You may recognize the city of Toledo, Ohio, as referenced in songs by John Denver and Kenny Rogers. Devoted M*A*S*H fans know it as the beloved hometown of Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger, a character played by our own Toledo native, Jamie Farr.
Those living in Toledo cherish its many unique and endearing local favorites such as Tony Packo’s, the Mud Hens and Walleye sports teams, the Toledo Museum of Art and the amazing Toledo Zoo & Aquarium. This list also includes, of course, our own heroes in the sky, the 180th Fighter Wing.
Our Neighbor on the Airfield
Located at the Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport, just east of Grand Aire’s Headquarters, is the 180th Fighter Wing, a unit of the Ohio Air National Guard and separate reserve component of the United States Air Force.
Officially expanded from Fighter Group to Fighter Wing status on October 1, 1995, the origins of the 180th stretch all the way back to 1917 when the 112th Aero Squadron was organized as a supply unit in San Antonio, TX. Now known as the 112th Fighter Squadron, this group of skilled fighter pilots is an integral part of the entity we know as the 180FW.
Its base sits on 135 acres and encompasses 50 facilities totaling more than 425,000 square feet. This includes a new 29,000 square foot aircraft hangar and 11,000 square foot Deployment Processing and Fitness Center, both completed in 2020. If expansion is necessary, the base has more than 200 acres of land able to be utilized.
One Wing, Six Organizations
The 180th Fighter Wing consists of more than 1,200 combat-ready Airmen who are committed to one of six main organizations within the wing:
Fighter Wing Headquarters (FW/HQ) – includes Command Support Staff, Judge Advocate, Comptroller, Chaplains, Command Post, Military Equal Opportunity, Human Resource Advisor, Director of Psychological Health, Sexual Assault and Prevention, Ground and Flying Safety, Inspector General and Public Affairs.
Operations Group (OG) – made up of Command Support Staff, Airfield Management, Aviation Resource Management, Intelligence and Air Crew Flight Equipment. The OG also includes the 112th Fighter Squadron, aka “The Stingers.”
Maintenance Group (MXG) – consists of Command Support Staff, Fabrication, Quality Assurance, Munitions, Avionics, Propulsion, Aerospace Ground Equipment, Accessories, Phase Maintenance, Weapons, Maintenance Operations, F-16 Mechanics and Sortie Production.
Mission Support Group (MSG) – comprised of Command Support Staff, Mission Support Group Headquarters, Force Support Squadron, Civil Engineer Squadron, Logistic Readiness Squadron, Security Forces Squadron, Communication Flight, Airman and Family Readiness and Base Contracting.
Medical Group (MDG) – includes Medical Admin, Medical Services. Public Health, Bioenvironmental, Dental and the 112th Squadron Medical Element.
Aerospace Control Alert (ACA) – maintenance Airmen responsible for weapons, weapons loading and F-16 mechanics.
The mission of the 180FW is to provide for America: protection of the homeland, effective combat power and defense support to civil authorities, while developing Airmen, supporting their families and serving in the community.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is the aircraft assigned to the 112th Fighter Squadron. It’s a single-engine, fixed wing, multirole tactical fighter used for various tasks including air-to-air combat. It measures 49 feet 5.2 inches in length, 16 feet 10 inches in height and has a wingspan of 32 feet 10 inches. Capabilities of the F-16 include air defense, interdiction and close air support.
One of many key features of the Fighting Falcon is a frameless bubble canopy that allows for better visibility. A side-mounted control stick eases control while maneuvering. And an ejection seat reclined 30 degrees from vertical reduces the effect of g-forces on the pilot.
More Than Just Planes
Most Toledoans give a nod to the 180th whenever they hear the roar of the mighty F-16’s above them. But in addition to the fighter pilots, their ground and weapon crews, the 180FW is made up of Airmen serving their country and the immediate community by other means.
For example, the Fire and Emergency Services Flight provides 24-hour emergency response for the Toledo Express Airport in conjunction with the Lucas County Port Authority Public Safety Department. The flight also provides Defense Support to Civil Authorities, providing mutual aid to local area fire and emergency services.
The Medical Group provides medical services for personnel, such as preventive health assessments, deployment processing, immunizations, dental and optometry. Lastly, the Propulsion Element has provided War Ready Engines by rebuilding and testing engines from in support of the Air Force and Air National Guard.
But This Is An Airport…
We are truly honored to have each and every member of the 180th Fighter Wing as our neighbor. But let’s face it. Those F-16 Fighting Falcons are just plain cool. And not everyone gets to watch daily airshows put on by fighter pilots as they run their practice flights.
Grand Aire is proud to operate the only 24/7/365 full-service FBO on the field at KTOL. If your travels happen to bring you to our FBO, perhaps you’ll be treated to one of the fabulous 180FW flying performances. Check out our list of services by visiting us online or give us a call at 1-800-70-GRAND.