Iowa’s 133rd Test Squadron celebrates 75 years in the Air National Guard

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tylon Chapman
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The Iowa Air National Guard’s 133rd Test Squadron invited community members and distinguished visitors to their Fort Dodge, Iowa facility for a celebration commemorating the unit’s 75th anniversary.

The event, held over their September training weekend allowed visitors an inside look at the unique mission of the test squadron. 

Some of the specialty equipment on hand included tactical radar equipment, satellite systems, an air battle management control suite, as well as cyber systems operations equipment. 

Other items on display included supply equipment, generators, fuel trucks and some of the tactical vehicles used by the unit. 

As part of the event a KC-135 Stratotanker from the unit’s parent Wing in Sioux City performed a flyover.  The mid-air refueling aircraft from the 185th Air Refueling Wing passed overhead just prior to the official ceremony. 

The 133rd commander, Lt. Col. Jason Kolacia, along with Iowa National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Stephen Osborn both spoke at the event. Kolicia reflected on the unit’s history and contributions to the mission of the Air Force over its 75-year history. 

As a long-time unit member, Kolacia recognized and thanked the current and retired members of the unit for their service and the valuable lessons he has learned from them. 

“Your ingenuity allows us to train when resources are scarce, stay tactically proficient when operations are required and remain dependable when our nation heeds the call,” said Kolacia. 

“It is because of your loyalty that the 133rd flag continues to fly high,” explained Kolacia, “and it is because of your dedication that you are the best in the command-and-control business.” 

Maj. Gen. Osborn took the opportunity to thank members of the Test Squadron and the Fort Dodge community for their support of the unit and the mission of the Iowa National Guard. 

“It is always great to see how when you take dedicated people with an Iowa work ethic in a community that supports them,” said Osborn, “and then infuse them into a military culture—how amazing things happen.” 

Airmen of the unit said that the event was a great opportunity to reach out to the community and see how much the community cares for its local Air Guard unit. 

“It's good to see that this many people are here,” said Airman 1st Class Jaydon Charlson, 133rd Test Squadron battle management operations. 

VIDEO | 03:11 | 133rd Test Squadron 75th Anniversary History

The unit was founded on June 1st of 1948 as the 133rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, and it was initially supplied with hand-me-down radar communication equipment following the 2nd World War. 

Soon after its founding Airmen from the 133rd were activated in response to the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1951.

As the unit grew their mission changed through the years. The unit’s first mission change came in 1953 when they became an Aircraft Control and Warning Flight, then becoming a Tactical Control Squadron in 1971. 

In 1976 the unit designation changed again when they transitioned into a Forward Air Control Flight. Change came again in 1989 when the unit reverted to a Tactical Control Squadron which stuck until 2002.  

As the Air National Guard’s only Test Squadron, the 133rd has been performing their current mission for the past 21 years, performing operational and developmental testing of command-and-control equipment for the U.S. Air Force and its components.

VIDEO | 02:07 | 133rd Test Squadron 75th Anniversary open house b-roll

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