into the USAF inventory the USAF was faced with training its personall to maintain the stealthy characteristics of the aircraft.

The 4450th established an organization resonsible for this maintanence. The 4450th recruited USAF corrosion control specialist and shet metal technicians into this classified program, identifying it only by the designator "F3XP". Members of this group, the Materials Application Repair Section (M.A.R.S.), were trained in the techniques of applying and maintaining the copatings used on the F-117A by Lockheed instructors.

Members of this once secret organization called themselves Martians. The original "F3XP" patch was designed by Curt Wallis, one of the early Martians, with their nickname providing the theme. This patch was used by Lockheed and USAF Martains.

Pat Burke was the original (Lockheed) factory instructor. Thw ten day class on these techniques featured physical, hands on instruction using 4,000 pounds worth of scrap materials unsuitable for flight. Approximately one-quaryer of the original, wood mock-up was skinned with aluminum and used as a trainer in this class. Students could practise applying coatings to a wing, a rudder, and the aft end of the fuselage foward of the Platy.

The F3XP personall became so adept with the F-117A that the coatings removed for maintenance were temporarily replaced with painted cardboard to give the aircraft an operational look during unexpected visits from dignitaries.

Before the F3XP M.A.R.S. program was formally established in 1984 to 1985, it was known as TFC, The F#&%ing Coating.

In 1986 the "F3XP" on the previous patch was replaced with "4450th TG" and became the symbol used by the USAF personal assigned to the Martian unit. (Information from Blazek's "Nighthawks".)

[37th Combat Support Group patch. (Webmaster's private collection)]

37th TFW/FW (Tonopah)

37th Combat Support Group

The design is composed of the colors of the Air Force, with three Air Force yellow segments and a total of seven segments forming the group designation. The three yellow segments also represent the three squadrons which comprise the 37th CSG. The millrind, the center on which milstone turns, is symbolic of the faithful service of the group, which acts as a service center for the maintenance of smooth operation of combat units. And the added black Nighthawk, alighting on the millrind, signifies the support given to it to fulfill the worldwide commitments of the F-117A Stealth Fighter."

[37th Aircraft Generation Squadron patch. (Webmaster's private collection)]

37th Aircraft Generation Squadron (AGS)

"The emblem symbolizes the 37th AGS's direct maintenance support of the F-117A Stealth Fighter. A black Nighthawk, outlined in white, is the sign of the spectral F-117A in action, while four yellow lightning bolts imply that four aircraft maintenance units are providing that support. The white star and moon, accented by an ultramarine blue field, denotes the ability to operate in the sky, the Air Force's primary theater of operations, at night. A black and white target below the Nighthawk represents its ability to find the target in all conditions. A brown, rugged, mountainous terrain falling to a flat plain demonstrates the ability to operate anywhere, while the black-lined triangle in the background relates to targeting in the worst environments. The oriental blue field within the triangle refers to the unit's membership in the Tactical Air Command."

415th/416th/417th Aircraft Maintence Units (AMU)

The Aircraft Maintenance Units (AMU) assigned to each F-117A squadron each produced subdued patches for thier members to wear. During the 1st public display of the F-117A, the one aircraft wore the markings of both the "TFS" and "AMU" on it's tailfins. Later the USAF eleminated AMU's across the board and integrated all AMU's into the actual operational squadrons themselves.

[415th Aircraft Maintenance Unit patch. (Webmaster's private collection)] [416th Aircraft Maintenance Unit patch. (Webmaster's private collection)]

37th Aircraft Maintence Unit (AMU)

37th Operational Support Squadron (OSS)

[37th Component Repair Squadron patch. (Webmaster's private collection)]

37th Component Repair Squadron (CRS)

"The Nighthawk symbolizes strength and commitment to the mission of the Wing. The Nighthawk is threaded in golden brown outlined in black, with eyes of red. The disk is divided diagonally from dexter base to sinister chief in two colors. On the top is Air Force yellow to signify the setting sun and enduring excellance. On the bottom is Air Force blue to signify our sky and the Air Force's theater of operations. On the bottom of the Air Force blue, located below the Nighthawk, is a black gear which symbolizes a mechanism that denotes our intermediate inductrial capability and strength. The black color denotes the security classification of our program's technology. The atom design 3/4 in the field of Air Force yellow symbolizes technology and our vast potential, which is made up of many diversified shops. The red color signifies the power and capability of this technology. The scroll will be gray with black lettering. The border of the disk and scroll are black."

[37th Equipment Maintenance Squadron patch. (Webmaster's private collection)]

37th Equipment Maintenance Squadron (EMS)

"A black Nighthawk, shown in flight, displays the swift and silent nature of the F-117A Stealth Fighter as it approaches its intended target. White highlights around the hawk suggest the aircraft's spectral nature. The ultramarine blue background represents the sky, the primary theater of the Air Force's operations. A waxing moon and stars denotes the Air Force's ability to operate in day and night skies. The hands symbolize the care that equipment maintenance technicians take in their work with the aircraft. Five stars refer to the individual branches that contribute to the squadron's equipment maintenance capability. The hawk's red eye denotes its ability to find and track its prey.

37th Civil Engineering Squadron

"Three colors are used: ultramarine blue, Air Force yellow, and black. Simple, yet very complex in meaning. Yellow represents the caliber of people working in the squadron-the "Best of the Best". Ultramarine blue represents the sky. Our mission, directly and indirectly, is to support our aircraft. Black stands for dignity and the determination to succeed in a mission most are not aware of and the hours of darkness, night, our primary time of operations."

"The symbol of engineering is the castle. Ordinary kingsmen were "knighted" for outstanding accomplishment. The knight was a symbol of honesty, loyalty, and reliability. They were called upon to do the most difficult tasks. "The Knights" of Civil Engineering have accomplished the most difficult of tasks while being assigned to a classified location working on classified projects. Thus, the engineering squadron was identified as a "black organization", which allowed the term "Black Knights" to evolve."

37th Security Police Squadron

"The emblem is symbolic of the squadron's mission and history. The ultramarine blue background alludes to the sky, the primary theater of the Air Force's operations. The three red bars are symbolic of the unit's service in South Vietnam. The three black darts represent F-117A Stealth Fighters of the three tactical fighter squadrons of the 37th TFW the squadron is tasked to defend. The black chess knight, the most maneuverable of pieces in the historic game, suggests the maneuverability of the unit to deploy anywhere with the aircraft and the quick response of security forces to any threat against wing resources during daylight or darkness."

37th Medical Squadron

"REd (Heraldic Gules) used in the caduceus, the symbol of the medical profession, represents the blodd of life. The yellow symbolizes the Sun and its illumination. It is used to depict the rising of the sun, signifying the daylight portion of the 24 hour mission/capability. Additionally, the stars of the night portion of the emblem are yellow to shoe their illumination at night. The color brown is for the Earth. Brown is utilized to show the mountainous topography of the region of the Tonopah Test Range in which the 37th Medical Squadron is located. The light blue is used to depict the sky and is used to show the daylight portion of the unit's 24 hour mission/capability. Black is used to portray night and is used to show the night time portion of the unit's 24 hour mission/capability. And silver, representing purity, is used to color the staff portion of the caduceus.

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