USAF Activates New F-16 Squadron at Nellis

One of the first aircraft to join the 24th TASS, F-16CM 88-0533, takes off from its new home at Nellis AFB on February 27. The aircraft is still wearing the ‘HL’ tail code of its previous unit, the 388th FW/4th FS at Hill AFB, Utah. USAF/Airman 1st Class Andrew D Sarver

A CEREMONY was held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on March 2 to formally activate a new F-16 unit, the 24th Tactical Air Support Squadron (TASS) ‘Golden Jaguars’ under the command of Lt Col Tyler Niebuhr.  The 24th TASS’s primary role will be training, supporting and performing close air support (CAS) missions.

Niebuhr said the idea for the squadron was formulated during a conference two years ago, when plans to generate the CAS Integration Group first came about.  He said: “The intent was to encapsulate a range of CAS missions and culture with the activation of a fighter squadron, the 24th TASS, and focus only on things like training joint terminal attack controllers and flying support missions for multiple US Air Force Weapons School weapons squadrons.”

The 24th TASS had last been an operational unit when based at Howard AFB, Panama, where it was de-activated on March 31, 1991.