Open main menu

The 510th Fighter Squadron is part of the 31st Operations Group at Aviano Air Base, Italy. It is a combat-ready F-16CM fighter squadron prepared to deploy and fly combat sorties as tasked by NATO and US combatant commanders. The squadron employs a full range of the latest state-of-the-art precision ordnance.[4]

510th Fighter Squadron
United States Air Forces in Europe.png
510th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon[note 1]
Active1943–1945; 1952–1958; 1959–1969; 1978–1994; 1994–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part ofUnited States Air Forces in Europe
3d Air Force
31st Fighter Wing
31st Operations Group
Garrison/HQAviano Air Base
Nickname(s)Buzzards[citation needed]
Motto(s)Buzzards Rule[citation needed]
ColorsPurple[citation needed]
Mascot(s)Buzz[citation needed]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Presidential Unit Citation (United States)
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Cited in the Order of the Day, Belgian ArmyRepublic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm[1]
510th Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 8 May 2007)[1]510 Fighter Sq Emblem.png
510th Fighter-Bomber Sq emblem (approved 14 February 1957)[1]510 Fighter-Bomber Sq emblem.png
510th Fighter-Bomber Sq emblem (approved 8 September 1953)[2]510 Fighter-Bomber Squadron emblem.png
510th Fighter Sq emblem (approved 7 July 1944)[3]510th Fighter-Bomber Squadron - World War II Emblem.png



The 510 FS performs air and space control and force application roles including counterair, strategic attack, interdiction, combat search and rescue (CSAR), close air support (CAS), and forward air control-airborne (FAC-A) missions.[4]


World War IIEdit

P-47D Thunderbolt of the 510th Fighter Squadron[note 2]

The 510th Fighter Squadron was originally formed as the 625th Bombardment Squadron (Dive), part of the 405th Bombardment Group, at Drew Field, Florida, in 1943, flying the Douglas A-24 Banshee. On 15 August 1943, the 625th was renamed the 510th Fighter-Bomber Squadron.[4]

In late 1943, the squadron moved to Walterboro Army Air Field, South Carolina, and began flying the Bell P-39 Airacobra, and then the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. In March 1944, the 510th moved to RAF Christchurch, England, and began combat operations.[4] During World War II, the 510th moved to mainland Europe with the advance of Allied troops, flying from Picauville Airfield and Saint-Dizier Airfield, France, Ophoven, Belgium, and Kitzingen Army Airfield, Germany. The unit was credited with 39 kills.[4] In late 1945, the 510th was inactivated at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

Pacific Air ForcesEdit

Squadron F-100D Super Sabre at Clark Air Base[note 3]

In 1952, the 510th was reactivated at Godman Air Force Base, Kentucky, flying the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak. In April 1953, the squadron relocated to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, and transitioned to the North American F-100 Super Sabre. In 1959, the 510th moved to Clark Air Base, Philippines and assumed the personnel and equipment of the 72d Tactical Fighter Squadron. In 1964, it moved to England Air Force Base, Louisiana.[4]

At the start of the Vietnam War, the 510th established a new home at Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam. The 510th flew over 27,200 combat missions in Southeast Asia. In 1969, the unit again inactivated.[4]

United States Air Forces in EuropeEdit

Squadron A-10A Thunderbolt II[note 4]

In 1979, the 510th reactivated at RAF Bentwaters, England, and began receiving the Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II. In 1991, the 510th deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, in support of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Provide Comfort.[4]

In 1993, the 510th relocated to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. During 1993 and 1994, the 510th flew more than 1,700 combat sorties from Aviano Air Base, Italy, in support of Operation Deny Flight. In the skies over Bosnia and Herzegovina, the squadron became the "Bosnia Buzzards".[4]

The 510th was inactivated in April 1994 and reactivated at Aviano Air Base, Italy on 1 July 1994 as the 510th Fighter Squadron absorbing the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and equipment of the inactivated 512th Fighter Squadron, which had been inactivated at Ramstein Air Base, Germany when the 86th FW became an airlift wing (86th AW). At Aviano, the squadron returned to its previous mission as an operational combat fighter squadron. The 510th, during Operation Deliberate Force, was the first F-16 Block 40 squadron to drop a laser-guided bomb.[4]

The 510th led the Tactical Air Forces with the first combat use of Night Vision Goggles in an F-16 during Operation Deliberate Guard. The 510th led the way by being one of the first F-16 units to become Forward Air Controllers (FAC-A), and were the first to employ as FAC-A's in combat in the F-16.[4]

In October 1998, the squadron deployed with the F-16 to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey for the first time to fly in support of Operation Northern Watch.

In Operation Allied Force, the Air War over Serbia, the 510th flew more combat missions than any other F-16 squadron. Subsequently, the "BALKAN BUZZARDS" the squadron has expanded into an Expeditionary Air Force, and were the first Aviano fighter squadron to deploy to Operation Southern Watch in June 2000. During those deployments the "FIGHTIN' BUZZARDS" engaged in combat operations over Iraq in both surface attack and combat search and rescue (CSAR). From September to December 2002, the Buzzards returned to Operation Southern Watch and dropped 136,508 pounds of ordnance over Iraq to include the first GBU-31A JDAM in F-16CG combat history.[4]


  • Constituted as the 625th Bombardment Squadron (Dive) on 4 February 1943
Activated on 1 March 1943
Redesignated: 510th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 10 August 1943
Redesignated: 510th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, Single Engine on 20 August 1943
Redesignated: 510th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 30 May 1944
Inactivated on 27 October 1945
  • Redesignated 510th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 15 October 1952
Activated on 1 December 1952
Inactivated on 1 July 1958
  • Redesignated 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 11 March 1959
Activated on 9 April 1959
Inactivated on 15 November 1969
  • Activated on 1 October 1978
Inactivated on 1 February 1994
  • Redesignated 510th Fighter Squadron on 23 March 1994
Activated on 1 July 1994[1]






  1. ^ Aircraft is General Dynamics F-16C Block 40A Fighting Falcon serial 89-30.
  2. ^ Aircraft is Republic P-47D-27-RE Thunderbolt serial 42-227312
  3. ^ Aircraft is North American F-100D-90-NA Super Sabre serial 56-3264 in December 1961.
  4. ^ Aircraft is Fairchild A-10A Thunderbolt II serial 81-962, taken about 1990.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Dollman, TSG David (11 December 2016). "Factsheet 510 Fighter Squadron (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  2. ^ Endicott, p. 913
  3. ^ Endicott, p. 913
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l 510 FS Fact Sheet Archived 31 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Station number in Anderson.
  6. ^ a b c d e Station number in Johnson.


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

External linksEdit