The 497th Combat Training Flight is a United States Air Force unit. Its present assignment is to Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base, where its mission is to provides operational and logistical support to U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft deployed to Singapore for training exercises with the Republic of Singapore Air Force.
Approximately three deployments of USAF F-15s and F-16s from both Active Duty and National Guard units from around the world are made each year to Singapore under the auspices of EXERCISE COMMANDO SLING. The squadron supports/participates in regional exercise and global contingencies, and provides housing; morale, recreation and welfare facilities and programs: medical services; force protection to resources and personnel; and legal, financial, communications, and contracting support to assigned and deployed personnel.
The 497th comprises the basic functional elements of a small-scale USAF fighter wing - fighter operations, flightline logistics, community and mission support, and medical services. With a permanently assigned staff of 37 personnel, the 497th CTS represents the entire USAF presence in Singapore. However, six times a year for up to four weeks the squadron "grows" to between 120 and 190 in strength, with the deployment of 6 to 12 F-15 and/or F-16 aircraft and the associated 75 to 150 support personnel. When so configured, the 497th "presence" is transformed into an operational role, to conduct an intense schedule of air-to-air combat training with the RSAF.
The 497th also supports USAF fighter rotations to Southwest Asia and several other regional exercises such as COPE TAUFAN, COPE TIGER, and COPE WEST. An example of the 497th CTS's "expanding capability" occurred in May 1998 during COMMANDO SLING 98-4 when they also supported the ordered departure of U.S. personnel from Indonesia. Paya Lebar Air Base ramp at that time had 28 USAF F-15s, four USAF C-130s, four USAF KC-135s, one C-141, one C-17, plus all the permanently based RSAF aircraft and aircraft from other nations. All were supported by squadron and RSAF personnel. Additionally, COMMANDO SLING 98-4 was the first time the normally bilateral exercise was expanded to include the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 Hornets.
The commander is also the Designated Commanding Officer for legal jurisdiction over U.S. military personnel in nine Southeast Asian countries. It is a tenant command under Naval Region Singapore and shares space at the Sembawang Terminal with Task Force 73/Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific and a space a Paya Lebar Air Base (PLAB) .
Operational training unit, June 1942 – October 1943; replacement training, October 1943 – April 1944.
Air defense of West coast, 1953–1955.
Air Defense of Southwest Europe, 1958–1964. In the early 1960s Headquarters, United States Air Force (USAF) implemented Project Clearwater. Clearwater was designed to return overseas Convair F-102 squadrons stationed overseas to the United States to reduce "gold flow" (adverse balance of payments). This resulted in the 497th being reduced to a paper unit and its planes dispersed to Air Defense Command interceptor squadrons in the US. Although had originally intended to inactivate the unit, it was instead transferred to Tactical Air Command as a paper unit.
Combat in Southeast Asia, 1965–1974; Defense of South Korea, 1974–1988.
Combat training in Southeast Asia, 1991–presentConstituted as the 302d Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 13 January 1942
Activated on 10 February 1942
Redesignated 302d Bombardment Squadron
(Dive) on 27 July 1942
Redesignated 497th Fighter-Bomber Squadron
on 10 August 1943
Disbanded on 1 April 1944
Reconstituted on 3 February 1953 and redesignated 497th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
Activated on 18 February 1953
Redesignated 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron
25 on July 1964
Inactivated on 16 September 1974
Activated on 1 October 1978
Inactivated on 24 January 1989
Redesignated 497th Fighter Training Squadron
on 28 October 1991
Activated on 31 October 1991
Redesignated 497th Combat Training Squadron
on 1 August 1994
Redesignated 497th Combat Training Flight
on 26 October 2006
84th Bombardment Group (later 84th Fighter-Bomber Group), 10 February 1942 – 1 April 1944
503d Air Defense Group, 18 February 1953
84th Fighter Group, 18 August 1955
65th Air Division, 5 July 1958
United States Air Forces Europe (attached to 65th Air Division), 1 July 1960
32d Tactical Fighter Wing. 18 June 1964
8th Tactical Fighter Wing, 25 July 1964
831st Air Division, 6 December 1965 (attached to 479th Tactical Fighter Wing)
8th Tactical Fighter Wing, 8 December 1965 – 16 September 1974
8th Tactical Fighter Wing, 1 October 1978
51st Composite Wing (later 51st Tactical Fighter Wing), 1 January 1982 – 1 January 1988
Thirteenth Air Force, 31 October 1991
36th Air Base Wing, 30 June 2005
36th Operations Group, 15 March 2006 – present