Springfield-Beckley Air National Guard Base, located at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, Ohio, is home to the United States Air Force's 178th Fighter Wing (178 FW), an F-16 Fighting Falcon flying training organization assigned to the Ohio Air National Guard and operationally-gained by the Air Education and Training Command (AETC).
The 178 FW consists of four groups (178th Operations Group, 178th Maintenance Group, 178th Medical Group, and 178th Mission Support Group) and one flying squadron. In addition to its 900 personnel, the 178 FW also supports 320 members of the Headquarters, 251st Communications Group, the 269th Combat Communications Squadron (both co-located with the 178 FW), and the 123d Air Control Squadron, located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The 178th Fighter Wing, originally organized as the 362d Fighter Squadron, was formed and activated in Hamilton Field, California, in December 1942, at that time a P-39 Airacobra squadron. To November 1943, as one of three fighter squadrons assigned to the 357th Fighter Group, the Unit trained in preparation for movement overseas to England. In December 1943 the 362d Fighter Squadron arrived in at RAF Raydon in Suffolk England where it transitioned to the P-51 Mustang to prepare for its mission of long range bomber support and air superiority over the Luftwaffe. The 362 FS moved to RAF Leiston in early 1944 and became operational in February 1944. On 20 August 1946 the 357 FG and its constituent squadrons were inactivated.
On 2 November 1947, the 162d Fighter Squadron received federal recognition and was initially stationed at Cox-Dayton Municipal Airport, Vandalia, Ohio. In 1955, to expand its operations, the 162d Fighter Squadron moved to its current location, the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport. The 162d Fighter Squadron deployed to Europe in 1961-1962 during the Berlin Crisis, and in 1963, was formed into the 178th Tactical Fighter Group. The 178 TFG later flew the F-100 Super Sabre and A-7D Corsair II fighter-bombers.
In 1993, the 178th Fighter Wing was assigned the F-16 Fighting Falcon with the mission of an ACC F-16 general purpose (GP) Fighter unit. In 1998 it was reassinged as a Formal Training Unit (FTU), training active duty Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve Command and Royal Netherlands Air Force pilots to fly the F-16.