Suvarna Garge (Editor)

557th Flying Training Squadron

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Country  United States
Engagements  World War II
557th Flying Training Squadron
Active  1 December 1942 - 12 November 1945 17 April 1962 - 31 March 1970 31 July 1974 - Present
Branch  United States Air Force
Part of  Air Education and Training Command 19th Air Force 306th Flying Training Group
Garrison/HQ  United States Air Force Academy

The 557th Flying Training Squadron (557 FTS) is part of the 306th Flying Training Group based at United States Air Force Academy, Colorado.



It conducts powered flight training for Air Force Academy cadets.


The squadron was activated as a B-26 Marauder medium bombardment squadron in late 1942. It trained under the Third Air Force and deployed to European Theater of Operations (ETO) in July 1943, initially being stationed in England and assigned to the IX Bomber Command.

It engaged in tactical bombardment of enemy targets in Occupied Europe initially from stations in England, then after D-Day it was moved to Advanced Landing Grounds in France and Belgium, advancing eastward as Allied ground forces advanced. It supported Eighth Air Force strategic bombardment missions over Nazi Germany and Occupied Europe, striking enemy airfields to obtain maximum interference in Luftwaffe daytime interceptor attacks against heavy bomber formations returning to England. The squadron also participated in the Western Allied Invasion of Germany in March–April 1945, until the German surrender in May 1945.

The squadron became part of the United States Air Forces in Europe and demobilized personnel in 1945. It was reassigned to the United States as a paper unit, inactivated in November 1945.

It was later reactivated in 1962 as one of the initial F-4C Phantom II fighter squadrons when the aircraft was made operational by the Air Force. F-4Cs were not yet in production at that time. In order to get the squadron operational, second-line F-84F Thunderjets were transferred from the Air National Guard. The squadron received Navy F4Hs (later F-4B) for training and then F-4Cs in January 1964. It was deployed to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War and flew combat missions, primary over North Vietnam until Cam Ranh Air Base was closed in November 1970.

It has provided basic flight training for Air Force Academy cadets since 31 July 1974.

In addition to providing cadets with some initial flight instruction, the 557th FTS is also home to the USAFA Flying Team, the Air Force Academy's premier flying team, composed of 27 cadets selected for the team.


  • Constituted 557 Bombardment Squadron (Medium), on 25 Nov 1942
  • Activated on 1 Dec 1942 Redesignated 557 Bombardment Squadron, Medium on 9 Oct 1944 Inactivated on 12 Nov 1945
  • Consolidated (19 Sep 1985) with the 557 Tactical Fighter Squadron, which was constituted, and activated, on 17 Apr 1962
  • Organized on 25 Apr 1962 Inactivated on 31 Mar 1970
  • Redesignated 557th Flying Training Squadron on 18 Jun 1974
  • Activated on 31 Jul 1974


  • 387th Bombardment Group, 1 Dec 1942-12 Nov 1945
  • Tactical Air Command, 17 Apr 1962
  • 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, 25 Apr 1962-31 Mar 1970
  • Attached to 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 9 Mar-9 Jun 1965 Attached to 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, 3 Feb-22 Jul 1968
  • Air Training Command, 31 Jul 1974
  • United States Air Force Academy, 1 Oct 1982
  • 12th Operations Group, 1 Jul 1993
  • 306th Flying Training Group, 4 Oct 2004–Present
  • Aircraft Operated

  • T-53A (2011-)
  • T-52A (2009–2012)
  • T-3A (1994-1996)
  • T-51A (1982–Present)
  • UV-18 Twin Otter (1979–1982)
  • T-41 Mescalero (1974–Present)
  • F-4 Phantom II (1964–1970)
  • F-84 Thunderjet (1962–1964)
  • B-26 Marauder (1943–1945)
  • Operations

  • World War II
  • Vietnam War
  • References

    557th Flying Training Squadron Wikipedia

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