The New Mexico Air National Guard was federally recognized on 7 July 1947 as the 188th Fighter Bomber Squadron. The unit was composed of a utility flight equipped with Douglas B-26 light bombers, a fighter squadron composed of 100 officers and airmen flying 25 P-51 mustangs and three T-6 Texan trainers, plus a small weather detachment. The 188th's mission was changed from fighter bomber to fighter-interceptor in 1948.
In December 1950, the unit was called to active duty for the Korean Conflict. A total of 54 officers and 400 airmen were assigned to Long Beach Municipal Airport, California. Most unit members were then absorbed by other Air Force units and dispatched to Japan and Korea. First Lieutenants Robert Lucas and Joseph Murray were killed while flying close air support missions in Korea. Captain Francis Williams and First Lieutenant Robert Sands were each credited with three MiG-15 kills. The unit was released from federal active duty in November 1952. In 1957, the unit was re-designated and federally recognized as the 150th Tactical Fighter Group. In October 1995, the unit was renamed the 150th Fighter Wing.
In January 1968, the group was activated as a result of the Pueblo Crisis, and in June of that year the 188th Tactical Fighter Squadron and approximately 250 maintenance and support personnel were deployed to Tuy Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. Remaining group members were assigned to various bases in South Korea. The unit flew over 6000 combat sorties in the F-100 Super Sabre and amassed over 630 medals and decorations before release from federal active duty in June 1969. Captain Michael Adams was killed in action and Major Bobby Neeld and First Lieutenant Mitchell Lane are listed as missing in action. The unit received the AF Outstanding Unit Award with a bronze "V' for valor.
The 150th Fighter Group was partially activated in support of Operation Desert Storm. On 11 December 1990, 44 members of the 150th Security Police Flight and other unit members were deployed to Saudi Arabia. All members returned home by May 1991.
The New Mexico Air National Guard has undergone several aircraft conversions throughout its history, including the F-80, F-100, A-7D and F-16C. Major accomplishments of the unit include: First ANG unit to receive the F-100 and A-7D fighter aircraft, first ANG unit to receive the Low Altitude Night Targeting Infra-Red Navigational system (LANTIRN) equipped F-16C fighter aircraft, first ANG to be assigned to the prestigious Rapid Deployment Force, first ANG unit to participate in Bright Star joint service exercises in Southwest Asia, first ANG unit to receive the Low Altitude Night Attack modification to the A-7, and first ANG unit to participate in a deployed bare base operational readiness inspection.
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the 150 FW supported several deployments connected with Operation NOBLE EAGLE. Within hours of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, 150 FW aircrews flew combat air patrol sorties over key resources within the western part of the United States, and continued to do so for many months. To protect the local homeland of New Mexico, 150th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) personnel provided several months of security protection to the Albuquerque International Airport.
The NMANG converted to several aircraft types throughout its history, including the F-51 Mustang, F-80 Shooting Star, F-IOO Super Sabre, A-7D Corsair II, and F-16C Fighting Falcon. Major accomplishments of the unit include: (1) first ANG unit to receive the F-IOO and A-7D fighter aircraft, (2) first ANG unit to receive the Low Altitude Night Targeting Infra-Red Navigational system (LANTIRN) equipped for the F-16C fighter aircraft, (3) first ANG to be assigned to the prestigious Rapid Deployment Force, (4) first ANG unit to participate in Bright Star joint services exercises in Southwest Asia, (5) first ANG unit to receive the Low Altitude Night Attack modification to the A-7, (6) first ANG unit to participate in a deployed bare base operational readiness inspection, and (7) first ANG unit to have a crew chief as a member of the Air Force Thunderbirds.
Additionally, the 150th TFG set an A-7 and first endurance record of 11 1/2 hours non-stop from Pease AFB, New Hampshire to Cairo West Air Base, Egypt. Over the years, the 150th received the following awards: (1) Spaatz Trophy in 1956, (2) Winston P. Wilson Trophy in 1980, (3) Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards in 1989 and February 1996, (4) Top A-7 Team at 'Gunsmoke' in 1989 and 1991, (5) Distinguished Flying Unit Award in 1991, and (6) Outstanding ANG Unit in 1991. In 1995, unit pilots with specialized LANTIRN experience flew combat missions in Bosnia, leading to the current cease-fire situation in that area.
Today, the NMANG is composed of State Headquarters, the 150 FW, 150th Maintenance Group, 150th Operations Group, Mission Support Group, 150th Medical Group and 12 subordinate squadrons and flights with an authorized strength of 120 officers and 919 enlisted members. Its primary mission is air interdiction in support of Twelfth Air Force, Air Combat Command with worldwide deployment capability. Unit members are constantly on the go, participating in both humanitarian and military excises throughout the year at locations across the globe.
In addition to its primary mission of air interdiction, the 150 FW also maintains a Defense Systems Evaluation (DSE) tasking, which provides fighter aircraft support to the US Army Air Defense Center and White Sands Missile Range. Major program support has included testing of various US and foreign surface-to-air missile systems and air defense artillery.
Located on Kirtland Air Force Base that borders Albuquerque, New Mexico, on December 1, 2013 due to the Department of the Air Force restructuring and realignment, the 150th Fighter Wing was renamed as the 150th Special Operations Wing through a Total Force Integration with the 58th Special Operations Wing. This historic redesignation hails the activation of a new mission for the 150th from a fighter unit to a special operations training unit.
Currently, the 150th SOW has one C-26 support aircraft and is highly involved with the 58th Special Operations Wings day-to-day operations. They have been highly successful in this endeavor and are currently a highly integral part of the operations and maintenance side of the house on the following aircraft; HC-130 P/N, HC-130J, MC-130J, HH-60G, and 6 "by-name" members on the CV-22. The 150 SOW maintains its daily operations with the support of over 335 full-time personnel.
Today, the NM ANG is composed of State Headquarters, the 150th Special Operations Wing, 150th Maintenance Group, 150th Operations Group, 150th Mission Support Group, 150th Medical Group, 250th Intel Squadron, and 210th RED HORSE Squadron. In addition, the wing is assigned one C-26 support aircraft and supports both domestic and world-wide Combatant Commander taskings.