Holloman Air Force Base
Holloman Air Force Base (1942-Active) - A United States Air Force Base first established in 1942 as Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range at Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico. Renamed Holloman Air Force Base in 1948 after Colonel George V. Holloman a pioneer in early rocket and pilot-less aircraft research. Active Air Force Base.
Alamogordo Army Air Field was established six miles west of Alamogordo, New Mexico on 10 Jun 1942. Construction began on 6 Feb 1942 and forces began to occupy the post on 14 May 1942.
Alamogordo AAF served as the training grounds for over 20 different groups, flying primarily B-17, B-24, and B-29 Bombers. These groups served at the airfield for about six months each, training their personnel before heading to combat in either the Pacific or European Theater.
Post World War II
After World War II, the future of the base was uncertain. However, in 1947, a new era began when Air Materiel Command announced the airfield would be its primary site for the testing and development of pilotless aircraft, guided missiles, and other research programs. For the next 25 years the site, which became known as the Holloman Air Development Center, and later the Air Force Missile Development Center, launched many missiles including Tiny Tim (the first Army rocket), Rascal, V-2, XQ-2 Drone, Falcon, MACE, Matador, and Shrike.
F-4 Phantom/F-15 Eagle
On 1 Jul 1968, the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing arrived at Holloman with F-4 Phantom IIs beginning fighter aircraft training and operations at the base. In 1977 the 49th transitioned to the F-15 Eagle, then the Air Force's top air-to-air weapon.
In 1992 the F-117A Nighthawk transitioned from the isolated Tonopah Test Range Airport to Holloman. Holloman Air Force Base continued to host the F-117 "stealth" aircraft until they were decommissioned. The decommissioning occurred in eight phases, with the operational aircraft retired back to Tonopah in seven waves between 2007 and 2008. The F-117As were stored in their original hangers at Tonopah with the wings removed.
German Air Force Training
On 1 May 1996, the German Air Force Tactical Training Center was established in concept with the 20th Fighter Squadron which provides aircrew training in the F-4F Phantom II. A second TTC unit, the Tornado Training Squadron, provides academic and tactical flying training, by German Air Force instructors, for German Tornado aircrews. On 13 Mar 2019, the German Luftwaffe ceased flight training at Holloman AFB.
The first two F-22 Raptors arrived at Holloman in June 2008 and were soon followed by the remaining 22. The F-22s had a short stay at at Holloman and the last four F-22 Raptors left Holloman and were flown to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida on 8 Apr 2014. The transfers began on 6 Jan 2014 and a total of twenty-four F-22s were flown to Florida.
Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 Hurricane, struck the Florida panhandle in October 2018 and left a path of destruction in its wake. Tyndall was directly affected by massive damage to the base infrastructure and to Flightline structures. Hurricane Michael damaged 95 percent of the buildings at Tyndall. Most of the F-22 fleet evacuated before the storm hit but 17 F-22s were not flyable for various reasons and they rode out the storm.
It appears in 2022 that the F-22s will not return to Tyndall but Tyndall is preparing for F-35 squadrons in the future.
The 16th Training Squadron at Holloman is the lead producer of MQ-9 pilots and sensor operators. They have been active on Holloman since 2009, graduating more than 600 students annually.
In 2014 Holloman began to receive the first of 56 F-16s to replace the departed F-22s and F-16 training continues to date (2022).
Following the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan in 2021, the Biden administration housed Afghan refugees in 8 military bases across the country. Some 5,000 Afghan refugees at a time were temporarily held at Holloman while awaiting residency processing, with a total of 7,221 having residence at Aman Omid village. The last of the refugees departed Holloman on 26 Jan 2022.
Present aircraft flown at Holloman AFB include: T-38 Talon, F-16 Fighting Falcon, QF-16 Drone, and MQ-9 Reaper